I am always saying that travel in Norway doesn’t have to be expensive (in fact you can read all my tips for visiting Norway on a budget here) and that includes eating. Because while a lot of food in Norway is crazy expensive, you can also find plenty of food in supermarkets that is surprisingly cheap – if you know what to look for.
I’ve already shared a guide to how eat cheaply in Norway, but it occurred to me that knowing where to find cheap food might not be enough. Because for many people food is a big part of the travel experience, and while Norway might not exactly be famous for its cuisine, it would still be a shame to miss out on it completely while visiting.
So I’ve put together a list of several very Norwegian breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that will give you a cultural experience without breaking your budget. All of these meals are under 10 USD, many of them are under 5 USD, and most of them make several servings.
A lot of these meals will require a kitchen, so you’ll want to stay at a hostel, guest house, or Airbnb with a kitchen.
Now, this is a guide for cheap Norwegian meals to try while on vacation in Norway, so they might not all have the best nutritional value.
These are also the cheapest available ingredients, so if you want to eat organic, gluten free, etc. you’ll of course have to pay a bit more. And while I’ve included a bunch of vegetarian options, I’m afraid I don’t know much about vegan cuisine, so I’m sorry if I haven’t included many vegan choices!
I found the prices for all the ingredients online from Meny and Spar, which are two of the more expensive supermarket chains in Norway, so you should be able to find all of these items for around this price or cheaper at most supermarkets. I’ve also included the approximate price in USD, based on the exchange rate at the time of writing.
And I’ve included links for all the Norwegian food so you know exactly what to look for when you visit a supermarket here! (And you can see the prices in the links too, as some people have said I’ve made them up!)
Note: the First Price brand is only available at Spar, Meny, Kiwi, and Joker stores, but Rema 1000 and Coop usually have their own store brand version that is similarly priced.
Breakfast 1: skolebrød
Skolebrød 13,00- ($1.60)
TOTAL: kr 13,00 ($1.60)
Skolebrød is a custard-filled cardamom bun topped with coconut. Okay, so it might not be the healthiest start to your day, but it is incredibly filling, super Norwegian, and very affordable.
Just don’t make the rookie mistake of buying this at a bakery or café, where it will be way more expensive! The ones at the supermarket are baked fresh everyday – I know because I used to bake them when I worked at a Norwegian supermarket.
Breakfast 2: bread with pålegg
Kneipbrød kr 6,90 ($0.90)
Nugatti kr 23,90 ($2.95)
Leverpostei kr 8,50 ($1)
Makrell i Tomat kr 10,70 ($1.30)
Total: kr 50 ($6.15)
This breakfast includes a loaf of very basic whole wheat bread (you can get much tastier bread by spending a bit more – this one is my favorite – but the cheap one is perfectly fine) and three of my favorite Norwegian toppings, so it should last for several meals.
Nugatti is like the Norwegian version of Nutella, but it is so, so much better.
Leverpostei is liverwurst and if you think that sounds gross then you haven’t tried Norwegian liverwurst.
And makrell i tomat is mackerel in tomato sauce, which is definitely a Norwegian favorite. I’d actually recommend spending a few kroner more for the Stabbur version if you can, as it’s even tastier.
Breakfast 3: sour cream porridge
cinnamon kr 8,90 ($1.10)
butter kr 2,90 ($0.35)
black currant syrup kr 28,90 ($3.50)
Total: kr 58,60 ($7.25)
Sour cream porridge is really traditional, and I always make anyone who visits me in Norway try it. It’s not always a favorite with everyone, but it’s certainly one of my favorites!
You should top this with cinnamon, sugar and butter, though it’s probably not worth buying sugar just for one dish. But if you don’t have sugar in the kitchen you’re using you could just grab a couple of packets from a café. That’s allowed, right?
And if you want to be super authentic, eat this with a glass of black currant juice made from the syrup and water. And use the leftover syrup for hot drinks at night when it’s cold!
Lunch 1: chanterelle soup
Flatbrød kr 19,90 ($2.50)
Chanterelle soup kr 18,50 ($2.20)
Total: kr 38,40 ($4.70)
Flatbrød, or Norwegian flatbread, is a crispy unleavened bread that Norwegians have been eating for centuries. It’s often served alongside soups, and chanterelle soup is probably one of the most Norwegian soups you can get.
Lunch 2: fish soup
Flatbrød kr 19,90 ($2.50)
Fish soup kr 13,50 ($1.70)
Frozen cod kr 27,90 ($3.40)
4 potatoes for about kr 5 ($0.60)
Total: kr 66,30 ($8.10)
Speaking of Norwegian soups, another traditional choice would of course be fish soup! Now, this one will taste better the more things you put in it, but if you want to do it on the cheap, some frozen cod and a few potatoes are enough to make for a hearty soup.
If you do a dinner with fishcakes, you could also use leftover fishcakes in the soup.
