Friday’s Featured Food: Fish Stew and Stout in Pingvinen, Bergen, Norway

Pingvinen Restaurant in Bergen, Norway

Pingvinen Restaurant in Bergen, Norway

In catching back up to my huge catalogue of meals I’ve eaten yet never written about on Friday’s Featured Food, I thought I’d do a recent one – my only meal eating out in Norway. There are a few reasons why I didn’t eat out in Norway. One was that everywhere I stayed included breakfast, another was that the Clarion Collection Hotel Christiania Teater included two massive meals and another was that I still stick to my budget and light diet. However when I was backpacking in Bergen, I heard about this awesome bar/restaurant to try local Norwegian food and a place that is popular with locals and tourists alike. It’s called Pingvinen and is situated in the city centre of Bergen on a corner at Vaskerelven street.

Fish stew in Pingvinen, Bergen, Norway

Fish stew in Pingvinen, Bergen, Norway

Once inside I chose to sit at the bar and I studied the menus which were on a blackboard. There is no menu in English or a paper menu – pick what you see. I know Norway is famous for fish so I chose the Fish Stew, known as Plukfisk with bacon and buttered flatbread. The price is 159 Norwegian Kroners, which is about £13. You might have heard that Norway is a dear country, so expect to pay over £10 in most decent places for a meal.

Bar in Pingvinen

Bar in Pingvinen

I decided to try two beers and went for one dear and one cheap beer. For the dear one I went high and chose the locally brewed Norwegian Waldemara Porter which at 98 Norwegian Kroners (just over £8) is the dearest beer I’ve ever bought. I was served by local lady Thea who was very pleasant and talkative.

£8 a beer in Bergen in Pingvinen (but I picked the dearest one!)

£8 a beer in Bergen in Pingvinen (but I picked the dearest one!)

Still, I thought that was OK as a lot of wannabe travellers that have never been to Norway hit you with scare stories of £19 a pint, £35 a pizza bullshit. None of that is true. It was actually a struggle to find a beer priced over £8 and indeed this was the most expensive beer I found or drank in Norway. My hostel was selling cans of lager for 25 Norwegian Kroner (about £2). So yes, it’s dearer than most countries but don’t believe the £12 a pint etc. bullshitters – it’s bollocks.

Food menu in Pingvinen, Bergen, Norway

Food menu in Pingvinen, Bergen, Norway

Then the fish stew comes and it’s delicious, well for the price it should be! It is mixed with potatoes and a sauce. It is mostly boneless and also comes with bacon and buttered flatbread. A decent meal.

Friday's Featured Food: Fish Stew and Stout in Pingvinen, Bergen, Norway

Friday’s Featured Food: Fish Stew and Stout in Pingvinen, Bergen, Norway

I decided on another beer and this time I chose Hansa the cheaper Norwegian lager which is around £5.80 and comes in at 66 Norwegian Kroners.

Enjoying my dear meal in Norway

Enjoying my dear meal in Norway

Hansa the budget option at £5.80

Hansa the budget option at £5.80

Despite the hefty price, I enjoyed my experience in Pingvinen and am glad I broke my backpacking budget for once just to try eating out in Norway. Bergen is a great city and I stayed at the Hostel Montana – I hope to write about the sights of the city too.

Pingvinen Restaurant and Bar in Bergen, Norway

Pingvinen Restaurant and Bar in Bergen, Norway

Here is a video I made in Pingvinen:

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