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Christmas For Members

Where to find Norwegian Christmas food in Bergen

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Where to find Norwegian Christmas food in Bergen
From traditional dishes served in historic restaurants to festive markets, Bergen offers a wide array of culinary delights during the holiday season. Photo by Kaitlyn Collins on Unsplash

Bergen is big on celebrating Christmas with delicious – and traditional – holiday foods. We've put together our top list of places where you can find authentic Christmas food in Norway's second-largest city.

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From traditional dishes served in historic restaurants to festive markets, Bergen offers a wide array of culinary delights during the holiday season.

Narrowing down a list of recommended spots to try Christmas cuisine in Bergen can be quite a challenge, as the city boasts many fantastic options to select from.

Nevertheless, we've put our best effort into ensuring that all our favourites are represented.

Bryggeloftet: A traditional restaurant in the Old Town

If you want to treat yourself to a real Christmas feast and can afford to splurge around 900 kroner per person (for a starter, a main course, and a drink), you should definitely visit the Bryggeloftet & Stuene Restaurant in the Old Town, located at the famous Bryggen wharf.

READ MORE: 24 hours in Bergen: Everything you should see and do

This historic restaurant, which has a reputation for being among the best in the city for traditional cuisine, starts serving a traditional Norwegian Christmas menu quite early in the year – often from the start of November.

The menu includes reindeer steak, pinnekjøtt (dried and salted lamb or mutton ribs soaked in water to rehydrate and steamed over a layer of birch twigs), bergensk fiskesuppe (Bergen fish soup, which is a creamy soup usually containing salmon, pollock, carrots, leeks, celery, sour cream, and vinegar), and many other holiday staples.

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Fisketorget: A tourist-oriented venue with a view

Located in the heart of Bergen, the Fish Market (Fisketorget) is one of the city's biggest tourist magnets.

Despite being known as somewhat of a "tourist trap" with very high prices, it remains a place where you can savour fresh and traditional seafood dishes even during the holiday season.

While seafood may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Christmas food, Bergen's seaside location makes it a perfect place to enjoy traditional Norwegian dishes like Bergen fish soup, wolfish and cod filets, lutefisk (dried fish soaked in lye) and rakfisk (fermented fish).

These delicacies are usually part of the Christmas table in Norwegian homes, and you can find them at the Fish Market (along with other fresh catches of the day).

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Festplassen: A Christmas market close to the city centre

Usually opening in early December, the Christmas market at Bergen's Festplassen Square is one of the holiday season's top attractions.

This festive market is the perfect place to enjoy the holiday spirit and sample some Norwegian (and international, in case you want to mix it up) Christmas food.

You'll find stalls selling everything from local sweets and mulled wine to traditional sausages and reindeer meat.

It's a great spot to explore local cuisine (often in the form of street food) while enjoying the enchanting Christmas atmosphere – and if you're late on your Christmas shopping, the wooden stalls on-site also have a variety of handcrafted ornaments and unique holiday gifts on display.

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Colonialen 44: Traditional cuisine infused with international influences

Colonialen 44 stands out as a high-end restaurant with authentic Norwegian dishes nestled in the heart of the city.

It provides an exceptional dining experience for people interested in the finer side of traditional Norwegian cuisine infused with international culinary influences.

Their 4-course menu, priced at approximately 1090 kroner per person (excluding beverages), is a fusion of time-honoured Norwegian ingredients and innovative culinary techniques.

The establishment prides itself on sourcing its ingredients from local farmers and producers, with a strong commitment to seasonality.

For those interested in reserving a table, dinner service is available from Monday to Saturday, commencing at 5:00 pm.

What sets Colonialen 44 apart is its ever-evolving menu, which undergoes a transformation twice a month.

So, if you're searching for a remarkable venue to celebrate the holiday season and experience dishes based on local ingredients, this restaurant is a great choice - as long as you aren't looking to dine on a budget.

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Don't forget the bakeries (and cafés)

Bergen's bakeries and cafés have you covered if you're trying to round up your Christmas celebration in the city by indulging in Norwegian sweet treats.

Make sure to try some creamy and sweet Norwegian rice pudding (risgrøt), which can also be mixed with whipped cream, sugar, vanilla, and chopped almonds (riskrem) or a slice of kransekake (a traditional almond ring cake often served at Norwegian Christmas parties).

Additionally, why not make use of a café meet-up with a friend to try gingerbread cookies (pepperkaker) or one of the numerous varieties of seasonal sweet buns, all popular holiday snacks that can be found in bakeries (and many cafés) throughout the city?

If a plate of gingerbread cookies inspires you to try and bake some of your own, then you're likely the kind of person who would enjoy visiting Bergen's pepperkakebyen, the world's largest gingerbread city and is one of Bergen's most beloved winter traditions.

READ MORE: The top Christmas locations in Bergen to get you in a festive mood

It's conveniently close to Festplassen Square, so you can explore the year's gingerbread extravaganza after enjoying a light supper at the Christmas market.

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