With countless fjords, lakes and rivers, as well as easy access to some of the cleanest, most thriving oceans in the world, Norway’s seafood is second to none. Cod, salmon, trout, and crab are just a few types of seafood found in Norwegian waters, restaurants and food markets, with a whole load of other tasty treats available alongside some rather more peculiar culinary experiences.
As you would expect from a country with such a proud maritime heritage, Norway’s fish markets are amongst the best in Europe, offering all manner of oceanic delights caught in clean, flourishing waters.
Trondheim is home to the Ravnkloa Fishmarket, where you can discover all sorts of fresh seafood, including several kinds of marinated and smoked fish. A sumptuous breakfast at Kroa, a stone’s throw from the fish hall, is highly recommended.
In Bergen, fish has been traded since 1276 and its market is one of Europe’s finest, with a huge selection of spectacular seafood. All produce on the stalls is fresh, and whilst a bite to eat is notoriously expensive, a wander through the market alongside the beautiful harbour is a great way to while away a morning.
Another popular seafood market can be found in Stavanger. As well as strolling around the stalls to see what takes your fancy, you can have breakfast and dinner made specially, with plenty of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The market is handily separated into Torjå, the fish counter, and Vågen, the restaurant.
Norway’s world famous King Crab is a huge crustacean found in the icy waters of Finnmark. There are several companies in Kirkenes which offer you the chance to take a boat out and catch your own, before heading back to dry land and teaching you how to cook the catch. This delicious local delicacy is best served simply, with garlic mayonnaise and freshly baked bread, and a whole crab provides enough meat for up to eight people!
For a genuine Norwegian outdoor experience, why not consider catching your own dinner by fishing for some wild trout? There are plenty in the fast flowing rivers of Northern Norway, and they are best served roasted over a wood fire and seasoned with some wild herbs. To take the adventurousness one step further, combine a camping trip with a spot of ice fishing, in an experience which will whisk you away from the hassles of everyday life and challenge you in an entirely very different way.
For hundreds of years fishermen throughout Norway have travelled to the Lofoten Islands between January and March to take part in a cod catching frenzy. Over the New Year huge cod stocks from the Barents Sea journey south to spawn along the coast of the islands, leaving the water teeming with fish. This “Skrei”, as the Winter Arctic Cod is known, is a must to try during your visit.
Norway’s northern waters are also home to succulent Halibut, known as Kveite, which literally translates as fish of the Gods. Halibut is a flat, white-fleshed fish, with a sweet taste best enjoyed alongside a fine white wine. They are also pretty fun to catch, if you're into that sort of thing!
The shellfish in Norway is second to none, and the central region of Trøndelag is renowned for its mussels, scallops and crayfish. The islands of Frøya and Hitra are synonymous with quality seafood, and, sitting just off the coast, are also known for their excellent sea fishing, with tours and experiences open to visitors all year round.
Urchins are a sought after delicacy harvested from the northern seas of Nordland. They are normally available between September and February, and served the same day as they are caught in some of Europe’s finest restaurants, including Copenhagen's famous Noma.