Want to know what typical Norwegian home cooking was like before sushi, tacos, pizza and Indian? Meatballs, pork and dumplings and herring, and let's not forget the festive foods such as lutefisk (dried white fish) and stick meat (steamed ribs). Some of the traditional dishes are easy to find in Oslo, but others you might have to hunt around for. Here is a list of everyday places, whose main goal is not to empty your wallet but rather to fill your tummy with all kinds of delicacies that belong to traditional Norwegian fare.


    Freshly cooked prawna from Oslofjord's fishermen

    Tee icing on the cake on a summer's day

    Oslofjorden's prawn fishermen have cooking equipment on board their boats, and can therefore serve completely fresh prawns to the eager customers who flock to Rådhusbrygga. Few things say summer in Oslo as much as enjoying delicious, unpretentious seafood on a bench, with the Danish and Nesodd boat tugging past. Prawns - so simple but so delicious.

    If you stop by a delicatessen, you can supplement your meal with a freshly baked loaf, a little decadent mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon on top. But if you want to wash it down with a glass of white wine, you'll have to go to a restaurant.

    Location: Rådhusbrygge 1, 0160 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday to Saturday: from 07.00 until there are no more left

    Phone: +47 459 02 635


    Sausages from Syverkiosken

    An icon among the city's fast-food outlets

    You can buy hot dogs in potato bread anywhere in Norway, but if you want them served with that clear Oslo dialect, you'll have to go to Syverkiosken in Maridalsveien on Alexander Kielland's square. Hot dogs are of course not a Norwegian phenomenon, but we can claim our special lompa potato bread as our own. Flat potato cakes perfectly proportioned to hold a hot dog - it's like they were made for each other!

    All types of people pass by Syvrekiosken to sample the lompa on offer, and you can choose from a range of great sausages served with a large selection of delicious, often homemade, condiments.

    Location: Maridalsveien 45B, 0175 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday-Friday: 10.00-23.30. Saturday-Sunday: 12.00-23.30.

    Phone: +47 948 59 091


    Meat balls at Kaffistova

    Far more trendy than you think

    Meatballs in brown sauce are nothing less than a classic on Norwegian dinner tables, and the restaurant in Oslo that serves this more than anything else is Kaffistova. For most Norwegians, this is a dish that falls into the category of 'comfort food'.

    The accompaniment of potatoes, steamed, sweet carrots and sour, freshly stirred cranberries go perfectly with lightly salted meatballs and a dark, creamy sauce. Kaffistova may be the closest you get to an authentic rural experience in Oslo, but that doesn't mean that the place is in any way dull, and everything from state leaders to hip artists come here to enjoy good, traditional food.

    Location: Kristian IVs gate 2, 0159 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday-Friday: 11.00-21.00. Saturday: 11.00-19.00. Sunday: closed.

    Phone: +47 23 21 41 00


    Herrings at Engebret Café

    Traditional food in historic premises

    As one of Oslo's oldest surviving restaurants, Engebret Café has history in its walls. The herring table at Engebret belongs to late autumn, and many people celebrate their pre-Christmas lunch here.

    This means that space can be tight, but the staff navigates easily between the tables to serve the most delicious dishes, drinks and, of course, all the trimmings you need for the herring. Whether you like the classic pickled herring in vinegar, sweet and sour tomato herring or more exciting varieties with curry, sour cream or nuts - the herring table at Engebret Café has everything you could wish for, accompanied by eggs, butter and good wholemeal bread.

    Location: Bankplassen 1, 0151 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday-Friday: 11.30-23.00. Saturday: 17.00-23.00. Sunday: closed.

    Phone: +47 22 82 25 25


    photo by Øyvind Holmstad (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Pork and dumplings at Dovrehallen

    Luxury food from times gone by

    Dovrehallen lies in the middle of Storgata. It would be easy to mistake this place with its crowds of beer-drinking guests sitting outside for just an ordinary pub, but you'd be wrong!

    There's history in the walls of Dovrehallen, and the place has been here since 1900. When they serve Classic Oslo dishes, they do it with the required amount of dignity and panache. Pork and dips is just one of the many dishes, consisting of fried side pork and white sauce, with turnip purée and boiled potatoes with parsley sprinkle over. A good glass of beer goes particularly well with this solid dish.

