Great Arctic Eats, Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø, Norway

Do you love to eat in a town with just the right amount of people, that is 68,000? Do you crave an bustling town with an invigorating night life? Do you absolutely need art, history, and fantastic scenery? Do you want to take classes at the world’s northernmost university? Are you okay with learning Norwegian to get free tuition? Do you want it all by being above the Arctic, yet experiencing a sub-Arctic climate? Is it essential that you dine on tasty food? Then, oh my gosh, Tromsø, Norway, is the place for you.
.
Let’s visit Tromsø’s five best restaurants as TripAdvisor(tm).
°
The must-go-to restaurant is Restaurant Smak. I want to go there. I want to go there. If you dine at Smak, please enjoy a meal for me and do let me know how you liked it. True, it’s a bit pricy, but I have never, no not ever, seen an Arctic restaurant with more glowing reviews than this establishment. People rave about the attentive servers and the high quality of their fresh food. The restaurant ensures the freshness of their ingredients by buying only food from the neighboring farms. It’s not surprising then, that Restaurant Smak gets a perfect 5.0 rating. Do try their Jerusalem artichoke soup, white asparagus, wild lamb, cod cheek and hot dogs. And for dessert, try their dill and caramel sorbet. Meals run from three-to-five courses and can take two hours, but the time will fly because everything at Restaurant Smak is good as it can be. I really want to go here.
°
Winning the silver medal on our restaurant tour is Raketten. It is a hot-dog kiosk, but what a hot-dog kiosk! This small building serves such good food and has been such a mainstay to the community over the decades that the powers that be designated it an Important Cultural Monument. Can your local fast-food joint boast of a distinction like that? No, I didn’t think so. Keep a sharp lookout on Raketten as the outside line of dedicated hot-dog lovers can be over a hour. Sit by the nice, cozy fire and enjoy some gløgg, a hot punch made with red wine, brandy, sherry, almonds, raisins, and orange peels. What more do you need?  Or perhaps you prefer a delicious hot chocolate topped with marshmallows? Be sure to try their reindeer sausage. Is this a great town or what?
°
Third place on our dining tour is Svermeri Kafe Og Redesign. The atmosphere is cozy and the staff is friendly and attentive. It serves delicious fish cakes and desserts. They really, really make fantastic soup and cakes. The number of reviews praising their soups and cakes is legion. I think I’d order their wild-blueberry pie. They even make gluten-friendly cakes. Don’t miss this place.
°
We now visit Art Cafe. This is an all around good restaurant with pleasant lunches and fine dining at night. Art Cafe possesses a super cozy atmosphere and a friendly staff. The restaurant is decorated with authentic artistic decor which you may purchase. The jazz bar sounds nice as do the reasonable prices. Many tantalizing dishes abound including: reindeer stew, king crab soup, shrimp, mussels, Norwegian cheese, beef bourguignon, and Greek salad.
°
We finish our culinary adventure at Mathallen. It’s named after Allen, the local high-school math teacher. No, not really. It does serve great Scandanavian and European dishes. Mathallen’s uses fresh ingredients from local sources. The waitstaff is pleasant and knowledge. All the food is brilliantly presented. Mathallen gives good value. Restaurant goers praise the seafood especially the herring, cod, salmon, and whale. Fans of meat really should go for their deer and reindeer steaks. And who could resist trying their ice cream made from sour cream and hazel/plum sauce? Don’t forget their satisfying local beer.
°
Tromsø’s restaurants
°
By far, the best two way to reach Tromsø are by plane and by car. (Although motoring can get exciting when the fog rolls in.) You could visit the town by cruise ship as well. However, you’d have to be extremely patient if you wish to get to there by train. The Norwegian government has been debating extending the rail network to Tromsø for decades. You’d do much better riding reindeer and even then who knows if they know the way?
°
Go on the Fjord Excursion by RIB. For how could you possibly travel all the way to northern Norway and not visit the nation’s fjords up close. The guides on the speed boats are quite knowledgeable and the fjords spectacular. If lucky, you can see orcas, sea eagles, reindeer, and seals come near your boat. Well, maybe not the reindeer, they tend to stay on land. Dress warm, it can get cold and rainy out there. You might even experience a blizzard. Astoundingly, many  people really want to experience a blizzard on the sea. At any rate, hot chocolate and cinnamon buns await you at the end trip. Mmm.
°
Be sure to go on Night Reindeer Sledding with Camp Dinner and Chance of Northern Lights. Well, the name tells you what to expect, doesn’t it? So don’t think the tour guides can guarantee you the Aurora Borealis. Ahem. The trip is organized even to the point of having lasso tossing and other activities before the tour even starts. Or maybe just drink hot chocolate they serve. Until you go to where it’s really cold, you won’t appreciate how wonderful hot chocolate can be. But this excursion really is tailor made for reindeer lovers. Reindeer pull your sled! Your feed the reindeer! The reindeer feed you! Wow! Wow! Sure, the reindeer feed you from a limited menu, but they feed you! Okay, enough exclamation points. Dinner is a traditional reindeer stew served at major celebrations. Can you get that amazing dish at your local drive through? No, I didn’t think so. And learn about Swami history and culture from the pleasant Swami guides. I want to go on this one.
°
People with not enough time to get out of town should make their way to the Polar Museum. There might be no better place in the world to learn about legendary polar leaders and expeditions. Learn about fishing and hunting expeditions to even farther north Svalbard. (Warning to animal right activists, this really isn’t a place you’d want to visit.) Others will want to see a trapper’s hut and the objects needed for Arctic survival. You can even learn the truth about polar bears wandering the streets of Tromsø. Egad, that sounds ominous. Probably isn’t though. Probably. At any rate, I want to head out to Tromsø even more
°
Tourists with not much time, especially seal lovers, will want to visit Polaria. It’s a cozy place with the emphasis. See seals frolic up close. Try to get there for the seal feedings. Spend the money and feed the seals yourself. What fun! Polaria fills their aquariums with fishes and plants you won’t find anywhere else.
°
As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Arctic eats, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: