15 Best Restaurants in Southern Norway, Norway

La Scala

$$$ Fodor's choice

This eatery doesn't just put you close to the water---it's actually floating just off the dock, providing views in nearly every direction. Decorated in maritime style, it has windows that can be rolled up to let you enjoy the summer breezes. The food is Italian, but with a definitely Norwegian touch. Some days they light up the grill and treat you to an open-air barbecue.

Lothes Restaurant

$$$$ Fodor's choice

This waterfront restaurant, café, and bar in a pretty white clapboard house is a good bet for consistently well-prepared dishes and high-quality dining. The cozy restaurant focuses on a more sophisticated cuisine, and the offerings may include crayfish gazpacho and veal entrecôte on its prix-fixe menu. The café on the lower level is great for food that is less formal but equally good: imaginative salads and sandwiches, and their famous hamburgers. A waterfront view can be had from the lovely outdoor terrace.

Skippergt 4, Haugesund, Norway
Known For
  • views of Smedasundet
  • interesting set menu
  • two different dining rooms
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon., Reservations essential, Café on lower level open all wk

N.B. Sørensens Dampskibsexpedition

$$$ Fodor's choice

Norwegian emigrants waited here before boarding steamships crossing the ocean to North America 150 years ago. The historic wharf house is now a popular waterfront restaurant and bar that was renovated in 2020 with the emigrant history still on its walls---and ceiling. At street level there is an informal brasserie where you can get barbecue spareribs. Upstairs is the elegant and more expensive Annen Etage dining room, with prix-fixe menus that change weekly and may include such entrées as grilled steak with garlic, or bouillabaisse with crayfish, halibut, and mussels.

Skagen 26, Stavanger, 4006, Norway
Known For
  • creative cocktails at the bar
  • a well-thought-out theme
  • sizzling steaks
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Lunch only Sat.

Recommended Fodor's Video

Restaurant Under

$$$$ Fodor's choice

Europe's first underwater restaurant, Under sits well below sea level, with a massive wall of glass that gives you a look into the icy waters of the North Sea. It's an architectural and engineering marvel, looking like a modern building tipping gently into the ocean and connected to onshore rocks by a bridge. The seafood here is among the best that Norway has to offer. The price is for an 18-course set menu focusing on seafood.

Skåtøy Kafe

$$ Fodor's choice
Just 10 minutes by boat from Kragerø, charming Skåtøy Kafe has a perfect location on Skåtøy Island. There's inviting outdoor seating, a friendly staff, and a warm atmosphere. The menu includes locally sourced ingredients in well-traveled dishes like pizza. There's also original art on the walls and live music.

Stangholmen Fyr

$$$ Fodor's choice
This unique dining experience, open only in the summer months, allows you to sample the freshest local fish and seafood at a real lighthouse. Built right on the rock, the small building is made of white clapboard and has shutters that can close during inclement weather. It's said that the chef chases his team out of the kitchen at some point every day because he won't share the recipe for his famous fish soup. The restaurant is reachable by shuttle boat, costing NKr 50 each way.
Stangholmen Fyr, Risør, 4950, Norway
Known For
  • the journey here is half the fun
  • seafood doesn't get any fresher
  • well-prepared steaks, too
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed mid-Aug.--mid-June

Bølgen & Moi


Toralf Bølgen and Trond Moi, two of Norway's most celebrated restaurateurs, run what's the southernmost addition to their chain of high-profile restaurants. Near the old fishing pier, the scene is more chic than rustic, with artwork and dinnerware designed by local artist Kjell Nupen. Norwegian game and fish are cooked in an international style.

Egon Arendal


Egon is a Norwegian restaurant chain, that serves Norwegian classics made with high-quality ingredients. This eatery has a cozy dining room and a small terrace on the street. The atmosphere is casual, and orders are usually placed at the bar before you find a table. 

Harry Pepper


You wouldn't know it from the Scandinavian facade, but Harry Pepper combines Tex-Mex cuisine with Norwegian tastes. Prickly cacti and tacky souvenirs make for a lighthearted and fun interior. Try the traditional dishes with tequila pairing recommendations or opt for a shot or two at the lively Tequila Saloon. The bar is open late on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.

Skagenkaien 33, Stavanger, 4006, Norway
Known For
  • lively atmosphere
  • tasty food
  • many brands of tequila
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Lunch only Thurs.--Sat.

Hos Oss på Fiskebrygga Lillesand


Fiskebrygga literally means "the fishing dock," and the name sets the tone for this restaurant on the waterfront in Lillesand. The menu consists mostly of (fresh) seafood, and throughout the summer they host live concerts on the dock.

Il Forno


Italy meets Norway at this cozy dockside eatery, a standout among the other casual restaurants on this popular restaurant row, specializing in a large selection of fresh pasta (many dishes capitalize on the local seafood), crostini, and a superb oven-fired pizza. The restaurant takes reservations, but walk-ins are welcome and food can be taken out. There's also a cozy bar area for drinks and a snack.



In the center of town, Luihn is an elegant, intimate restaurant, perfect for a quiet dinner. Fish dishes are a specialty, and the menu varies according to season. Don't hesitate to call in advance if you have any special cravings—providing they can get hold of it, the chefs can prepare just about anything for you. The wine selection is impressive.

Sjøhuset Restaurant


Considered one of the city's best restaurants, this white-trimmed red building was built in 1892 as a salt warehouse. The specialty is seafood. Weather permitting, take a seat on the sunny patio and dine on fresh lobster, or let the waiter surprise you with the daily catch. The meat dishes might include cured reindeer or fillet of venison, as well as more traditional lamb or steak.

Timbuktu Bar & Restaurant


This is one of Stavanger's trendiest restaurants. The main focus here is Asian-inspired street food served as small plates so that you can taste a greater variety of dishes and ingredients than you would otherwise.

Nedre Strandgt. 15, Stavanger, 4005, Norway
Known For
  • popular destination for after-work drinks
  • tapas-style dishes perfect for sharing
  • visiting celebrity chefs
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch, Credit cards accepted

XO Steakhouse


This pub-style restaurant's interior is in keeping with the traditional Norwegian dishes that emerge from the kitchen. Enjoy local favorites such as lutefisk and pinnekjøtt (lamb cooked on birch twigs) during the months leading up to Christmas, or seafood, Angus burgers, grilled steaks, and other meats that are available the rest of the year.

Skagen 10, Stavanger, 4006, Norway
Known For
  • a longtime favorite
  • live music on weekends
  • casual atmosphere
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun and Mon., Lunch only Sat.