Traditional Faroese cuisine has been influenced by our historical isolation from the rest of the world, our often harsh climate, and, of course, the ocean that surrounds us.
World famous Michelin-starred restaurant Koks has made the traditional Faroese method of preserving food through fermentation– ræst – famous around the world. It’s certainly an acquired taste, and while it might not be your cup of tea, it’s a firm favourite among the Faroese, and something that you’re not likely to find elsewhere on our planet.
If you try nothing else of our fermented foods, make sure you try skerpikjøt (wind-dried fermented lamb or mutton) if you can – it’s a veritable national institution.
But, fear not: there’s much more to dining out in Tórshavn than fermented foods. Not least of which is some of the freshest seafood you’ll find anywhere on earth. Here are seven of our top picks clustered around the old town and the harbour.
Barbara Fish House
The vast seas that surround the Faroes are rich fishing waters, providing an abundance of fish such as cod, and shellfish like langoustines and scallops. Barbara Fish House makes the best of these ingredients in multi-course tasting options. Not cheap, but, a great dining experience in a turf-roofed house on one of Tórshavn’s oldest streets. Main courses from 250kr, tasting menus are 750kr (1200kr including wine).
The clue for what you’ll eat here is most definitely in the name. So, if you want the full-on, yet balanced and gourmet, fermented food experience then this is the place for you. But, be warned – it’s not for the faint-hearted. It’s at the upper end of the market price-wise – tasting menus 750kr (1200kr with wine).
One of the newer arrivals on the Tórshavn restaurant scene, this Italian-influenced restaurant is housed in a former warehouse by the harbour. Enjoy looking out onto the water while you dine on fine, fresh Faroese produce like fish, seafood and lamb served Italian-style. Pizzas from 115kr, three-course menus from 495kr, extensive Italian wine list from 70kr per glass.
A classic, cosy fine-dining experience in one of the oldest buildings in the Faroes, in the heart of Tórshavn’s old town. Set menus make the most of local ingredients including salmon, cod, langoustine and lamb. Prices reflect its status among the higher-end restaurants in the city: three course menus are 500kr (850kr with wine); five course menus are 750kr (1200kr with wine).
A cool and modern vibe, great cocktails, and specially selected steaks – including dry-aged and Wagyu – are on offer at The Tarv (tarv is the Faroese word for a bull). The restaurant also offers a selection of local and imported fish and shellfish. The Tarv is located on undir Bryggjubakka, Tórshavn’s pint-sized answer to Copenhagen’s Nyhavn. Steaks from 360kr, fish mains from 255kr.
Fútastova– meaning the Bailiff’s House –is in a centuries-old building once home to the Danish Monarch’s representative in the Faroe Islands. It’s another of Tórshavn’s classic restaurants, this time presenting Faroese produce French-style. Main courses like entrecôte from 325kr, three course menus are 500kr (875kr with wine), eight course tasting menus are 900kr (1400kr with wine). On Fridays from 16:00 – 18:00 you can enjoy cheese and wine platters from 200kr.
Faroese dining with a twist: small, tasty dishes of Faroese and international heritage served tapas-style are a speciality at Katrina Christiansen. You’ll find this cosy and popular restaurant in an old-style Faroese house in central Tórshavn. Priced somewhere between mid-range and fine dining: tapas dishes from 85kr, platters from 225kr, tasting menus from 495kr (an additional 395kr for wine with a tasting menu). But, there’s more to the city than fine dining – if you’re looking for something more casual or less pricey there are many more places in Tórshavn that can cater for you too.