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Oslo Restaurant Recommendations

Hello - we will be in Oslo in May for a few days and looking for restaurant recommendations. I like local cuisine and my husband likes hamburgers, pizza or steak, so looking for a bit of both. Anything unique is a plus, and nothing too fancy or super expensive. Thanks in advance.

Posted by
2929 posts

It would be helpful to know your hotel. We are usually tired at night and like a place close to where we are sleeping. In Oslo, we like Illegal Burger. Food is very expensive so we tried to eat cheaply, especially since we were a family of 4.

Posted by
203 posts

Thanks for the reply. We're staying at the CityBox Olso. Near the train station.

Posted by
24809 posts

Trying to be polite here...Norway isn't really noted for its native cuisine. In recent years immigration from countries where herbs and spices are used has helped. I still found it challenging to find interesting meals there, because I wasn't interested in paying $50 (and that wouldn't include alcohol). I think Rick is accurate in his comment (this is my paraphrase) that in Norway it is worthwhile to go to a more expensive place, because the very high basic labor costs are similar in a mediocre restaurant; you really do get a better experience if you pay more.

The one dish I had multiple times and enjoyed was fish chowder. It had some flavor. And if you see toast Skagen (I think originally Danish, but it crops up elsewhere) as an option, that also proved reliable. It's a sturdy slice of bread with lightly-dressed shrimp salad piled on top; cafes may have it in a cold case. You probably need to like dill.

The baked goods, including breads, are usually excellent. Too bad one cannot subsist on such things over the course of an entire trip.

One of the most disappointing meals I've ever had in Europe or the US was in Oslo at a Turkish restaurant with a Google (TripAdvisor?) rating of 4.4. The name was La Villa, at Toyengata 2, in Gronland. It was obviously a casual place, but it seemed like a good bet for lunch, and the thought of a mezze platter appealed. The food was almost tasteless, which I didn't know was possible in a Turkish restaurant. The mind boggles at the 4.4 rating; Norway's a wealthy country, so its citizens can afford to travel. Perhaps that rating was based solely on price; the place was distinctly inexpensive by Norwegian standards; it was my mistake to assume the low price was due to a vegetable-heavy meal rather than something else.

Anyway, in an effort to be at least marginally helpful, I'm going to give you the names of a few places not terribly far from your hotel. Except as noted, I haven't eaten in any of them, so check out their websites to see whether they look promising to you. Remember, I'm the person who selected the dreadful Turkish place described in the preceding paragraph. I hope others here can identify some places they can vouch for.

Gazakokken is a Middle Eastern place specializing in mezze at Mollergata 10. One would think the 4.6 rating would guarantee a decent experience, but then again...

Meny was described, I think by Rick, as a gourmet supermarket with things like roast chicken. It's at Stenersgaten 1. There are other supermarkets scattered around. Prices were reasonable for things like cheese, packaged nuts and Wasa crispbread.

Pascal's is a French-inspired bakery/lunch spot very near your hotel at Tollbugata 11. It offers a few salads, sandwiches and fish soup. Pascal's has other locations you might bump into.

Vippa is a food hall down on the water at Akershusstranda 25. There are multiple stands where you can order different types of food, then eat at communal tables. I had an acceptable (definitely not special) lunch there one day; I don't remember what I ate.

I'd consider museum cafes and restaurants if you encounter any. I had a couple of good lunches in one of the branches of the KODE art museum in Bergen. They were tasty and very reasonably priced.

I'm embarrassed not to have more suggestions for you.

Posted by
1796 posts

On our previous trip, with the exception of Kvikne's hotel, we also found Norwegian food bland. That was many years ago so we are hopeful that things have improved. After excessive research, I have found two restaurants in Oslo that look promising and are within walking distance of the main RR station. Both have decent reviews and were recommended by Norwegians on TA. We will use one of these for our one evening in Oslo.

Oslo Brasserie France (pricier)

Rodins Bistro and Bar (casual)

Posted by
203 posts

Thanks for all the information everyone. Looks like it'll be a challenge, but we'll make it work. Appreciate all the info.

Posted by
5258 posts

Trying to be polite here...Norway isn't really noted for its native
cuisine.

True, but you can still find some good food there. There is excellent seafood in Norway, and don't miss brunost.

And if you see toast Skagen (I think originally Danish, but it crops
up elsewhere) as an option, that also proved reliable.

Actually it's from Sweden, invented by chef Tore Wretman in the 1950s.

Posted by
203 posts

I just wanted to come back to this thread in case anyone see it in the future. We are back from our trip, but we really enjoyed our meal at Baltazar Ristorante & Enoteca. It's Italian, but the pizza and salad were excellent. Such a charming spot. Outside by the Cathedral. Highly recommend. They even gave you blankets to stay warm. Even though it was late May and not really cold.