With Oslo being one of the most notoriously expensive cities to visit in the world, I was still naive in thinking: how expensive can it really be compared to London and New York? As it turns out, it is very expensive compared to both still…
If you are passionate about eating out and trying new food like me, there isn’t really a way to avoid spending more money than you might wish to whilst on holiday. The best thing to do is to bite the bullet and think it’ll make it easier to go back home, as London will feel cheap compared to this!
Although the prices are high throughout Oslo and from what our Airbnb hosts told us throughout the whole of Norway, the quality of the food tends to be consistently high and the portion sizes are generous too.
After speaking to our hosts and some friendly locals and hearing about the range of bustling restaurants in this metropolitan city, it became apparent that Oslo offers a varied selection of cuisines and prepares the food to a high standard.
I was only in Oslo for a little over 2 days, so if you have 48 hours in Oslo too, here are my tips!
For the ultimate coffee experience and/or if you believe yourself to be an avid coffee fan, head straight to Tim Wendelboe in Grünerløkka. There are a small selection of different coffees on offer with different portrayals of the unique flavours and the heritage of each coffee. As you would expect in a chic and fashionable area of a Nordic city, the presentation was pretty and minimal. We were given a selection of cups for the different types of coffee, as we learned that each coffee is appreciated more with a particular cup.
We ordered 2 different coffees so we could taste both:
|Finca Tamana||Colombia||Castillo||Herbal, red berries & brown sugar
|Nacimiento||Honduras||Bourbon||Red wine, cherries & red apples
The flavours are powerful, intense and comforting, and certainly give you a rush of caffeine fuelled energy to continue your day of sightseeing.
There aren’t any snacks or food on offer so you are solely there to focus your attention on the coffee.
Link to restaurant: https://www.timwendelboe.no/
Advice: There is also a coffee school located here
Price range: Expensive (for coffee) but worth the experience
Head to Godt Brød bakery in Grünerløkka (just round the corner from Tim Wendelboe), before or after your coffee (depending on when you prefer yours!) to enjoy a sweet or savoury carb infused treat. The cinnamon bun with custard was my favourite sweet and a smoked salmon, egg and pickled red onion sandwich on sesame bread was my favourite on day 2 (yes we went back twice). The smoked salmon was much tastier and richer in flavour than the smoked salmon served in UK restaurants and supermarkets so soak it up as much as you can during your visit here.
Link to restaurant: https://www.godtbrod.no/
Advice: Try and have a sweet and savoury option!
Price range: Mid-range
Vippa is a food market located on the harbour right next to a seafood market (which was unfortunately closed when we visited). Built in an old sugar warehouse, Vippa is a popular place to visit if you are looking for a selection of food stalls to peruse and wonder round. We had the Syrian vegetarian salad with homemade falafels and hummus and a sticky pork Vietnamese steamed bun. The hummus was a perfect consistency with the olive oil drizzled on top and the falafels were full of flavour without being dry at all.
Link to restaurant: http://www.vippa.no/
Advice: Go there when the fish market is open to have a look round before or after
Price range: Mid-range/expensive
On the first night, we decided to venture out of Grünerløkka and head to a typically Norwegian restaurant called Sofie’s Mat. You know it’s a traditional Norwegian restaurant when you are the only tourists there and there are only 2 different dishes on the menu. I tend to think that restaurants offering a small selection of dishes are taking advantage of produce which are in season and which are imported locally (rule number 1: steer clear of restuarants which offer 100’s of different dishes, especially if they are of varying cuisines too!).
The portion of salmon was huge and generously seasoned with parsley, pepper and lemon.
Link to restaurant: http://www.sofiesmat.no/
Advice: Go when you want a traditional Norwegian dining experience
Price range: Mid-range/expensive
On the second night, with a mild hangover from duty free bought alcohol, we went to Illegal burger. A trendy burger joint in the square of Grünerløkka which offers a veggie and fish option of each of the burgers. The truffle beef burger was a winner and the chips had a BBQ flavour which complimented the burger too. Personally I tend to prefer my burgers overflowing with cheese, pickles and salad and Illegal burger didn’t live up my expectation in that sense. However if you want to avoid spending a lot and just want a quick bite, this is definitely a good shout.
Link to restaurant: https://www.facebook.com/Illegal-Burger-171199846244007/
Advice: Visit when you want a cheaper/more casual dining experience
Price range: Cheap
For an East London vibe outdoor bar, head to Blå on a summery Sunday evening to enjoy a classically overpriced pint and some live Jazz music.
If you like hip hop and an alternative/trippy bar, Café Mir (not so much of a café) on a Friday night is a great place to go. It’s worth a visit just to check out the artwork in the toilets and general décor if nothing else!