In March I had a very special holiday, chasing the Northern Lights in Norway. It was whilst in the mountains, surrounded by snow, miles from civilisation that my best friend became my husband-to-be. It was amazing and by far the best moment of my life!
Lovey-dovey stuff aside, hubby-to-be picked the perfect place to propose – not just because of the beautiful landscapes but because of the spectacular FOOD. Who would have guessed that the city of Tromso would be my gluten-free heaven?! Packing to go I’d been cramming all sorts of GF snacks in the suitcase, worried that I wouldn’t be able to communicate my dietary requirements and would be starving. As it turned out, Tromso has it seriously sussed when it comes to food allergies, and is home to some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Let’s just say by the end of the holiday I had only eaten about a quarter of what I packed, mainly because I didn’t want to have to drag it all back home!
If I’m honest I had done some research before we headed out for dinner each night, not only because I wanted to know if gluten-free options were available, but also because I’m a bit of a planning freak when it comes to choosing restaurants. Food on holiday is so important to me, the evening meal, something I get really excited about – there is nothing worse than going to a dud restaurant and having a below par meal! This trip proved that my obsession wasn’t madness, with each and every restaurant we went to exceeding expectations. Every place we went to we left wanting to go back and wishing we could have ordered two or three times what we could have eaten. We tasted so many dishes that were both gorgeous & gluten-free, from the traditional reindeer & moose, (a first time for me!) to the freshest fish and the heartiest soups I’ve ever had.
Although Tromso isn’t a cheap place to eat, (as expensive I’d say as dinner in a fancy London restaurant) it was totally worth it for how special the food was, how lovely the surroundings were and most importantly for the gluten-free friendly menus. Stylish decor, welcoming staff, immaculately clean, fantastic food presentation – every night felt like a special once in a lifetime meal in this small city. It also seems to be standard practice that all the allergens should be listed under the description for each dish – not just denoting what contained gluten but also dairy, nuts, shellfish etc. So helpful!
Lucky enough to be staying for a week, we tried out a different restaurant each night. Listed below are our favourites, so in case you should ever want to go chasing the Northern Lights, and Tromso is your destination of choice – I highly recommend these restaurants for Gluten-free loveliness!
- Bardus Bistro: http://www.bardus.no/
We came here for lunch and loved it so much we went back for dinner too – the menu is seasonal with fish and meat dishes. The waiters are so friendly, clearly passionate about the dishes and knowledgeable about gluten. The atmosphere was great, plenty of diners in what is a trendy, rustic restaurant that is so cosy for escaping the cold and snow outside. We didn’t need to book either, (we didn’t seem to need to with any of the restaurants despite their popularity, which made a lovely change from eating out in London) a bonus if you want to be spontaneous!
- Emma’s Drommekjokken: http://emmasdrommekjokken.no/en/
This was another spontaneous lunch excursion that was so so good! Seasonal fresh fish & meat dishes in a simple, but hearty menu. Although it was busy, we didn’t have to wait long for a table and the waitress didn’t bat an eyelid as we tramped a lot of snow in thanks to our moon boots. The staff again were able to advise me about gluten-free dishes and although pricey, my fish soup was awesome – just what I needed after a morning of trekking around museums.
- Kitchen & Table: http://www.kitchenandtable.se/tromso
We were so lucky that this restaurant was part of our hotel – best hotel restaurant I’ve been to! It definitely felt a very trendy place to eat, much like the rest of the hotel the decor is very modern with a cosmopolitan feel with some very cute leather pig statues at the entrance. I did like those pigs! The food was incredible, seasonal as is the Tromso way – I had my first reindeer dish (pictured above) that was so tasty and the dessert (also pictured above) I ordered again when we ate here for a second time on our last night in Tromso. Gluten-free was again easy to navigate and the waiters were very clued up.
If you like tapas this is an absolute must-visit restaurant! The menu is small but every dish we ordered was perfect, mixing traditional spanish cuisine like patatas bravas with Norwegian favourites like the cured reindeer (pictured above). Again we were able to walk straight in and get a table no problem, even though the restaurant was busy. Gluten-free a problem? Of course not! I also loved that the some of the seating was strung from the ceiling like swings, these were a lot of fun, especially after a few glasses of wine!
Here are a few of snaps of the yummies…
Thanks for reading! Why not try: Where to eat gluten-free: Mora