Culinary Oslo food halls
Written by Alyssa Nilsen | Photos: Unsplash
Oslo is a city with culinary influences from all over the world. Norway has its own distinct cuisine, but most Norwegians take pleasure in enjoying food from all corners of the world, resulting in a diverse selection of food on offer in every part of the city. One of the easiest ways to get to sample several different cuisines at the same time, or within the same party of people, is food halls and food courts, of which Oslo has many – big collections of eateries all under one roof, with gatherings of tables where friends and strangers enjoy food side by side.
The first – and most famous – food court in Oslo is Mathallen, the centrepiece of the Vulkan area located by the Akerselva River. 26 gourmet eateries and bars surround Torget (The Square), a seating area in the middle of the hall with free seating for all guests to enjoy their newly purchased goods. Tapas, burgers, seafood, Asian, vegan, Italian, cheese, cured meats, craft beer, wine, cakes and desserts – it’s easy to spend a lot of time (and money) at Mathallen. Most eateries also sell products to take home, and cooking courses and other events take place regularly.
Buses # 34 and 54 stop at Møllerveien, a three-minute walk away, and trams #12 and 13 stop at Olaf Ryes Plass, a six-minute walk away.
A few minutes’ walk away from Mathallen, at Torggata in central Oslo, a whole street has become a bit of a restaurant alley. Craft beer outlets, gourmet burger joints, coffee shops and Mexican restaurants sit side by side. At the end of it all is Oslo Street Food, a youthful and vibrant food hall with an even more international flair, located at the old, distinguished Torggata Bad. At Oslo Street Food, they’ve replaced the traditional eateries with 16 food truck-style stands and four bars, bringing the vibe of street food markets indoors. There are seating areas scattered around the hall, but the outdoor seating is just as popular, especially on sunny days when an utepils is in order. On Friday and Saturday nights, the food hall turns into Klubb Torggata, with DJs making the place bounce with music.
Oslo Street Food is an eight-minute walk away from the Central Station. Buses # 34 and 54 stop at Hammersborggata, a two-minute walk away.
Down by the fjord at Vippetangen, in what was previously a stage facility for goods arriving by sea, is the trendy food hall Vippa. The colourful hall with graffiti design throughout has 11 eateries with Norwegian and international meals and a large seating area in the middle of the hall. The outside seating area is very popular, with fjord views and boats passing by while you eat. There is also Tøyen Cola for sale, a local cult version of the better-known fizzy drink. Vippa also arranges concerts, lectures and other events, so keep an eye on the calendar to see what’s happening.
Bus # 60 stops at Vippetangen.
For a more traditional food hall, head back down to Oslo Central Station; located next to the main hall, and the oldest part of the train station, is Østbanehallen, a slick and modern food hall with elegant architecture and art, stylish eateries and a calm atmosphere despite the stream of travellers passing through on their way to the main hall. In addition to the restaurants and cafés, Østbanehallen also has shops and a hotel, as well as an Oslo Visitor Centre for tourists. This is a food hall with separate seating areas for the different restaurants, and several of them also have outdoor seating with views of the architectural wonders of Sørenga.
For good deals on transport and experiences, buy an Oslo Pass lasting 24, 48 or 72 hours. The pass includes travel on all public transport across the city as well as suburbs and districts (Oslo as well as Lillestrøm, Nittedal, Asker, Ski, Nesodden and Drøbak), and includes free access to several museums and attractions, as well as discounted restaurants, sightseeing and activities. The Oslo pass is available online below.
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