The Nordic Nomad

Oslo, Norway

Oslo’s 15 best restaurants (and must-try dishes)

The guide to Oslo’s top restaurants

Looking for the best eats in Oslo? Look no further – we’ve done the hard work for you (i.e. the eating) and have compiled a list of the essential restaurants in the city. From iconic establishments gracing the annals of Michelin to hidden gems only the locals whisper about, our selection reflects the diverse culinary landscape of Oslo. And because a meal isn’t just about the ambience but what’s plated up in front of you, we’ve also highlighted signature dishes that are an absolute must-try. Dive in and let your taste buds embark on a Norwegian gastronomic adventure, enriched with global influences and home-grown flair.
Maaemo Oslo Norway restaurant
Maaemo Oslo Norway restaurant

01

Maaemo

As the founder and head chef of Oslo’s only three-star Michelin restaurant, Esben Holmboe Bang has set an exceptionally high bar for himself and his team. Maaemo, a name that derives from the ancient Norse word for ’Mother Earth’, indicated where his priorities lie. He makes sure that all produce on the set menu is either biodynamic, organic or wild. As such, Maaemo is an exploration of the Norwegian terroir. Guests are invited to enter a dramatic, dimly lit space with high vaulted ceilings, designed by local firm Radius design, that feels both sophisticated and clandestine at the same time.

Read the full article on Maaemo.

Maaemo
Dronning Eufemias gate 23
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Maaemo

The Vandelay Oslo Norway restaurant
The Vandelay Oslo Norway restaurant

02

The Vandelay – closed

Tucked away in Oslo lies The Vandelay, a delightful nod to the iconic Seinfeld character, Art Vandelay. A creation from the genius behind Michelin-starred restaurants Maaemo and Mon Oncle, Chef Esben Holmboe Bang, this casual bistro revels in its vibrant, bubblegum pink décor – a design choice certain to tickle fans of the show. The eatery’s pancakes, served with a unique birch syrup, are so delightful that even the most discerning pancake connoisseurs are left in awe. They’re said to be made from a simple recipe that Holmboe Bang’s children whip up on weekends. For a richer experience, try these fluffy delights with their signature ice cream: an intriguing mix of vanilla and port. As for the main dishes, while the classic American cheeseburgers and avocado toast capture the essence of comfort food, it’s the design of the space that perfectly complements the entire dining experience.

The Vandelay
Operagata 30
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of The Vandelay

03

Vaaghals

In the avant-garde Barcode district, Vaaghals emerged as a culinary pioneer, opening amidst construction chaos in 2014. The restaurant, named after an ancient Norwegian boat unearthed during the area’s excavation, merges timeless and modern Norwegian gastronomy. Showcasing Scandinavian minimalism, its interior boasts an open kitchen and terrace vistas. Diners initiate their journey with house-made charcuterie, progressing to dishes such as the creamy celeriac pasta adorned with butter sauce and løyrom, a prized vendace roe, or the delectable entrecôte paired with potatoes in a sumptuous demi-glace.

Vaaghals
Dronning Eufemias gate 8
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Vaaghals

Savage Oslo Norway restaurant
Savage Oslo Norway restaurant

04

Savage

Inside the Revier hotel, Savage is a culinary beacon in Oslo, steered by the expertise of Andrea Selvaggini and Sebastiano Campanelli. This dining haven blends sleek design with vibrant artwork splashes, serving as a backdrop for dishes that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are palate-stirring. Dive into their multi-course tasting menu, notably the fusion of global flavours that birth spectacular signature dishes: perhaps a Mediterranean-inspired seafood platter or an Asian twist on duck confit. With roots in Maaemo and Einer, Savage’s chefs are elevating Oslo’s gourmet scene, making it an indispensable pit stop for the discerning diner.

Savage
Nedre Slottsgate 2
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Savage
Katla Oslo Norway restaurant
Katla Oslo Norway restaurant

05

Katla

An eruption of culinary innovation, Katla roars to life under the mastery of Icelandic chef Atli Mar Yngvason. Channelling the fiery spirit of its namesake volcano, the restaurant pulsates with energy, from gangster rap beats to the aromatic dance of burning coals. The showstopper here? The 8-course menu, mingling Nordic essence with zesty Asian and Latin American undertones. Think tantalising takoyaki or mackerel, gently seared and paired with a zingy ensemble of sour cream, chives, pickled onion and pita. As for libations, the spicy margaritas pack a punch, harmoniously designed to complement Katla’s flame-kissed dishes.

