As soon as we had settled into our room at the Clarion Hotel Bryggen we headed outside again, in search of a late light lunch. The first place we found was the Kaia Bar on the water-front, which was advertising lunch specials. Unfortunately when we got inside we discovered that we were just too late for these, but as it was cosy and had nice views of the harbour we decided to stay and have one of the bar snacks instead. So we shared what they described as “mix dip” – stuffed jalapeños, onion rings and mozzarella sticks with two dips (one of garlic mayonnaise, the other a tomato-based salsa). This was tasty but cost the exorbitant (to us, still not used to Norway’s high prices) sum of 120 KR, and with sparkling water for us both to drink, our total bill was 200 KR – average for here but a lot for the small size of the meal.
Next tip: in search of the Northern Lights
When we had finished looking round the Polar Museum we were ready for a light lunch, but there is no café there so we went in search of one. As we walked up to the main road I spotted a sign for Tante Ingers Tehus so we went to investigate. This quirky little café is in an old house, typical of those in Tromsø, and is full of character. As the name suggests, the speciality is tea and there are lots on offer, but there is also coffee, a selection of cakes and a few light meals. We each had a big bowl of lentil soup – “Tante Inger” very helpfully gave us a spoonful to try when we weren’t sure (not understanding the Norwegian name) whether this would appeal. It did, and we also got a piece of good focaccia bread included in the price of 80 KR (not too bad a price for round here).
As we ate two men came in and ordered tea. I was amused to see how they were invited each to choose a cup or mug from the mis-matched selection on the shelves. Another couple of tables were occupied by a group of local women knitting and chatting. The whole atmosphere was very cosy and we were really pleased we’d discovered this somewhat unusual spot.
Next tip: a warning about the icy pavements and streets
Although we didn’t realise it when we decided to come here, this is one of a medium sized Norwegian chain of restaurants. The cuisine is the same in all of them – American influenced casual food such as burgers, blackened fish and chicken, deep-pan pizzas, ribs etc. You find a table in one of the cosy corners, note the number and place your order at the bar, where you can also of course buy your drinks. The food is brought to your table when ready – a system we are well used to from English pubs.
While we waited we looked at the scene around us. The restaurant seemed quite popular with locals (mainly younger people) and tourists (more of a mixed age-range). The décor has to be mentioned – a jumble of marine and Polar paraphernalia, including a stuffed seagull, polar bear skin, walrus tusks, snow shoes, old tools and ropes, lanterns and more! There were some interesting old photos on the walls too.
Favorite Dish: Our food came pretty promptly. Chris had ordered the Egon burger which was a generous size and topped with onions, mushrooms, bacon and cheese. It came with good chips and coleslaw, and he really enjoyed it. I had the blackened chicken, and asked for a jacket potato instead of the rice accompaniment on the menu, which was no problem. The meat was a little dry and I’d have liked a more generous coating of spices, but the vegetables that came with it were very good – an interesting mix and not over-cooked in the slightest. The potato was delicious, as was the barbeque sauce (and in a generous portion) so all in all I was also very happy with my meal.
But this is a great example of just how pricy Norway can be! A simple meal like this, with just the one course each, a beer for Chris (.45 litre, the smallest they serve here) and sparkling water for me, cost us 504 KR – which is £58 or $91!! And although the food was good and the restaurant pleasant enough, it was nothing special. But this is what you have to pay here if you want to eat out, so like us you may just have to budget for it and enjoy what you eat.
Next tip: something to go with your meal, a beer from a local brewery
Driv is located directly vis a vis Tromsø Harbour in an old warehouse. During the last years is was renovated and has therefore a very special atmosphere. It consists of several floors, which are used differently.
First and second floor are used as pub, cafe or restaurant - make your own choise. There's also a place for concerts or other events. The 3rd and 4th can host bigger events or be rented for meetings or bigger celebrations.
I liked Driv especially at daytime to get a pizza or drink some coffee. At evening it was often too crowded and smoking for me. Also during concerts it was often very full. That only shows that Driv is a very good and popular place, so no offence please.
The dishes at Driv were not "usual student food", but of high quality. In 2000/01 the cooks liked to use spices though ;)
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish was definetely the reindeerpizza :) It was around 80 NOK then (€ 10) and was affordable. Many other dishes were too expensive for us poor exchange students then, but compared to normal restaurants prices were really ok.
In summer its really lovely to sit outside and drink something, enjoy the lovely view - btw it wasnt me who drank all those beers (those guys are from Finland [of course] and the Netherlands)
You'll be ok for vegetarian food in Tromso. Silvertsens was recommended to me but it never seemed to be open when I passed by but it sounds good if you get chance to try it. For pizza there is Yonas Pizzeria in the Radisson SAS hotel and Peppes Pizza on Stortorget, both easy to find near the town centre (its a small town centre!).
