Food and Drink Prices in Norway: What To Expect 

Did you know Norway imports more than half of its food? Most of the food products in the country come from Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands, which is why food and drink prices in Norway are considered expensive.

A typical tourist visiting Norway spends 278 NOK (26 USD) per day on food. A meal out in a decent place costs about 200 NOK (18 USD). At the same time, a single person living in Norway spends 290 NOK daily, which is almost double (500 NOK) for a couple. On average, a family of three will need between 6,000 NOK and 9,000 NOK monthly on food and drinks.

Norway’s climatic conditions and geographical landscape don’t favour agriculture, leading to high food prices. This article provides a guide on the cost of meals in the country, giving you options on how to afford them even on a budget, whether traveling or living in Norway.

Cost of eating and drinking out in Norway

Norway has incredible nature and vibrant cities with options for travelers with different budgets. When eating out, you can choose high-end establishments, affordable local restaurants, or cheap street food. Your budget and preferences will influence where you have your meals.

According to the statistics, women spend about 3,570 NOK on food, while men need 3,980 NOK per month. This is related to someone who is living in Norway.

If you are a tourist, you should budget about 278 NOK per day for food. As anywhere else, the price of the meal in sit-down restaurants is higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

If you like to eat out, be prepared to pay for it. Nonetheless, you will be delighted; there are many delicious dishes to try out, and not all of them have to be expensive. For example, street food can cost about 70 NOK; kebabs are available for 100-120 NOK per portion.

A widely popular Norwegian open-top sandwich Smorbrod costs around 120 NOK but can be a pretty satisfying meal. At the same time, a dinner for two in the restaurant will cost you about 380 NOK.

Alcohol drinkers must pay significantly more in Norway than anywhere else in Europe. A pint of beer goes for 100 NOK, and a bottle of wine in a restaurant is more than 500 NOK.

That said, the average person spends about 76 NOK on alcoholic beverages in Norway per day.

Below is a comparative table showing the average prices of meals and drinks in different establishments: 

Source: numbeo.com

Prices may vary across the country depending on the city you are in and the status of the restaurant you dine at. 

The country’s restaurant and mobile food sellers industry has been on a trajectory trend over the years, which has seen the prices of meals adjust in various locations.

Below is a comprehensive guide on the prices of meals and drinks when dining out in major towns in the country.

Food itemAverage price (NOK)
Sandwiches50-100
Hamburger at McDonald’s or Burger king70-110
Pizza140-250
Pasta150-300
A fish course300-350
Meat300
Dessert100-130
Icecream20-50
Hot Dog30-60
Bowl of soup60-100
Drink itemPrice (NOK)
Soft drink35-50
Coffee25-30
Cappuccino50

Alcohol in Norway is 120% above the average European prices. The high prices of alcohol and tobacco in the country are attributed to the laws and regulations around the industry.

For instance, you are not allowed to buy alcohol in supermarkets past 8.00 pm on weekdays and 6.00 pm on Saturdays. On Sundays, no alcohol is sold in the supermarkets.

Taxes imposed on alcohol and tobacco are also high, and this contributes to the increased alcohol prices in the country.

The table below shows the average prices of alcoholic drinks in the country:

DrinkAverage price (NOK)
Bottle of wine80-100
Bottle of beer40-60
Bottle of whisky400-600
Cocktail100-150
Pack of cigarettes100-130
Rum400-450
Vodka380-400
Gin430-450

Drinks with an alcohol content beyond 4.75% are not sold in supermarkets in Norway. You can only find them in the state-run shops known as Vinmonopolet, whose hours of operation are highly regulated.

Supermarket prices in Norway

The retail sector in Norway is vibrant and competitive. Where you shop among the many stores will be influenced by personal preference and budget.

Groceries in the country don’t come cheap. Most chain stores rely on imports to stock up, contributing to the high prices.

The average prices of common household items in the country are as follows:

Source: numbeo.com

Since eating out in Norway is pricey, supermarkets come in handy if you’re on a budget. Get the groceries and prepare the meals at home.

Rema 1000, Kiwi, Bunnpris, and Rimi are some of the main chain stores known to have affordable prices and control a big share of the retail industry. 

