My first stop on my recent Scandinavian holiday, the fresh sea breeze and clean air of Oslo had an immediately calming and holiday-mode inducing effect on me. A city like none if ever been to before, Oslo is the perfect meeting place of industrial and eclectic, modern and historical, all with the stunning fjords as a backdrop.
Here are some of my Oslo favourites!
Elias Mat Sant
This is a little gem of a cafe close to the city centre area, boasting a small but interesting menu of modernised traditional Norwegian food. I had the clipfish carpaccio as an entree, which was super light and flavourful. The mussels steamed in white wine with cream and saffron for main were absolutely superb, a great balance of flavours and despite the cream in the sauce, surprisingly not heavy. The complimentary spinach bread that accompanies the mains is also noteworthy and totally delicious! For dessert you have to try the traditional Trollkrem – a very aerated lingonberry mousse served with pat biscuits for dipping. Again, surprisingly light and a refreshing way to end the meal due to the palate cleansing tartness of the berries. The cost is similar to other places in Norway, and I had a entree, main and dessert for 420kr ($65AUD).
There are a number of Kaffe Brenneriet around Oslo and they prove to be a quick and easy way to grab a bite to eat on the go. You must try the muslibrot with bronost (essentially like a less sweet fruit loaf with brown cheese in the middle, very tasty!). The yogurt pots with fruit for breakfast are also good, and many of the places do a deal for coffee and cake. Plenty of variety and a great place to take a break and plan your next adventure.
You wouldn’t expect you would find such nice food in a bakery chain but I am happy to be proven wrong! Baker Hansen serves a variety of sweet pastries and savoury sandwiches which are perfect for a cosy sit down coffee or a tasty lunch on the go. I tried the marzipan cake for something a little different and it was a unashamedly delicious messy affair of marzipan, berry mousse and chocolate with fluffy sponge cake in between. Also anywhere that serves brownies in cake sized portions gets a tick in my baking book!
I found after the first day in Oslo that I’d eaten more bread in 24 hours than I had in the last month and my stomach needed a break. Thank goodness I found Lett! This is a design-your-own salad bar with plenty of options available so even the vegans / vegetarians / coeliacs / lactose intolerant can be accommodated here. Pick a quinoa or leafy base, a protein, 4 salad items and a dressing, and your customised salad is ready to go. They also have coffee, smoothie and acai bowls as well as juices, chia pudding and raw treats. Yum!
I’ve had poke in the UK, Australia and now Norway and I can say that the Norwegians have certainly got the recipe right!! Pacific Poke are a food truck located outside Mathallen in the Grunerlokka area, and had the salmon and the spicy tuna available when I visited. The tropical salmon with ample amounts of seaweed and a pickle with a hint of pineapple was unbelievably good and just what I needed after 21 hours of plane food. It’ll be hard to go back to eating the poke back home after this!
There is a reason these guys have a perfect rating on trip advisor! Not only do they cater for vegans and coeliac, but this small, unassuming, hole-in-the-wall style cafe makes the best waffles I’ve ever had. Thin and crispy in the true Norwegian style, these waffles are a must try! There are savoury options like using the waffle as a hotdog bun or slathering it in three cheeses with chilli, as well as the usual sweet offerings like chocolate and Nutella. I strongly advocate for the icecream waffle sandwich though – a mess to eat but my goodness it is worth it!!