There's a Thai restaurant on the main street Storgata (heading toward Mack brewery) with lots of vegetarian choices. There's also a very nice cafe called Knoll Og Tott on Storgata (opposite the wooden church) that does great baguettes, freshly made up with salad and whatever filling you want.
There are lots of cafes and places to eat, and you wont be stuck for finding vegetarian friendly choices on most menus (although it isnt a cheap place to eat out!).
This place is new on the Tromsoe venue, but its a great place to bring a date or just friends. Our waiter was a young and brilliant one, he gave us good hints of what to eat and which wines we should have with our excellent meal. It was truly a special experience. I have been in Tromsoe for business many times, and I have been to many restaurants, but none as good as this new venue. The price was affordable, not expensive, not cheap. Me and my business partners asked for a table near the fireplace, and that is the best tables.
Mark Elliot James.
Favorite Dish: We had one of these 3-course daily special meals. We had King Crab for starter, and a traditional norwegian fish course with bacon (I can't remember the name) for our main, and Creme Brulee for desert. It was extraordinary, and the waiter told us they have a French pastiseur who makes the deserts!
Well, I usually do not go to such places while travelling, but in the past two years I did visit this place here, and the reasons are:
A: I was with young kids that like hamburgers
B: I was with a young girl who is crazy about Whopper
C: I like Whopper myself and we do not have them in Finland ;-)
Favorite Dish: Whopper
Now, this is a unique place. If you are in a group, try to book this place. At the top - loft, actually - of the Skarven harbour house complex of pubs/eateries there is an open roomy kitchen with theatre seating, and a separate dining area for about 40 people. You can choose to get served only and thus walk through the kitchen and seat yourself in the dining area. However, the real treat is to do the complete thing and your group will cook the food yourself as per instructions of the kitchen. You will find yourself turning out some fantastic food based on North Norway raw materials. The theatre seating is for the pedagogical part, and resting with you glass of excellent wine or the local beer. The chef(s) will tell you about the food and how to make it and get you to work.
Favorite Dish: The Arctic tapas were fantastic, do not miss this.
I had BBQ'ed stockfish wich is unique in its own right, but was also tasty and recommendable. You can preorder if you have a preference for the type of ingredients you wish to eat - or leave it to the cook. My party indicated "sea food", but you can be very specific.
Rica Ishavshotell has a restaurant that doubles as breakfast and lunch buffet place. mainly intended for guests, the whole set-up, but they do cater for walk-ins as well. During conference and party times it might be fully booked/closed for outsiders.
The restaurant shows sign of being an institution catering for bigger groups and the actual dinner atmosphere left something to be said.
The breakfast buffet was good.
Favorite Dish: From the a la carte menu I had pepper fried monk fish. Missed the pepper part, but otherwise fine.
Want something cheap to eat? Head for the harbor and look for a shrimp boat. Many shrimp boats will take their fresh caught shrimp, steam them, and sell them dockside. Buy a kilo, settle down with a beverage of your choice, then "peel and eat." Some people will throw the shells to the gulls -- but be warned this can create an avian riot to make Alfred Hitchcock proud.
Skarven - on Skansen Brygge. It`s a very popular place so book ahead or you will have to wait for hours (if you are lucky). In summer it's full of young people eating outside... very lively.
Favorite Dish: You can taste nordic delicatessens: some menu items are seal lasagne and whale steak. Not for Greenpeace members I would say
Skarven down by the sea.Fantastic food ,but quite expensive.
You also ought to go to the Mack kjelleren in the morning.It located at the brewery in the cellar.Quite spesial clientelle there.(I work in the marketing dep.in a brewery in my local town and was told by my boss to take a morning there).
Favorite Dish: Seafood(prawns ,lobster ,crab etc.etc,)Mmmmmm ,with a good glass of white vine
Aunegården Interior. I really liked the atmosphere there, so I went back in the evening on my very own to try their supper menu. The inner part of the localities gave me a sort of charming backyard feeling, and reminded me of restaurants I visited in Mediterranean countries.
Aunegården I just fell for this one. It's an old, legendary Butcher's store which was in use from 1840 until few years ago. It's been a restaurant here from 1996, and they've already become very famous for their lunch menu and their heavenly cakes!!
Here's some food from one of the excellent restaurants in town.
There are heaps of good restaurants in Tromso. It's by far the best place in northern Norway to have a eat at town. The two most 'famous' places are Compagniet (one star in the Michelin guide, 6 of 6 stars in norwegian newspaper VG) and Peppermollen. Main dishes start at about US 30 $.
Favorite Dish: Tromso is a good place for excellent fish. Salmon, Trout as well as Cod are good picks.