I thought I’d try to write about things I’d want to know if I were planning to study abroad, and food is…pretty close to the top of the list.
Maybe the top of the list.
Grocery stores are numerous here in Stavanger (Coop Prix, Rema1000, ICA, Rimi, Joker, the list goes on and on), and almost all accessible by bus (hooray!) My two favorites are Kiwi and Coop Mega — the first is has a smaller selection with good deals on produce, and the second encompasses a larger range of food items, but might be a bit pricier (think Safeway).
Norvina is an Asian supermarket that carries lots of great food, ranging from tofu to ramen to fresh spring rolls (made daily).
On my way home, there is a place called Joker Brustadbua that makes delicious croissants and pastries — it’s hard to walk by and not buy something for 10-15 NOK (under $2). My favorite is this apple-braid pastry.
Prices here for groceries are a little more expensive than they are in the States. They do carry quite a few name brand items (I like Corn Flakes and Ritz crackers, so it’s nice to have those), but things like potato chips are often more expensive (a good incentive to eat healthier).
Eating out here is pricey — you can, no doubt, find cheaper options, but most of the places are a good $5-10 more expensive than you would expect, and nicer places even more so. A burrito from Los Tacos (the closest thing I have found to a Chipotle) is roughly 100 NOK ($12), and a large pizza from Pizzabakern is about 189 NOK ($22). I had a fantastic meal at Mogul India last week, but it put a bit of a dent in my wallet.
There are many, many ways to save money on food in Stavanger, but one of the best ones is an app recommended to me by a friend — Mattilbud. It lists all the grocery stores in your area, and current discounts in that store (sort of like an app that contains all the types of coupons in your area).
As for traditional Norwegian food, so far I have only tried komle, which is kind of like a potato dumpling. Personally, I rank it far, far above the salted licorice “candy” my professor made me try. Let’s just say my face looked like those pictures you see of babies eating lemons for the first time.
At least my friends got a good laugh out of it.