For daily groceries, these supermarkets price them as follows:

  • Loaf of bread: 15 to 30 NOK
  • A liter of milk: 15 NOK
  • Sliced cheese: 20-40 NOK
  • Butter: 20-30 NOK
  • Ham: 20-30 NOK

When doing your shopping in these supermarkets, you can use some hacks to enjoy cashbacks. For instance, you can return bottles to supermarkets and get a refund.

Most of these stores have a collection booth at the entrance where you drop the bottles and print a ticket that shows the amount owed. You can then use it for shopping or get cash.

Bread in most of these stores is not pre-cut, but they have a bread-slicing machine on your way out, which you can utilize if you don’t prefer doing it at home.

If you’re going to stay in the country for a long time, you can get loyalty cards from your favorite supermarkets and enjoy discounts or free shopping once in a while.

Cheapest meals in Norway

The cheapest meals in Norway would be those you’ve prepared at home. However, some outlets in the country have affordable meals that come in handy on those days you don’t feel like getting to the kitchen.

Below we look at the cheapest meal options in the country:

Breakfast

Some of the breakfast options you can have on a budget include:

  1. Bread with a spread at 50 NOK: This is a combination of bread and other toppings such as Nutella, liverwurst, and tomato sauce. You can have this with a beverage of your choice.
  • Cream porridge at 20 NOK: The porridge could be sour to add a twist to it. You could also have it spiced up with butter, cinnamon, and syrup which will come at an extra cost.
  • Skolebrod at 15 NOK: This is a bun with your favorite toppings, such as cardamon, custard, and coconut. Have the skolebrod with your favorite drink.

Lunch

Here are some of the cheapest lunch options you can have in Norway:

  • Fish soup that goes for 65 NOK: The soup has some potatoes, fresh cod, and a bread of your choice.
  • Rye bread at 60 NOK: Have the bread with pal egg; you could have it with smoked salmon or brown cheese 
  • Chanterelle soup and bread at 40 NOK: This is a simple meal made of bread and soup.

Dinner

Some of the cheapest dinner options in Norway include:

  • Hotdogs with mustard, peas, and potato tortilla at 70 NOK: The combination is tasty and affordable.
  • Tacos with minced pork, spices, sour cream, and beans at 75 NOK will make a sumptuous dinner
  • Fishballs with potatoes, a touch of red krout, and milk at 55 NOK is a cheap dinner option.

These options are easily available in most outlets, or you could have the ingredients from the supermarkets and prepare them at home.

For the dessert, the Norwegian option is the cheapest. It comprises chocolate pudding and vanilla sauce. This costs roughly 55 NOK, which makes it the most affordable.

Popular foods in Norway

  • Skillingsboller: Cinnamon rolls are very common, and Norway and is a great & affordable snack on the go.
  • Farikal: Farikal, also called Fårikål is a stew made of mutton and cabbage. Very traditional, very heavy.
  • Hot dog in the potato pancake: The name of the dish says it’s all. If you used to eat sausage in the bread before, in Norway, your habits will change since hot dogs are served in the pancake!

How much to budget for food in Norway?

The amount you spend on food is determined by several aspects, such as family size, preferences, or special diet requirements.

Food is expensive in Norway, and as such, you need to have a clear budget. A single person in the country spends between 3,000 NOK and 4,000 NOK on food monthly.

The amount includes shopping for groceries to make the meals at home and a few days of eating out within the month.

On a daily basis, an adult in Norway spends between 250 NOK and 300 NOK on food, and a couple would spend double the amount.

If you opt for organic, gluten-free, and vegan food, the amount you spend on food would be higher as the special ingredients are pricey.

This is mostly attributable to the fact that the traditional Norwegian meals centered on fish, meat, and potatoes. Climatic conditions, too, aren’t favorable for large-scale vegetable farming throughout the year.

A family of four will spend approximately 12,000 NOK on food alone in a month. Since this is expensive, you need to figure out ways to manage the cost and operate within the budget. 

Some ways to manage your food budget include:

  • Shop in the discount supermarket like Rema 1000, Kiwi, or Bunnpris.
  • Return used bottles to the grocery stores in exchange for shopping or cash.
  • Downloading restaurant apps that send alerts on good unsold food at a discount. This will allow you to save a significant amount on your food budget.
  • Buy in bulk to enjoy the quantity discounts offered in retail stores.
  • If a supermarket has its food items brands, get those as they are, in most cases, cheaper.

Anna

Anna is an experienced expat and writer. She has been living abroad for over 6 years.

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