Read the full article on Katla.

Katla
Universitetsgata 12
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Katla

Kafeteria August Oslo Norway restaurant café
Kafeteria August Oslo Norway restaurant

06

Kafeteria August

At Kafeteria August, Maaemo maestro Esben Holmboe Bang crafts a day-long dining reverie, ably assisted by Head Chef Petter Rolund Antonsen. The space is an artistry of design, seamlessly transitioning from morning’s minimalistic breakfasts of eggs, cheese and mortadella, to afternoon temptations of beef tartare and potato salad adorned with anchovies and frisée lettuce. Not just a feast for the palate, the restaurant delights the eyes with its exquisite decor and ceramics by Julie Solberg. As dusk envelopes the city, the wine list beckons, making this all-day eatery an essential sojourn.

Kafeteria August
Universitetsgata 9
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Kafeteria August
Mon Oncle Oslo Norway restaurant

07

Mon Oncle

Adding a spark of vintage French gastronomy to Oslo’s thriving food scene, Mon Oncle – adorned with a Michelin star in 2023 – is an intimate culinary haven named after a classic Jacques Tati comedy. Under the stewardship of Esben Holmboe Bang, famed for his work at Maaemo, the restaurant delights with an ensemble of French classics, meticulously crafted by toque-clad chefs, featuring the likes of beef Bourguignon and crêpes Suzette. Emanating the ambience of a luxurious French bistro, every visually striking dish reinforces Mon Oncle’s celebration of the lavish and rich tapestry of French cuisine.

Mon Oncle
Universitetsgata 9
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Mon Oncle
Happolati Oslo Norway restaurant

08

Happolati

Happolati, tucked in Oslo’s historic precinct, offers an artful blend of Asian street fare, elevated by Norwegian ingredients and Nordic finesse. With origins tracing back to Knut Hamsun’s novel Sult, this venue has maintained its simple elegance. The interior, meticulously crafted by Anderssen & Voll, nods to Asian aesthetics, showcasing pine screens, origami lights and contemporary takes on traditional paper lanterns. At the helm, chefs Mads Kjøllmoen and Rune Hinnland conjure dishes like potato pancake teamed with eel and shrimp and moreish caramelised bao buns, tailored for DIY ice cream sandwiches. With a memorable sake presentation and the compelling crab and roe dish, every bite at Happolati becomes an exquisite memory.

Happolati
St. Olavs Plass 2
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Happolati
Arakataka Oslo Norway restaurant

09

Arakataka

Situated a stone’s throw from Rockefeller Music Hall, Arakataka stands as Oslo’s cherished budget fine dining jewel. For over a decade, it’s been offering a delectable five-course menu spotlighting Nordic treasures. Signature dishes, like their spaghetti lavishly draped in butter sauce and crowned with løyrom (vendace roe), are not to be missed. Adjacently, Arakataka’s Matbaren, the vibrant food bar, serves flavour-packed small dishes, ideal for post-concert indulgences. Amidst an ambience that resonates with Scandinavian-inspired design, sip on exquisite natural wines, featuring celebrated labels like Lucy Margaux and Mother Rock. For a taste of authentic Norwegian flavours in an informal gourmet setting, Arakataka remains unmatched.

Arakataka
Mariboes gate 7B
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Arakataka
Kontrast Oslo Norway restaurant

10

Kontrast

At New Nordic restaurant Kontrast, Swedish-born chef Mikael Svensson and his team have created deeply rooted collaborations with a number of local artisanal purveyors of vegetables, meats, sea foods and dairy products. The outcome is a menu of mid-sized dishes made with the best the region has to offer, served in a stark and hip space located in the revitalised Vulkan industrial area.

