18 Popular Food In Norway – Must-Try Dishes In Norway

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Norwegian cuisine is a unique blend of traditional Scandinavian recipes and modern techniques. From slow-cured lamb to pickled herring, the flavours of Norwegian food will leave you wanting more.

If you’re planning a trip to Norway or want to explore new cuisines, this blog is for you. Traditional Norwegian food like fårikål (mutton and cabbage), smalahove (sheep’s head), and lutefisk remain popular. However, modern Norwegian cuisine often incorporates international flavors and techniques to create exciting fusion dishes.

Here we have listed down 18 Popular Food in Norway that will tantalize your taste buds. We have covered everything from traditional Norwegian food to what Norwegians eat for breakfast, lunch, sides, and snacks. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and get ready to discover the delicious world of Norwegian cuisine.

Popular Food In Norway

Famous Food In Norway- Traditional Norwegian Food

Traditional Norwegian food is widely celebrated for its unique flavors and preparation techniques. From lutefisk to Smalahove, geography, climate, and history have shaped Norway’s culinary traditions. The national dish of Norway, Fårikål, is a hearty stew made from lamb, cabbage, and peppercorns that have been loved for generations. Another popular traditional dish is Pinnekjøtt, typically served during Christmas, consisting of dried and salted lamb ribs.

Norwegian cuisine also boasts unique desserts such as krumkake and lefse. Brunost, a sweet brown cheese that pairs well with fruit or bread, is a staple in Norwegian cuisine. Additionally, seafood reigns supreme on the country’s long coastline- from pickled herring to fish soups like Bergensk Fiskesuppe. When visiting Norway to experience its rich culinary heritage, these are just a few must-try dishes.

1. Fårikål (Mutton And Cabbage)

Norway’s national dish, Fårikål, is a simple yet flavorful combination of mutton and cabbage with whole black peppercorns. This hearty dish is typically eaten in the fall and is often served with boiled potatoes or flatbread. Fårikål’s popularity can be attributed to its rich taste and cultural significance, a traditional dish that Norwegians have enjoyed for generations. Whether shared among family and friends during festive occasions such as weddings or Christmas or enjoyed as a comforting meal on a chilly evening, Fårikål is essential to experiencing Norway’s cuisine.

2. Smalahove (Sheep’s Head)

Smalahove is a unique and traditional Norwegian dish that may seem unusual to some visitors. They make this delicacy from a sheep’s head, boiling or steaming it, and often serve it with mashed rutabaga and potatoes.

While it may be an acquired taste, Smalahove is a perfect way for tourists to immerse themselves in Norway’s cultural history. This dish dates back centuries and remains an important part of Norwegian cuisine, especially during winter. So, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new, give Smalahove a chance and experience the authentic taste of Norway.

3. Rømmegrøt (Sour Cream Porridge)

For centuries, Norwegians have been enjoying the traditional dish of Rømmegrøt, also known as sour cream porridge. Although its name may not sound very appetizing, the creamy texture and tangy flavor of the porridge make it a popular dish for occasions like Christmas and weddings. You can serve Rømmegrøt, made with simple ingredients like sour cream, flour, and butter, with cured meats or fish for a hearty meal. Sweet tooth users can enhance it with sugar or cinnamon, thanks to its versatility. If you want to try out authentic Norwegian cuisine, Rømmegrøt should be on your list of must-try dishes.

4. Rakfisk (Fermented Fish)

Rakfisk, a traditional Norwegian dish made of fermented freshwater fish, may seem like an acquired taste to some. However, the intense aroma and flavours are a testament to Norway’s culinary heritage. People often serve this dish on flatbread with sour cream, onions, and boiled potatoes during winter.

It pairs well with aquavit, another traditional Norwegian liquor. While Rakfisk may not be for everyone, it is worth trying for those looking to experience Norway’s unique cuisine and culture. The fermentation process gives the fish its distinct flavour profile, leaving a lasting impression on your taste buds.

5. Bergensk Fiskesuppe (Bergen Fish Soup)

Bergensk Fiskesuppe, also known as Bergen Fish Soup, is a hearty and delicious dish deeply ingrained in Norway’s culinary history. People have been enjoying this traditional soup for centuries. It features a variety of fish, including salmon and cod, along with vegetables and cream. The result is a flavorful and satisfying meal perfect for chilly days.

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Norwegian cuisine, try Bergensk Fiskesuppe during your visit. Whether you’re enjoying it at a local restaurant or making it yourself at home, this classic dish offers a glimpse into the rich culinary traditions of Norway.

6. Fenalår (Slow-Cured Lamb)

People have enjoyed Fenalår, a staple dish in Norwegian cuisine for centuries. Chefs slowly cure a lamb leg with salt to prepare this traditional dish, resulting in tender and flavorful meat with just the right amount of saltiness. This slow-curing process can take up to three months, which gives the heart a unique taste and texture. People often serve thinly sliced Fenalår as an appetizer or as part of a traditional Norwegian meal, accompanied by cheese, bread, and pickled vegetables. Its distinct flavour makes it a must-try dish for anyone visiting Norway who wants to experience authentic Norwegian cuisine.

