Set amid the dramatic wilderness of Norway’s northern fjords, the city of Tromso is buried deep in the Arctic Circle. Not only is it one of the best places in Scandinavia to see the Northern Lights, but the winter adventures range from snowmobiling to dogsledding. However, there’s plenty more to Tromso, with its varied arts, music and nightlife scenes making it one of Norway’s most buzzing cultural hubs.
To help you get the most out of your stay in Tromso, we’ve put together this guide to its best restaurants and bars. Just remember, many get booked up fast during peak season, so be sure to reserve a table in advance.
Bardus Bistro – best for lesser-known modern dining
Away from the well-established institutions of Tromso’s culinary scene, Barbus Bistro deserves more attention. It's a very modern gastronomic experience, with a superbly crafted menu showcasing the finest in Nordic cuisine. We particularly recommend the mussels, which come accompanied by a shrimp broth, dill, fennel, and a generous serving of bread. You can also expect a delightfully warm and welcoming service, with the staff more than happy to chat and explain the restaurant's philosophy in delivering simple, personally crafted dishes.
Bardus Bistro, Tromso
Emmas Drømmekjøkken – best for authentic dining
For a combination of lovingly prepared, homely food and an all-round elegant dining experience, head to Emma’s Dream Kitchen. One of Tromso’s dining highlights, it’s all about honest food, skewed towards traditional Norwegian favourites with a sprinkling of French classics. In short, the dried cod is as delicious as the crème brûlée, and the Gallic furnishings make dining here a wonderfully cosy affair. Found below the main restaurant, its sister kitchen – Emma’s UNDER – is also ideal for something less formal. The locally sourced fish au gratin is fantastic.
Emma’s Dream Kitchen, Tromso
Fiskekompaniet – best for seafood
Unsurprisingly for a city blessed with a gorgeous harbour and a fishing-village past, Tromso offers superb, fresh-from-the-boat seafood. However, few restaurants prepare it with quite the panache of the sleek and contemporary Fiskekompaniet. Set on the central harbour, it combines stunning sea views with a small but perfectly formed menu. Changing daily, you can expect everything from hearty fish soups to multi-course chef’s-choice menus. Be sure to wrap things up with a chocolate mousse accompanied by sea buckthorn sorbet and crumble, or a delectable selection of petit fours.
Roast – best for carnivores
With floor-to-ceiling windows making the most of its fantastic quayside location, Roast is typically Scandinavian in design – achingly minimalist and hip. And, although menus showcase Norwegian classics, there’s a modern, international twist to it all, with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Along with the tempting steak and just-caught fish, the signature Roast Board is a special highlight – a tasting collection of the restaurant’s best chargrilled meats. What’s more, the restaurant is right by a popular pick up point for the Northern Lights evening tours, making it ideal for an early dinner before your aurora hunt.
Roast, Scandic Ishavshotel, Tromso
Rå – best for sushi
Often cited as the best sushi restaurant in Norway, Rå Sushi is the place in Tromso to indulge in that quintessential Japanese culinary art form. Expect the likes of maki, sashimi and nigiri, all made from the freshest ingredients and paired with a superb selection of Japanese teas. It’s a fantastic place for a sit-down meal, but if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, they have a takeaway branch, too.
Rå Sushi, Tromso
Casa Inferno – best for no-frills pizza
Casa Inferno is a fabulous alternative if you can’t get into some of Tromso’s busier restaurants on a Friday or Saturday night. It's a lively pizzeria, tucked away just off Tromso’s two busiest streets, drawing a busy crowd of locals and tourists. You might have a short wait of 10 or 15 minutes, but it's a good chance to enjoy a drink at the bar and soak up the vibrant weekend atmosphere. Then, you can expect attentive staff and a choice of around 20 pizzas, with plenty of favourites on offer. And, despite the quick pace of service, everything runs like a warm, welcoming and well-run machine.
Ølhallen – the oldest pub in Tromso
A trip to Tromso wouldn’t be complete without a drink in its oldest pub. Ølhallen’s palpably rich history dates back to 1928 when it was a popular watering hole for fishermen and farmers, later becoming a spot for Arctic explorers to share tales of derring-do over a candle-lit beer. Today, it’s one of the most well-known and popular pubs in Tromso. Perhaps, as it has been for so many before, this could be the perfect starting point for a traditional Tromso pub crawl...
Olhallen Bar, Tromso
Huken Pub – best for pub grub
A great value-for-money option in Tromso, the cosy Huken Pub serves a small but delicious menu of hearty, home-cooked meals; their burgers are particularly good, if a little messy! And, if you’ve already eaten, it’s still worth stopping here for a drink – it is a pub after all. But, it’s the eclectic furniture that makes Huken truly special. Think old-fashioned suitcases turned into table tops, lamps made from Singer sewing machines and an array of board games to keep you entertained.
Inspired? Get in contact with a Norway specialist today to start planning your ideal trip, or take a look at our superb-value Tromso city break: