Traditional Food from Norway

Want to know more about Norwegian food? Here’s a list of traditional food from Norway that you should taste and more about the local cuisine.

You can find traditional food from Norway in restaurants as well as local supermarkets. Many of these dishes are also possible to cook at home relatively easy if you can get a hold on the ingredients needed. 

The Norwegian cuisine shares a lot of common dishes with the other Scandinavian countries, and some dishes are also deemed as classic Swedish food, Danish Food, and Icelandic food


If you’re traveling to Norway during wintertime, you should definitely order some Fårikål, which will likely be available in local restaurants. It’s a savory stew that is typically eaten during colder days. 

Fårikål literally means sheep in cabbage, and it’s a local favorite that is so popular that there’s even a dedicated day for the dish. If you’ll visit Oslo, I can recommend visiting Dovrehallen, which serves delicious fårikål.

traditional food in Norway
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Sursild (Pickled Herring)

Pickled herring is a Scandinavian classic, and Norway is not an exception. You’ll find herring in most supermarkets, and it’s one of the most popular types of fish to eat in the country along with salmon and cod. 

Photo: Fanfo/Shutterstock

Brunost (Brown cheese)

Brunost or better known in English, brown cheese is one of the most typical products from Norway. There are different versions of the brown cheese, but the most common variety is known as Gudbrandsdalsost. 

The Norwegian brown cheese gets its color during the production when the milk sugars reach higher temperatures.

Brunost norway
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Pølse med Lompe (hotdog)

Hot dogs are sold all over the world, but the Norwegian hot dog is quite unique because it’s typically not served in bread. Norwegians prefer to eat a hot dog in a potato pancake, which is known as lompe. 

Pølse med Lompe is a classic street food from Norway, which is sold at gas stations, train stations, and various kiosks.

Polse med lompe
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Finnbiff is typically eaten in the northern parts of the country, and it’s a traditional food from Norway, which is made of sauteed reindeer meat. It’s a flavorful stew with a savory sauce that is also popular in the northern parts of Finland, Sweden, and Russia. 

traditional norwegian meal
Photo: Fanfo/Shutterstock


Kjøttkaker is basically Norwegian meat cakes, similar to meatballs. They are typically served with potatoes, carrots, and brown sauce. It’s more of a dish that people make at home, and it’s especially popular for families. 


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Smalahove (Sheep’s head)

This might be the least appetizing food from Norway, and it’s literally a sheep’s head that has been steamed or boiled. The traditional way of eating Smalahove is along with potatoes and rutabaga. 

Historically, it’s been a poor man’s food and people used to cook and eat the brain as well with a spoon. These days, most Norwegians won’t indulge in this unusual dish, but it’s still one of the most classic dishes when it comes to Norwegian food. 

Photo: Jon Naustdalslid/Shutterstock

Smoked Salmon

Norwegian salmon is famous worldwide, and it can be prepared in various ways. For example, it can be served fried, smoked, or cooked in the oven. Salmon fillets with potatoes and sauce is a real classic. 

However, the most popular and iconic version of salmon in Norway is the one known as Gravlaks, which is smoked salmon which has been marinated with herbs.

Photo: BBA Photography/Shutterstock


Lutefisk is a festive food from Norway that is an integral part of the Norwegian Christmas dinner. It’s made of whitefish and lye. Prior to serving, the fish has been dried and salted for some time.

Lutefisk is typically served with sauce, potatoes and some vegetable. 

Photo: Fanfo/Shutterstock


Sodd is a traditional soup with mutton, carrots, and potatoes. It’s a great dish to eat during the cold winter months, and it has a real savory flavor to it.

Sodd - traditional soup from norway
Photo: Fanfo/Shutterstock

Whale Steak

Whale meat is perhaps the most controversial food form Norway since it’s not eaten in most countries. Whaling is banned in many countries, but not in Norway, although only some whale species are being hunted. 

You can find whale meat in fish markets as well as local restaurants across the whole country. It’s not something that Norwegians eat on a daily basis, but rather from time to time.

controversial food from norway
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Tørrfisk is another classic food from Norway, which is a specialty from the islands around Lofoten. It has a distinct smell, but it’s popular among the locals. Tørrfisk is often made of cod, which has been cold air-dried for months. 

It’s a long tradition that has been on-going since the 12th century.

Photo: Tsuguliev/Shutterstock


I love a good and savory stew, so the lapskaus is another traditional food from Norway that I enjoy to eat, especially in the cold winter months. A typical lapskaus is made of beef or lamb which is mixed with onions, rutabaga, carrots and various types of herbs and spices. 

This Norwegian stew can be made with leftovers as well, and it’s a dish that has been around since the days of the Vikings.

Photo: Fanfo/Shutterstock

Norwegian Waffles

Waffles are eaten in many countries around the world, and Norway has its own version. Norwegian waffles are typically served with some cream and jam and raw sugar that is sprinkled on top of the waffle.

Norwegian Waffles
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More about Norwegian Food and Cuisine

Fish and seafood have long been a part of the local cuisine in Norway, especially along the coasts. Fishing has been the only way to support some villages throughout history. Today, considering that Norway is a rich country, people will eat all kinds of foods. 

However, there are lots of traditional dishes that are eaten often, or at least occasionally for festive celebrations. Many dishes have similarities with the cuisine of other Scandinavian countries. 

In addition to fish and seafood, some of the most common types of meat are pork, sheep, and lamb. Most meats are eaten together with potatoes and vegetables. Carrots and other root-crops are also integral parts of the Norwegian cuisine.

Most dishes will be served with some kind of sauce as well, where the brown sauce is the most common type. 

Norwegian cuisine
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Other traditional Norwegian food

  • Cloudberries
  • Bilberries
  • Lingonberries
  • Rye bread
  • Krumkake
  • Raspeballer
  • Rakfisk

What do Norwegians eat for breakfast?

While a Norwegian breakfast will be different between individuals, there are some common items that are typically present in a typical breakfast in Norway. 

Eggs, bread, yogurt, cheese, crispbread, cereals are all commonly eaten across the country along with some coffee, or a glass of juice or milk.

Norwegian breakfast
Photo: Sunita Niva /

Christmas food in Norway

Christmas in Norway is a time for families to gather and enjoy a big meal together. The most iconic food from Norway on Christmas is called Pinnekjøtt, which is made of lamb or mutton.

The Norwegian Christmas dinner consists of many dishes, and there are also regional differences. Some common foods to include on the Christmas table are lutefisk, boiled cod, turkey or ham, and pork ribs.

Various side dishes, pastries and sweets are also part of the Norwegian Christmas celebration.

Christmas food in Norway
Photo: Dignity 100/Shutterstock


Lefse is another traditional food from Norway, which is made with butter, cream, flour, and potatoes. Additionally, you can also eat lefse with various fillings inside. 

However, the most common version of lefse is just to roll it up with some butter. 

Photo: Julie Vader/Shutterstock

What is your favorite food from Norway? Leave a comment below!

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