48 Hours in Oslo: The Best Restaurants, Bars & Coffee Shops

Marie Augestad
Content Writer at VisitOSLO
July 8, 2024
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This edition of "48 Hours in" is brought to you in partnership with the VisitOSLO Tourism Board. Giving you a local's guide on how to spend your time in Norway's capital.

OSLO, Norway. The Scandinavian capital is finally coming out of the shadow of its Swedish and Danish big brothers. It has all of the characteristics of a big city, without devouring you whole.

World-class museums, art galleries, fjord side saunas, brand new neighbourhoods along the waterfront, and an overflowing concert calendar. And let me tell you where you should eat and drink along the way.

Visit Oslo and discover its magic.

Breakfast

Åpent Bakeri Barcode

Dronning Eufemias gate 16, 0191 Oslo, Norway

In Oslo’s newest neighbourhood, Bjørvika, Åpent Bakeri Barcode stands out as my breakfast and brunch favourite. And that is saying something, as Bjørvika has recently emerged as something of a hub for brunching in Oslo. 

Åpent Bakeri is a long-standing bakery chain in Oslo. At their location in Bjørvika, they have expanded the bakery operation to include brunch dishes. They also serve delicious French pastries, and excellent, locally roasted coffee. Their ingredients are organic and as locally sourced as possible.

Tip: Avocado and egg toast

Grand Café

Karl Johans gt. 31, 0159 Oslo, Norway

It might seem strange to hear a local recommending a hotel in their own city but hear me out.

The Grand Hotel’s breakfast hall also happens to be one of Oslo’s most fabulous and historic restaurants, Grand Café.

To enjoy Grand Hotel’s lavish breakfast buffet, no need to book a room, simply pay for your entrance at the door. 

Grand Café offers a luxurious morning with eggs, bacon, pastries, fresh fruit and veggies, cheese, and much more. 

While you’re there make sure to get a good look at the huge mural at the back of the room. “Kristiania-bohemen”, by Per Krohg. The mural depicts many important cultural and historical figures who used to frequent Grand Café in the 1880’s, such as playwright Henrik Ibsen and painter Edvard Munch.

Tip: Brown goat’s cheese – called brunost or geitost – a sweet, caramelised cheese which Norwegians eat on bread and on waffles.

Specialty coffee

The Cappuccino Al Freddo at Tim Wendelboe, Oslo

Tim Wendelboe

Grüners gate 1, 0552 Oslo, Norway

The fine dining of coffee in Oslo, Tim Wendelboe’s coffee roastery, espresso bar and coffee training centre is a must-visit for coffee aficionados in search of quality specialty coffee. 

Run by the 2004 World Barista Champion Tim Wendelboe himself, this is a place where every cup is made to perfection, and no part of the process is left to coincidence.

At Tim Wendelboe, you might be met by a queue, but at the end of it awaits knowledgeable staff members who will delight in serving you the perfect cup of coffee.

Tip: Bring a bag of coffee beans home as a souvenir.

Fuglen Coffee Roasters, Oslo

Fuglen Coffee Roasters

Two locations in Oslo: Universitetsgata 2 and St. Halvardsgate 33

Established in 1963, Fuglen has since expanded with several locations in Tokyo. Their lightly roasted coffee is an indisputable favourite among Oslo’s coffee lovers. The interior gives you the impression of having stepped into an authentic 1960’s living room.

Make sure to come back at night, when the bartenders start serving delicious and unique cocktails, and DJs start enticing people onto the dance floor.

Tip: Try the refreshing Freddo Cappucino.

For two other speciality coffee spots, Try Kuro or Supreme Roastworks

Lunch

Mathallen

Vulkan 5, 0178 Oslo, Norway

Sometimes, sitting down at a restaurant table in the middle of the day just takes away too much time from the day’s many activities. That’s why Mathallen, a food hall with excellent food to suit every palate, is such a great lunch spot.

Varied food stands offer everything from Basque pintxos to Korean corn dogs, and one truly is spoilt for choice.

Tip: At Helt Vilt, get the Finnbiff, which is reindeer meat served with mushrooms, mashed potatoes and lingonberry. It is said that reindeer is some of the most sustainable meat you can get in Norway.

Sjømagasinet

Tjuvholmen allé 14, 0252 Oslo, Norway

Seafood lovers, look here! After a nice stroll along the pier at Aker Brygge, this is where you should fill up on high quality seafood such as Lobster salad, oysters and mussels.

The restaurant also serves as a wine bar and boasts a plentiful wine list. Sjømagasinet is mentioned in the Michelin guide, and the calm and elegant interior nicely matches the quality of the food.

Tip: Ask the staff if it is possible to see the chambre séparée where Sjømagasinet grows their own microgreens. It truly speaks to the restaurant’s commitment to locally sourced ingredients.

Dinner

Dinner Barcode, Oslo

Dinner Barcode

Dronning Eufemias gate 28, Oslo, Norway

With its dark, intimate and romantic atmosphere, Dinner Barcode will make you feel like you have been let in on an exclusive dim sum-related secret. Discover their exciting menu filled with high-quality classics from Chinese cuisine.

Tip: For dessert, share the Dinner Surprise, a photogenic assemblage of the restaurant’s entire dessert menu in one. Best dessert I’ve had in Oslo.

Cultivate Food

Helgesens gate 18a, 0553 Oslo, Norway

A fully plant-based restaurant in the bustling Grünerløkka neighbourhood which has become a hit among locals, both vegetarians and otherwise.

A mix between a restaurant and a cafeteria, Cultivate Food is an inviting and down-to-earth place which shows us how easily it is possible to cut down on meat and still enjoy good, filling food.

Tip: Check their Facebook page for events, as they regularly organise live music events, quizzes and wine tastings. A good way to get to know some locals!

Drinks

Himkok, Oslo

Himkok

Storgata 27, 0184 Oslo, Norway

In keeping with the speak-easy aesthetic, Himkok (which means moonshine in Norwegian), hides behind an unassuming door in the city centre. Behind it, you will find a distillery with a passion for high-quality ingredients and craftsmanship.

Himkok produces its own Aquavit, Vodka and Gin, and creates cocktails with traditional Nordic flavours.

Tip: Oslo Mule

Crow Bar

Torggata 32, 0183 Oslo, Norway

Crow Bar, with its characteristic three-headed crow surveilling the guests as they enter, is a beer-lovers paradise. 

This microbrewery has a stripped-down and industrial look to it which lets the extensive beer selection shine. Ask the staff for their recommendations and request some taste tests before making your choice.

Tip: Rumour has it, they make Oslo’s best kebabs. Write it down for when that late-night food craving after a night out kicks in.

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Marie Augestad
Content Writer at VisitOSLO