Photo credit: Leikny Havik Skjærseth

Renee Fagerhoei

Trash culture. Fast food. Rock’n’Roll. Reneé Fagerhoei turns her childhood dreams into delicious reality at restaurant, Bula Neobistro. The Norwegian Top Chef winner was brought up on a strict vegetarian diet, but today cooks and celebrates food that is as fun, imaginative and free-spirited as her personality. Her recommendations on where to eat, drink and party in Medieval city, Trondheim, are no exception.
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Reimagining Fast-Food Culture

I want to first suggest my restaurant Bula Neobistro. Always playful and inspired by imagination, we use humour, elements of junk food, trash culture and art to celebrate our boundless neo-cuisine. We offer a five- or 10-course experience, but we also have a small, cosy bar that doesn’t take reservations – only drop-ins with eight pink velour seats. Guests can settle in or stop by for an interesting menu of small dishes and snacks, a good wine selection, seasonal cocktails and our own draft beer, Bula Pils.

Where You’ll Find Me After A Long Day

For big punchy flavours and surprises I like going to Kraft Bodega. Their tasting menus are some of the best value for money in all of Trondheim. It’s super generous and Chef Thomas Borgan always uses the best local fish and shellfish. His innovative dishes never fail to impress me. Eating a few dishes at the bar on my own after a long day is one of my favourite things to do. They also offer an intense and good-value wine list.

More Seafood

Maki is a tiny sushi place located in the Bakklandet neighbourhood, a charming part of town with old wooden houses and brick roads. It has a small menu, but everything is very well thought out, and the produce is fresh and inviting. This place is something more authentic and different than all the overly mainstream sushi places in town.

Punks, Tacos And A Great Margarita

Taqueros is a small taco shop in an area of Trondheim where you find a lot of skater kids, punks, political activists, artists, musicians and drunks. I love this part of town for owning its unique identity and vibe. Taqueros is a self-made place with great margaritas, tacos and interiors.

A Book Shop – In A Cafe – In A Restaurant

Sellanraa, right next to the public library and art gallery, is a great spot for coffee or lunch. Sellanraa is actually the name of Isac Sellanraa’s farm in the famous book Markens Grøde by Knut Hamsun: one of my favourite authors of all time. As the name suggests, this place has a very famous farm-to-table kind of philosophy. It has homemade natural sodas, delicious coffee and classic Norwegian open-face sandwiches on rye bread with toppings like local cheese, eggs and smoked fish.

Sundays Are For Thai Food

Sundays are for Thai food in Trondheim. Bangkok Cafe and Benja Siam are good options here, both simple, authentic Thai restaurants with big flavours.

Comforting Dishes Inside A Neighbourhood Favourite

The simplicity of traditional Norwegian food is something I can miss when travelling. Like good sourdough bread with salted butter and brown cheese, or just boiled fresh cod with melted butter, carrots and potatoes. These types of very simple, but incredibly comforting dishes can be difficult to find in the restaurant scene of Trondheim, but one place that offers a daily special that is often also very traditional, is a super cosy restaurant called Kalas & Canasta in Bakklandet. There you’ll also find a tiny florist called Bakklandet Blomster that has a really cool vibe and a unique selection of green plants and flowers.

An Institution Returns

The Britannia Hotel reopened a few years ago. It was an institution in Trondheim for many years, and has educated some of Norway’s best chefs. It was also where I did my two years of training before doing my exam and getting my chef diploma. The hotel has been refurbished in the most extravagant art deco style. The house includes a steakhouse (Jonathan Grill) where you grill your own steak right at the table, a classic French brasserie (Brasserie Britannia) and Speilsalen. Speilsalen is an ambitious fine-dining restaurant with a large chef’s table run by Bocuse D’or chef Christopher Davidsen. The restaurant is lavish and extravagant and is taking the highly-technical aspect of food competition and serving it in a restaurant environment, which has earned it a Michelin star. Still, it is modern, tight and clean, and serves homey flavours.

More Fine-Dining

For another fine-dining experience, you should try one-Michelin-star Credo, run by the Godmother of Trondheim’s restaurant scene Heidi Bjerkan. The restaurant’s main focus is on sustainability and a no-waste mentality, placing a lot of attention on close collaborations with local farms. It is known for its creme fraiche (Rømme) tasting, made from the milk of single cows. You will get different creme fraiches to taste the variety in the milk of these individual cows.

French-Nordic Bistro

Le Bistro is a French-Nordic bistro run by chef couple Mette Evensen and Martin Hovdal who used to run Røst Teaterbistro, which is now closed. This is their new spot. It’s very chill and friendly, with a great snack selection on the menu and lots of fresh local seafood.

A Scenic Experience

A really nice thing to do in Trondheim is to head to a spot called Ladekaia: a big, beautiful bar by the seaside. The location is really unique and it’s a nice place to simply enjoy good filter coffee, cinnamon buns and sandwiches. Sometimes they have concerts or events on so keep an eye out for those too.

My Favourite Bars

Spontan is the only wine bar in town with a big natural wine list. It also has an insanely good-value four-course dinner and offers wine tastings by the glass every Wednesday for cheap. Tyven is a live music bar with a cool vibe and one of very few places that actually offer exposure opportunities for up-and-coming bands and artists. It’s a good way to support the local community. For the best cocktails in town you have to go to Raus – no doubt! Another cool bar to check out is Bar Moskus, a tiny bar spinning vinyl and serving great drinks.  

Where The Industry People Drink

Dark and gritty with a rock’n’roll vibe, Cirkus is the spot to go for those late-night kamikaze shots. The playlist promises loads of people-pleasers and sing-alongs like Rage Against the Machine and Iron Maiden. This place is a popular hang-out for those who work in the restaurant industry on Sundays.

Our Beloved Dive-Pub

If you just want to experience the real tackiness of the culture of Trondheim – come on, you know you want to – visit Kieglekroa, the oldest pub in town. It’s brown and smells of chlorine, but you will almost always find the team of Bula there after we close the restaurant during on weekends.

Portrait photo credit: Leikny Havik Skjærseth

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