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Faroese food

Fermented lamb, wind-dried fish and sheep’s head. Sound delicious? Most Faroe Islanders think so.

Traditional Faroese food is of great significance to the locals; not only the part where you get to dig in and satisfy those taste buds, but also the other stages, from hunting and killing to preserving and preparing.

It is the particular uniqueness of these stages that made the Guardian proclaim the Faroe Islands the “new Nordic food frontier”, a prime example of the growing enthusiasm for the distinct and extraordinary cuisine of the Faroe Islands and evidence that Faroese gastronomy belongs on the international culinary scene.

Age-old methods

Ever since the first settlers arrived in the Faroe Islands over a thousand years ago, the Faroese people have hunted and killed hares, sheep, whales, fish and other animals for food. Being an isolated archipelago in the North Atlantic has meant that the Faroese have largely relied on eating what is found in the environment around them. They learned to utilise every bit of every fish caught, every mammal slaughtered, and every bird netted. They also learned to store and preserve as much as possible for tougher times. These age-old creative preservation methods are still used today, and have resulted in food that has distinct and unmistakable flavours, inherently contingent on the climate in which it is stored.

Ræst

One of the distinctive flavours is what the Faroese call ræst, meaning fermentation. This is the process of drying meat and fish outdoors, allowing an aging or fermentation process to occur. Whether or not the correct taste is acquired depends on the climate; warmer temperatures will spoil it, too cool temperatures will prevent the fermentation and too much wind will render it tasteless.

Although these traditional methods might be deemed unnecessary in modern times, the unique and inimitable taste created by these processes, coupled with the philosophy of using what nature provides, is as appealing to Faroe Islanders today as ever before.

Food production

There are no indigenous land mammals in the Faroe Islands (the hare, for example, was introduced from Norway) and barely anything grows above ground. Turnips, beets, radishes, swede, potatoes, carrots and Jerusalem artichokes are the vegetables produced by farmers in the Faroes. Greenery comes from herbs such as angelica and sorrel, and wild plants such as sea purslane, cuckoo flower and reindeer lichen.

Dining in the Faroe Islands

The Faroese restaurant culture has changed drastically within the last decade, not in the least because of a few brilliant and innovative Faroese chefs, initially led by the celebrated Leif Sørensen and more recently by the chef at 2-star Michelin-star restaurant KOKS, Poul Andrias Ziska. Not only has it become commonplace for Faroe Islanders to eat at restaurants, they have also started to accept that traditional Faroese food is suitable for fine dining. New restaurants are consistently emerging. One of the newest in line is (surprise, surprise) Ræst, which serves traditional Faroese dishes – the type you’d find on family dinner tables across the country. On the menu is fermented cod, fermented lamb intestines and fermented colon on sauerkraut, mustard and croutons. Delicious. Other new restaurants include a grill house called The Tarv, Frumbiti and Skeiva Pakkhús, located close to the harbour in Tórshavn.

Looking to try Faroese (and other types of) food? Check out these restaurants.

Places to eat & drink

Vel øki

Rudda alt

Vís yvirlit
Vís á korti
Filtur

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Barbara Fish House

Virðislønt fiskamatstova Heima í Havn

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Blábar

Jass og Blues Bar

Matur & Drekka
Náttarlív

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Brell Café

Brell Café er staðið har Brell Kaffibrennarí sleppur at vísa nýbrent kaffi framm á ymsar...

Matur & Drekka

Vágur, Suðuroy

Bryggjan Filipino Buffet

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Burn Fitness Tórshavn

Fitness

Matur & Drekka
Annað

Skopun, Sandoy

Búrhandilin 1856

- við drúgvastu royndunum.

Matur & Drekka
Handlar

Hvannasund, Norðoyggjar

Cafe Old School

Café Old School serves coffee, tea, cakes and sell locally handmade souvenirs in the Old School

Matur & Drekka

Tvøroyri, Suðuroy

Café MorMor

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Café Natúr

The cafe/pub is located in a historic building, with great atmosphere and with live music in the...