7. Sursild (Pickled Herring)

For centuries, Norwegians have enjoyed sursild, or pickled herring, as a classic dish. Its tangy flavor and tender texture make it the perfect appetizer or snack. Pickling the herring involves soaking it in a vinegar-based marinade with onions, spices, and sugar for several days, resulting in a unique taste that pairs perfectly with boiled potatoes and sour cream. Norwegian cuisine often serves this traditional dish during festive occasions, and it is essential. If you want to experience traditional Norwegian food, Sursild is worth trying.

8. Tørrfisk Fra Lofoten

Dried fish from Lofoten, or Tørrfisk fra Lofoten, is a traditional Norwegian delicacy that locals have enjoyed for centuries. The unique preparation method involves drying the fish on wooden racks in the open air and leaving it to mature for several months. This process contributes to its distinct flavour, which pairs well with potatoes and vegetables. People often used dried fish from Lofoten as a trading commodity due to its long shelf-life. People in coastal areas of Norway still enjoy it as a tasty snack or meal, making it an essential part of Norwegian cuisine.

9. Lutefisk

Lutefisk is a dish that many people either love or hate. They make it from dried whitefish soaked in lye to give it a gelatinous texture and a distinct flavor. While its strong odour can be off-putting to some, others consider it a delicacy worth trying at least once. People typically eat lutefisk during Christmas, and it is a significant part of Norway’s culinary heritage. Its unique taste and texture make it stand out among other traditional Norwegian dishes, and it remains popular among Norwegians today.

10. Fiskeboller

People love Fiskeboller, or fish balls, as it is a popular traditional Norwegian dish popular for its simplicity and comforting taste. They cook the fish balls made from cod or haddock in a creamy white sauce and commonly serve them with boiled potatoes and vegetables. This dish has been a staple of Norwegian cuisine for centuries and remains a go-to meal for many Norwegians today due to its affordability and ease of preparation. Whether you’re looking for a quick dinner on a busy night or want to experience traditional Norwegian cuisine, Fiskeboller is worth trying.

11. Fiskesuppe

Fiskesuppe is a hearty fish soup that Norwegians have enjoyed for generations. Made with various fresh fish, potatoes, and vegetables, this creamy soup is flavoured with herbs like dill and parsley for added depth of flavour. One of the reasons Fiskesuppe is so prevalent in coastal regions of Norway is its simplicity – it’s easy to make and can be customized to suit different tastes. Whether you prefer a thicker, creamier soup or one lighter with more broth, there’s something for everyone regarding Fiskesuppe. So if you’re looking for a comforting and delicious meal that’s quintessentially Norwegian, try this traditional fish soup!

12. Brunost

Brunost, also known as brown cheese, is a unique and beloved staple in Norwegian cuisine. Made from a blend of cow’s milk and goat’s milk whey, it has a distinct caramel-like flavour that sets it apart from traditional cheeses. You can enjoy Brunost independently or use it as a topping for bread or crackers. People often serve it as a dessert cheese and pair it with jam or fruit. This delicious cheese has been a part of Norwegian culinary culture for over 150 years and is essential to the country’s food heritage.

13. Rømmegrøt

Rømmegrøt, a sour cream porridge, has been a beloved dish in Norway for centuries. Just a few simple ingredients make this traditional Norwegian food, but the combination creates a vibrant and flavorful dish. People often serve it hot with butter and cinnamon sugar, making it a comforting and satisfying meal.

People commonly enjoy Rømmegrøt during festive occasions such as weddings, Christmas, and Midsummer celebrations, but many restaurants throughout Norway offer it year-round. Its creamy texture and tangy flavor make it a unique and delicious addition to any meal.

14. Fårikål(Norwegian National Dish)

Fårikål is a dish that truly captures the essence of Norwegian cuisine. Made with tender lamb, sweet cabbage, and whole black peppercorns, it has been the national dish of Norway for decades. One of the most striking aspects of this dish is its simplicity; despite being made with only a handful of ingredients. Fårikål manages to evoke a depth of flavour that is unmatched by more complex words. Whether served at a family gathering or enjoyed in a restaurant. Fårikål is an experience that should not be missed if you want an authentic taste of Norwegian culture.

15. Pinnekjøtt

Pinnekjøtt is a unique and traditional Norwegian dish that locals and tourists cherish. This dish, made from salted and dried lamb ribs, is often served during Christmas. What sets Pinnekjøtt apart from other meat dishes is its preparation- steamed over birch branches, giving it a distinct smoky flavour. Despite its unusual preparation method, this dish has remained popular in Norway for generations. It’s usually served with boiled potatoes, rutabaga mash, and lingonberry sauce, making for a delicious meal worth trying if you visit Norway during the festive season.

16. Lapskaus

Lapskaus is a hearty Norwegian stew that originated as a way to use up leftover meat and vegetables. It’s warming and comforting qualities make it a staple dish for cold weather. Typically made with beef or lamb, potatoes, and root vegetables such as carrots and turnips, the stew is seasoned with salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Lapskaus is often served with flatbread or lefse, a traditional Norwegian potato-based flatbread. Its simple preparation and humble origins make it a favourite among locals and visitors who appreciate classic Norwegian cuisine’s authentic taste.

