Norway may not be known for its meat-free cuisine but modern capital Oslo is happily full of veggie-friendly eateries.
I was only there five days and stayed with a friend so didn’t eat out as much as I usually would when travelling (thank goodness, as Oslo is stupidly expensive); however, when I did buy my meals, I made an effort to eat in vegetarian and vegan places where possible and sought out veggie-friendly places otherwise.
I’m excited to share my finds, so here’s a few of my highlights from the trip:
The Fragrance of the Heart – Sentrum
I hunted down The Fragrance of the Heart on my first day in Oslo, as I’d read rave reviews about it online. Situated right outside the City Hall, this vegetarian cafe is in a convenient location if you’re in central Oslo.
The cafe was inspired by spiritual teacher and peace advocate Sri Chinmoy who believed that world peace began at the heart of every individual. The cafe is decorated with spiritually inspired decor but it doesn’t feel preachy or overbearing.
The food is relatively simple but fresh and delicious. The cafe offer vegetarian and vegan wraps, soups, salads, pies and quiches, as well as a delicious range of sweet treats like biscuits, cakes and pies.
On my first visit (yep, I went back!) I had the hummus wrap followed by the blueberry and apple pie (so, so good!) with a soya latte. The second time, I got the Italian wrap with avocado, salad and cashew pesto.
The service was super-friendly and the cafe had a really relaxed vibe. By Norwegian standards, prices were pretty reasonable so I’d absolutely recommend this place.
The Fragrance of the Heart – Majorstuen
Set in an older building with some quirky furnishings (like the random sink against the wall my table was at), this branch of The Fragrance of the Heart had a very different atmosphere to the first I visited. It was cosier, for sure, but it didn’t have that same friendly, personal vibe.
This visit I opted for one of the daily specials – vegan broccoli soup. It was a huge bowl and tasty enough but I still thought it was a little overpriced (even by Oslo standards) at around £8.00. And it didn’t even come with bread!
Don’t get me wrong, it was still a nice cafe and great for veggies but given the choice, I would personally opt for the City Hall (Sentrum) branch.
OSLO RAW – St. Hanshaugen
Located in the lively neighbourhood of St. Hanshaugen, OSLO RAW is a small but stylish cafe serving organic vegan food, free from refined sugar, gluten and soy.
The cafe offers a range of tasty food options from raw pizzas, salads and smoothie bowls, to cakes, slices and desserts. They also offer coffee (with various plant-based milks), smoothies and juices.
Prices are pretty steep – even by Oslo standards – but everything is made on-site with high quality ingredients, so that wasn’t too surprising.
When I visited on a Saturday, the place was packed and seemed to have a very specific clientele: slim, uber-trendy females in their 20s. Fitting into only one of those demographics (female, to clarify) I felt decidedly out-of-place. Partly due to this, as well as the limited seating, I opted for take-away (the slightly squished cake below is my handbag’s fault, not the cafe’s!).
Perhaps I caught them on a bad day but service was incredibly slow and not the friendliest. Thankfully, the amazing raw berry cheesecake and oat milk latte made up for it, even if they did cost a small fortune.
Døgnvill Bar & Burger – Tjuvholmen
Located in one of Oslo’s newest boroughs, Tjuvholmen, Døgnvill is an upmarket burger joint with beautiful harbour views.
It’s not a veggie place but they have two vegetarian burgers on the menu, plus one that would be veggie if you removed the Parmesan. Both veggie burgers – Markens Grøde (The Grass of the Ground or Growth of the Soil, depending on the translator used…) and The Vegan Viking – looked great but as I don’t eat egg and I opt for vegan options where possible, the choice was an easy one for me!
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the Viking was the best veggie burger I have ever had. Ever.
The patty was made from smoked aubergine, beans, peppers and mushroom, and it was piled up with tomatoes, fried green chillies, parsley root chips, spinach, vegan cheese, plus an amazing peanut butter, spinach and chipotle sauce. Perhaps an unusual flavour combination but it was SO good!
My friend and I shared a bowl of sweet potato fries, and they served them with vegan aioli, which was a nice touch.
The restaurant had English menus making it super-easy to order, the service was really friendly and efficient, and in addition to the outdoor heaters, they provided blankets in case it got a little chilly. Lovely! Would absolutely recommend this place.
Prices may seem steep at 169 NOK (approx. £15) for a veggie burger but hey, it’s Oslo! That’s actually entirely reasonable.
Overall, I found Oslo a pretty easy city to eat out in. Most places offered vegetarian – if not vegan – options and the Norwegians are really good at allergen labelling so I rarely had to ask what was suitable.
To my surprise, I even managed to find a vegan salad at the airport for my flight home. Score!
Stay tuned for my Oslo city sights guide coming soon!
Have you been to Oslo? Where did you eat?