7 Traditional Norwegian Dishes Every Tourist Tries and 1 Controversial Entry

Planning a trip to crispy Norway while tourism is still sleeping in the country? Good choice. To make the trip truly unforgettable, you have to thoroughly research the type of products and dishes that would fill your days on the trip.

Norway is an impressive marine country with a somewhat harsh climate. Such a combination, though, brings new and unique tastes to its traditional food. With cuisine so unlike others, you’ll have to prepare for what to expect and what tasty treats will be to your pleasure. Some of them are quite controversial for a regular tourist! 

Norwegian food is very similar to its neighboring countries, Denmark, Sweden, and The Netherlands. If you’ve been to one of these countries to indulge in their traditional cuisine, Norway will bear no surprises. However, if you are new to the Northern Europe regions, you’ll enrich your taste combinations vocabulary with quite a few entries.

Note that this list contains lots of seafood dishes and is not vegan-friendly.

Herring (Sursild)

norwegian foodNorway is a country of seafood, right? And what country so highly invested in fish doesn’t have its own traditional herring recipe? Not much!
In Norway, the best snack, sandwich topping, and simply a traditional dish is pickled herring. You can also find it by the name Sursild in the country. Street vendors often sell open sandwiches with herring that tourists are. And I was one of them.


norwegian food

Though Norwegian cuisine is full of seafood soups cooked in any shape and taste, I’m not the biggest fan of this type of seafood dishes. I cannot give more fish souple their separate places, but you may choose Fiskesuppe any day of the week and stay satisfied!

Fiskesupper is more creamy and buttery thanks to the addition of cream, butter, and milk at the end of preparation. Perfect for hangover rejuvenation.


norwegian food

So, meanwhile, has a more “sheer” broth. It is a hearty soup with meatballs and a small addition of boiled carrots and potato. This one is a more warming soup that tastes better during cold winters. And as it coincided with my time of travels, Sodd was the perfect dinner for me.

Brunost (Brown Cheese)

norwegian cuisine

Now, cheese I’m a fan of! Europe offers hundreds and hundreds of marvelous types of cheese. In Norway, the traditional and most interesting type of cheese is Brunost. This brown cheese is made of whey, milk, and cream. The best thing – you can try caramelized whey cheese at many cheese shops for free! Living a day off of free samples (in any countries mostly cheese) is something every tourist has to resort to at some point.

In addition to the sweet brown variety, the local cheesemakers produce all kinds of internationally-known types like camembert or brie.


norwegian food cuisine

Caviar is something that not all people understand. If you haven’t grown in a place of deep caviar traditions, you are likely never to get used to this product.

Personally, I’ve tasted various types of caviar throughout my whole life. However, there is one form that amazes you the most – tubed caviar! So it’s easy to put on bread or crepes.

Throw it into a bag with tubed cheese, tubed liver pate, tubed anchovies cram, and a few pieces of bread – you are ready for a hiking trip!

Whale Steak

traditional norwegian food

Yes, this is that controversial part of Norway food. Yes, this is tasty. Do not send Green Peace to me, but I have immensely enjoyed this bit of unusual marine delicacy.
Note that whaling is allowed in Norway, but the consumption is reduced to a minimum not to bring harm to the population.

If you’ve never tried whale meat, expect something similar to beef. Yes, that’s an unexpected analogy. I bet you were thinking of some sort of fish. No! A whale is a mammal and, thus, tastes nothing like the usual marine dwellers. Also, the meat is tender and practically melts in your mouth when cooked professionally.


traditional norwegian food

Yet another non-seafood dish to diversify your gastronomical adventure. Sample this stew of mutton and cabbage if you require that perfect combination of a hearty and nutrient-rich dish. Meat and cabbage go hand in hand! While stew cabbage is not as appealing, its meat counterpart compensates.

This dish is typically served with cooked potatoes, either boiled or baked.


traditional norwegian cuisine

Where do I visit without trying local sweets? Nowhere. Ad Norway is not an exception. At the place of cold and harsh winds, a cup of tea (or Gluhwein) with the local cinnamon bun is all you need to feel warm and content.

Usually, kanelboller are just plain traditional cinnamon-scented buns. However, at the rush hours of tourist hives, you can find buns of such fancy fillings/topping like chocolate or berry jam.

These are the 8 basic dishes every tourist has to try in Norway! The tastes may be quite unusual compared to internationally-famous cuisines like Italian, Fench, or Mexican. However, you will find that each dish comes with a unique blend of herbs or a hearty broth meant to warm you up from the inside.