Culture Outpost: Norway’s Krambua Restaurant!


One of my favorite experiences in Norway was dining at Krambua Restaurant located in the picturesque fishing village of Hamnøy on the eastern side of Moskenesøya, an island in Norway’s stunning Lofoten Archipelago.

Noemi and Mikael Björkman have operated the restaurant since February 2015 and are passionate about their fresh, seasonal food and treating every guest to a special, unique experience. Noemi is Italian and chef Mikael is from Sweden. They actually met at a wedding in Sweden when one of Noemi’s female Swedish friends married an Italian friend of Mikael’s. The rest, as they say, is very sweet and romantic history.


The fish served at Krambua doesn’t come any fresher – caught just outside in the sea and prepared in a gentle and delicate way, with Swedish chef Mikael’s personal touch. I was lucky enough to dine on a delicious plate of Barents Sea cod. The fish migrate to the islands to spawn in late winter and early spring — thus, the area’s thriving and historic cod fishery.


The restaurant itself was built 1882 and has served as a post office and an old drug store (thus the name Krambua — an old Norwegian word for drug store/dry goods store). Krambua is part of Eliassen Rorbuer — a charming holiday resort that includes 35 beautifully restored traditional red-painted fisherman’s cottages.

The first morning there, when I opened my cabin window, took a breath of cold, salty sea air, the sea literally steps away, it reminded me of my Whidbey Island, Washington USA childhood. To feel a sense of being home in foreign place such as Lofoten, with its dramatic, otherworldly landscapes, while being treated to the Nordic hospitality (gjestfrihet) and Italian warmth such as that served up by Krambua and Eliasson Rorbuer, was pretty amazing. The best of all worlds.


Krambua welcomes guests from around the globe. The restaurant is especially busy during the winter and summer seasons when visitors might have the opportunity to take in the shimmering northern lights and perhaps meet one of their favorite famous photographers (such as photographer Luca Bracali — pictured below with Noemi, Mikael and their beautiful daughter) – who commonly stop at Krambua while in town for assignments, photography workshops and aurora borealis safaris.


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