Dining in Bergen

On a 5-day cruise down the coast of Norway in May ’06 (part of a 17-day Grand Circle Travel trip that included Finland), we ate on our own two nights in Bergen at relatively affordable prices.

• Going from the main part of the dock area, we walked up Kong Oscars Gate Street to the Vagsbunnen at No. 7, which served varied Norwegian fare with broad menu choices, ranging from fish-and-chips to schnitzel, chicken dishes, etc.

Since tipping is not required and there are no added taxes, the price you see on the menu is what you pay. Our price was about $20 a person for a filling dinner plate.

The waiter also wrote a note explaining to future waiters that my friend required a gluten-free diet. That was well beyond the call of duty.

• The next night we went directly across the street to the Arti Indian Restaurant, enjoying lamb spinach (mild) and hot lamb curry (spicy). Both dishes were excellent, with tasty condiments, plenty of steamed rice and naan. With coffee, it came to $25 a person. (The Norwegian kroner was trading at six to the dollar.)

The price of alcohol is what drives dinner prices up. In Norway, beer was often $8 a bottle or more in restaurants, with other drinks often higher. Have cocktail hour in your hotel room before heading out for dinner.

Santa Rosa, CA