TRAVEL ALERT! Important information about the Coronavirus situation in Norway
Dynamic Variation:
Offers
x

There was not an exact match for the language you toggled to. You have been redirected to the nearest matching page within this section.

Choose Language
Toggling to another language will take you to the matching page or nearest matching page within that selection.
Search & Book Sponsored Links
Search
or search all of Norway

TASTE NORWAY’S WEIRD AND WONDERFUL FOOD

Are you tough enough for our quirky cuisine?

Smalahovetunet in Voss .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Smalahovetunet in Voss .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Norwegian food is not known for spicy flavours and bright colours, but that doesn’t mean we’re vanilla!

From stinky fish to crumbled cheese and unusual meat servings – this is the food you never knew you wanted to try.

Smalahovetunet in Voss .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Smalahovetunet in Voss .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

First things first: We can’t talk about Norwegian cuisine without mentioning seafood. But there is more to it than just salmon and fresh cod.

Like stockfish, for example. We call it tørrfisk, and it doesn’t have an appealing odour – but that is the smell of money. You see, this is the fish that built Norway.

Norwegian stockfish .
Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council / Tom Haga
Norwegian stockfish .
Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council / Tom Haga

The unsalted skrei, or migrating cod, is dried by the wind and the sun on giant wooden racks in Lofoten and other areas of Northern Norway.

You can enjoy it grilled, baked or cooked. Small, dry slices of tørrfisk are also popular to eat as a healthy snack – and dogs love it too!

Not challenging enough?

Drying rack for stockfish in Lofoten .
Photo: CH / Visitnorway.com
Drying rack for stockfish in Lofoten .
Photo: CH / Visitnorway.com

Try lutefisk.

No one knows how someone came up with the idea, but lutefisk is stockfish treated with water and lye. And yes, we are talking about the same lye that we use in batteries and soap.

It tastes better than it sounds, and lutefisk is, in fact, a popular Norwegian Christmas dinner, served with bacon and aquavit.

Lutefisk .
Photo: Matprat.no
Lutefisk .
Photo: Matprat.no

Well, this looks pretty harmless
– doesn’t it? Think again.

Our super old cheese traditions still pack quite the punch! Like this gamalost (looks like bread) or pultost (looks like risotto).

We use skimmed sour milk to create them, which should give you an idea of the flavour.

Gamalost cheese .
Photo: Melk.no
Gamalost cheese .
Photo: Melk.no

In more recent years, the Norwegian cheese revolution has given us many tasty creations, like the award-winning blue cheese Kraftkar.

And it might sound cheesy, but you can’t visit Norway and not try our beloved brown cheese. It’s like a national treasure.

Making brown cheese at Heidal Ysteri .
Photo: Heidal Ysteri
Making brown cheese at Heidal Ysteri .
Photo: Heidal Ysteri

Can you guess what they prepare here?

A little heads-up: It is definitely our strangest culinary speciality.

Smalahovetunet in Voss .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Smalahovetunet in Voss .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Yup, we literally meant heads up.

Smalahove (sheep’s head) is an ancient tradition that still lives on, especially in Fjord Norway.

We know how it looks ... and even bad-ass celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was put to the test when he visited Voss.

P.s: If you want to take this challenge to the next level, visit the places that serve the sheep’s … ehm ... crown jewels as a side dish.

Don’t worry if this is making you squeamish, though. You can also taste sheep in the lamb stew fårikål.

Feeling festive? Try the Norwegian Christmas dinner pinnekjøtt, salted and dried ribs of mutton.

Smalahovetunet in Voss, Fjord Norway .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Smalahovetunet in Voss, Fjord Norway .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Another traditional dish is dumplings the Norwegian way. Our potato dumplings have several names, depending on where you try them.

When you go out for dinner in Fjord Norway or Southern Norway, keep your eyes peeled for raspeball, ball, potetball or komle. It is sooo good – especially with bacon on the side and a glass of milk.

Norwegian potato dumplings .
Photo: Matprat.no / Sarah Johannessen
Norwegian potato dumplings .
Photo: Matprat.no / Sarah Johannessen

Now, this takes hearty meals to another level! Norwegian game is world-class, and in Sami culture, they eat most parts of a reindeer.

Including the heart, which they often serve smoked or dried.

Smoked reindeer heart .
Photo: Matprat.no / Synøve Dreyer
Smoked reindeer heart .
Photo: Matprat.no / Synøve Dreyer

Or perhaps you’re more tempted to try the Norwegian version of KFC’s famous crispy chicken?

Fried cod tongue is a delicacy!

