Bergen City Map
Bergen is Norway’s second-largest city, but draws more tourists than the capital because of its spectacular location. Thanks to passionate chefs and restaurateurs, there are plenty of places worth visiting for a great meal. In 2020, Bergen got its first Michelin star – awarded to restaurant Bare.
In this city map, we have gathered all our favorite spots to create the best restaurant guide to Bergen. You’ll find coffee shops, natural wine bars, high-end restaurants, and more relaxed eateries. Navigate the map easily either by scrolling through the list on the right or by clicking the points on the map. Places are listed in geographical order.
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Next door to restaurant Colonialen 44, you find Colonialen Matbar – the more casual food and wine bar. Literally, one big rectangular bar where the guests are seated on stools facing a bartender in the middle. The kitchen is shared with the flagship restaurant Colonialen, but the dishes are simpler bar snacks like carpaccio, tartar, dumplings, steam buns, and croquettes. I also had a delicious scallop served in its shell with sweet local tomatoes. Not as strictly Nordic as the other venues of the group, but more international and playful.
Colonialen, the flagship of the restaurant group, was at the time of my visit, one of the most ambitious restaurants in Bergen with a multi-course tasting menu that was clearly aiming for a Michelin star. I don't think they were far away from getting one either, but the owners decided to change the restaurant into a slightly more casual eatery named Colonialen 44 (after the street address Kong Oscars gate 44). I have no reason to believe that the current 4-course menu (NOK 550) is not of the same quality as the meal I enjoyed, albeit simpler and more affordable. Wines are a good mix of conventional and natural producers.
Kaffemisjonen, literally the coffee mission, may sound like a semi-religious organization that is out to convert you to the true side of coffee making. In fact, that may not be too far from the truth, but, luckily, they won't preach at you here. If you enjoy high-quality coffee sourced from the best farmers, roasted for maximum terroir flavor by the country's top roasteries (Tim Wendelboe, Supreme Roastworks, Jacu, and others) before it's brewed to perfection, then you'll love Kaffemisjonen. Or their sister café Blom on the other side of town.
Det Lille Kaffekompaniet
Det Lille Kaffekompaniet is the oldest and smallest coffee shop in Bergen. In terms of the interior as well as the cake selection, I got proper 90s vibes. When it comes to the coffee, however, which was brewed on a V60, it was remarkably juicy and elegant with a clean flavor and no trace of bitterness. Located on Nedre Fjellsmauet (the lower mountain alleyway), which is a cute little alley just above the entrance to Fløibanen (the city's famous funicular railway), lined with beautiful white-painted wooden houses.
Restaurant 1877 is a semi-fine dining eatery with a rustic interior located in the venerable Kjøttbasaren (meat bazaar) which dates back to 1876. Some of the most passionate and skilled chef apprentices to come out of Bergen in recent time has served their trainee years here under the leadership of head chef Christer Økland. Chef Økland works in close relationship with local farmers and other suppliers whom he regularly visits with his team. The kitchen offers a seasonal and modern 5-course tasting menu with roots in Norwegian traditions.
No visit to Bergen is complete without a hot dog from the city's uncrowned king of sausages – Trekroneren (three kroner was the price of a Vienna sausage in 1978). Whether you're craving fat, meat and salt in the middle of the day or late at night, you can trust this food stand to be open. Don't get fooled by the simple exteriors – this vendor has a selection of 24 different sausages (usually 150g, but the largest are 250g) and an equal amount of toppings. Ask the owner, Dag Hjellestad, which condiment goes best with which "pølse." Thirsty? There's always a free glass of raspberry-flavored squash drink for you.
Whenever it's not raining in Bergen, which feels like one week of the year, you may get ice cream cravings. Statistically, 67% of days brings rain in this coastal city located between seven mountains. But should the sun pop out, you can always head on over to the best ice cream shop in town – Hallaisen. The name is a play on words, mixing the local slang term for hello ("hallaien") with ice cream ("is"). Get the Sicilian pistachio and cinnamon roll ("Skillingsbolle") flavors. All ice cream contains either top quality local produce or sustainable ingredients from around the world – especially South-East Asia since the owners have their roots there.