Lunch 3: rye bread with pålegg
rye bread kr 18,90 ($2.35)
brelett kr 19,90 ($2.46)
gravet laks kr 35,50 ($4.40)
brown cheese kr 22,50 ($2.85)
servelat kr 16,50 ($2.10)
TOTAL: kr 55,30 – 74,30 ($6.90 – $9.20)
This rye bread is especially good toasted, and brelett is the best margarine in the world. Like, I like it even more than butter, and Norwegian butter is really good.
Gravet laks is salmon cured with dill, so if you don’t like dill you’ll want to get normal smoked salmon instead.
Or you could try some brown cheese with the bread. In fact I always make visitors try brown cheese at least once, and I’m always annoyed when they like it because I can’t stand it even though I claim to be half Norwegian. Such an embarrassment!
And if you’re not into fish or weird cheeses, servelat is essentially a fancy and tastier Norwegian version of bologna.
Dinner 1: Fish balls
Fish balls kr 14,90 ($1.85)
Milk kr 12,90 ($1.60)
Flour kr 10,50 ($1.35)
Butter kr 2,90 x2 ($0.75)
Red krout kr 8,50 ($1)
Potatoes kr 5 ($0.60)
Total: kr 52,65 ($6.50)
Kids here love fish balls, but I think a lot of foreigners think they’re weird. They’re sort of like gefilte fish in a creamy sauce, but a lot better than that sounds.
This is enough for four meals and is really quick to make.
To prepare it, heat up a couple of tablespoons of butter and add a handful of flour, and then add the liquid from the fish balls and some milk and stir to make a bechamel-like sauce. And then add the fish balls to the sauce and continue cooking until they’re hot.
Okay, there’s a reason I’m not a food blogger. I’m sure you can find a more exact recipe somewhere, or ask a Norwegian!
If that sounds too complicated, though, instead of making fish balls you could fry up some fish cakes, and then you won’t need to buy milk, flour, and butter.
Serve with boiled potatoes and heated red krout!
Dinner 2: tacos
Tortillas kr 8,20 ($1)
Taco Sauce kr 7,90 ($1)
Kidney beans kr 5,50 ($0.75)
Canned corn kr 4,40 ($0.50)
Minced pork kr 31,90 ($3.90)
Taco spices kr 5,70 ($0.75)
Sour cream kr 16,00 ($2.00)
Total: kr 79,60 ($9.75)
I know, I know – these are by far the least Norwegian ingredients on this list. But I promise, you cannot get more Norwegian than tacos. Though only if you eat them on a Friday!
Taco Friday is a big thing in Norway, and if you really want some cultural immersion this is what you should be eating.
I’ve included the most common Norwegian taco ingredients here, but you can really put anything in these. This list here should make enough for four meals.
Dinner 3: hotdogs
Hotdogs (1kg) kr 34,90 ($4.25)
Lomper kr 5,50 ($0.75)
Crispy onions kr 6,90 ($0.85)
Mushy peas kr 17,90 ($2.20)
Total: kr 77,90 ($9.52)
Lol again, this might not sound like the most exciting meal, but it’s what every Norwegian eats when on vacation – bonus points if you make this while staying at a cabin! And I actually do think Norwegian hotdogs are particularly good.
If the weather is nice you could buy a one time grill and make these outside.
I’ve linked to the cheapest hotdog brand here, but it seems like you can almost always find hotdogs on sale in Norway (most supermarkets have an entire fridge dedicated just to hotdogs) so keep an eye out.
And traditionally you would eat your hotdog with lomper, which is like a potato tortilla, but maybe buy some hotdog buns as well, because lomper taste sort of weird.
And don’t forget the mushy peas! I promise you, Norwegian ertestuing tastes like magic. I’ve had many a foreign guest claim they don’t eat peas but they always love this stuff.
Bonus dinner: reindeer
Shaved reindeer meat kr 135,00 ($16.46)
Tyttebær kr 34,90 ($4.25)
Okay, this one isn’t under $10, but I decided to include it because if you’re a meat eater you really should try reindeer when in Norway, and it’s going to be way cheaper to make it yourself. And it’s actually really easy to make!
Just look online for some reindeer stew or “finbiff” recipes and serve it over boiled potatoes with some vegetables on the side (it would be very Norwegian of you to go for cauliflower).
And if you happen to have some leftover brown cheese you couldn’t finish (blech, who can?), it actually tastes really good in sauces, so add a couple of slices to the stew!
chocolate pudding with vanilla sauce
Chocolate pudding kr 26,90 ($3.30)
Vanilla sauce kr 27,90 ($3.40)
Total: kr 54,80 ($6.70)
You have to try this when in Norway!
And then you can eat the leftover vanilla sauce with berries that you find in the woods (or in the supermarket). So yum.
I would love to hear if you try any of these, or if you have any other suggestions for cheap Norwegian meals!