Matur & Drekka
Náttarlív

Skálavík, Sandoy

Café á Mølini

Hugnaliga cafe'in við havanlagið í Skálavík

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Essabar

Matur · Øl · Kokktails · Kaffi

Matur & Drekka
Náttarlív

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Fútastova

Matstova mitt í býnum

Matur & Drekka

Nólsoy, Nólsoy

Gimburlombini

- Kaffi, matur, vaflur, rabarbur í hópatali, vín, tiltøk, sauna, túrar við ferðaleiðarar,...

Matur & Drekka
Útferðir

Tvøroyri, Suðuroy

Glasstovan

Matur & Drekka

Gásadalur, Vágar

Gásadalsgarður

Gistingarhús í Gásadali við 4 dupultkømørum

Gisting
Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Gómagott

Faroese chocolate made from the very best, hand-picked ingredients and by the highest production...

Matur & Drekka

Nólsoy, Nólsoy

Heimablíðni í Nólsoy

Heimablíðni - við Maud Wang Hansen.

Matur & Drekka

Tvøroyri, Suðuroy

Hotel Tvøroyri

Gisting
Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Hvonn Brasserie

Lættur matur, alskyns sløg av kaffi við onkrum søtum afturvið ella ein kokkteyl

Matur & Drekka

Sørvágur, Vágar

Húsið við Gil

Matur & Drekka
Handlar
Áhugaverd støð

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Jomfrúbakkin

Bestu kokkteyls í býnum.

Matur & Drekka
Náttarlív

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Kafe Kaspar

Ein hugnalig kafé mitt í býnum.

Matur & Drekka
Náttarlív

Klaksvík, Norðoyggjar

Kaffihús Fríða

Ein hugnaliga café við løttum og søtum

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Kaffihúsið

Eitt nútímans kaffihús í Vágsbotni. Atmosfera og Aroma

Matur & Drekka

Nólsoy, Nólsoy

Kaffistovan

Cafe, barr, B&B, summarshús, ferðatúrar og tiltøk

Gisting
Virksemi
Matur & Drekka
List
Útferðir

Sandur, Sandoy

Kafé Breiðateig

Kafé Breiðateig is a cozy café in the city of Sandur. Serves hot and cold beverages and light...

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Katrina Christiansen

Inspirerað av tapasstílinum, men fullført við íblástri frá føroyskum matsiði og við tí,...

Matur & Drekka

Vestmanna, Streymoy

Krambúðin

Vælkomin í krambúðina hjá heimavirkisfelagnum

Matur & Drekka
Handlar

Nólsoy, Nólsoy

Kunningarstovan í Nólsoy

Kunningarstovan í Nólsoy

Kunning
Áhugaverd støð
List & Søvn
Tónleikur
Matur & Drekka
Festivalar
Virksemi
List

Nólsoy, Nólsoy

Maggies Café

"Live tónleikur, pub, matur - ja, stutt sagt: stórar upplivingar í minsta og hugnaligasta...

Matur & Drekka
Náttarlív
Tónleikur
Stað

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Matstovan Seven

Nice and tasty Chinese food, east of Torshavn fortress by the harbour

Matur & Drekka

Hólavegur 5

Matstovan í Porkeri

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Mikkeller Tórshavn

16 sløg av tí besta frá Mikkeller og øli aðrastaðni úr heiminum

Matur & Drekka

Mykines, Vágar

Mykinesstova

Quench your thirst and fill your belly at the local café. The café serves soup, homemade cake and...

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Paname

Hugnalig café í hølunum há Gamla Bókahandli

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Restaurant Toscana

Cozy Italian atmosphere in this tiny restaurant in downtown Tórshavn

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Ræst

Matstovan Ræst borðeiður føroyskan, ræstan, mat.

Matur & Drekka

Sandur, Sandoy

Rúsan (Liquor Store)

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

Skeiva Pakkhús

Family matstova

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

The Irish Pub

Øl, whiskey, burgarir, kips, kotelettir o,a.

Matur & Drekka

Tórshavn, Tórshavn (capital)

The Tarv

Grillhúsið í Vágsbotni.

Matur & Drekka

av

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The people of the Faroe Islands

A conversation with a Faroe Islander