Hi, I’m Lily and I studied abroad in Bergen this last semester at the University of Bergen. Bergen, Norway is known as the rainiest city in Europe and as it is relatively far north in Norway it also experiences less daylight hours! At first impressions this may seem depressing however Bergen knows how to turn this weather into something cozy and comforting. And in comes cafe culture! To make the most of the weather, cafe culture is huge here with many  small cafes around the city offering nice drinks and baked goods. Many people swear by coffee and after all Norway is the second highest consumer of coffee in the world. However, I personally do not like coffee so I set myself the challenge of finding the best hot chocolates in Bergen instead 🙂 

7) Godt Brød

This cafe translates to Good bread and is a large chain throughout Norway and can be found in many locations in Bergen. They offer mainly baked goods such as sandwiches, breads and pastries. The hot chocolate here I would rate 5/10. And the cafe overall 7/10 as the ambience is very nice but it can be very popular and therefore crowded. My best recommendation here is the ham and cheese toasties with sourdough bread. They are delicious and I looked forward to them after early morning classes! There is one at the Bybanen (tram) stop at Kronstad out of town that I recommend especially if you live in Fantoft which is likely for exchange students! (TOP TIP: Do shopping at the KIWI supermarket in Kronstad next to Godt Brød if you are at Fantoft as the one on site called Meny is extortionately expensive!) 

6) Løvetann Cafe & Bistro 

This cafe is located on the main residential hill of Bergen which leads to the Aquarium (which I also really recommend visiting and not because I’m biased as a Marine Biologist, AND they have a penguin called Ping Floyd ) This cafe is very small but very charming with some outdoor seating that is lovely in summer and quite cold in winter but they do have blankets! They even offer an interesting purple coffee which is made from potatoes! Worth a try. I rate the hot chocolate 6/10 and the cafe 7/10. 

5) Kaf Kafe Bryggen 

This cafe isn’t open all the time as it is located in the UNESCO site of Bryggen which were houses that used to be old hanseatic trading posts on the harbor. Nowadays it’s been repurposed for some small shops and this small cafe. The cafe is found inside a 300 year old building in Bryggen and serves lovely drinks and sandwiches as well as traditional Norwegian waffles with jam and sour cream which are delicious! This is one of the coziest cafes and in an amazing historical location which feels like stepping back in time. I’d rate this hot chocolate 7/10 and the cafe 9/10. 

4) Baker Brun 

This cafe is a huge chain in Bergen but is only really found in Western norway. They also do a wide selection of pastries and cakes. My personal favorite is the Skolebrød which translates to school bread. This is a traditional pastry in Norway and is made of a brioche type bun filled with custard and covered in icing sugar and coconut. It sounds crazy but definitely try it. It is delicious! The best part about Baker Brun for me is how many there are and how easy it is to find one. Especially at Fantoft where I lived there is one on site and is lovely for breakfasts and study breaks. It is also one of the few cafes and shops that are open on Sundays which is hugely convenient. The hot chocolate here is lovely with lots of fresh chocolate melted in and whipped cream on top. There is also a student discount which is always nice. I’d rate this hot chocolate 8/10 and the cafe 8/10. 

3) Flingee Dough 

While this cafe technically doest serve hot chocolate I’d still need to rank this third as the baked goods here were just that amazing! This is a bakery that specializes in modern but complicated pastries like cronuts, cruffins, donuts and cheesecakes. There is a huge variety from strawberry cheesecake cruffins to matcha pistachio donuts and all of them taste delicious and look beautiful. For drinks they do coffee and a great matcha latte. This is located in the center of town and I loved going here after early morning Norwegian language classes! It can be on the pricier side of cafes though but is worth a try. 

2) Det Lille Kaffekompaniet 

In second place is Det Lille Kaffekompaniet which means the little coffee company which is accurate! It is a tiny cafe near the Fløyen mountain gondola and next to Brygeen. The neighborhood is one of the prettiest in Bergen and they have outdoor seating on the cobbled road behind the gondola. It is lovely in summer but super crowded so I recommend going in Autumn/winter when it is less busy and still nice to sit outside with a warm drink. They had a great assortment of drinks including peppermint mocha, caramel apple cider, and hot chocolate with chili. They also have different home baked goods each day. I’d rate this hot chocolate 9/10 and the cafe 9/10. 

1) Fjåk 

In first place is a small chocolate company called Fjåk and I’d just like to say I was OBSESSED with it. I think it is the best hot chocolate I have ever had in my life. It is located on a small side street near the harbor in the central town and offers a huge variety of hot chocolate types. It is a chocolate lover’s dream! You can choose the style of hot chocolate from mild, original and spanish which are varying concentrations of chocolate with spanish being the richest. As a chocolate company you can also choose from their selections of chocolates of varying % ‘s and locations. You can try endless combinations and they are all amazing. My personal favorite was original style Tanzania (70%) hot chocolate or mild Guatemala (72%) hot chocolate. They also offer specialties such as chili, caramel and the local brown cheese hot chocolate which is random but surprisingly good. They also offer cookies and artisanal chocolates. I would rate this hot chocolate 10/10 and the cafe 10/10. I honestly would recommend choosing Bergen as your study abroad just for this hot chocolate. 

Overall my study abroad was a wonderful experience and I personally loved how cozy it was and how relaxing it was to go to classes and walk around a beautiful town and enjoy warm drinks. Oh Fjåk how I miss you!

By: Lily Devesa 

3rd Year in Marine Biology MSci. Exchanged with University of Bergen

Best cafes in Bergen (+ my hot chocolate challenge)

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