How Norway can change your eating and drinking habits

People's habits change in subtle ways when they move abroad, but how does Norway affect eating and drinking? We asked The Local Norway readers.

How Norway can change your eating and drinking habits
Are you a fan of brunost? Photo: Geshas/Depositphotos

When you first move abroad it’s likely you’ll still be craving baked beans and pouring milk into your tea (well, maybe not everyone – but I still do both of these after many years).

Here are some of the ways Norway has changed your eating and drinking habits. Thank you for your responses!

“I eat less Greek yoghurt because dairy products are so expensive. Compared to the UK, it’s more than four times the cost for one litre making an everyday item into a luxury food,” Peter, who lives in Oslo, wrote.

“I freeze more food so that it can be used later. I buy food from different retailers. I guess I see what’s in season and go for that. As a vegetarian, I tend to go for variety and that isn’t something I see in your average Rema 1000,” he added.

Peter wasn’t the only person to suggest that less variety is available in Norwegian stores and that this affects the way they eat.

“We need to improvise with available things. Many products, fruits and spices are not available,” wrote Boban Vesin, who lives in Tønsberg.

“We miss sausages, and a bigger variety of meat,” Vesin said.

But overall the effect of Norway on eating habits – in particular healthy eating habits – was described positively in the responses we received.

Grønlands Torg in Oslo. Photo: Depositphotos

“I eat a LOT more fish,” one reader, Katalin Banyai of Frederikssund, wrote, although she also mentioned that fruit and vegetables were of worse quality in Norway than in previous places of residence.

“I eat way less sugary and salty snacks since they are so expensive in Norway. I have also quit eating fast food since there isn’t one on every corner like home,” wrote Ólöf Magnúsdóttir, who lives in Østfold.

“Unfortunately I also eat less organic food since moving here because the selection in normal grocery stores is very little, to nothing. Something I wish will improve in the future,” she added.

Other readers echoed those sentiments.

“(I have) managed to eat less fast food and more healthier food (since moving to Norway),” wrote Aini Hanafiah from Indonesia.

What of traditional Norwegian food or eating traditions? We also asked readers whether any specific culinary habits had rubbed off on them.

“Having ‘turkaffe’ [Norwegian hiking coffee, ed.] is nice, accompanied with skillingsboller [cinnamon rolls], vafler and kvikklunsj,” Hanafiah wrote.

Two readers named traditional Christmas dish svineribbe (pork belly) as their favourite Norwegian eating habit.

“Ribbe… are so delicious and crispy,” one reader, Penny, wrote in her response.

Mysost or brunost, Norway’s famous brown cheese, got a couple of mentions – if indirect ones.

Brown cheese on waffles and cardamon in boller [rolls] were named by Peter as his favourite tastes of Norway.

“We like candies, crackers and Norwegian cheese,” Vesin wrote.

Meanwhile, Magnúsdóttir proclaimed Sørlanda chips as “probably the best snack ever made”.

READ ALSO: What are the best ways to save money in 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.