Get ready to sink your teeth into some new and delicious foods!
And sample some tasty and refreshing beverages you have never tried before!
From street food festivals to seafood and other local specialities, food festivals have become an increasingly popular phenomenon in Norway, a country where the inhabitants have always enjoyed eating and drinking outdoors.
Here, “locally sourced” means ingredients hunted and harvested in the same landscape in which they are consumed.
The majority of the food fairs and festivals take place in the summer and early autumn. Explore our festival and events calendar for a full overview of all events in Norway.
A foodie’s guide to Norway’s top 5 food festivals
“I think there are several reasons for the growing interest in food, especially local food. More and more people care about what they eat. We want quality products as well as knowledge about the roots and history of the food we buy. We are travelling more, and discovering new regions and their cultures. And with that comes an interest in local specialities,” says Aslaug Rustad, CEO of Oi! Trøndersk Mat og Drikke, a non-profit that works to promote food and drink from the Trøndelag region.
Rustad is based in Trøndelag, which is known as Norway’s leading food region. She works with local producers on a daily basis and has arranged several food festivals during her career. Check out her top five food festival recommendations below.
1. Trøndelag Food Festival, Trondheim Brewery festival and the Norway Seafood Festival
“My personal favourites, which boast more than 150 stands. The festivals take place in the centre of Trondheim in Trøndelag,” says Rustad.
Trøndelag Food Festival and Trondheim Brewery Festival are a party for both grown ups and children, and are held in Trondheim at the end of July. Here, you can sample food from more than 200 local producers, try local craft beer, take cooking classes, and let the children have a blast. In addition, the Norway Seafood Festival will be held in Trondheim for the first time from 2 to 4 March 2023. Here, you will be able to indulge in wonderful ingredients from the sea.
Trøndelag has recently become one of the most fascinating culinary destinations in the world, and was the official European Region of Gastronomy in 2022.
2. Gladmat Food Festival, Stavanger
“Here, at one of the leading food festivals in Scandinavia, you can taste food from all corners of the world,” explains Rustad.
Gladmat is held in Stavanger at the end of June. Here, you can sample food from more than 100 stands and producers, and experience a variety of activities and festivities. Watch emerging and well known chefs compete, enjoy delicious food and drink, and soak up the summer vibes.
3. Matstreif Food Festival, Oslo
“At Matstreif, Norway’s largest food festival, you can try delicious specialities from all over the country,” says Rustad.
Matstreif is held every September at Rådhusplassen in Oslo, where food and drink producers from all over Norway showcase their finest products.
4. Bergen Food festival
According to Rustad, this festival is “where producers from Fjord Norway meet and sell their own products in a very charming setting.”
Visit the festival at the beginning of September in Bergen, and taste the many incredible flavours of Fjord Norway. Here, you will meet local cider and food producers, and sample myriad of tasty dishes prepared by talented chefs.
5. Norsk Rakfiskfestival, Fagernes
“I love rakfisk (semi-fermented trout), so to me this festival is simply a little piece of heaven on earth,” says Rustad.
The Norwegian Rakfisk Festival is held at the beginning of November in Valdres, and is more than just a food festival. Here, you can enjoy live music, taste excellent locally sourced food, learn about Norwegian traditions, and have a great time in a friendly and festive atmosphere.
6. Cider and fruit festivals
Several festivals throughout the country celebrate delicious beverages produced in Norway, including the Hardanger International Cider Festival, where you can attend seminars, embark on a cider safari, and much more.
The Norwegian Apple Festival in Telemark is held every year on the last Saturday in September and offers visitors and locals an opportunity to really enjoy themselves. It features walks, exhibitions, concerts, church services, floral decorations, farm stands, and much more.
7. The Shellfish Festival, Mandal
The Shellfish Festival in Mandal is a festival with a long history that continues to evolve more than 30 years since it was held for the first time.
The festival takes place on the second weekend of August every year. The city is filled with restaurant tents, entertainment, concerts, funfairs, food markets, a cookery school for children, a shrimp peeling world championship, street food, street musicians, market stalls, fantastic shopping in the city's shops that are open late, and much more!
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