Cafés and restaurants in Oslo: Hidden gems

Hidden gems in Oslo

Many of Oslo's best eateries are easy to find, but it can be worth the effort to look up some of the city's hidden gems. 


Here are seven of them:

Grådi restaurant & bar
Grådi restaurant & bar
Photo: Camilla Hellum

Grådi
Between the apartment buildings in Sørligata, Tøyen, lies Grådi (a spin on the Norwegian word for 'greedy'). Grådi serves lunch and dinner on weekdays and brunch on weekends. The menu presents typican Scandinavian lunch dishes such as Skagen toast, rye bread with cheese and marmalade, pancakes with blueberries, and different types of eggs. Most dishes are around 100 NOK. It doesn’t matter you visit Grådi for breakfast, or for an evening drink, the place offers the same great atmosphere.

Brutus
Brutus
Photo: Camilla Hellum

Brutus
Brutus is located just behind the police station in Grønland. Here you'll be served nature wine by some of the city's leading nature wine experts. Book a table and try the six-course menu, or just drop in for some snacks at the bar. You'll enjoy both! The Icelandic chef prepares the dishes with simple ingredients, with vegetables at the centre. Here's a chance to taste traditional Scandinavian specialties such as pork ribs or mackerel, with a modern twist.

Handwerk Botaniske
In idyllic surroundings inside Oslo's perhaps most beautiful garden, the Botanical Garden, lies Handwerk Botaniske in an old manor. The café is open all year round, with outdoor tables during summer – the perfect spot for a coffee or lunch after visiting the Botanical Garden. Handwerk's sourdough bread and rolls are delicious, but if you want to try a little bit of everything, their lunch plate comes highly recommended, representing a typical Norwegian lunch.

OsloK design agency and coffee shop
OsloK design agency and coffee shop
Photo: OsloK

OsloK
Next to the little park at Jessenløkken in Majorstua, you'll find the café and design agency OsloK. In addition to quality coffee from Tim Wendelboe and Supreme Roastworks, the menu offers delicacies from Norwegian quality producers such as Rørosmeieriet, Essentially, and Godt Brød. OsloK is an excellent choice for a quick coffee and croissant in the sun. The café is on the ground floor of a green and lush apartment building, making you feel like you're visiting somebody's garden – informal and cosy, especially in summer.

Izakaya
Izakaya
Photo: Izakaya

Izakaya
Izakaya is a well-hidden gem in the street St. Olavs gate. An izakaya is a Japanese gastro pub, literally meaning to stay ('i') sake/alcohol ('zaka') place/shop ('ya'), which might be compared to Irish pubs and Spanish tapas bars. At Izakaya you can order a beer from Japan's oldest brewery Sapporo, or a cocktail made from Japanese liquor (scochu, sake, Japanese whisky and umeshu). The food menu is small, but solid, with a selection of small dishes intended for sharing. How about trying potato medallions with teriyaki sauce or some Japanese pancakes? You won't be disappointed. Izakaya will make you forget where you are – it’s a little piece of Japan in the heart of Oslo.

Oslo Raw
The raw-food wave has also reached Oslo, and last year saw the opening of the bakery Oslo Raw at Adamstuen Torg. It may seem strange that they call it a bakery, seeing as nothing there is actually baked. Raw food means the food is not processed or heated above 42 °C. Oslo Raw is also vegan, but menu proves meat and dairy products are not needed to make interesting food. They have anything from chia pudding and bowls to salads and cakes. The perfect place if you want to try something new (you're welcome to sit on the floor with your coffee mug in your lap), or if you're vegan.

Gioia ice cream shop and crêperie
Gioia ice cream shop and crêperie
Photo: Camilla Hellum


Gioia
The ice cream shop and crêperie Gioia (Italian for 'joy') is located in the street Eckersbergs gate in Frogner. It's run by Frenchman Pierre Espic and his wife Higinia d'Agrossi-Espic. Pierre makes all the ice cream himself, and proudly presents his newest creations to anyone who asks. This is the place to try Oslo’s best crêpes, both sweet and savoury. You can have your ice cream or crêpe inside or outside, or as take-away if you prefer that.

 

Written by Camilla Hellum 

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