Queer travelers – specifically, those who enjoy traveling for food – should consider adding Trøndelag County, Norway to their travel bucket list this year. Why? Because the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) chose Trondheim-Trøndelag as the European Region of Gastronomy 2022

Located on the south central-neck of Norway, Trøndelag County has become a world-renowned food region in recent years. A new sense of patriotism has blossomed from the region’s reputation and a boom in the local restaurant scene. Every year, talented young chefs return to their hometown to open up their own restaurants after working abroad at some of the world’s top Michelin-starred restaurants.

Norway’s food capital, Trondheim, is located in the heart of the county. Open every second Saturday of the month, the town’s local food market provides visitors with a firsthand experience to see the country’s variety of seafood, organic dairy products, fresh vegetables, and other ingredients. And farmers graciously share their abundant harvest locally and with high-end, world-class restaurants around the world.  

Editor’s Note: Those who travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before traveling.

Must-Try Food in Trøndelag County
At the Britannia Hotel, executive head chef of Michelin-star restaurant Speilsalen, Christopher Davidsen recommends trying his signature scallops dish. “Our scallops are pan-fried in organic butter from Røros and served with celery, caviar, and sauce made of sea buckthorn, green chili, and butter,” said Davidsen. The scallops that we get from Frøya, a small island on the Trøndelag coast, are extra-large, extra tasty, and you will not find this quality of scallops anywhere else in the world.”

Chef Davidsen's signature scallops dish at Speilsalen (Photo Credit: Fredrik Ringe)
Chef Davidsen’s signature scallops dish at Speilsalen (Photo Credit: Fredrik Ringe)

Head to Spontan Wine Bar to try langoustines prepared by head chef Fredrick Engen. These langoustines from the Trondheim fjord are prepared with truffle seaweed emulsion and sauce made with fermented chanterelle and browned butter. This is a classic item on the menu since the restaurant opened in 2017. They tried to take it off the menu for a short period, but they were forced to add it back after several requests from patrons. 

The grilled langoustine tail and langoustine soup are also popular dishes at the Michelin-star Credo. “Langoustine is the best produce in the whole world – next to the butter, milk, and beef,” said Heidi Bjerkan, head chef, Credo. 

Langoustine dish served at Spontan Wine Bar in Trondheim. (Photo Credit: Fredrik Engen)
Langoustine dish served at Spontan Wine Bar in Trondheim. (Photo Credit: Fredrik Engen)

Continue your palate-pleasing food crawl in Trønelag County with a stop at Bula Neobistro for Head Chef Renée Fagerhoei’s lamb from Madsøy with anchovy and green pepper sauce, potato and cheese cream, Norwegian tomatoes, spicy miso-vinaigrette with Thai basil. At Fagn, head chef Jonas Navik serves a signature dish, where potatoes are cut like tagliatelle, boiled, dried, rehydrated in a fermented leeks sauce as well as a cream made from mushrooms and truffles. Wrap up your tasting tour at Kraft Bodega, where Chef Thomas Bogan serves up a delicious dessert of waffles with porcini ice cream, Norwegian apples, and brown cheese. 

Signature potato dish at Fagn (Photo Credit: Jonas Nåvik)
Signature potato dish at Fagn (Photo Credit: Jonas Nåvik)

In addition to these unique dining experiences, LGBTQ+ foodies should try to arrange their visit around the same time as one of the region’s annual food and drink celebrations, such as the Trondheim Brewery Festival, Trondheim Wine Festival, Trondheim Gin Festival, and the Trøndelag Food Festival, one of Europe’s biggest food festivals. 

Credo Restaurant (Photo Credit: Heidi Bjerkan)
Credo Restaurant (Photo Credit: Heidi Bjerkan)

Norway’s LGBTQ Rights and Welcoming Vibe
And if you need another reason to visit, Norway is frequently referred to as one of the world’s most LGBTQ+-friendly nations. We can’t forget the When Harry Met Santa commercial commemorating 50 years since the decriminalization of same-sex relationships in Norway. The progressive country made same-sex marriage legal and granted same-sex couples full adoption rights in 2009. And in 2016, the government allowed citizens the option to change their gender legally – a big win for nonbinary and transgender people.