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Cheap Eats in Norway

I know that "cheap" and "Norway" are not normally uttered in the same sentence but I thought I'd try for some advice.
I leave for Norway on Sunday and will stay there for 3 weeks.
Much of Europe has great chain places, such as Pret a Manger in England, to get less expensive food that is good quality at decent prices.
Does Norway have an equivalent?
We will stay in hotels for the first 5 days and then in a house the rest of the time. Obviously we'll be shopping in a grocery store but we will also spend time out and about - any ideas of where to go?
We'll be in Oslo for 2 days, train to Bergen on the 3rd day, stay in Bergen for 2 more nights, and then we'll be in the Alesund area for the rest of the time.
Thanks for any ideas!

Posted by
5819 posts

Cheap is relative. Norway's GDP per capita (at over 100,000 USD in 2013) is twice that of the USA. Plus GST pays for a lot of social benefits.

Cheapest is self-catering. Coop stores in almost every village and the cities:
Stock up before getting on the train. Google Maps will locate Coops. (The Coop in Alesund is a Coop Obs Hypermarket).

If you are in a hotel, take the breakfast buffet and eat two meals worth and coast through the mid day meal with snacks. A gas station pølse is affordable.

Then there's Peppes Pizza:
Not cheap but affordable if you skip the beer.

If you are in need of adult beverages, stock up on Aquavit at the airside duty free shop. If you don't there is a Monopoly in the Oslo S train station. Stock up on beer at the Monopoly.

There use to be a gyro shop (rotating spit) near Karl Johans gate but it may have been a victim of urban renewal. Couldn't find it my last visit but I wasn't looking too hard. Try a Oslo yelp search for gyros.

Posted by
11294 posts

I was in Norway in 2003, so I don't know if the following is still current. But it was true when I was there.

Use-It is a student tourist center. They had a guide to Oslo that you could get from the tourist office. This guide had some less expensive restaurants listed, many a short tram ride or walk from the center. I remember going to a Vietnamese restaurant they listed, in Grünerløkka (north of the center), that had very reasonable prices; the only catch was that the menu was only in Norwegian and Vietnamese! Luckily, many of the food words in Norwegian are close enough to German that I could guess what I would be getting, and not be too far off (of course, I could have asked the servers for assistance too, but it was fun guessing).

Rick's Scandinavia guide had some reasonably priced places listed for Oslo and Bergen (he doesn't cover Alesund). I found them to be as he described them, so if they appeal to you, you're set. But you're right about Norway food being expensive. It's certainly the only place I've sought out 7-11 hot dogs for dinner, just to save some money for the real restaurants!