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Restaurant Recommendations in Flam & Aurland ... Bergen too?

Appreciate restaurant recommendations in Flam and Aurland for dinner ... and are reservations generally required for summer (late June) dates?

And great smaller, not too fancy or touristy, places in Bergen are also welcomed!

We like seafood though also looking for options with more varied menu.

Thanks!

Posted by
27362 posts

Norway isn't exactly famous for fabulous food, though Rick has indicated the situation is considerably better now than it was 20 or 30 years ago, thanks to immigration. I want to pass along a comment he made somewhere along the way (probably in the Scandinavia guidebook): Norwegian restaurants are expensive, but going to a somewhat more expensive place will often get you a substantially better meal. I think the deal is that Norwegian labor costs are very, very high, so the first $30+ dollars of your cost just gets the employees in the door.

Flam has very few food options. I didn't eat in any of them, but others have reported doing so on this forum. If you don't get responses from those folks in a day or two, use the Search function for Flam and comments will pop up. I would definitely recommend a reservation.

I tried the Pingvinen in Bergen, a rather inexpensive place recommended here and I think also in Rick's book. I found the menu small and uninteresting and the food just OK. The main thing it had going for it, I thought, was that it didn't break the bank. If I'm going to take time away from sightseeing to sit down in a restaurant, I want something a bit better than "OK", but philosophies vary on that topic. And of course plenty of others might find the menu exciting.

I had two nice, casual lunches in Bergen at the little cafe in one of the KODE (art museum) buildings. There was a little sandwich board set out on the sidewalk to flag the location. The menu was small, but it appealed to me. I think I had the fish soup the first day and chose the daily special (another fish dish) the second day. The cost was very reasonable, and it was convenient because I was at the museum already.

If you want something really memorable at a place you'd be proud to recommend to your friends, you may need to budget $45 and up, and you won't get as much for that outlay in Norway as you would in many other countries.

Several times I enjoyed Toast Skagen at midday when I wanted real food that didn't take too long. I think Badger has reported this is a Swedish dish, but it shows up in Norway, too. It's an open-face sandwich piled high with shrimp salad. You need to like dill. Toast Skagen was a filling meal for around $10-$11 in 2022. Norway has good, sturdy bread, so don't worry about choosing Toast Skagen at a little cafe that has the sandwiches already prepared in a cold case.

Incidentally, I believe alcohol is very expensive in Norwegian restaurants, so that's something to be careful about if cost is an issue.

Posted by
656 posts

In Aurland we had pizza and beer for dinner at Vangsgaarden GastroPub. We went in mid-September and didn't have reservations. It did get quite full inside, but none of the outdoor seating open.

For breakfast we went to Marianne Bakery & Cafe.

Both were good and reasonably priced.

Posted by
9787 posts

Like acraven, I tried Pingvinen and wasn't crazy about it.

Posted by
2565 posts

Last May my mother and I visited Fjellskål Sjømatrestaurant in Bergen at fish market. It was expensive but tasted really good (detailed review on Google Maps).

Sometimes restaurants in Norway make their meals very functional. Not at every place you will find fine cuisine or even a good basic kitchen.

I have no recommendation for Flåm.

Posted by
425 posts

Last summer we enjoyed in Bergen:

https://www.litthusbergen.no/in-english (the Colonialen cafe does lunch and dinner and is near but not in the main tourist area)

https://www.kafekippers.no/ (Kafe Kippers is a large casual waterfront restaurant over the hill from the main tourist area but is a scenic walk)

http://www.spisekroken.no/en/home/ (Spisekroken is also a bit of a walk up the same hill but not as far as Kafe Kippers and it was exactly my favorite kind of restaurant, special but not over the top, excellent food, service and atmosphere)

We also enjoyed Pingeven as otherwise mentioned here.

We had reservations at Pingeven (we had a concert nearby after and didn't want to have to wait) and Spisekroken (it is quite small)

Enjoy Norway!

Posted by
15574 posts

In Flam, I stayed at the Fretheim hotel and dined on their fabulous buffet dinner. Very unique. Local dishes. I tried everything excep the goat curry.

This was before the pandemic so check to see if they still offer it.

Make reservations.

Posted by
64 posts

Thank you all! Laurie Ann, such helpful recommendations—very much the type of places we enjoy.

We only have one night in Bergen. I am torn between Colonialen and Spisekroken … if you could only go to one, curious to know which you would choose?

Thank you!

Posted by
425 posts

Spisekroken if you don't mind the walk. But it is a pretty walk through residential area. Colonielen if you don't have much time and so want something closer to the tourist center. Bryggen museum and their walking tour was a highlight there.

Posted by
375 posts

Just noticed this…

In Flam, Aegir Brew Pub had really good food, much better than we expected. Reservations are recommended here and most places in Flam really. Our best meal, though, was the smorgasbord at Fretheim Hotel. It was pricey but outstanding.

In Bergen, we hit the RS recommended Unicorn Fish Restaurant and it was solid.

Posted by
995 posts

We ate at the Aegir Brew pub in Flam in March. We needed a reservation even in the off season as it is quite small. The food and atmosphere was lovely.

In Bergen, we have twice been to Le Mathis French bistro. It's really lovely food and has a nice cozy atmosphere. I would recommend making a reservation.

Posted by
64 posts

Thank you, all for the suggestions. Unfortunately, the Aegir Pub only takes reservations for guests at the hotel during the summer, but we will try to walk in!