A must-visit restaurant in the north of Norway is Lofoten Food Studio, located in Ballstad. Chef Roy Magne Berglund transformed his garage into a chef’s counter and built a fine dining restaurant right in his backyard. In his culinary playground, he crafts tasting menus inspired by the four seasons, using local ingredients from Lofoten. His twelve-seat communal counter connects visiting foodies from around the world, all who have gathered to watch his one-man show. Lofoten Food Studio has been open for about four years, but, in our opinion, it hasn’t yet gotten the recognition it deserves. This is one of the best meals we’ve had in Norway.
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LOFOTEN FOOD STUDIO Address & Contact Information Jacob Jentofts vei 29, Ballstad, Norway Website Instagram Facebook
Fine Dining in Lofoten
This summer, we spent two weeks traveling around Norway, from Oslo to Ålesund to Trondheim to Lofoten. As with all of our trips, food was the focus. The two recommendations we kept getting over and over while in Lofoten were Kvitnes Gård and Lofoten Food Studio. Although Kvitnes Gård is much newer (it opened in February 2020), we’ve heard a lot more buzz about Halvar Ellingsen’s farm restaurant in the press than we have about Lofoten Food Studio. So, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect – but sometimes it’s better not to have many expectations. We set out on an hour and a half drive from our hotel in Svolvær, ready to embark on a unique culinary adventure.
A Culinary One-Man Show
Unlike some other recent restaurant openings in Scandinavia, this is a real deal one-man show. Berglund is cooking every dish, washing every plate, pouring every glass of wine, and shaking every cocktail. There’s literally no one else (not even a dishwasher to help him), which makes the experience feel more like you’re dining in someone’s home than sitting in a restaurant. Obviously, he had prepared quite a lot of things in advance, but he made it look effortless – the service flowed seamlessly. The twelve-seat communal dining counter forced you to bond with the strangers sitting next to you, all while watching Roy at work – dinner and a show!
The Best of Local Produce
The tasting menu at Lofoten Food Studio celebrates the bounty of this region of Norway. Berglund has some of the best ingredients in the world at his fingertips, so he showcases this local, seasonal produce in his kitchen. Some of the high-quality Norwegian ingredients on our menu included king crab, langoustine, scallops, and Lofoten lamb. From the snacks to the desserts, every dish was better than the last. This is an extremely high level of cooking in the very north of Norway.
While it’s difficult to pick a favorite dish, a few standouts included the monkfish with rosehip and smoked soy sauce, the king crab leg in celeriac oil, and the halibut topped with a jelly made of apple and celeriac, served with a sauce of mussels, parsley, and leek oil. Berglund is a master of sauce; every dish left us licking the bowl, begging for more. On the drinks side, there were a few natural wines (to our pleasant surprise) and a few classic wines on the wine pairing. They also offer a non-alcoholic pairing, which includes Copenhagen Sparkling Tea.
Our meal at Lofoten Food Studio was the most delicious of our two-week trip in Norway – we were absolutely blown away. This is a must-visit if you are in the Lofoten area – and, in our opinion, worthy of a Michelin star.
Have you been to Lofoten Food Studio? Let us know in a comment below.