One of the biggest small towns in Washington is the Norwegian-themed city of Poulsbo. Whether you get to Poulsbo by ferry or vehicle, the trek there will be scenic. You won’t run into any actual Vikings though, unless you count the dude on the “Velkommen til Poulsbo” sign. One thing I always love to do in a small town is find out where’s the best place to eat, and I’m not talking about the fast-food chain restaurants either.


Do you know how the city of Leavenworth, Wash., is known as “Little Germany?” (“Little Bavaria” is my personal favorite nickname for Leavenworth.) Well, Kitsap County’s little big city of Poulsbo (pronounced “PAULS-BOW”) is better known as “Washington’s Little Norway.”

Is that because you’ll see lots of guys swimming in ice baths by the Liberty Bay? Probably not.

Norwegian Ice Bath
Vidar Nordli Mathisen on Unsplash

Will you see all the locals sporting Norwegian sweaters? Doubt it.

Dale of Norway Sweater
Dale of Norway via Amazon

Is that because you’ll run into mountain men wearing dreadlocks who ask if you can spare some kindling for his campout? Nope.

Norwegian Man in the Mountains
Johannes Andersson on Unsplash

What about chance sightings of hot Norwegians with icicle beards and a twinkle in their eyes? I’m going to go with NO.

Norwegian Man with Icicle Beard
Vidar Nordli Mathisen on Unsplash

Poulsbo does, however, have friendly townsfolk, cute Norwegian-style facades on some of the shops, and a certain nautical feel to the air that is quite a unique experience to have in Washington state.

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In a town that houses around 12,000 people and an estimated nearly 70 restaurants, Poulsbo is certain to have a hometown cuisine that matches your mood. If you want to know where the best places to get a bite to eat are, ask the locals or look for reviews on Yelp.

Boehm’s Chocolates of Poulsbo

Visitors love to try the nut-dipped bananas or one of the candies and chocolates.

Boehm's Chocolates of Poulsbo via Google Maps
Google Maps

Juicy J’s Smoked Burgers 

All burgers here are 100% plant-based. If you are not sure of eating here, wait until you look at the menu. They have Kimchi burgers, Hawaiian burgers, Nacho burgers, Chili burgers, and more. (That sounds so yummy to me, not going to lie; I’d try it.)

Oath Pizza 

It gets real saucy over here at Oath Pizza. They even have a Buffalo-style pizza called the “Spicy Mother Clucker.”

Oxalis Kitchen 

Come for the year-round farmers market and stay for the Potato Chorizo Tacos, made with housemade soy ‘chorizo’ with shredded cabbage, hatch chile vinaigrette, and pickled red

Sauced Food Truck 

If you’re craving Filipino food, this is the spot. They are at Valhöll Brewing on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Sluy’s Bakery

I never knew there was such a thing as “world famous Poulsbo Bread”, but hey, you learn something new every day!

Tizley’s Europub

Okay, you can’t come all this way to visit the city of Poulsbo without experiencing a little of that Norway lifestyle. Tizley’s does serve more German food than Norwegian and Scandinavian food, but it’s still a fave among visitors. They do have Swedish Meatballs and a Scandinavian Platter appetizer that comes with Norwegian pickled herring, hard boiled egg, havarti cheese, and crackers.

Whether you’re looking for Norwegian, Italian, Asian, Indian, or American-style cuisine, Poulsbo is one big small town that should never be overlooked.


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