    Location: Storgata 22, 0184 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday-Saturday: 11.00-22.00. Sunday: 12.00-22.00.

    Phone: +47 22 17 21 01


    photo by Helge Høifødt (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Freshly pulled fried mackerel

    Catch of the summer in the fjord

    Vulkanfisk, inside Mathallen in the Vulkan area, has fresh mackerel throughout the summer, and is happy to fry it for you while you wait.

    Take a seat at one of the long tables or at the bar and enjoy the wait with a glass of wine or a beer from one of Oslo's many microbreweries. For Oslo residents, little says summer as much as a fried mackerel, filled with fresh green herbs and a lemon boat next to it. Oily fish is also good for the heart, brain and, not least, the tummy!

    Location: Vulkan 5 (Mathallen), 0178 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Mondays: closed. Tuesday-Thursday: 10.00-20.00. Friday-Saturday: 10.00-22.00 Sunday: 11.00-19.00.

    Phone: +47 21 39 69 58


    Open sandwiches at Kafé Oslo

    Bread toppings on a whole new level

    Café Oslo in the House of Literature serves food to every stripe of customer, so variety is key. The menu always features a large selection of open sandwiches with toppings of the highest - and most well-known - variety.

    The big favourites are comfort foods such as prawn sandwiches, meat sandwiches and herring salad. But you can also get internationally inspired and renowned toppings such as chicken confit, pastrami and warm liver paté, all served on freshly baked bread with tasty accompaniments such as pickled gherkins, caper and, of course, the house mayonnaise.

    Location: Wergelandsveien 29, 0167 Oslo, Norway

    Phone: +47 21 54 85 71


    Veal fricassée at Smalhans

    Luxury food from the past revived

    Smalhans in Ullevålsveien serves a dish of the day, with veal fricassée being one of the many classics. The dish may not be the everyday dish in Norwegian homes that it once was, but with sweet and sour sauce and green peas, served in tart shells, this classic is as good as any.

    You get decent portion sizes at Smalhans and the atmosphere is relaxed. The restaurant offers á la carte to guests who don't want the dish of the day. But this historic dish is one you should try! Lovely tender meat coated in a sour stew, served in oily, crispy puff pastry. It doesn't get better than this!

    Location: Ullevålsveien 43, 0171 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday-Tuesday: 16.00-23.00. Wednesday-Saturday: 12.00-24.00. Sunday: 12.00-22.00.

    Phone: +47 22 69 60 00


    Fiskeriet - the city's best range of seafood

    Few others, if any, have such a wide selection

    Even though all the farmers who once sold goods on Youngstorget have now mostly gone, there is one place that still keeps going and which consistently supplies incredible produce, and that is Fiskeriet.

    This place is both a shop and a restaurant, and the queues here are made up of all sorts of people, from those looking for a piece of cod for their fish soup at home and people who want to taste the kitchen's legendary fish and chips. The result is a culinary experience unlike any other you'll find in Oslo. Fiskeriet always has a wide range of fish, shellfish and prepared fish on offer, such as fish cakes, cabaret and smoked fish.

    Location: Youngstorget 2b, 0181 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Mondays: closed. Tuesday-Sunday: 11.00-19.00.

    Phone: +47 22 42 45 40


    Renowned and award-winning restaurants

    These restaurants have earned their Michelin status

    The new Scandinavian cuisine first emerged as an international concept at the top-ranked restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. Many restaurants have taken their love of flavours and good produce to their hearts in Norway, with the most famous of them probably being Maaemo.

    The prices are high, but well worth it for anyone who is seriously interested in finding a rare and exquisite culinary experience within the country's borders. But if you're struggling to get a table at Maaemo, you should try Kontrast, Arakataka or Stadtholdergaarden. All have Michelin stars and all serve food based on top-of-the-range ingredients.

    Location: Dronning Eufemias gate 23, 0194 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday-Saturday: 17.30-24.00. Sunday: closed.

    Phone: +47 22 17 99 69


    photo by Jan Mark Holzer (CC BY 2.0) modified

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