Oslo, Norway, has a fairly diverse dining scene. Everything ranging from Michelin starred restaurants to fast food joints can be found throughout the city. Although Norwegian cuisine is known for it’s whale and game meats, there really is something for everyone.
Traditional Norwegian Cuisine
If you’re interested traditional food or feeling a little adventurous, look no further than Engebret Café. The place is an institution.
It was a gorgeous evening, so we dined outdoors. We started with a platter called A Taste of Northern Norway. It consisted of smoked fillet of whale, gratinated king crab, smoked trout, cured reindeer, marinated clipfish, herring and arctic caviar. Everything was excellent but the whale really shined. I could have made a meal of it, alone.
The reindeer in our appetizer was so good we decided to have more! Our mains of reindeer with a cherry sauce and the special beef sirloin were both cooked to perfection. The vegetables that came along with them were equally delicious. No one had to tell us to eat our veggies! We opted to skip dessert as we had ice cream earlier in the day and the dinner portions were satisfying.
The Unexpected Surprise
For something a little less traditional, the food at Den Glade Gris was surprisingly good. I’ll admit that this would not have been my first choice and I was rather dubious about dining there but I’m glad we went.
Set in a relaxed atmosphere with an extensive beer menu, the menu had everything from fish and chips to barbecue along with the traditional whale and reindeer.
Our appetizers of smoked whale and a light, brothy, homemade meat soup were a nice start to our meal. We next went with fish and chips and reindeer sausages as our mains.
The fish and chips were really nice. We live in the land of fish and chips so this was no small accomplishment. The chips were crispy, the fish flavorful in a light, crunchy coating and the crushed peas had the perfect hint of dill.
The reindeer sausages were grilled and had a smoky flavor that had me longing to purchase some sort of barbecue so we could grill something…anything…when we got back to London. I didn’t realize how much I miss barbecue until that moment. The potatoes that came along with the sausages were served warm in a mustard dressing with dill. It was a nice departure from the usual mayonnaise drenched salads.
We had absolutely no room for dessert after this meal as the portions were massive…and that’s saying something as we nearly always have room for dessert.
Dinner with A View
For a dining experience with a breathtaking view of Oslo and the fjord, Ekebergrestauranten is just the place. It’s nestled quietly in the Ekebergparken Sculpture Park within in the hills overlooking Oslo. The menu offers a broad selection from the freshest seafood to game meats so everyone will find something to make them happy. There is also a 6 course Chef’s tasting menu available for those who want to linger for an evening and enjoy a long, leisurely meal.
We chose scallops and the Jerusalem artichoke soup with prosciutto and leeks as appetizers. Both were incredible. The scallops were perfectly cooked and were sweet and tender. The soup was otherworldly- it may sound like an odd combination, but the flavor was pure magic. I haven’t stopped thinking about this soup. It would be perfect with hunks of warm bread on a chilly evening. Add a glass of white wine and dinner is served!
The entrees of monkfish in a super flavorful mussel sauce and grilled entrecôte of veal were fantastic and really pretty to look at. It was definitely one of those eat with your eyes restaurants. The flavor matched the presentation.
Our portions from our mains were enough to fill us…but we still had room for dessert! We ended up sharing a strawberry cheesecake with chocolate crust and mango sorbet. It was a light and refreshing finish to a fantastic meal.
Pretty As A Picture
The French Salon at The National Museum of Art is definitely one to experience after a leisurely visit with the works of art. It’s like artwork, itself.
They had the most delicious lemon scones that I’ve ever eaten. They were served warm with cream and homemade raspberry preserves. Heaven.
It’s also one of the prettiest cafés I have ever visited. The wood herringbone floors along with green marble and glass coexist beautifully to make a gorgeous space that you’ll want to linger around in long after you’ve seen the artwork.
Theatercafeen at Hotel Continental
Theatercafeen, located across the street from the National Theatre, would be a great choice for a pre or post show tipple. It’s walls are covered in Norwegian personalities from authors and actors to painters and composers who have been regulars at the restaurant over the years.
It boasts a seafood heavy menu for dinner but they also serve a daily afternoon tea and they do a really nice, relaxed, breakfast. It’s a buffet but don’t let that put you off. They serve everything from frittata and fresh fruit to cured meats and fish and even caviar. There was an Apple cake that I indulged in and it’s still on my mind. The granola bar was extensive. Freshly squeezed juices and smoothies for days. And all the fixings for a cooked English breakfast. My favorite item there was a Norwegian cheese called brunost. Sliced super thin and eaten on toast or waffles it’s so addicting. I ended up bringing some back to London. Don’t worry- I purchased it, I didn’t steal it from the buffet! I’ve found a place in London that sells it so I never have to be without it.
When you travel do you like to eat the local cuisine? What is the most unusual food you’ve eaten while traveling? Drop your answer below.