three great places - Oslo
Written by Anne-Sophie Redisch
Norway boasts some of the world’s best chefs, with local, seasonal ingredients featuring prominently in the cuisine. These restaurants are all in Oslo’s city centre, a short stroll from hotels, shops, sights, and theatres.
In the heart of Oslo, the elegant high ceiling and polished wood panelling of Grand Café takes you back in time. The large windows along main street Karl Johans gate overlook Parliament and offer great people-watching opportunities. It’s popular for business lunches, and is perfect for a meal or coffee break when shopping or exploring the city. The large back-wall mural depicts the Christiania Bohemians, a group of 19th century intellectuals, diplomats, and artists. Grand Café was their favourite watering hole, where they would solve the world’s problems and drink absinthe. The bearded man on the left is author Henrik Ibsen. During the 1890s, he stopped by twice daily, sitting at his regular table with a tankard of beer and a newspaper. Locals enjoy the large sandwich lunch buffet (prawn is especially popular), but the menu also features more substantial fare, including typical Norwegian dishes: wild salmon, elk, reindeer, lamb, and whale. Every Sunday, Grand Café hosts a popular jazz brunch
Oslo Opera House restaurants
The iconic Oslo Opera House features two restaurants. The exclusive and shiny white, candle-lit Argent is somewhat hidden, but well worth the effort. If you’re planning a night at the opera, set aside plenty of time for dinner, as the service does tend to take time. But you may want to take your time savouring the scrumptious and innovative dishes anyway. The set menus are changed monthly and could include delicious poached pheasant with pan-fried foie gras, creamed cabbage, chestnuts, and pomegranate. Brasserie Sanguine in the foyer is more informal and has better views, especially outdoors in summer, next to the waters of the Oslo fjord. Inspired by the Mediterranean, the menu includes salads, seafood, smoked duck fillet, steak tartar, an excellent fish soup, and more. While at the Opera House, be sure to take a walk on the roof for some spectacular views.
Next to City Hall, just a stone’s throw from the harbour and the lively Aker Brygge area, is the small and cosy restaurant Marrakech. On windy autumn days, locals are drawn in by the warm, sunny interior and the scent of sweet spices.
The menu comprises traditional Moroccan dishes, such as harira soup and various meze – hummus, olives, lentils, puréed aubergine, pickled beetroot, and fresh salad. For mains, the lamb tagine and chicken couscous are both delicious – with meat so tender you don’t even need a knife. Portions are generous, so you may not have room for dessert. But if you do, the chocolate fondant and the sweet baklava come highly recommended.
Oslo Opera House