Norway is rich in unusual natural goods which can be seen in its traditional cuisine. Traditional Norwegian "farm" food is limited by what can be grown in the northern climate and stored for a year. Hunted animals and fresh fish have an excellent international reputation.
Eating out, as are so many things in Norway, is expensive. Expect to pay about 60 kr for fast food with more formal meals reaching 200 kr for a main course.
Waiters are usually not dependent on tips and are generally well paid. Nevertheless, tipping is common in cafes and restaurants if you feel you received notable service. A 5-10 percent tip is reasonable.
Norwegian restaurants haven't exactly taken to the vegetarian diet. There are usually a few vegetarian options on the menu, and you may request alterations.
There are a few stores/restaurants that feature vegetarian meals : Peppes Pizza, Dolly Dimple's, SubWay and Esso/On the run (spinach panini).
Food safety is very good in Norway. Salmonella is very rare compared to other countries, and health officials inspect restaurants at a regular basis. Also tap-water is usually extremely clean and good tasting. Voss water from Vatnestrafam is actually exported abroad.
The age limit for purchasing beer and wine is 18 years old. To purchase liquor/spirits the age limit is 20 years old.
The alcohol prices in Norway are very high. This is the result of the high taxes that are placed upon them. The average price for a .5 litre beer in a restaurant or bar is around NOK 52, but this price varies wildly depending on the location and size and quality of beer. Ringnes, Hansa and Frydenlund are some common local brands.
Buying alcohol from the store and drinking before (vorspeil) and after (nachspeil) going out is very common. Beer at the grocery store is usually around 10-16 kr for a 0.33l bottle. Shop early as supermarkets stop selling beer after 20:00 pm each workday, 18 :00 on Saturdays, and is not available on Sunday. Hard liquor or wine can only be bought at special shops called Vinmonopolet which are state-owned. Vinmonpolet are open until 17.00 Mon-Wed, 18.00 Thu-Fri, and 15.00 on Sat. Expect to pay around 80-90 kr for a decent, inexpensive wine.
It is illegal to drink in public areas and drinking on the street is not allowed. A fine of 1500 kr can be issued. However, in public parks during summer, laws are not enforced as strictly. Some bars may offer a designated outdoor area, but they may be more expensive.
A cheap meal can be hard to find in Norwegian, but there are places.
There are many small grills or convenience stores which offer sausage (pafalse) or hot dogs (kjempegril or grillpafalse), wrapped in bun (brafad) or flat potato bread (lompe) for around 20-30 kr. In addition to ketchup and mustard, optional toppings include pickled cucumber (sylteagurk), fried onien bits (stekt lafaak) and shrimp salad (rekesalat). One of the best deals at these types of locations is the kebab i pita, which is lamb roasted on a spit then fried to order and served with vegetables in a pita bread. This is a filling meal that can be found for as little as 25-40 kr.
Popular areas in which to find a quick snack are around Youngstorget/Torggata and Grafanland. Asian restaurants also tend to have good food at low prices.
A Taste of China
Torggata, near Youngstorvet.
Great dim sum.
Hegdehaugsveien 2, tram 11, 17 and 18 to Hafayskolesenteret.
Voted Oslo's best kebab many times. Not the cheapest, but definitely good.
Trondheimsv 113 (20 m from the Carl Berner intersection. Bus 20, 21, 31 or 33, tram 17 or T-bane 5 and 6 to Carl Berners plass)
Beer hall with cheap and varied food, including classic Norwegian everyday dishes.
Curry and Ketchup
Kirkeveien 51, near Majorstuen station.
Cheap and popular Indian restaurant. Cash only.
Storgata near Jernbanetorvet (T-Jernbanetorget or any tram to Jernbanetorget or Brugata)
Old-style beer hall serving delicious meat-and potato-dishes, often for less than NOK 100.
Inexpensive and excellent Vietnamese fare.
