In recent years, the Nordic region has been increasingly popular as a tourist destination. A report last year by The Straits Times showed that bookings with travel agencies to these frosty destinations went up between 50 to 150 percent.
As beautiful as these locations are, food does fall on the costly side–especially if you’re looking to dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Thankfully, many of these countries are also home to several Bib Gourmand restaurants if you’re looking for spots recommended by the Michelin inspectors. These are places where a three course meal can be had for NOK 395 (or about $50 in the U.S.).
Denmark and Sweden may steal the thunder when it comes to the amount of Bib Gourmand recipients in the region—but Finland, Iceland and Norway, too, have their contenders. Here’s where to dine.
An assortment of items from the lunch menu at Gaijin. Photo Credit: Restaurant Gaijin.
Gaijin comes with a dark, contemporary décor, buzzing atmosphere, attentive service and an emphasis on sharing. Its experienced owners offer boldly-flavored and skillfully presented modern takes on Japanese, Korean and Northern Chinese dishes. (The tasting menus are a great way to sample the different cuisines.) Bulevardi 6, 00120 Helsinski
Under the same ownership as next door Gaijin, this lively, informal restaurant offers an accessible range of authentic North African, Turkish and Eastern Mediterranean dishes; try the set or tasting menus to experience a cross-section of them all. And if fully booked, ask for a seat at the counter. Bulevardi 6, 00120 Helsinki
A laid-back restaurant with an adjoining bar and a friendly team. The menu is easy-going, too, offering around 10 regularly changing dishes that can be ordered either as starters or main courses. Quality ingredients shine in flavorsome, unfussy preparations, delivered with a contemporary touch. Kasarmikatu 44, 00130 Helsinki
This stylish, modern restaurant is housed in the Kunsthalle art center. One room is decorated with large photos of Thai scenes and has communal tables; another is more intimate and furnished in red, black and grey. Zesty, harmonious dishes take influences from Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Ainonkatu 3, 00100 Helsinki
The sleek interiors of Farang. Photo Credit: Restaurant Farang Helsinki.
This simple and quaint eatery is named after a famous Icelandic cookbook and shares its premises with the Saga Museum. Old recipes are given subtle modern twists, with delicious dishes displaying touches of creativity. Alongside the à la carte menu are some set menus offering value; be sure to order some 'snacks,' too. Grandagarður 2, 101 Reykjavík
A sweet neighborhood café with friendly staff and an urban feel. Coffee and homemade cakes are served in the morning, with a short selection of dishes including soup and a burger on offer between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. A daily hot dish is available from 4:00 and 6:00 pm, while set menus and sharing plates are served during dinner hours. Ullevålsveien 43, 0171 Oslo
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