Grimstad is surrounded by fertile farmland yielding local produce of the very best quality. Every spring, the country's potato farmers compete to deliver the first new potatoes to the royal family, and this race is often won by farmers from Reddal in Grimstad.
Grimstad offers a diverse choice of food and drink, and taking the time to enjoy a delicious meal at one of the town's restaurants is highly recommended. If you prefer to cook at home, there are numerous places where you can buy local produce: Hesnes Gartneri 's welcoming shop at Hesnes offers seasonal vegetables and fruit, and Brødrene Tellefsen has a stall with vegetables, eggs, fruit, and berries by Oddensenteret shopping centre in town.
For fish or shellfish, the fishmonger Fiskernes Salgslag in the harbour offers fresh, local produce of the sea. Their warm fish cakes are ideal for a quick quayside snack.
If you prefer a restaurant meal, the winner of the Ganefart award 2012 can be found in the heart of Grimstad's pedestrian precinct. Smag & Behag is a small food store with delicatessen and a welcoming restaurant. Apotekergaarden is renowned for its warm atmosphere and excellent drink selection. Among the treats on offer are beer from Nøgne Ø and aquavit from K.G Puntervold – both local Grimstad producers who have received great acclaim for their products.
Another venue with excellent atmosphere and good food is Café Ibsen, located by the Ibsen Museum. The café was voted Norway's cosiest in 2009. It is quite possible that this was where Henrik Ibsen enjoyed his meals when he lived in Grimstad from 1843 to 1850. Close to the Ibsen Museum, you will also find one of the town's many bakeries: There are three different bakeries in Grimstad, with Bergshaven Bakeri & Konditori renowned for its traditional "porke" and Morterud for its wonderful hot-dog buns.
Every autumn, Grimstad plays host to "Den Lille Madfesten" a festival when large and small food producers gather with their beautiful stalls in the town centre for a celebration of local food and drink. This is the ideal opportunity for visitors and locals to taste, smell, see, hear about, and purchase all the tasty treats the Grimstad region has to offer. There are also various competitions going on, such as baking, beer brewing, and cooking.