Holmenkollveien 200, 0791 Oslo, part of the famous Frognerseteren.
Traditional dishes like tall sandwiches, Norwegian meatballs/risolle in brown sauce, sour-cream porridge and cured meats.
Safarkedalsveien 10B, Majorstuen, T-bane, tram 11-12-19 or bus 22-25-45-46.
One of the few vegetarian restaurants in Norway. Daily meal option with choice of side dishes, NOK 100 and up.
Trondheimsveien 14 (Tram 17 or bus 31 to Lakkegata skole, then walk towards the city center)
Beduin-style restaurant run by Palestinian's with falafels, etc. Friendly staff and low prices.
One of the best kebab joints in Oslo.
Mafallergata east, (Bus 34-54 to Mafallerveien)
Best budget sushi in town.
close to Birkelunden (tram 11-12-13)
Excellent Turkish dishes. Burgers, pizza and breakfast are also available from NOK49 and upwards.
Saigon Lille Kafe
Bernt Ankers gate
Vietnamese is authentic and tasty and cheap!
Waldemar Thranes gate (bus 21-33-37-46 to St. Hanshaugen)
Dark drinking den with delicious, traditional, cheap and fattening Norwegian food.
Vann & Brafad
Tafayenbekken by Grafanland Bazar
Set within an old prison, this cafe serves cheap Spanish tapas and wine by the glass.
For more formal meals:
Grand Hotel's Grand Cafe
Karl Johans Gate, tel: 47-23-21-20-00
The cafe faces the Parliament and on Sundays offers a prix-fixe jazz brunch between noon and 4 p.m. The brunch costs 225 kroner a head.
One of the finest Chinese restaurants in Europe. The Peking Duck must be pre-ordered the day before, but is an amazing meal.
Ekeberg. Tram 18,19 to mannsskolen.
This restaurant is a modern architectural monument with gourmet dining and Oslo's best views.
Middelthuns gt. 25. T-Majorstuen, tram 12 to Frogner stadion.
All-Asian gourmet restaurant.
Solligt 2, just by Solli plass (tram 12,13 or bus 21,30,31,32 to Solli/Lapsetorvet)
Highly recommended restaurant with seasonal delights. A ten-course meal costs about NOK 850 per person. There are only 23 seats and no reservations.
Bankplassen 1; Tel: 47-22-82-25-25
A broad selection of Norwegian cuisine (medallions of reindeer in a sauce of port and raisins) is available at this elegant restaurant set in a 17th-century building. Dinner for two, including dessert and wine, will run about 1,400 kroner.
Raadhusgt. 11 (on the corner of Kirkegaten), 0151 Oslo, Tel: 22 41 88 00
Set within a beautiful 18th century mansion, this is another one of Oslo's Michelin rated restaurants.
Michelin rated restaurant within a villa that dates back to 1899. A terrace is available in the summers.
Universitetsgata 11, 0164 Oslo. Tel: 22 36 07 10
The menu is only in Norwegian, but there is a set course meal and staff speaks perfect English. It is a Michelin recommended restaurant, as well as "Bib Gourmand".
Pilestredet (tram 17,18 to Dalsbergstien
Proud owner of a Michelin star. They serve an eight-course meal for NOK 995. Food and wine around NOK 1800. Reservations are absolutely essential.
Bygdaay Allafa 3, Tel: 2212 1440
One of Norway's best-known restaurant, it has two Michelin stars. French style with a broad selection of set meals and a la carte dishes. There are also over 400 wines available.
Stortingsgata 24-26, Tel: 2282 4070
Located in the Continental Hotel, this is another Michelin-starred restaurant. Inspired by French cuisine, the restaurant is quite small with a capacity for 90.
Balchens Gate 5, Tel: 2212 9380
Also holding a Michelin star, this is another of the city's best restaurants. There is an a la carte menu, fixed priced daily five-course meal, and a daily vegetarian alternative.