Fjords, fish and food festivals: a taste of Norway's Trøndelag region

With abundant fresh produce, a scattering of Michelin-starred restaurants and plenty of activities to build up an appetite, Norway’s Trøndelag region is a prime culinary destination.Tuesday, 24 March 2020

The pristine waters of Trondheim fjord are justly celebrated for their beauty and seafood bounty, but this coastal realm represents just a fraction of the Trøndelag region’s culinary riches. Trondheim, the eponymous fjord-front city, is growing a burgeoning crop of adventurous chefs leading Michelin-starred kitchens, while inland you’ll find organic veggies, boreal berries and high mountain pastures producing some of the world’s best dairy, game and meat. It’s these culinary credentials that have seen the central Norwegian region’s designation as a European Region of Gastronomy for 2022; this is a stunning landscape of lakes, mountains, fjords and food-focused cities that are just waiting to be explored.

Discover the region’s natural larder

The first record of aquavit, the spiced Norwegian spirit, can be traced to Trøndelag’s Golden Route — discoverable on walking tours of ancient cellars and modern distilleries.

The region’s pristine coastal waters produce stellar seafood: scallops from Frøya are favoured in Asia’s best restaurants, while crabs from the southern island of Hitra have long been a Parisian delicacy. For Scandinavia’s must-try mussels, head to Fosen, where you’ll also find stretches of Trøndelag’s finest sandy beaches.

A trailblazer for organic dairy and meat, Trøndelag produces some of the world’s best cheese, including Edel Blå from Gangstad Gårdsysteri and grotteost (cave cheese) made on the island of Hitra. 

You can meet the makers at traditional farmers’ markets (region-wide, every second weekend, year round), or at Trøndelag Food Festival, an annual gathering of around 200 of Mid-Norway’s farmers, fishermen and passionate producers. The festival runs from 30 July to 1 August 2020. 

Seeking out fine dining in this culinary region

Organic, sustainable, local, and seasonal: these tenets have always underpinned Trondheim’s food scene, now united under the ‘Home of Nordic Flavours’ banner. 

Recently securing two Michelin stars, Credo in Trondheim is the place to try farm-to-fork dishes such as dairy-cow tartare, fresh cheese with blackberries and reindeer heart, and fried cod skin with smoked roe, conjured by chef and national treasure, Heidi Bjerkan. 

Further Michelin-starred dishes are on offer at nearby Fagn, where chef Jonas Andre Nåvik and his team riff on traditional dishes with 10- and 20-course tasting menus that include mackerel ‘hay’ and beetroot bone marrow.

Trondheim’s Britannia Hotel reopened last April after a three-year renovation with chef and Bocuse d’Or silver medallist Christopher Davidsen at the helm of the restaurant, Speilsalen. Six- and 10-course tasting menus make playful nods to touchstones of Trondelag’s culinary heritage, such as Arctic king crab with barley and juniper, or hunter’s grouse with barberry.

Meet the local producers

Breweries, butchers, fishmongers, cheese factories and restaurants line Trøndelag’s Golden Road. Bike, hike or drive this rural route around the Inderøya peninsula in the Trondheim Fjord, where stellar stop-offs include the beautiful Victorian Gangstad Farm for award-winning cheeses and ice creams that stray from traditional flavours to aquavit, liquorice, pine needles and lingonberry.

Røros is a former copper mining town that’s now UNESCO-listed and one of Europe’s oldest preserved wooden settlements. More than 30 local producers comprise Rørosmat, a local culinary collective celebrating everything from Atna beer, Galåvolden gård cheese and baked goods from Kalsa Gårdsbakeri. Taste the best of the town with one of Destination Røros’ three different food safaris, stopping at local food venues and producers.

Sleep among the white sands and starry skies of Stokkøya, where high-design cabins and camping under canvas comprise the spectrum of accommodation on this unspoilt forest-backed Norwegian island. Stokkøya’s beloved Beach Bar completes this coastal idyll, with fresh crab, craft beers and well-made cocktails. 

How to work up an appetite in Trøndelag

A pristine natural larder and outdoor playground, Trøndelag is a region of warm ocean currents; cool, dry plains and dramatic mountains. The islands of Frøya and Hitra, just two hours by car from Trondheim, are among the world’s best spots for deep-sea fishing. Meanwhile, musk oxen roam Dovrefjell National Park, south of Oppdal; spot them with the help of expert safari guides.

Breathe in the scent of blossoming fruit trees along the Pilgrim’s Trail — a hiking route honouring King Olav the Holy. This alternative to well-known Norwegian fjord and mountain trails takes hikers through magnificent cultural landscapes, tranquil forests and deserted mountains.

Getting there and around

Norwegian flies from London to Trondheim five days a week. Hiring a rental car is the best way to explore the whole region. Find out more at trondelag.com

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