February 16, 2024 | Miles Brucker

Under the Sea Dining in Norway


The Underwater Restaurant

Five meters below the ocean surface in Southern Norway lies one of the world’s most unique attractions: Under—the biggest underwater restaurant in the world.

It’s a fascinating tourist attraction that draws guests from all over the globe for an experience unlike any other.

under-norway-split-gallery.jpg

The Experience

Under takes you on a journey through the icy waters of the North Sea.

The restaurant is half-sunken into the rigid waters of Lindesnes, five meters below the surface. You’ll experience a panoramic view of the seabed allowing for a visual gateway that connects guests to the wildlife directly outside.

While dining at Under you will have the opportunity to see the stunning marine ecosystem of the North Atlantic Ocean that would rarely be seen otherwise.Under RestaurantEldart, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Design: Structure

This intriguing underwater restaurant was designed with sensitive consideration for its geographic context and aquatic life.

In fact, within time, the structure will “become part of its marine environment”. The rough concrete shell will act as an artificial reef, allowing limpets and kelp to inhabit it.

The thick concrete structure is built up against the rocky shoreline and is able to withstand pressure and shock from rugged sea conditions.Under - restaurant in Lindesnes, NorwayCity Foodsters, CC BY 2.0 , Wikimedia Commons

The Design: Size

Under is not the only underwater restaurant in the world, but it certainly is the largest. With space for up to 90 guests, the restaurant area is about 500 square meters.

Project manager Rune Grasdal explains that the most time-consuming part of the process was to remove everything that wasn’t essential to the concept: “We spent a lot of time making it simpler. The building’s function is to take people down to the seafloor in a safe and easy way. It must be able to withstand the forces of nature – water pressure, waves and rough weather”.

Under - restaurant in Lindesnes, NorwayCity Foodsters, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

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The Design: Windows

The underwater restaurant also has massive, wall-sized windows made of acrylic, giving guests a safe and magnificent view of the seabed as it changes through seasons and various weather conditions. Often times, large schools of fish will gather around the structure.

The location is known for intense weather conditions, which can change from calm to stormy several times a day, making the underwater experience exciting and different each time. Apparently, witnessing rain whip up the ocean surface, from below, is an incredible view.

On sunny days, the rays of sunshine create beautiful color patterns around the seafloor.

Under - restaurant in Lindesnes, NorwayTOR ERIK SCHRODER, Getty Images

The Design: Interior

The interior of the structure is designed to be a calm, warm and welcoming setting.

The foyer boasts beautifully crafted oak furnishings, and the ceiling panels as you go down the stairs are painted to resemble a sunset dropping into the ocean as you descend from land to sea.

The goal was to, “instill a sense of awe and mystery, hinting at the journey that lies ahead.”

The restaurant won the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2020 for Best New Restaurant.

Under - restaurant in Lindesnes, NorwayCity Foodsters, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Inspiration

Under provides an experience that is rooted in sustainability, and a respect for the “delicate ecological balance between land and sea”. This model drives attention to sustainable methods for responsible consumption.Under - restaurant in Lindesnes, NorwayTrygve Finkelsen, Shutterstock

The Inspiration

As stated on their website, this is what led to the creation of this fascinating and different dining experience: “Over the past 5 years, we have all been fascinated by the life outside our window. We have explored the possibilities, tastes, diversity, and coastal cultural traditions. Harnessing the sea and taking care of it, is something we intend to continue. What you care about and are curious about, you come to love and wish to preserve. This is what we have learned.”Under - restaurant in Lindesnes, NorwayCity Foodsters, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Chef

So, what’s on the menu of an underwater restaurant?

Bernt Sætre is the head chef at Under, and he is an expert at capturing the essence of close things. It is said that Chef Sætre, “approaches the surroundings and ingredients with an educational perspective, valuing presence, diversity, and traditions. A periscope approach, peering into nature's own pantry.”Under - restaurant in Lindesnes, NorwayCity Foodsters, CC BY 2.0 , Wikimedia Commons

The Food

The menu at Under is seasonally driven, and it will be served to you in a 10-12 course meal. The set menu features dishes such as peas of the ocean, birch flatbread with langoustine and ‘fenalår’ cured lamb, and celeriac with brown crab liver, mushrooms and spruce. 

According to their website, the total price of their Set Menu is NOK 1,950 per person (Approx. $185 USD).

  • Wine pairing including aperitif NOK 1250
  • Wine pairing from a world with classic wines in all its beauty - including aperitif NOK 1950
  • Non-alcoholic pairing including aperitif NOK 750

Under - restaurant in Lindesnes, NorwayCity Foodsters, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

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Final Thoughts

Under is a stunning, high-end restaurant that truly offers you a change of scenery. With an importance on sustainability, the menu at Under includes gourmet dishes served with a purpose.

It’s striking architecture, comfortable interior and delicious menu have made Under an international sensation, with Forbes calling it, “one of the most remarkable restaurants in newer time”.

Forbes also placed the restaurant on their list of “10 Coolest Places to Eat in 2020.

If you have a bucket list, jot this one down. You won’t be disappointed.Under - restaurant in Lindesnes, NorwayCity Foodsters, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons


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