Food and Drink For Members

Five cool places to grab a cheap(ish) bite to eat in Bergen

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Five cool places to grab a cheap(ish) bite to eat in Bergen
The Local has handpicked five eateries that genuinely shine in Bergen's culinary landscape – whether for their traditional flair, top-notch quality, or reputation for budget-friendly dining. Pictured is the Søstrene Hagelin seafood eatery at Strandgaten 3. Photo by: Robin Ivan Capar / The Local Norway

Whether you're in Bergen for a city break, studying here, or have recently relocated to pursue a new career path – these eateries are a must-visit.


Bergen, in western Norway, boasts a number of options for food enthusiasts looking for tasty yet wallet-friendly meals, from charming cafes to trendy hotspots.

Whether you're a local or a visitor exploring the city's streets, discovering cool places to grab a bite becomes an exciting adventure in itself.

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

Given Bergen's status as Norway's second-largest city, it's wise to have a rough idea of your dining options before venturing out into its busy streets.

Though narrowing down the choices is always challenging, The Local has handpicked five eateries that genuinely shine in Bergen's culinary landscape – whether for their traditional flair, top-notch quality, or reputation for budget-friendly dining.

Plassen: The go-to brunch spot in the city centre

Nestled in the heart of the city, the Plassen café and bistro is a beloved spot among locals. Situated at Tårnplassen 1, just a stone's throw away from the central square, Torgallmenningen, you'll often see queues of people waiting at its entrance in the hope of getting a seat or two.

Renowned for its exceptional coffee and tasty brunch options, Plassen is the perfect choice for a weekend get-together with friends.

If you're looking for a bite while there, their croque monsieur - a classic French ham and cheese sandwich soaked in rich béchamel sauce - is a must-try.

Priced at 239 kroner, it's a treat worth indulging in for both locals and tourists looking to savour a taste of French-inspired cuisine.

Given Plassen's popularity, securing a coveted spot requires some strategy. Arriving early or making a reservation in advance is highly recommended, especially if you're aiming to snag a table outside to soak in the lively atmosphere.


Søstrene Hagelin: A budget-friendly seafood diner

Søstrene Hagelin – also located in Bergen's city centre at Strandgaten 3 – is a standout choice for travellers seeking budget-friendly dining options.

Renowned for its fish cakes containing up to 80 percent fish, Søstrene Hagelin remained true to the same recipes that enticed diners in 1929 when it was established.

Founded by sisters Elna and Gudrun Hagelin, who moved to Bergen from Sogndal, the eatery quickly gained acclaim for its homemade fish food, with King Olav among its patrons during his visits to Bergen.

Søstrene Hagelin specialises in local seafood delicacies such as fish cakes and fish soups and offers a taste of Norwegian cuisine at affordable prices.

You can expect a lunch consisting of fish soup and fish cakes to cost you around 210 kroner per person.


Hoggorm: A punk-rock pizza spot

Located across the road from the Grieghallen concert hall, in Nygårdsgaten Street, Hoggorm has established itself as one of Bergen's culinary hotspots.

The establishment boasts a lively atmosphere and an eclectic menu that celebrates New York-style pizza, fresh oysters, and natural wine, ensuring a memorable dining experience year-round.

In 2023, it clinched the prestigious "City's Best Pizza" award from the local newspaper Bergens Tidende, a testament to its innovative takes on classic pies and original creations.

READ MORE: The essential things you'll only know if you live in Bergen

From the beloved "Bacon and Pineapple" (269 kroner) to the adventurous "Mushroom and Sesame" (260 kroner), their pizzas are known for being creative.

Hoggorm is the sister restaurant of Michelin restaurant Lysverket. In it, head chef Christopher Haatuft curates a small yet diverse menu featuring seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, mirroring the kitchen philosophy of its fine dining counterpart.


Bryggen Bryggeloften

You can find the Bryggeloftet & Stuene restaurant close to the historic Bryggen wharf in Bergen. Photo by: Robin-Ivan Capar / The Local Norway

Bryggeloftet & Stuene Restaurant: A pricy dining experience in Bergen's Old Town that's worth the splurge

If you want to indulge in a more luxurious dining experience and you're willing to splurge around 700 to 900 kroner per person, plan a visit to Bryggeloftet & Stuene Restaurant in Bergen's Old Town.

A dinner there is an enticing opportunity to savour traditional Norwegian cuisine at its finest. Located along the historic Bryggen Wharf, Bryggeloftet & Stuene has earned a reputation for excellence, making it a go-to destination for connoisseurs seeking an authentic and traditional culinary experience.

The restaurant serves a traditional Norwegian menu (a favourite among locals during the Christmas season).

If you're visiting in November or December, you'll be able to find succulent reindeer steak (priced at 525 kroner) and the iconic pinnekjøtt, a dish of dried and salted lamb or mutton ribs.

Outside of the winter season, the bergensk fiskesuppe, or Bergen fish soup (a creamy delight bursting with flavours of salmon, pollock, carrots, leeks, and celery, finished with a touch of sour cream and vinegar, priced at 185 kroner), is among the most popular dishes.

Whether dining with friends, family, or colleagues, Bryggeloftet & Stuene Restaurant provides an elegant setting where you can enjoy a touch of historic ambience during your meal.


Pingvinen: The traditional cuisine of western Norway

No top list of Bergen's iconic eateries can be complete without a mention of Pingvinen.

If you're craving a taste of authentic Norwegian cuisine, a visit to this cosy diner is an absolute must. Just a five-minute walk from the city's central square, it offers a delightful selection of traditional dishes.

Here, you'll find classics like plukkfisk (priced at 249 kroner), a blend of cod and mashed potatoes served alongside crispy bacon and flatbread.

READ MORE: Does Norwegian food deserve to be ranked the worst in the world?

Additionally, you can also try their persetorsk (399 kroner), a Bergen specialty featuring pressed cod served with an array of accompaniments, including carrots, mushy peas, potatoes, butter sauce, and trout roe.

From the warmth of the cosy atmosphere to the hearty flavours of the dishes, dining at Pingvinen is an experience that locals describe as "the equivalent of eating at grandma's".

While the prices may lean towards the higher end, the quality and authenticity of the cuisine justify the expense.

Make sure to reserve your table in advance, though, as Pingvinen tends to be fully booked on most evenings.


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