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Surprise! Norway not priciest place for food in Europe

Norway is Europe’s second most expensive country for groceries and far and away the priciest country for booze and tobacco, newly-released figures confirm.

Surprise! Norway not priciest place for food in Europe
Filling your cart in a Norwegian supermarket costs 159 percent of the EU average. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix
Consumers in Norway pay the second highest prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages in Europe, according to a new comparison from Eurostat. 
 
The Eurostat numbers show that the prices of food and non-alcoholic drinks in Norway were 159 percent of the average price in the EU in 2015. This is second to to only fellow non-EU country Switzerland, where consumers pay 173 percent of the average EU price.
 
 
Norwegian prices have however come a bit closer to the EU average over the past year. In 2014, Norway’s food and non-alcoholic beverages cost 166 percent of the average – the highest of all nations.
 
Still, a study released earlier this year showed that the price gap between Norway and the EU has grown significantly over the past two decades
 
Although the nation was second to Switzerland overall in the new Eurostat figures, dairy products cost more in Norway than in any other place in Europe, with consumers paying 175 percent of the EU average for their milk, cheese and egg products. Switzerland took the crown for the most expensive country largely because of its astronomical meat prices – 254 percent of the EU average compared to 157 for Norway. 
 
 
It probably comes as little surprise that Norway also has the highest alcohol and tobacco prices in Europe. Norwegian consumers pay a whopping 250 percent of the EU average price for booze, putting the nation well above runner-up Iceland (226 percent). 
 
When it comes to tobacco products, Norway’s prices are 220 percent of the average, edging out smokes in the UK (218 percent) for top place. 
 
When the comparison is confined only to the EU, Norway’s Scandinavian neighbour Denmark has the highest food prices at 145 percent of the average. 
 
The cheapest EU country for groceries is Poland, while consumers in Bulgaria can enjoy the union’s cheapest alcohol and tobacco prices. 
 
The figures are based on the results of a price survey covering 440 products across Europe, carried out by the European group looking at purchasing power on the continent.  

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DISCOVER NORWAY

Where are Norway’s Michelin star restaurants?

Norway is home to four new Michelin-starred restaurants following the recent publication of the Nordic Countries Guide for 2022. These are all the Norwegian restaurants to receive a star in the Michelin Guide. 

Where are Norway’s Michelin star restaurants?

Four new Norwegian restaurants received Michelin stars when the Nordic Countries Guide for 2022 was published this week. 

Scandinavia’s cooking elite gathered in Stavanger on Monday to award this year’s stars and individual honours for chefs in the Nordics. 

Three of the new stars awarded were given to restaurants in Oslo, while the other star was given to an eatery in Bergen, taking the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the city on Norway’s west coast to two. 

One of the newcomers, Hot Shop, named after the former sex shop the building used to house, is located on Københavngata street in east Oslo. The canteen-style bistro serves tasting menus based on seasonal, local ingredients, which the Michelin Guide describes as “elegant, vibrant and technically adept, with delicate touches and real depth of flavour”. 

Schlägergården in Lilleaker, on the eastern outskirts of Oslo, was also awarded its first star. However, it was the fourth time restaurant manager Bjørn Svensson had received a star for one of his restaurants. The restaurant is in a converted 18th-century farmhouse with a set menu consisting of local produce, some foraged, grown, or preserved by the eatery’s staff. 

Michelin describes the food there as “pure, expertly crafted dishes which have bold, emotive flavours”.

Located right on the border of Grünerløkka and St. Hanshaugen in central Oslo is Hyde, the third restaurant in the capital to receive its first Michelin star this year. The guide credits the service and “laid-back, lively atmosphere” as major pulls for the restaurants.

Over on Norway’s west coast, Lysverket in Bergen was awarded a Michelin star. The eatery serves up creative, modern takes on Norwegian dishes accompanied by craft cocktails. The restaurant is housed in an art museum with the menus showcasing “intelligently crafted, balanced dishes”. 

The other restaurant in Oslo, boasting a glowing review from the Michelin guide, was Maaemo, which retained its three Michelin star status. The new Nordic cuisine behemoth focused on organic and biodynamic produce is located in the heart of Oslo on Dronning Eufamas gate street.

A few other chefs and restaurants received accolades at this year’s presentation. Heidi Bjerkan took home two awards, the first for excellent service at her sustainable Michelin-starred restaurant Credo. One of her other restaurants, Jossa Mat og Drikke, won a green star, given to eatery’s that excel in sustainable operations. 

A Norwegian, Jimmy Øien, scooped the award for the best young chef. Øien is the chef at Rest located on Kirkegat in Central Oslo and holds a green star for sustainable practices. The menu heavily emphasises using imperfect produce, which other places may otherwise discard. 

Several restaurants also retained their status. Renaa, with its kitchen located in the heart of the restaurant, has two Michelin stars and is commended by the guide for the quality of its Norwegian seafood dishes and the bread it produces at a nearby bakery. 

The 2022 guide also includes Kontrast (Oslo), Statholdergaarden (Oslo) , Under (Lindesnes), the biggest underwater restaurant in the world, Sabi Omakase (Stavanger), Bare (Bergen), FAGN (Trondheim), Credo (Trondheim) and Speilsalen (Trondheim), which all have one Michelin star.

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