Fried cod tongues .
Photo: Matprat.no / Alexander Benjaminsen
Fried cod tongues .
Photo: Matprat.no / Alexander Benjaminsen

Next up: fermented fish.

This is another example of how Norwegians got creative back in the days when it was all about preserving as much food as possible.

Rakfisk is fermented trout, and this dish even has its own festival: the annual Norsk Rakfiskfestival.

Some fish can be fermented for years, with the blood and gut!

When making gammelsaltasei (roughly translates to salted old coalfish), we skip the “cut and bleed” step before the fermentation process.

Rakfisk .
Photo: Cathrine Dokken / Norsk Rakfiskfestival
Rakfisk .
Photo: Cathrine Dokken / Norsk Rakfiskfestival

If fermented fish sounds like it’s too much to handle, try gravlaks instead.

The salmon is cured and not fermented, and has a milder taste.

Gravlax .
Photo: Matprat.no / Sara Johannessen
Gravlax .
Photo: Matprat.no / Sara Johannessen

Then there is this strange habit that we have: indulging in fried or smoked cod roe.

Our most beloved variety, is the smoked cod roe on tube, kaviar.

Even though Norwegian caviar is not as fancy as the posh Beluga Caviar, we sure do love it. Try it on a slice of bread for your next hotel breakfast, for instance with boiled egg.

Smoked cod roe on tube .
Photo: Matprat.no / Esten Borgos
Smoked cod roe on tube .
Photo: Matprat.no / Esten Borgos

Often referred to as “the silver in the sea”, herring has been an essential source of income for many countries.

In Norway, we call it sursild, and we celebrate the fish at several herring festivals throughout the country.

And we like our herring pickled! Some even make unique varieties just for Christmas.

Pickled herring (sursild) .
Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council / Synøve Dreyer
Pickled herring (sursild) .
Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council / Synøve Dreyer

Other odd delicacies from the ocean include sea urchins, cod liver oil, seaweed, and the brains from the Norway haddock.

Sea urchins .
Photo: Christian Roth Christensen / Visitnorway.com
Sea urchins .
Photo: Christian Roth Christensen / Visitnorway.com

We have peculiar taste, we know. If you think you’re as tough as the Vikings, why don’t you join us and find out?

If you want to prepare yourself first,
see what others think of our bizarre food.

Sea urchins .
Photo: Christian Roth Christensen / Visitnorway.com
Sea urchins .
Photo: Christian Roth Christensen / Visitnorway.com

What others think of our weird food

From smalahove and pinnekjøtt to lutefisk and raspeball – see what happens when Gordon Ramsay explore Norwegian cuisine, or when the American Embassy in Oslo try our Christmas food.

Food that will tickle your taste buds

Norwegian cuisine is all about raw, locally sourced ingredients – and not all our specialities are that weird. Get inspired to embark on a culinary adventure like no other!

Eat your way through Norway

From Michelin restaurants to cosy cafes – use the menu to find the perfect place for a meal.

×
  • Filters
    Filter Your Search
    TripAdvisor Symbol
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    General
    Accessibility
    Age limit
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Discount
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Effort level
    Landscape
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Price range
    Season
    Accommodation
    Camping
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Hotel facilities
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    In-room facilities
    Ski resorts
    Outdoor Activities
    Activities
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Alpine Skiing
    Biking
    Canoeing & kayaking
    Cross-country skiing
    Fishing
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Hiking
    Wildlife safaries
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Winter activities
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Plan Your Trip
    Getting here
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Services
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Taste Norway
    Norwegian cuisine
    Pubs & Bars
    Restaurant & café
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Things To Do
    Activities
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Activities for kids
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Beaches
    Shopping
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Theme park
    Clear Filters
  • View
  • Sort By
Filter Your Search
TripAdvisor Symbol
  • Show More
  • No available filters
  • Show More
  • No available filters
General
Accessibility
Age limit
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Discount
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Effort level
Landscape
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Price range
Season
Accommodation
Camping
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Hotel facilities
  • Show More
  • No available filters
In-room facilities
Ski resorts
Outdoor Activities
Activities
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Alpine Skiing
Biking
Canoeing & kayaking
Cross-country skiing
Fishing
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Hiking
Wildlife safaries
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Winter activities
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Plan Your Trip
Getting here
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Services
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Taste Norway
Norwegian cuisine
Pubs & Bars
Restaurant & café
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Things To Do
Activities
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Activities for kids
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Beaches
Shopping
  • Show More
  • No available filters
Theme park
Clear Filters
Back To Top

Take advantage of top offers

See our selection of companies that work hard to make you happy all through your trip.

Dynamic Variation:
Your Recently Viewed Pages

Back to top