Gastronomy in Oslo

cuisine in Oslo
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Updated 2019-10-09 07:41

Oslo is an up-and-coming foodie capital bursting with new inventions and tastes often referred to as New Nordic Cuisine. It's true, dining and drinking in the capital city is a costly exercise; but with such a great selection of restaurants and cafes, it's worth the splurge.

Eating on a budget in Oslo

Despite generally high costs for food and especially dining in a restaurant, there are some hidden cheap eats in Oslo. Bakeries are a good place to look for a pastry/sandwich and drink combo, such as coffee and a freshly baked bread roll.

Convenience stores such as 7-Eleven, Narvesen, and Pressbyrån have a good range of ready-made meals at very affordable prices. Meal options include cold salads, wraps, sandwiches, and a few hot meal items like hotdogs and pizza slices that can be ordered at the counter. These stores also sell snacks and soft drinks, as well as coffee and hot chocolate from self-serve machines.

 Good to know:

Once you start earning a local salary and get used to the high prices in the city, eating out will become more affordable.

Affordable restaurants in Oslo

In Oslo, the definition of a mid-range restaurant could mean anything from a burger joint to a dining establishment with unpretentious decor. Affordable restaurants in the city mostly comprise pizza places and burger joints that attract diners of all ages. Restaurants serving Asian, Indian, Turkish, and other international cuisine types usually have more competitive prices.

Expensive restaurants in Oslo

Restaurants in Oslo do not have to be fancy or labelled as fine dining to be expensive. Rather, it seems that price is determined by location and the time of day. Even high-end restaurants offer lunch specials, although a three-course dinner without drinks can cost double as much.

Typical Norwegian foods to try in Oslo

Typical Norwegian food (or ‘typisk Norsk mat', as the locals say) is hearty and filling, although perhaps a bit bland for expats from countries with rich spices and strong flavours.

Here are some restaurants that serve typical Norwegian food:

  • Engebret Café: Housed in a traditional 18th-century building and hailed as one of Oslo's oldest restaurants, Engebret Café offers a glimpse into Norwegian history while offering traditional home-cooked meals at very reasonable prices. Reindeer steak, whale meat, and seafood soup are some typical Norwegian foods to try here.
  • Den Glade Gris: Translated as ‘The Happy Pig', this quaint place does indeed serve several traditional Norwegian pork dishes. For those who don't like pork meat, why not try the bottomless lunch soup special?
  • Rorbua Aker Brygge: A seaside spot that specialises in Norwegian seafood, this restaurant resembles the inside of an old ship. Lunch specials are available until 16:00.

Oslo food halls

Heading to a food hall is a great way to turn lunch or dinner into a cultural experience. Oslo has two food halls: Mathallen and Vippa.

Mathallen is located in the trendy restaurant of Gamle Aker and features an indoor food market with more than 30 food stalls.

Traditional Norwegian cheese and meat stalls share the space with international cuisines and even a Spanish tapas and wine bar.

Vippa is located all the way on the other side of the city along the wharf near Akershus Festning. In the summertime, crowds head outdoors with their meals to enjoy the wharfside views sunshine. Vippa works with local farms and even has a project to recycle food waste.

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