With its unique Art Nouveau architecture and natural surroundings that are as beautiful as they are romantic, Ålesund is an attractive destination on the west coast of Norway. The city is known for its excellent traditional seafood, which can be enjoyed at many of the city’s restaurants. We’ve identified six of the best – where fresh seafood and tasty fish are always in season.
1. Over-the-counter delicacies at Fisketorget
Ålesund’s Fisketorget (Fish Market) sells everything the sea has to offer – lobster, cod and other delicacies sold by the pound. But you can also sit down to enjoy a bowl of fish or shellfish soup, moules frites or sushi here – or why not grab a portion of fresh prawns and aioli to go and enjoy them on a park bench in the sunshine?
Where: Fisketorget, Keiser Wilhelms gate 25
2. Home of the classics – Sjøbua
Since it opened its doors in 1987, Sjøbua has served both visitors and locals a menu bursting with classic fish and seafood dishes. In this traditional restaurant you can enjoy lobster, angler and dried, salted cod – or the catch of the day, which is always on the menu.
Where: Sjøbua, Brunholmgata 1
3. Maki – Top-rated on TripAdvisor
Fresh lobster at Maki. Photo: Bobo Olsson
If you’re looking to enjoy a high-class dinner, head for Maki, the restaurant at the beautiful Hotel Brosundet. The restaurant is housed in a typical Ålesund storehouse building, and always included on TripAdvisor’s ranking of Ålesund’s best eateries. With 18 years’ experience, Maki is focused on serving innovative seafood dishes, often with Asian influences. The set menu consists of four or six dishes, and there are separate menus for the catch of the day and meat specials. Larger groups may book a chambre séparée, and you can continue the evening in the popular bar after your meal.
Where: Maki Restaurant Brosundet, Apotekergata 5
4. Zuuma – The best of Japanese cuisine
It’s no great challenge to make high-quality sushi in Ålesund, but Zuuma take sushi to a whole new level, in addition to offering excellent tempura dishes. Favourites include sashimi on scallops, maki with fried salmon and cream cheese, or lobster tail with foie gras mousse.
Where: Zuuma, Skansegata 20
5. An English supper at Jafs
Enjoy a midnight snack at Jafs. Photo: Bobo Olsson
Nothing beats freshly-fried fish and chips after a long night on the town! Ålesund’s very best version of the English national dish can be found at Jafs snack bar, just over the bridge. The opening hours are generous – until as late as 04.30 on Thursdays to Saturdays – and the portions of freshly-fried cod, remoulade sauce and crispy fries traditionally wrapped in newspaper are equally so!
Where: Jafs, Brokiosken Hellebroa
6. More than just fish at Dalen Kjøttvarer
How about homemade fish cakes for lunch at Dalen Kjøttvarer? Photo: Bobo Olsson
Dalen Kjøttvarer is a local institution – the company has been owned by the same family and occupied the same premises since 1918. Many of the store’s regular customers return time and again for the excellent pork, beef and lamb, and specialties such as pork and lamb sirloin sausage seasoned with cloves and ginger, topped with a home-made, creamy prawn salad. Another of Dalen’s most popular dishes is the freshly-fried fish cakes, which sell like hotcakes at lunchtime!
Where: Dalen Kjøttvarer, Apotekergata 8
Experience Ålesund by the sea
Would you like to experience Art Nouveau architecture and fresh seafood among the fjords and mountains of Norway’s west coast? Strawberry has two hotels by the harbour in Ålesund.
Located in two old storehouse buildings offering a total of 132 rooms with fantastic original architectural features. There’s also a lighthouse at the end of the jetty – which you can stay in.
Address: Apotekergata 1-5
Author:** Per Olsson, Creative Director, Nights
Edited by: Strawberry – updated 08-21-2018
This article was first published in the member magazine Nights nr. 14 2017.