What do Norwegians eat? How pricey is it? And more importantly, can you keep making your own signature dish after moving to Trondheim? Hopefully, this article will answer some of your culinary questions.
A well-known Norwegian saying goes «Uten mat og drikke, duger helten ikke». Loosely translated it means «Without food and drink, a hero is no good» (the rhythm works better in Norwegian, though). You can, however, relax – in Trondheim you'll have few troubles staying both energized and hydrated, as you continue on your own heroic journey.
First things first: What is Norwegian cuisine?
Besides salmon and cod, few Norwegian dishes or ingredients are known worldwide. If you are a keen viewer of food shows on TV, you might have come across some of our more weird traditional courses, such as «lutefisk» (a traditional christmas meal, consisting of dried cod preserved in lye) or «smalahove» (a boiled lambs head). Both lutefisk and smalahove, however, are far from what the average Norwegian eats on a daily basis. Most Norwegians have probably never eaten either.
Modern Norwegian cuisine is actually quite global. On a daily basis, Norwegians eat international food such as sushi, pasta, wok, and steak (and much, much, more). So no matter your culinary background, you will find something to satisfy your hunger in Trondheim.
The rich supply of groceries
As Norwegians eat almost everything, the grocery stores have to supply almost everything as well. This is both a really simple lesson in supply and demand, but more importantly the reason why you will find most of what you need at your local supermarket.
Should you, however, come across a product you can't find in your local chain supermarket, Trondheim also has several smaller supermarkets, specializing in food and groceries from all corners of the world. This also often includes fruits and vegetables.
Imported vegetables, fruit and meat may be widely available, but the vast majority is still produced in Norway.
And this is a good thing. Due to strict regulations, the food produced in Norway is extremely safe to eat. The levels of both pesticides in farming, and antibiotics in meat production are among the lowest in Europe. So if you are a gym junkie, rest assured: You can safely add raw eggs to your protein shake. The apple will be extra healthy, and if you empty your water bottle, the tap water is both completely safe to drink, and – objectively speaking (of course) – the best tasting water in the world.
Animal welfare is highly regarded among Norwegians. It is important that the animals, who will eventually end up on the platter, have a good life for as long as possible. As a result, most of the animals – from kettle to chicken – roam quite freely for most of the year.
But what about the pricing?
Now, let's grab the bull by the horns: Is it not correct that the price levels in Norway are high? You may wonder. And the answer is both yes and no.
The price levels of groceries and non-alcoholic beverages is, according to Norway's national statistics bureau (SSB), about 46 % higher than in the EU countries. The price levels for alcoholic beverages and tobacco is a whopping 122 % higher than the EU countries.
This, however, only paints half the picture. Because at the same time, Norwegians spend only 11 % of their income on groceries and non-alcoholic beverages. This is the sixth lowest in Europe.
So yes, the price levels are high, but so is your purchasing power.
Restaurants and nightlife
With that purchasing power, why not end your day – and this article – with a bit of fun. And what is more fun than going out for food and drinks with your family, friends, and co-workers.
If you agree on this, you're in for a treat. During the last few years, Trondheim has become quite the food city. Restaurants specializing in Spanish, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek and Thai food (to mention a few) are flanked by bistros serving delicious burgers, and fancy fusion food.
The icing on the cake, however, is the modern Norwegian restaurants. Trondheim is located between fertile farmlands, deep green forests, and the fjord. This gives a steady supply of game, fish, vegetables, fruit, and berries.
Local ingredients are the stars of the show in modern Norwegian restaurants. And there is a restaurant for every wallet. Some offer a la carte-menus, some have composed 3- or 5-course menus, and the best of the best have tasting menus resulting in Michelin stars.
The eager pub-crawler will also thrive in Trondheim. You'll find sports pubs, pubs specializing in craft beer, and everything in between. If you rather prefer a sophisticated cocktail, you'll have plenty to choose from.
And as a reward for finishing the article, you'll get a free tip: If you seek a drink recommendation, ask for a Kyoto, a drink developed by award winning restaurant owner and bartender, Roar Hildonen – of course a Trondheim native. Enjoy!
Where to start
Visit Trondheim - restaurantsFrom the heart of Norway to Norway's food capital! Trondheim is on the cusp of becoming a world-renowned gastronomic sensation
Visit Trondheim - pubs & barsNearly 1000 pubs, bars, restaurants, night clubs, joints and juice bars in Trondheim. Here are some of them.
TripAdvisor - rastaurants TrondheimTripAdvisor's 10 best restaurants in Trondheim, according to user votes
Visit Norway - restaurants TrondheimThe idea of “local food” has deep, natural roots. This culinary destination is nicely located in the epicentre of everything fresh from the inland and the sea
Michelin restaurants in Trondheim
Speilsalen ⭐A grand dining room in the Britannia hotel. There's even a Caviar Bar. The intricate dishes have a classical base and make great use of the best Norwegian ingredients.
Fagn ⭐The word 'Fagn' refers to the welcome, food and lodgings given to travellers. Each of the beautiful surprise dishes comes with a story, which is enthusiastically explained
Credo ⭐Built around sustainability and local produce, and showcases meats from nearby farms and seafood from Trondheim Fjord. Cooking is creative yet understated.
Fagn-bistroThis simple bistro is set on the floor above FAGN restaurant and uses the same top quality local produce as its Michelin-Starred sibling
JossaThere’s a relaxed vibe to this bistro-come-canteen and the staff clearly love what they do; it's sister to nearby Credo and follows the same sustainable approach
SpontanRelaxed and trendy restaurant with an adjoining wine bar; the array of bottles to choose from is as impressive as you’d expect.