What’s in a sandwich? A lot of things, depending on where you’re coming from. In Norway, as in all of Scandinavia, what they traditionally call a sandwich is an open slice of bread topped with seafood, fish or meat and vegetables. But as Oslo is fast becoming a foodie city, it makes sense that you can now find a sandwich derived from every culinary tradition in the streets of the Norwegian capital. From Vietnamese bánh mìs and Mexican burritos to traditional Nordic sandwiches and all-American grilled cheese, these are the best spots to find a great sandwich.
One of Oslo’s numerous openings this year in the hip triangle of Grünerløkka, Grønland and Tøyen, Vintage Kitchen brings a little piece of Denmark to the Norwegian capital. Expect Danish smørrebrød for lunch every day, and hearty Nordic dishes accompanied with some great wine selections at night – the place also doubles as a wine bar. Try the savoury potato waffle topped with ham.
Funky Fresh Foods is an organic vegan café and restaurant that doubles as a health food store and a catering service. There’s a daily sandwich that you can choose to have in gluten-free bread; we recommend the grilled avocado sandwich with sundried tomato cream. If you would like to learn how to make vegan delicacies at home, they also offer cooking classes.
Burrito Project is Oslo’s first Mexican–American burrito restaurant, opened by two New Yorkers who wanted to spread some burrito love. Authentic Mexican–American flavours made fresh every day, such as the spicy chicken burrito with guacamole, will keep you coming back for more.
Melt grilled cheese sandwich with mozzarella and parmesan | Courtesy of Melt
If the idea (let alone the smell) of a grilled cheese sandwich is enough to make you salivate, then you should definitely stop by St Hanshaugen. Chicago chef Kim Asserson, who was behind Trondheim’s successful Melt Grilled Cheese venue, is now bringing some of that cheesy goodness to the capital. Expect gourmet twists on the classic cheese sandwich, such as lamb and lingonberries or beetroot and arugula – and, of course, expect a pot of melted cheese to dip your fries in.
Åpent Bakeri is a haven of freshly baked goods with several locations in Oslo. We are particularly fond of their outpost in Tranen, which has been open since 1921. Here, as well as sandwiches made fresh every day, you can get your sweet fix via a cinnamon or cardamom bun, or get a bigger lunch with a slice of pizza.
Inside this green kitchen (the literal translation of Det Grønne Kjøkken), you’ll find fresh sandwiches and baked goods made with an eco-conscious approach. As well as the traditional open sandwiches, we recommend you get yourself a delicious croque monsieur with a hearty béchamel sauce, accompanied by a crisp salad.
Prince Lunchbar has been considered the best spot for sandwiches in Oslo ever since its opening back in 2011 – apparently their secret weapon is their homemade tangy mayonnaise. They bake their own bread, which takes their Greek and Mediterranean-inspired sandwiches and burgers up a notch. This is a great spot to enjoy quality food straight from the source, at affordable prices by Oslo standards.
Fru Hagen has the laid-back atmosphere of a neighborhood café: a place where you can curl up on the couch with a warm mug, or catch up with your best buddies. Their sandwich game is strong, whether you go for one with salmon and poached egg, beef and guacamole or oven-baked meatballs and gooey mozzarella. Just leave some space for the apple crumble afterwards.
This is authentic Vietnamese street food at its best. Miss Gin, aka Gin Nguyen and Alexander Ngo, who opened Miss Gin as something to do in their spare time, serves traditional bánh mìs to die for. Our favourite is the one with pork ribs and vegetables, but none of the choices here will steer you wrong.
Speaking of bánh mì, this list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the restaurant by the same name. The Vietnamese sandwiches served here are huge, very filling and very reasonably priced. Go for the one with spicy tuna, or omelette and liver pate, and accompany it with a traditional Vietnamese iced coffee, if the weather permits.