Our Guide to a Foodie Vacation in Scandinavia
Published on: January 9th, 2019
Last modified: July 28th, 2023
If you ask us, food is one of the many good reasons to visit Scandinavia. From tucking in to well-aged cheeses to sampling New Nordic Cuisine and refreshing cider, there is no shortage of amazing food-based experiences on offer.
In Sweden, travellers can try their hand at foraging for berries or mushrooms, while in Norway opportunities to meet local culinary experts abound.
From foodie haven Copenhagen to Norway’s fascinating Austevoll Seaweed Farm, this is our guide to a foodie vacation in Scandinavia.
Pine Bay Lodge
In the heart of Swedish Lapland, the traditional Pine Bay Lodge offers guests a cosy home away from home. With tradition at the forefront of the lodge’s offering, food is, of course, a very important part of the experience. Here, travellers can indulge the senses with a seasonal dinner. Featuring a sumptuous seasonal menu of the best and freshest ingredients, this dinner is a true feast. Salmon, caviar, trout and even wild game like reindeer all come together to form a meal that truly tantalises the taste buds. After dinner, travel by boat to a nearby island for coffee and tea prepared over a fire and take the chance to round off the evening with a glimpse of the magical Northern Lights.
To allow guests to explore the surrounding environment, Pine Bay Lodge also offers foraging excursions. To discover local culinary delights, travellers will walk out into the forest alongside a knowledgeable local guide. The forests here are filled with delectable autumnal delicacies, including everything from lingonberries to seabuckthorn. On this walk, you can search for specific types of local berries and mushrooms, as well as catch a glimpse of the local wildlife. For cooking enthusiasts, there’s also the option of joining a local chef for an outdoor cooking class, where you can learn how to prepare a delicious three course meal using hand-picked local ingredients.
At Swedish Lapland’s Treehotel, local foodie delights remain one of the lodges’ top areas of expertise. On a foraging forest walk, travellers can walk alongside a local culture guide, food connoisseur and specialist in local wild herbs and berries. This year-round tour includes a short walk through the beautiful pine and birch forest to the meadows surrounding the Treehotel.
After a wander through the trees, you’ll reach a welcoming restaurant filled with homemade treats. Here, you’ll be able to learn how your local guide fashions delectable treasures out of local produce. This includes hot and cold drinks made from berries and herbs, as well as a variety of tasty bites made from natural, foraged food. After you’ve tasted the delights of Swedish Lapland, you can continue to discover the fairy tale surroundings by getting acquainted with the local reindeer herd.
Copenhagen is a capital city filled with foodie hotspots. Coffee and pastries are eaten religiously every day, and the city’s winding cobbled streets are packed with stylish cafes and restaurants. While you’re in Copenhagen, don’t miss the chance to savour a spot of New Nordic Cuisine. Founded by a group of chefs in 2004, this movement puts an emphasis on fresh local and seasonal produce. Many of the top restaurants here have started using the New Nordic Cuisine style to create an innovative take on traditional dishes.
On a Jacada foodie adventure, travellers can get a behind the scenes glimpse of New Nordic Cuisine with a local food expert and trained chef. Exploring the city alongside a well-respected culinary expert allows travellers to meet local restaurateurs, produce providers and chefs. As you move through the city, you’ll be able to sample some of the best bites Copenhagen has to offer, before ending at Palægade – the best spot for the famous Smørrebrød (Danish open sandwiches).
The Faroe Islands
In the Faroe Islands, capital Tórshavn is a haven for foodies. Traditional cafes, delectable seafood spots and Michelin star restaurants all sit alongside one another here. The stunning KOKS restaurant was awarded the Faroe Islands’ first Michelin star in 2017, and it is easy to see why.
An innovative focus on traditional Faroese food here delights both locals and visitors alike. KOKS focuses on using local produce, with ancient practices such as drying, fermenting, salting and smoking employed on a daily basis. The highlight here is the 17 course Nordic tasting menu, which is best enjoyed from May to September.
As a bustling port town, it’s no surprise that food is at the heart of Bergen’s economy. The iconic Fish Market lies in the middle of the town, while the city also boasts some of the country’s best restaurants. Norway is well known for its delicious cheeses, and just outside Bergen lies Ostegården – the region’s best known cheese farm.
In 2006, the owner of this traditional cheese farm decided to give up traditional farming in order to start using milk in a better way. This gave birth to a farm focused on cheese and yoghurt production, which is now held in high regard across the region. Today the farm produces more than 15 tons of cheese and 10 tons of yoghurt every year. Most of this cheese can be sampled in delicious dishes served in various restaurants across the country.
The small town of Ulvik is home to Norway’s only fruit and cider route. Most of the country’s fruit is grown here, and on a tour of the surrounding area you’ll be able to stop at some of the family-run cider farms. You’ll be able to learn about the history of cider making and sample ciders and juices with the knowledgeable owners. If you’re after getting a little more local insight, there’s also the option to go fruit picking between Hardangerfjord and Bergen. Driving between these two sites in a luxury vehicle, you’ll stop at various points to pick apples, pears and plums amongst other fruits.
On the island of Austevoll, the idyllic village of Bekkjarvik is home to the fascinating Austevoll Seaweed Farm. One of the first seaweed farms in Norway, it is a true pioneer in cultivating the high quality organic macro algae – often developed for high-end food products. Some of the organic seaweed developed here is even used as an ingredient for the production of natural cosmetics.
For a taste of fine dining, travellers can join chef (and winner of the prestigious Bocuse D’Or food award) Ørjan Johannessen at his Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri restaurant. You’ll get to enjoy a private cooking class with him, during which he’ll tell you more about his involvement with the Austevoll Seaweed Farm. From learning about the initiative to use more seaweed in food production to indulging in a five course meal at Ørjan’s restaurant, this foodie experience is a great look into the local seaweed trade.