Taking full advantage of the bounty of Norway’s diverse outdoor landscapes, the restaurants in Bergen have direct access to first-rate ingredients – from the fresh fish in the crystal-clear waters to the plants that thrive in the lush mountains. Throw in a healthy dose of Scandinavian creativity and it’s easy to see why the restaurants in Bergen have exploded onto the international scene in recent years. Whether you’re after traditional Norwegian gastronomy, world-famous seafood, exclusive Michelin-starred establishments, or those with an international twist, Bergen surely has something to suit your taste.
Housed within a historic building that was formerly an inn dating back to 1614, Altona Vinbar is Bergen’s oldest known tavern. The rich history of the property is still preserved with the restaurant converted into 6 different “caves” – each with rustic seating, beamed ceilings and open fires. This uniquely intimate and authentic atmosphere sets the mood for informal wine tastings and exquisite meals with family and friends. The menu is inspired by Norwegian culinary traditions dating back many centuries, but the real highlight is the wine cellar with over 1,000 labels to choose from – meaning there is definitely something to suit your tastes.
Like many restaurants in Bergen, BARE Restaurant is situated within a property of great historical significance. Designed by Franz Willhelm Schiertz, the building dates back to 1862 as the city’s old stock exchange. Renovated and rejuvenated, today you will find Bergen’s only Michelin-starred restaurant on floor three. The modern and stylish space features soaring ceilings, views of Vågen and Fløyen, and a location within the very heart of Bergen.
In true Nordic fashion, the kitchen staff is fuelled by a passion for raw materials and organic produce from the best farmers around the region. Fresh ingredients are supplied daily from local divers, fishermen and farmers, allowing the menu to be changed on a daily basis. Guests have the option to choose between menus of 5 and 10 dishes. For the finishing touch, head over to the Handelskammeret Bar for cocktails and drinks.
If you’re after fantastic views, you can’t do much better than Colonialen Kranen. The restaurant is situated within a converted industrial crane perched high in the air and equipped with panoramic windows for show-stopping views of the city buildings, mountains and fjord. Colonialen Kranen is located just outside the center in the former industrial zone, which today is fused with modern society, making for a unique atmosphere as the area has been rejuvenated with commercial and residential buildings. Colonial Kranen offers modern and relaxed food with a seasonal menu that changes frequently and, like many restaurants in Bergen, focuses specifically on local ingredients.
There’s no better place to take a dip into authentic Norwegian food culture than Restaurant 1877. The space itself is located within the city’s Kjøttbaseren (meat bazaar), which dates back to 1877. The restaurant maintains the building’s heritage and original details – creating an atmosphere that’s perfect for cozying up and enjoying the culinary heart of Bergen. The menu is built on the establishment’s close relationship with local suppliers and is committed to using the best raw ingredients from around western Norway.
Bergen is known for its wet climate and ever-changing weather – meaning the region harbors a variety of exciting flavors and local ingredients. As such, the culinary offerings are constantly rotating as the seasons change. Spring brings about green sprouts, asparagus, tomatoes and cucumbers, followed by strawberries, catfish, salad leaves and mackerel in the summer. Autumn flavors consist of lamb, apples, pears, plums and crab, while during the winter months, the creative staff makes use of the best the water has to offer – shellfish, lobster, prawns and cod.
In the heart of Bergen lies Colonialen 44, an intimate food and wine bar. The warm and elegant atmosphere makes this establishment perfect for a relaxed romantic meal, or to enjoy conversation and laughs with good friends. The ethos of the Colonialen 44 is to combine food and wine to the perfect pairing – and the extensive wine cellar allows the staff to tailor the experience to each individual guest. The food bar serves up the perfect complement to your glass with smaller bites such as bone marrow, dumpings and steam buns. Hidden away, ask for seating on the colorful backyard area surrounded by a greenhouse and a barbecue.