Colonialen Litteraturhuset is the largest and most easygoing eatery in the restaurant portfolio of Ken and Laila Skorge. I went here for lunch one day and enjoyed a very decent two-course meal, selected from the à la carte offering on the waiter's recommendation. Gnocchi with braised carrots and parsley roots, buttery toast, and ramson emulsion was the highlight. Tartar with red onions, crispy potato chips, and shaved cured egg yolk was not equally impressive, but tasty nonetheless.
Bergen Børs Hotel
Bergen Børs is an elegant boutique hotel centrally located in the historic stock exchange which dates back to 1862. Situated right next to Bryggen (the dock) and the famous Fisketorget (the fish market), and home to some of the most interesting dining concepts in town – restaurant Bare (fine dining) and Bare Vestland (rustic and traditional). Stay in one of their comfortable rooms which has been given a modern design look, while also keeping quirky details from its past – like the safe in the former stock exchange manager’s office.
Bare has one Michelin star and is the only restaurant in Bergen with this accolade. Located on the third floor of the venerable Bergen Børs Hotel, you can choose between a twelve-course (NOK 1250) or six-course (NOK 795) New Nordic tasting menu based on local and seasonal produce. Head chef Fred Owe Tofting makes creative, modern, and original food. Old cooking traditions meet some of the best seafood from the region. The meal feels luxurious without the use of any typical luxury products like caviar or truffle. Sustainability and animal welfare are highly prioritized in the kitchen's selection of ingredients.
Hotel Norge by Scandic
Hotel Norge by Scandic lies in the heart of the city, on Torvallmenningen, next to the popular meeting spot Den Blå Steinen, with a spectacular view towards Lille Lungegårdsvannet. This iconic hotel dates back to 1885, but for the last two years, it has undergone heavy renovation. With a total of 415 rooms across ten floors, Hotel Norge is the largest provider of accommodations in Bergen. Ambitions seem sky-high, with an amazing eye to detail that is only matched by an exceptional service level, perhaps best illustrated by the dedicated guest relationship manager that will cater to guests every need.
Nova is a hotel restaurant to be proud of and fits perfectly into the concept of Hotel Norge by Scandic. Modern and elegant, but just informal enough to make you relax. Head chef Tore Espenes works in cooperation with the 2015 Bocuse d'Or winner, Ørjan Johannessen, who acts as an advisor and creative leader. The á la carte menu is based on local ingredients, but the kitchen is not afraid to mix in flavors from around the world. If you pre-book the Chef's Table experience you can enjoy a seven-course tasting menu right in front of the cooking action.
Craving proper wood-fired Italian pizza? Head on over to Bien Centro, on the first floor of the art museum Kode1, for the best Neapolitan pizza in Bergen. The experienced restaurateurs behind Bien Snackbar and Bien Basar, opened their casual Italian eatery in 2017. The stone-oven was hand-crafted, following strict Neapolitan rules, by Stefano Ferrara from Naples. While the Margherita pizza I ordered was great and would make an Italian proud, I'd skip the pre-made and refrigerated desserts – they tasted more of fridge than fresh.
Smakverket is a casual café and coffee shop by chef Angus Hugøy from restaurant Marg & Bein and barista Olav Egeberg, located on the first floor of the art museum Kode2. Don't miss their signature Eggs Benedict, which is as classical as this dish can get, but decent. English muffins layered with a slice of ham and poached eggs with a runny yolk inside. Buttery Hollandaise sauce with the correct creamy consistency drizzled over, and freshly cut chives on top. I also enjoyed their filter coffee.
