Monday, July 30, 2012

Cafe Aura

June 26, 2012

Like Iceland before it, Norway came with a fairly mediocre reputation for vegetarian food. Still, there's more to travel than food, right? Our first proper stop was in Bergen, via a stunning trip across the country on the 'Norway in a Nutshell' tour. Sure it sounds like a bit of a touristy cliche, but it's hard to imagine a single day trip anywhere else in the world packing in as much stunning scenery (see photos below this post for just a tiny sample).

Bergen is entirely free of vegetarian-only restaurants, so we knew we weren't going to come back with loads of blog material. We scarfed a quick Indian meal on the night of our arrival and set out on Tuesday having done a bit more planning. Stop one was Cafe Aura, the first place listed on Happy Cow's Bergen page and a nice central starting point for some exploring.

Cafe Aura is a fairly plain looking cafe - it's pleasant enough, but probably isn't going to win too many points for style. Similarly, the menu is pretty straightforward: vegans can have soup and maybe chilli, while vegetarians also get to choose from a veggie lasagne and a 'pie' (which turns out to be more like a quiche). Cindy took care of the ordering - the staff were completely comfortable in English (as was everyone we spoke to in Norway) and were super friendly and helpful.

I went for the lasagne (129kr, which if you foolishly convert back to Australian dollars is a breathtaking $20.30!). It comes with delicious bread and a simple salad, and is a reasonably good rendition - cheesy and stuffed with a good range of roasted veggies. It's hearty and tasty enough but nothing to write home about - indeed, at home we've come up with some far more impressive versions.

Cindy had the veggie pie (89kr ~ AU$14), which was basically a slice of quiche. It had a decent amount of spinach mixed into the eggy filling and a nicely cooked pastry crust. Again though, this is vegetarian dining from the 1970s - basic and unadventurous.

We headed off into the city sated but not particularly excited - vegetarians in Bergen will probably find themselves at Cafe Aura at some stage, just because there are so few places that offer even this much variety.

There aren't any real reviews of Cafe Aura out there, just a couple of positive mentions on some Norwegian foodblogs.

Cafe Aura
Marken 9, Bergen
+47 55365970
veggie lunches 65-129 NOK ~ AU$10.30 - 20.30
Accessibility: You have to go up four steps to enter the cafe (see photo). The interior is relatively well spaced out. Ordering and payment takes place at a medium-low counter.

Out the window of the Oslo-Myrdal train

The platform at Myrdal, about to hop onto the Flåm train

Trying to get a picture of Kjosfossen

Out the window of the Flåm train, on the way down the mountain

The Flåm train

On the ferry down Aurlandsfjord

Seagulls shadowing the ferry

Spectacular fjord views


Norwegian toy town!

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