When it comes to capital cities, Oslo contends for the crown of the most dazzling with its remarkable natural landscape, rich cultural heritage and mouth-watering dining scene. There’s something for everyone here; from Michelin-starred restaurants to pop-up street vendors serving up earthy and honest favourites. Here are some of the best spots to look out for during your next northern European cruise.

Fine dining

Oslo has made a name for itself on the world stage when it comes to sophisticated, upmarket restaurants. The most famous is likely Maaemo, which currently holds three Michelin stars (it’s currently the only restaurant in Norway to do so). Only the finest organic ingredients go into these experimental dishes, and most also come from Norwegian suppliers, celebrating the beauty of simple local produce.

Over on Majorstuen Street, Restaurant À L’aise takes its cues from classic French cuisine to elegant and refined effect. The restaurant was recently featured in the White Guide Nordic as one of Europe’s very best restaurants. 

Fresh produce

At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find plenty of bustling markets in Oslo, where you can pick up ingredients for whipping up your own Norwegian feast. You’ll find the Oslo Fish Market on City Hall Pier, which serves up the freshest catch of the day as well as shellfish, oysters and sushi.

You’ll have to be quick to catch the Bondens Market: it pops up in a different location every single week. Browse the stalls to pick up artisanal cheeses, punnets of just-picked berries and cold press juice. Finally, treat yourself to something unusual from the Maschmanns Food Market, which specialises in imported Italian produce and ingredients from all over Norway.

Street food

Travelling on a budget? Luckily for you, the street food in Oslo has a reputation for being some of the best in Scandinavia. To try lots of different things without having to travel too far, head to Vippa – a revitalised port warehouse, where you can tuck into tacos, indulge with a burger or just get your caffeine fix with a coffee.

You’ll also find plenty of food trucks in Oslo, providing a cheap and delicious way to eat on the go. The 4 Gringos is perhaps the most well-known in the city, offering burritos, nachos, tacos and more. You’ll find one at Aker Brygge and another at Youngstorget.

Traditional cuisine

You know the famous saying: when in Norway, do as the Norwegians do. During your time in Oslo, there are plenty of places where you can try some traditional Norwegian fare. For everyday staples like salmon and fish soup, head along to Dovrehallen in Storgata (which also features live music on Saturday nights).

Tuck into delicacies such as moose, reindeer or lutefisk (a dish in which cod is cured in lye) in the city’s historical district at Gamle Raadhus, which has been serving Oslo for over 150 years. With its position by the water, Oslo is particularly known for its seafood – try some of the best at Lofoten in Aker Brygge, where you’ll also enjoy views of the fjords from the outdoor terrace. 

Cafes and coffee

If there’s one thing all Scandinavian countries excel at, it’s ultra hip coffee bars complete with cutting-edge contemporary design and high quality espresso. There are so many chilled-out spots in which to take a break from shopping and exploring: start at Tim Wendelboe – named after its owner, the world’s most celebrated barista. Based in Grünerløkka, the café roasts its own beans and specialises in a distinctive and delicate light roast.

Mocca is the place to stop after visiting the Royal Palace. This stylish little spot offers freshly roasted coffee to pick you up for the afternoon, as well as delicious flaky pastries and a quiet, friendly atmosphere. Fuglen is the best of both worlds: a coffee shop by day, and a chic cocktail bar by night. It’s also packed full of antiques for sale, giving it a delightfully eclectic vibe. Finally, bike-enthusiasts will love Peloton: this cycling-themed café is decorated with bike frames on the walls and vintage jerseys – you can even have your bike fixed while sitting back with a latte.

Stomach rumbling yet? Find your new favourite Oslo restaurant by browsing our northern Europe cruises