When you walk around the harbour in Bergen, the most prominent smell is that of freshly cooked fish. In tune with its rich heritage and beautiful location, this city has some fabulous dining opportunities. Based mostly on recommendations by Ingham’s guests, and some personal experiences, here are my culinary highlights of Bergen.
Bryggenloftet & Stuene
If it’s mouth-watering traditional Norwegian food you’re after then look no further. The menu is as traditional as the décor, and includes dishes such as creamy fish soup, reindeer fillet and venison. Main dishes are accompanied by potatoes of your choosing, and if you still have room then there is a lovely selection of refreshing desserts.
This second-story restaurant is situated just around the corner from the hotel First Marin and offers a wonderful view of Bergen harbour – a winning combination. Table reservation recommended.
Located in the fast-paced, indoor fish market on the harbour, you will struggle to find a better place to try locally sourced fish than here. A well-rounded fish menu provides options for all the family and includes a range of fish under the title ‘catch of day’.
Make this your dining choice if it’s going to be a nice evening. You’ll see Bryggen – the iconic row of 1700’s commercial buildings, and the orange sky reflected across the harbour water. Top tip: save some room for the chocolate mousse with whipped cream and juicy Norwegian strawberries, yum!
Once you’ve left this place, you’ll understand why you needed to reserve a table to eat there. When you sit down, you are presented with a simple menu on which you’ll find Norwegian classics such as Reindeer burger, salted cod and baked salmon, all accompanied with your choice of potatoes.
The delicious, well-presented food and warm, friendly service is why locals and tourist flock to this small street corner restaurant. It’s perfectly situated, again just around the corner from the Hotel First Marin. Table reservation essential!
This humble café has earned the respect and admiration of every Norwegian that has entered its doors, and for good reason! Run by the titular Hagelin sisters (søstrene is Norwegian for sisters), this is an excellent stop for lunch.
The front counter has all the Norwegian home-cooking favourites, including the famous homemade fishcakes, which even King Olav of Norway is said to have ordered! If you don’t stop by during your time in Bergen, you’ve missed out. Eat like a king, without the royal prices!
Cornelius Seafood Restaurant
To put it simply: this is one of the best dining experiences you can have. Expectant diners travel by boat for 25-minutes through Bergen’s archipelago to a private island where the shining, glass-clad restaurant awaits. The food is of exceptional quality and taste, exceeded only by the fantastic service from the waiting and kitchen staff.
What makes the Cornelius so exciting is that you never know what they will serve each night. The menu is forever changing and reflects the catch of the day. A different apprentice chef, describing the wonderful dishes, accompanies each course. I recommend taking the wine pairing option, and enjoying some of their 7,000 bottles of wine from their private, natural cellar.
In the main restaurant areas, you’re able to watch the sun come down across the fjord as you eat and relax, letting the excellent food and staff work their magic. The aim of any restaurant should be to leave its guests feeling satisfied in both mind and body. When you leave Cornelius, you can’t help but smile with what you’ve just experienced.