Trendy Grünerløkka boasts a varied and vibrant restaurant scene. Whatever takes your fancy, from brilliant burgers in a contemporary American-style diner to fine French fare, or from spicy Indian dishes to a bohemian café, you’ll find it in Oslo’s hippest district. Read our insider guide to Grünerløkka and spice up your Norway weekends at these ten unmissable venues.
Restaurant, Bar, Butcher, Diner, Vegetarian, American, $$$
Døgnvill's delicious burgers | Courtesy of Døgnvill Bar and Burger
Døgnvill Bar and Burger is, as its name suggests, dedicated to serving guests with the best burgers in Grünerløkka. The restaurant opened in June 2012 and is already popular, drawing in customers with its delicious juicy burgers and refreshing drinks. Døgnvill selects pure bred Norwegian beef which is ground and prepared by a butcher in Stavanger and offers a range of thick, creamy milkshakes which are served in steel goblets. Døgnvill’s interior is a contemporary take on the classic American diner with modern industrial elements. It’s the perfect environment to enjoy its burgers like ‘The Classic’, a juicy burger with tomato, red onion, crispy salad and homemade mayonnaise, or something different like ‘Something Fishy’ a salmon burger served with spring onion, ginger, garlic and wasabi mayonnaise.
The Jacob Aall Brasserie and Bar in Grünerløkka is the newest branch in the Jacob Aall family of restaurants, which also includes two other branches in Oslo and locations in Lillestrøm, Fredrikstad and Bergen. Its Grünerløkka restaurant, with its relaxed ambience and contemporary interior, is a more informal and urban experience. A short walk from the scenic Olaf Ryes Plass, the restaurant features year round outdoor seating including blankets and heat lamps to keep you warm on chillier evenings, and serves a range of tapas-style small dishes and burgers perfect for a casual bite. Alternatively, go for three courses such as the appetizer carpaccio with rocket, pine nuts and parmesan followed by a main of braised pork neck and crispy prosciutto served with potato salad, spring onion and an herb gravy. Finish this with an indulgent homemade cheesecake topped with raspberry jelly.
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Bar, Restaurant, Cocktails, Contemporary, European, $$$
Views over Grünerløkka
Urban, industrial and chic is good way of describing Bar Vulkan, a bar and restaurant in one, located on the edge of the Akerselva River. It serves delicious food alongside a comprehensive wine list and cocktail menu, with live music played throughout the evening. Inside, Bar Vulkan has a classy and contemporary design with elegant and modern lighting, exposed duct work and retro artwork on the walls. Outside it has patio seating next to the Akerselva and a beautiful large rooftop terrace with stunning views over Grünerløkka and the rest of Oslo. Dine on dishes that include starters like cold asparagus with yuzu mayonnaise and almonds, and main courses such as duck with a tamarind glaze served with lemongrass and red cabbage.
For hearty and authentic Italian fare in Grünerløkka look no further than Trattoria Popolare. Established in 2011, it offers sharing platters, pasta, meat and fish dishes, and an extensive wine list and the ambience of a traditional Italian kitchen. Trattoria Popolare works in close collaboration with Norwegian and Italian farmers to select quality seasonal ingredients and only uses wild fish that is in season. Located in the premises of the former Schou’s Brewery, the restaurant offers tasty and traditional dishes that include appetizers such as vitello tonnato, roasted veal with tuna mayonnaise, and entrees like oxtail ravioli with spinach and oregano, or the sirloin steak served with rucola and parmesan.
At the Hereford Steakhouse guests can dine on famous pure bred Hereford beef, one of the worlds most recognized and loved beef breeds that produces a juicy and tender meat. Situated on the banks of the Akerselva River, the restaurant has a mix of exposed brick and sleek wood panelling in its interior that create a stylish yet cozy and intimate ambience. During summer months guests can dine outside on its large patio. Choose from starters like Hereford beef and onion soup au gratin or scallops with cauliflower puree and entrees that include Hereford tenderloin steak with mushrooms, vegetables and béarnaise sauce or spare ribs served with salad, a baked potato and barbecue sauce.
Something of a local institution in Grünerløkka, Markveien Mat og Vinhus first opened its doors over thirty years ago in 1983. In its long history it has earned itself a reputation for serving great food and wine in a classy but casual space. Markveien Mat og Vinhus changes its menu six times a year basing its dishes around fresh seasonal ingredients and produce combined with exciting spices and flavors. Its international cuisine features appetizers such as the tempting terrine of duck liver with frisee, grape marmalade and brioche and entrees like monkfish medallions served with olives, capers, and a potato and garlic puree. You must try its cheesecake with raspberry sauce, a closely guarded secret recipe that the restaurant has served 25 years and has become something of a local legend.
If tasty, spicy fare in opulently decorated surroundings is your idea of a great meal then New Anarkali, located just a few minutes from the picturesque Schous Plass, is the place for you. Serving Indian fare and specializing mostly in recipes from the north of India, New Anarkali has a loyal customer base who keep coming back for its mouth watering dishes. The restaurant has received glowing reviews in the local media and from Oslo based food bloggers. Guests can dine on samosas and fried king prawns as appetizers, and main dishes like butter chicken and tandoori fish.
Trancher Entrecôte is a meat lover’s paradise. It specializes in entrecôte, a French term that refers to prime cuts of beef used for steaks. The restaurant prides itself on serving only the very best meat and ensures a juicy, tender steak is produced by maturing its meat to perfection, grilling it slowly and at a high temperature for a perfect barbecue taste and resting it after cooking. Trancher Entrecôte offers a simple but delicious menu that includes starters of salmon, scallops or foie gras terrine with two sizes of entrecôte as main courses with a whole host of sides that include sauces like garlic butter and chimichurri, French fries and creamed potatoes
Fried sardines and rose wine at Le Benjamin Bar & Bistro | Courtesy of Le Benjamin Bar & Bistro
For fine and fancy French fare in a stylish and contemporary setting that includes soft, sumptuous leather seating, beautiful exposed red brick and candlelight, Le Benjamin Bar and Bistro is a must visit in Grünerløkka. The restaurant bases its ethos around creating a casual French bistro experience, with authentic Gallic recipes made fresh daily from the finest ingredients. Inspired by a love of all things French, Le Benjamin serves fare like beef tartare with beets, capers and onion to start, and mouth watering mains like smoked pork shank with steamed cabbage and béarnaise sauce, all complemented by an extensive wine list.
Fru Hagen opened its doors in the heart of Grünerløkka back in 1996 and has established a reputation as a trendy, laidback café that attracts an edgy, alternative crowd. Open late morning until late evening, Fru Hagen has a bohemian and urban atmosphere with haphazard yet stylishly beatnik furniture that invites you to sit down and relax a while. Perfect for a cup of coffee or one of its wines, beers or cocktails Fru Hagen serves tasty snacks like omelettes, sandwiches, salads and pasta, or main dishes like grilled pork with plum sauce and local sausage with mushrooms and marinated red onion.