17. Kjøttboller / Kjøttkaker

Kjøttboller or Kjøttkaker are beloved meatballs that have become a staple in many Norwegian households. Made with ground beef or pork and flavoured with nutmeg, allspice, and ginger, these meatballs are often served with boiled potatoes, gravy, and lingonberry sauce. What makes this dish remarkable is how it brings people together.

During festive occasions such as Christmas and Easter, family and friends come together to share a meal and usually enjoy it. If you’re visiting Norway, trying Kjøttboller or Kjøttkaker is a must-do to experience the warmth of Norwegian hospitality and cuisine.

18. Vafler – Waffles

Vafler, also known as Norwegian waffles, are a staple in Norwegian cuisine and a must-try dish for anyone visiting the country. People typically serve these delicious treats as a snack or dessert but can also include them in a larger meal. Made with a batter that includes flour, sugar, eggs, and milk, Norwegian waffles have a unique heart-shaped design that sets them apart from traditional Belgian waffles.

What makes Norwegian waffles so unique is their toppings. People often serve them with jam and sour cream or brown cheese The producers make brown cheese from whey, which gives the waffles a sweet and savory taste. This unique cheese is an acquired taste but is worth trying when visiting Norway. Don’t miss out on the delicious treat of Norwegian waffles, whether you enjoy them as a light snack or part of a larger meal.

19. Norwegian Food For Breakfast

Traditional Norwegian breakfast is a perfect way to start the day. It typically features open-faced sandwiches, also known as smørbrød, made with toppings like smoked salmon, herring, or cheese. You can top these sandwiches with various ingredients, such as sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, and boiled eggs.

They are often accompanied by porridge from oats or other grains served with milk, berries and honey. Combining whole-grain bread and high-protein toppings makes this breakfast tasty and filling. In addition to being nutritious, it is a great way to get a taste of Norwegian culture early in your day.

20. Norwegian Food For Lunch, Sides, And Snacks

Introducing traditional Norwegian dishes to your lunch and snack routine can be a unique experience. Opt for the classic Fårikål, a lamb and cabbage stew that has been a Norwegian staple since the 18th century. Another popular dish is Raspeballer, potato dumplings served with butter and bacon or meatballs.

Add some traditional sides like Rødkål (red cabbage), Grønnsaksgrateng (vegetable gratin), or Tyttebærsyltetøy (lingonberry jam) to your introductory course to create an authentic meal. For those seeking vegetarian options, try Grønnsakssuppe, a vegetable soup or Lapskaus, a hearty stew made with root crops and vegetables. Don’t forget to indulge in some delicious snacks like Knekkebrød, crispbread or Brunost, and brown cheese while exploring Norwegian cuisine.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What Is The Leading Food Of Norway?

The leading food of Norway varies by region and season, but seafood is a staple in many parts of the country. Popular seafood dishes include salmon and cod. Traditional Norwegian words include meatballs, reindeer stew, and lefse (flatbread). Norwegian cuisine also features pickled vegetables, cured meats, and hearty soups.

2.What Kind Of Food Did The Norwegians Eat?

Norwegian cuisine includes diverse dishes, with seafood being a significant part of the diet. People commonly enjoy smoked salmon and pickled herring, along with meat dishes featuring reindeer, lamb, and elk. Traditional Norwegian desserts include krumkake, lefse, and riskrem (rice pudding), while open-faced sandwiches called smørbrød are also famous.

3.What Are Norwegian American Foods?

People in the United States adapted dishes from traditional Norwegian cuisine to create Norwegian American foods. Some famous examples include lutefisk, lefse, krumkake, and pickled herring. These dishes may have variations based on regional influences and family recipes.

4.What Is An Everyday Norway Lunch?

A typical Norwegian lunch is an open-faced sandwich called smørbrød, consisting of bread topped with cheese, meat, fish, or vegetables. Fish soup or stew is another popular option for lunch in Norway. Norwegians also enjoy a traditional dish called “lapskaus,” a hearty meat and vegetable stew.

5.What Is A Typical Norwegian Breakfast?

A typical Norwegian breakfast usually includes bread, cheese, jam, and other popular foods like yoghurt, muesli, and boiled eggs. Norwegians also enjoy open-faced sandwiches called “smørbrød” for breakfast.


Norway is home to some of the world’s most unique and delicious food. From traditional dishes like Fårikål (Mutton and Cabbage) and Smalahove (Sheep’s Head) to more modern options like Brunost and waffles, there’s something for everyone to try. Whether you’re a foodie looking for your next culinary adventure or just looking to expand your palate, Norwegian cuisine has plenty to offer. From traditional fish dishes like lutefisk and gravlaks to hearty stews like lapskaus and fårikål, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Norway’s thriving dairy industry has also given rise to some of the world’s best cheese, such as Gjetost and Brunost.

So why not plan your next vacation around trying some of these must-try dishes? We hope our blog for 18 Popular Food in Norway, information on Norwegian food, helped you. So, start planning your trip now.

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