Travel Tip: Under – An Underwater Restaurant

Under is a unique restaurant experience where you get to eat incredible food in a restaurant that is located 5 meters below the ocean surface. This gives you a view of the underwater life while enjoying your meal, and you are guaranteed to get a once in a lifetime experience.

The word Under can be translated to below or miracle, depending on the context. The restaurant is located in the village called Båly on the very southern tip of Norway.

The restaurant is a fine-dining experience that serves seafood from local sources. It won a Michelin star in 2020, and the food it serves is well-renowned all over the world.

Under, the underwater restaurant. Photo by City Foodsters / CC BY 2.0.

The unique part of Under is to be able to see a rare marine ecosystem of the coldwater Atlantic sea. The panoramic view of the outside sea is amazing, and it even has a type of artificial coral reef outside that invites new species of fish and invertebrates to settle and show off to the guests.

You get to look at some of the food items you eat while eating them, giving the meal a completely new dimension. Many of the things you can see from the window will be on your plate.

Under entrance
The entrance to Under. Photo by Eldart / CC BY-SA 4.0.

The restaurant is more than just a fine-dining restaurant. It also houses a marine research center that researches the reef outside the main view. The future plan is to expand this even further.

Some of the species that can often be seen from Under is cod, mackerel, wrasses, lobsters and even the occasional seal or shark. It’s truly mesmerizing to just sit and enjoy the sea life outside.

The food at Under

Under mainly serves seafood that has been harvested from the ocean the same day. Different types of fish, kelp, lobsters and other crayfish, as well as local sheep and seabirds are on the menu.

You can’t really order the food you like, but rather but what they call the Immersion Menu. This changes from day to day, and cost 2,450 NOK per person.

Mussels served at Under
Mussels served at Under. Photo by City Foodsters / CC BY 2.0.

The price is obviously pretty expensive, and you should expect a few thousand NOK extra if you want wine pairings with the food. Under is obviously not a restaurant where you go for a cheap and decent meal, but rather as a unique travel experience where you get to try something completely unique.

Is it worth eating at Under?

The big question many have when they see the 2450 NOK price for the food and another 2000 NOK for the wine pairing is if it’s worth eating at Under. The answer is that it depends.

Under is not something that I urge everyone to try. It is best suited for people who really enjoy eating unique food, and are familiar with fine-dining. It might not really be such a good experience if you don’t really enjoy fine dining or sea food, and it takes a bit of knowledge to really fully understand the experience.

Book your table well in advance

Under is a very popular restaurant with long queues. You will need to book a table well in advance if you want to eat there, and the general rule of thumb is to try to book the table 4 – 6 months in advance if you want to make sure to get a seat at the date you want.

You can book at table at Under on their website by clicking here. They require a 1000 NOK deposit when you book the table. There are usually a few openings every once in a while for people who can get there within a few days, so you can check back with the online booker every once in a while if you really want to get your table faster and have a flexible schedule.

Getting to Under

Under is within walking distance from the small town called Båly very close to the southern tip of Norway. You can get to Båly by car or public transport, and the ride from Oslo is just over 5 hours in total.

It’s a bit of a hassle to get to Under by public transport, and your best option is to ride a bus to Mandal or Veggjeland, then ride a taxi from there to Under. Alternatively you can ride a taxi from Kristiansand all the way to Under for a fixed price, but this will be a somewhat expensive option.

The nearest airport is Kjevik in Kristiansand, about a 1 hour and 20 minute car drive away. This airport has taxis waiting outside, as well as several car rental agencies where you can rent a car and drive yourself.

Leave a Comment