Blom is the sister café of Kaffemisjonen, situated on the other side of town at John Lunds plass on Fosswinckels gate, right at the edge of Nygårdshøyden below the University of Bergen. Here, you get the same good coffee as the flagship store offers, but with a different vibe. We shared a Chemex brew based on Ethiopian coffee beans, which was clean and juicy with a sweet and floral taste.
Marg & Bein
Restaurant Marg & Bein (marrow & bone) is a casual neighborhood restaurant with a nose-to-tail philosophy and a good selection of beer and natural wines. Head chef David McCarthy whipped up one delicacy after the other when I visited. Rustic, yet modern Nordic food, made from local and sustainable ingredients. A creamy mackerel salad with wild herbs and pickled vegetables, delectable crispbread with salty ramson butter, and braised ox cheeks with potato mash, burn carrots and crispy kale were the highlights.
Hoggorm is a hole-in-the-wall pizzeria located at Nygårdsgaten 29, directly opposite of the Grieg Hall concert venue, which is owned and operated by the guys from Lysverket. The concept is simple: natural wine and delicious pizza with (mostly) local ingredients. They also attempt to answer the age-old question: Does pineapple belong on a pizza? The answer is yes, especially if you make it with salty and fatty bacon to balance the sweet tropical fruit.
Lysverket has long been rumored to be the hottest Michelin star candidate in Bergen, and received a star in 2022. Head chef Christopher Haatuft previously wokred at high-end restaurants like the three-starred Per Se in New York. There's an optional tasting menu, and, possibly, the best Bergen-style fish soup in the city. Haatuft is passionately obsessed with his local suppliers. He invented the term Neo-Fjordic cuisine, originally intended as a joke, but the word stuck.
Nobel Bopel is a neighborhood café, vintage furniture store, hipster coffee shop, and natural wine bar situated at Møhlenpris on the "wrong" side of Nygårdshøyden. The coffee was good, and I loved the vibe with all the Scandinavian design elements, but I wish the selection of wines by the glass was larger. Maybe they could invest in a Coravin? The venue regularly hosts pop-up food concepts, intimate concerts, and quiz nights.
BKB, or Bergen Kaffebrenneri, is Bergen's own coffee roastery, located at Møhlenpris in an old industrial building with a large outdoor patio facing the Norwegian Business School (BI). Founded ten years ago by two amateur home roasters (at the time), Carl Johannesen and Kenneth Rasmussen, the now-professional roastery supplies some of the city's top restaurants and cafés with freshly roasted coffee beans. The roasting profile ranges from light to dark-roasted, depending on the origin of the coffee. I particularly enjoyed a cold-brewed Kenyan coffee on the hot summer day when I popped by BKB for a caffeine fix.
Colonialen Kranen is situated a good 15 minutes walk from Bergen city center in an old crane (hence the name) which has been reconstructed to an elegantly-designed casual eatery with Scandinavian-style interior. Apparently, this used to be a busy industrial area, but today it's all apartment buildings and hungry residents who need a neighborhood restaurant. Head chef Pablo Zotelo (originally from Argentina) whips up a fun selection of Norwegian tapas-style dishes with Latin-American influences. Highlights included tomatoes from Hanasand with mackerel and crispy bread, chicharron with apple salsa, and schnitzel with creamy potatoes and mustard seeds.
Cornelius is a seafood restaurant situated on Holmen – a tiny islet in the archipelago outside Bergen. If you book a table for lunch or dinner, a 25 minutes boat ride from Bryggen (the docks) in Bergen city center is included in the price. That makes Cornelius more than just a good meal, it's a full-on maritime experience! Co-owner and passionate diver, Alf Roald Sætre, goes by the nicknames "Skjellmannen" (the shell man) and Oyster Dundee. On the day of my visit, he had just surfaced after diving for horse mussels, which we later enjoyed as a starter before the spectacular seafood platter. Various shellfish and marine mollusks are kept in seawater tanks to assure as fresh produce as possible arrives on your plate.