First time in Norway this April and will have a few days in Oslo! What type of food is Norway known for and/or where can I find the best Norwegian food the city has to offer? I'm an adventurous eater and will try anything once :) Can be anything from a street market to a nice restaurant--from cheap to expensive--what and where do I have to try?!
What an excellent choice. Norway is a stunningly beautiful country pretty much everywhere. But I've got both bad news and good news.
Let's start with the bad news. There is no such thing as cheap food in Norway. Not even a hot dog or a pizza slice will end up as a cheap meal. I go regularly but I usually try not to stay that long that I have to eat a meal there... ;)
Now the good news. They have EXCELLENT food. Really. The salmon, the cod, the reindeer it is all excellent ingredients and they know how to cook it.
My favorite place in Oslo is Mathallen Oslo. It's an old steel factory that has been turned into a food market with all sorts of organic food, delicatessen and small restaurants. So wether you want to go vegan, have a sushi or just an overpriced beer and a moose burger, this is your place. Excellent for lunches and light meals.
If you want to try good traditional Norwegian food that you will not get elsewhere I can recommend trying "lutefisk", a salted cod that has been soaked in lye for several days. Restaurant det gamle Raadhus specializes in this dish and is located in one of the oldest houses in Oslo, the old city hall from 1641. Notice the hand pointing to the ground on the square outside. This is the kings hand pointing at the spot where to build the new city after the old one burned down in the great fire in 1624.
Another excellent traditional Norwegian restaurant in Oslo is Engebret Café. My favorite dish there is their reindeer carpaccio starter which is absolutely delicious. They also have excellent fish.
For a cultural experience I can recommend the Grand Hotel on the main street (Karl Johans Gate). Pay particular notice to the paintings on the wall but they are actually paintings of the Oslo bohemians and cultural icons in the late 1800s, including writer Henrik Ibsen, composer Edward Grieg and painter Edvard Munch (the scream).
Finally, Oslo is famous for it's coffee. Yes, really. They are by some labelled as the best coffee city in the world and there I can recommend a coffee bar called Fuglen where all the interior is Norwegian design from the 60s.
Enjoy Norway, Jillian :)
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So this is weird ... the food in Norway seemed very Midwestern to me. Meat, root vegetables, a potato. You can get great seafood - I ate my weight in king crab when I was in Bergen. And I saw a stupefying amount of curries! I'm pretty sure I got into some venison, too. Oh, and they have some great berries there.
I spent most of my time in Bergen, and I mostly ate at these dockside farmers market sort of places. I was all about the seafood.
I know it doesn't sound that adventurous. But think of how many Scandinavians settled the Midwest U.S. They're the root of a lot of the recipes we have here now. You really don't have to be adventurous to eat in Norway, but it will be pretty solid food.
One more weird thing: They have 7-11 stores there, but they actually have these cool food bars in them. And the food is way better than a U.S. 7-11 ... mostly a selection of noodle-based stuff. It's where I ate before I did the Tromso 10k!
If I were you I would visit Mathallen Oslo. Mathallen Oslo is the place to go for everyone who appreciates high quality food and drink and something unique. The hall offers fish, meat, vegetables, baked goods, coffee – everything brought to us by the best suppliers and distributors of Norway, as well as some imported products. Or Trancher Entrecôte if you like Steak. Trancher is amaaaazing!