A unique dining experience in a relaxed atmosphere
TEXT: INGRID OPSTAD | PHOTOS © EVA STENSLAND
With the aim to inspire and surprise you with fun dishes, Hildr Gastro Bar offers a varied menu that mixes international influences with local produce. Situated right near the sea in the north of Norway, where the polar nights last all winter long, this friendly and relaxed restaurant has quickly become the place to go for unique food experiences in Tromsø.
“Many people say that coming to us is like fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere, which I think is a nice way to put it,” says co-owner Bjørn Pettersen. He set up the restaurant in April 2015 along with four good friends who were united by their love for food. Now, Hildr has become a popular place in town for everyone – a place where guests can truly feel at home.
The Norwegian city of Tromsø is a place with unlimited access to fresh seafood such as salmon, cod, halibut and king crab. When visiting the restaurant, one can not only taste what the Arctic Sea has to offer, but also a great selection of light snacks, sharing dishes, delicious cocktails, and carefully selected wines and beer.
With a menu that changes continually with the seasons, current trends and the chef’s mood, Hildr caters well to its diverse clientele. Pettersen stresses the importance of providing the best-quality food by choosing locally produced ingredients as often as possible, while being inspired by international cuisine. “The stockfish, for instance, comes from our local supplier Halvors, which we then give an Asian twist and also turn into our own version of the British dish fish and chips.”
Like coming home to your grandmother’s house
The restaurant is located in the old part of Tromsø, inside an old, renovated house full of character. In fact, the name Hildr comes from a book by the local author Bernt Lie, who used to live in the building, and not from Iceland or old Norse as many might assume. As the building itself has been in Skippergata since 1833, it is full of history, something that is reflected in the interior and carefully selected décor. By mixing traditional and modern elements, this has become a unique and cosy place where guests feel welcome. “Our intention has always been to create a warm, intimate atmosphere, somewhere as cosy as coming home to your grandmother’s house,” Pettersen explains.
Not only is the furniture a mixture of retro finds and original pieces, everything down to the tableware has soul. When sitting at a table, guests might all have different plates and cups, which adds to the charm of the space.
Food, drinks and the northern lights
With Norwegian delicacies such as reindeer, salmon and stockfish on the menu, all served with a twist, there is something for every taste bud. Choose a five-course meal if you want to make a full evening of it, some lighter snacks if you simply want to enjoy a beer or a cocktail from the bar, or a few sharing dishes if you want to socialise with friends while trying out a range of different flavours.
On the drinks menu, Hildr has a varied selection of classic cocktails and new concoctions, as well as wine and local beer. “We are proud to serve beer from both Graff Brygghus and Brewery 13, two micro-breweries from the north of Tromsø,” says Pettersen.
And as if quality food and tasty drinks were not enough, Pettersen can tempt guests with the possibility to step outside and experience the unbelievable colours of the aurora borealis dancing across the sky right outside the restaurant. “On a clear evening during the polar nights, you might be able to observe the spectacular northern lights in our own backyard, a wonderful experience we are happy to give our customers as a little bonus,” he smiles.
This new adventure from the same gang who opened Hildr takes you back to the ‘80s, as the space is equipped with a great selection of retro games. With the slogan ‘come hungry, leave happy’, Burgr serves homemade burgers, milkshakes and local beer in a relaxed and fun environment right across the street from Hildr – well worth a visit on your next Tromsø trip.
Location: Skippergata 6, Tromsø, Norway