Kontrast
Maridalsveien 15a
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Kontrast
Hot Shop Oslo Norway restaurant

11

Hot Shop

Hot Shop, named after the sex shop that formerly housed the premises, is part of Oslo’s semi-fine dining scene – an unofficial movement that serves up high-quality fair at reasonable prices in fringe locations on the outskirts of town. Founded by Jo Bøe Klakegg and Siri Haslund, partners in life and business, this casual neighbourhood bistro has a Nordic-style simple five-course dinner where local produce is front and centre. Veggies as food porn, in other words.

Hot Shop​
Københavngata 18
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Hot Shop​
Smalhans Oslo Norway restaurant

12

Smalhans

In the heart of St. Hanshaugen, Smalhans has stood as Oslo’s cherished neighbourhood eatery since 2012, known for shared plates, natural wine and a curated beer selection. The name, meaning ‘frugal living’, embodies their ethos: extracting value from the overlooked and innovatively championing quality suppliers. This commitment earned them the Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2015. Guided by Mads Ekrheim’s culinary vision and Rikard Gunnarsson’s adept management, guests can relish simple lunches, the sharing delight of dagens husmann and evening set menus. Their veal tartar and Sami-inspired gahkko bread stand out as signature experiences. Step into Smalhans, and savour their world of unique tastes and camaraderie.

Smalhans
Ullevålsveien 43
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Smalhans

13

Hedone

Hedone, residing in the old Bokbacka locale, is the brainchild of renowned chef Mads Revheim-Skjolden and seasoned restaurateur James Maxwell-Stewart. Deriving its name from ’hedonism’, this eatery champions a continuous pursuit of sensory delight. Boasting modern Asian cuisine, the dishes fuse the vibrant essences of Thailand and Japan, yet remain rooted in Norway through locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The exquisitely curated omakase takes centre stage, with the sushi rice cake topped with sesame mayo, pickled chilis and coriander being a particular triumph. The interior carries a buzz, capturing the action at the kitchen counter whilst Revheim-Skjolden masterfully crafts these taste explosions. If you value gastronomy, Hedone is simply a must-visit in Oslo.

Hedone
Skovveien 15
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Hedone

Schlägergården Oslo Norway restaurant

14

Schlägergården

Just outside Oslo in Lilleaker, Schlägergården stands as Björn Svensson’s recent culinary venture. Housed in a 1700s farmhouse, it emanates an intimate vibe reminiscent of Svensson’s personal dining space. The tasting menu celebrates Norway’s finest offerings, with standout dishes like Frøya scallops accompanied by gooseberries, and rich langoustines accentuated by smoked juniper berries. An indispensable feature is Oslo’s renowned Ille Brød sourdough, setting the gold standard for bread lovers. The restaurant’s interior seamlessly marries rustic heritage with modern aesthetics. For diners inclined towards luxury, a hint of caviar beneath bone marrow beckons.

Schlägergården
Lilleakerveien 30
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Schlägergården

Skaal Matbar Oslo Norway restaurant
Skaal Matbar Oslo Norway restaurant

15

Skaal Matbar

In the heart of Grünerløkka overlooking Olaf Ryes Plass, Skaal Matbar thrives as an eclectic neighbourhood haunt blending a bar’s spirit with gourmet offerings. Championing seasonality, they craft global small dishes with an eco-conscious slant, starring their layered potato fries complemented by crème fraîche and dill oil, and a zesty grilled cheese merging cheddar with jalapeños. The ambience? An informal, square bar where conversations flow as smoothly as their eclectic natural wines from Gut Oggau to Christian Tschida. No reservations, no menu online; it’s a spontaneous gem. While the sun-drenched exterior invites, inside, the groove oscillates between Kaizers Orchestra and Arctic Monkeys. A genuine Grünerløkka gem.

Skaal Matbar
Olaf Ryes Plass 12
Oslo
Norway

Photography courtesy of Skaal Matbar

Share this

Book your stay

Stay in the know

Sign up for the latest hotspot news from the Nordics.

Advertisement
48 h city guides

The discerning traveller’s guide to Kastrup Copenhagen airport

48 hours in Bornholm, Denmark

48 hours in Malmö, Sweden

48 hours in Copenhagen, Denmark

48 hours in Stockholm, Sweden

Freebie!

Get our free on-the-go Nordic hotspot map!

Please check your inbox!