When visiting Stavanger at Christmas time, you simply can’t miss the Norwegian holiday specialties. Check out the city’s top 5 tables to dine at when the sleigh bells are ringing.
Like so many other countries, it’s all about the food when Rudolph and Santa’s next shift approaches in Norway. Whether you’re a fan of fish, big on beef or got a hankering for ham you’re guaranteed to find something you would like to sink your teeth into at one of these 5 restaurants.
Bevaremegvel Bar and Restaurant
With a name that roughly translates to “Oh, dear”, Bevaremegvel has got a massive Christmas menu ready that will make your mouth water from the get-go. For example, try the three types of homemade herring, a traditional Norwegian Christmas food, with gouda cheese and flatbread for a starter with real taste. Then await as your main course of classic Norwegian lye fish with peas, boiled potatoes, bacon and mustard sauce lands on your table. Lye fish has got a white and wobbly texture, and might resemble jelly, but combined with bacon and mustard it’s a dish like none other. For dessert, you could have the rice pudding with red berry sauce and almonds, a regular at any Christmas feast!
© Bevaremegvel Bar & Restaurant
With the same name as the Roman emperor famous for burning his city to the ground, you’re in for a feisty dinner at Restaurant Nero. On their menu you’ll find something a little different from the traditional Norwegian dishes, but these tastes will set your taste buds ablaze with excitement nonetheless. Their lobster soup with fennel and peas is sure to warm your heart and soul, just like the Guinea fowl served with cabbage, wild mushrooms, parsley and carrots will leave you feeling fulfilled and mighty fancy. Dessert is a must, and if you want to try matured Norwegian cheeses or dark chocolate from Valhrona you’re in luck - bon appétit!
Straen Fish Restaurant
You might have noticed this already, but the never-ending coastline makes fish a main ingredient in many Norwegian dishes. At Straen Fish Restaurant they take pride in preparing, serving and presenting the various fish found in the depths and Christmas is no exception. This is the place to go to try out lye fish served with pea stew, bacon and almond potatoes or to get a piece of stock fish accompanied by beets, capers and curry butter. Only the desserts lack fish, but are masterpieces in themselves. Try the white chocolate panna cotta along with a nice cup of coffee, to make it all go down even smoother.
© Straen Fish Restaurant
Since 1989, traditional Norwegian cuisine has been roasting in the ovens of XO Bar. And like a good wine, it only gets better as time progresses. Here you can sink your teeth into big portions of traditional and tasty “pinnekjøtt”, salted and dried ribs of mutton, or try the Christmas platter that features ribs of both mutton and pork. The platter is like an entire feast in itself, with sausages, minced fat and lean pork, gravy, cabbage and boiled potatoes. Gravy, meat and potatoes are important ingredients during Norwegian holidays, and even though it might not sound very luxurious you won’t regret giving it a go.
Bølgen & Moi
Situated in the same building as the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, Bølgen & Moi is at the ready to serve you a wide variety of flavors for your Christmas dinner. Try their carpaccio of lightly smoked duck breast, accompanied by an onion trio, pomegranate and sherry vinaigrette. Or taste the delicious flavors of their pumpkin soup, complete with pan seared scallop and pumpkin seeds. The western parts of Norway have staggering amounts of deer roaming the forests, and for dinner you can try a filet of deer with seasonal vegetables, red cabbage and spice gravy. What could possibly go wrong?
© Shadé B. Martins
Stavanger might be known for being the “City of Energy”, but it could just as well be known for its restaurants and food. After finding your holiday spirit with these different dishes, you can return to Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Stavanger, for a good night’s sleep while dreaming about what Santa might bring you this year. Granted you’ve been nice, not naughty. See you there!