North Jutland is Denmark’s no. 1 pantry, and Aalborg is the metropolis at the center of it all. Here, the fresh ingredients are served in the unique, cozy and authentic settings of the greatest restaurants in the city.
Welcome to Aalborg in the year 2017 – a growing city, a developing city and a city that loves company. New modern work places have replaced the heavy industrial jobs at the cement factory Aalborg Portland, the distilling factory “Spritfabrikken” and Aalborg Shipyard, and students from all over the world come to study at Aalborg University. The new waterfront is buzzing with innovation and the cultural scene has exploded. Meanwhile, the gastronomy has been simmering in the corner – and now it’s ready to be served!
For many years, “Mortens Kro” has been the most significant restaurant, when it comes to representing Aalborg on the national as well as international stage of gourmet cooking. Those days are over now, and a flourishing gastronomic development has attracted a vast number of restaurants. Restaurant Fusion, Restaurant Bühlmann, Restaurant Tabu and Restaurant Applaus are just a few of the most significant restaurants, but also Bistro 59, Rusk, Nam, Prinses Juliana, La Locanda, San Giovanni, Musikkens Spisehus, Rositas Bistro, Bistro V, Brdr. Price and Søgaards Bryghus are all acknowledged for their high gastronomic standards.
Denmark’s no. 1 pantry
It may well be that the restaurant business of Aalborg is only just beginning to flourish, but the exquisite ingredients have always been within reach. North Jutland can offer some of the finest agriculture in the Kingdom of Denmark. Potatoes are successfully grown in the nutritious soils of the large bog “Vildmosen”, North Jutland dairy plants produce excellent cheeses from cows with North Jutland accents, and the fjord and the surrounding coastline provide fresh fish and shellfish at your pleasure. Breweries emerge from the North Jutland sphagnum, with Bryghuset Vendia, Søgaards Bryghus and Skagen Bryghus in the lead, and even wine is now locally produced at five different vineyards in the region.
The exquisite ingredients, passionate North Jutland foodies and North Jutland DNA are deeply intertwined. Soon, not only traditional restaurants offer specialties from North Jutland. Ambitious and innovative projects like BoxTown, Food Trucks and Aalborg Street Food - The Lighthouse have already cut the first sod, planted the first seed, and soon they are able to invite tourists and locals in for exciting gastronomic experiences in authentic surroundings all over Aalborg, including the old distillery and the old harbor. There is an abundance of great ideas, but it remains unknown whether they are simply part of the fresh air here or whether they are washed ashore by the Limfjord.
Increased competition = more choices
The large number of new players in the gourmet field have contributed to increased competition as well. A competition that comes to benefit all the hungry guests of Aalborg. The struggle to stand out from the crowd and offer the guests something special has indeed intensified, but the North Jutland fighting spirit, creativity and drive will let no chef break without a battle. Because of this, Aalborg and the North Jutland region offer a variety of different menus, price ranges and cuisines.
Italian, French and Spanish cuisines, New Nordic cuisine, the varied American cuisine, Asian specialties, South American culinary skills and Danish classics like “smørrebrød” – all are represented and interpreted by skillful chefs with an international edge. Regardless of taste preference, there is every reason in the world to seek out a culinary adventure. Just dust off the rusty foreign glossary and start ordering excellent meals!
Bent Christensen, editor in chief of “Den Danske Spiseguide” (A guide to Danish restaurants) and the grand old man of Danish gastronomy, has too noticed the intense gastronomic development in North Jutland. He even believes that that the increased competition excites the ambitious and talented chefs and makes them perform even better. And that is exactly what competition does; it wakes up drowsy restaurateurs, forces them to find the best ingredients, gets them back on the horse and back in the kitchen.
Michelin stars for Aalborg and North Jutland
The region has yet to receive its first Michelin star, but hopefully this is about to change! Inspired by the eternal rival Aarhus, five of North Jutland’s top restaurateurs have joined in “GastroNorth”, a network which aims to raise awareness of the gastronomic development in the region with the help of external partners. Ultimately, the goal is to put North Jutland on the Michelin map, and hopefully the French food and car tire enthusiasts will soon surrender and award North Jutland the Michelin star it deserves.
International recognition is, however, far from completely unknown to North Jutland restaurateurs. The renowned guide to Nordic restaurants, “The White Guide”, became aware of North Jutland long ago. Ruths Hotel and Brøndums Hotel in Skagen, Vendia Gourmet and Vendia Brasserie in Hjørring, and Mortens Kro as well as Restaurant Tabu in Aalborg are all present in the latest edition of the distinguished list of the greatest restaurants of the North. And believe us – our North Jutland hearts couldn’t be prouder!
Once again, welcome – and enjoy your meal!