Grünerløkka is a paradise for the creative traveler. What was once a rundown industrial district has been transformed into a vibrant, artistic neighborhood; today, you’ll find this area packed with innovative indie storefronts, secondhand shops, hip cafes, and whole alleyways painted with wild street art. Quite popular among the students and younger crowds, Grünerløkka is also known for its quality restaurant scene, and may be the best area in Oslo for seeking out a quality brunch. Read on for our breakdown of the ten best brunch menus in Grünerløkka.
The Nighthawk Diner
Diner, American, $$$
Named for the diner in the famous Hopper painting, The Nighthawk Diner
is a pleasant surprise for any homesick Americans rambling around Oslo; as soon as you walk in, you’ll notice the telltale bright chrome decor of fifties-style American diners. Sidle up to the long L-shaped table and take your pick from a menu of classic American diner grub, like pancakes, hamburgers, milkshakes, pies, fresh juices, and of course, a regular cup of joe. All the handcrafted furniture has been imported from the U.S., along with a stunning old jukebox which is a bit of a starring attraction at this venue. The kitchen make all their own sauces and mayonnaise, which are part of the magic behind dishes like the pulled pork and the chili con carne. The quality of the food and service draws a lot of people in, so try to get there a little early to snag your own slice of apple pie at this cute, kitschy Oslo outpost for all things Americana.
Det Grønne Kjøkken
Cafe, Restaurant, European
Det Grønne Kjøkken
(The Green Kitchen’) is an incredibly charming haunt, with ample seating both inside and out despite its strong sense of coziness. The menu may be small, but everything they offer here is 100 percent organic, from their range of baked goods to their light snacks and filling sandwiches. If you’re very hungry, the sandwiches are sure to satisfy your appetite, as they all come with hot cheese, béchamel sauce, ham, and a huge portion of salad. For a more breakfasty option, their omelettes are also known for their generous size. Those with a sweet tooth should try their organic cakes and waffles, or even their decadent cheesecake. If you need a little caffeine kick, their superb latte will pick you right up.
Cafe, Sandwich Shop, European
has been in the market since 2001, and has grown over the past fifteen years into one of Oslo’s best loved lunch spots for locals. It’s also a great place to have brunch on a lazy weekend. They serve some of the best sandwiches in town, the secret weapon being their homemade tangy mayonnaise. They also bake all of their own breads, which takes their sandwiches and burgers up yet another notch. This is a great spot to enjoy quality food straight from the source, and considering how fresh everything is, the prices are impressively low.
Bar, Restaurant, Northern European, $$$
Located inside the Hotel Folketeateret, Grilleriet
offers its guests a rustic, inviting atmosphere, with a large open kitchen on one end and a bookcase stuffed with old cookbooks on the other. The breakfast buffet is a true standout here. You’ll have a variety of fresh flatbreads to choose from, along with rye and crunchy bread, which you can top with your own customized assortment of cheeses, cold cuts, and condiments. You’ll also find hot dishes like fried and scrambled eggs, and a station where you can assemble your own ideal omelette. There’s plenty of bacon to go around, and a delicious warm aubergine salad for veggies. This is a great place for those who like to try a little bit of everything, so stop by and assemble the brunch of your dreams.
Cafe, Restaurant, European, $$$
You’ll love the low-key, neighborhood feeling at the laidback cafe Fru Hagen
. Whether you’ve curled up with a warm mug on one of their cushy couches, or have staked out a table for catching up one-on-one, there’s a casual, chilled out atmosphere here which attracts a big crowd without ever breaking the sense of calm. Their menu offers a wide range of omelettes, sandwiches, pasta, and burgers. For the earlier side of brunch we’d highly recommend the omelette, served with your choice of bacon or side salad. If your appetite’s leaning more towards lunch, go for the grilled chicken sandwich with tomato, mozzarella and basil dressing, or the pasta with beef, mushroom, spinach and fresh tomato sauce. No brunch is truly complete without a dessert, and Fru Hagen’s apple crumble with vanilla ice cream makes for a tasty finish here. If you’re a little too full for the crumble, go for the hot chocolate with cream.
Restaurant, French, $$$
is a French bistro in the heart of Grünerløkka, tastefully decorated in authentic French wainscot and elegant patterned wallpaper, with glowing Art Deco lamps and big windows by the street for people watching. The massive blackboard on the wall will inform you of the daily fish and meat specials, though the ideal brunch choices here would be the lighter plates the bistro serves. A simple yet effective choice would be the classic croissant with Nutella, served alongside your choice of tea, coffee, or fresh-squeezed orange juice. Another light but satisfying option is their onion soup, which comes with the Bistro’s special Gruyere gratinated toast. Hungrier brunchers will find plenty of sandwiches and omelette options to satisfy their needs, as well as an excellent salted cod and garlic dish with mashed potatoes. If you visit Bistro Brocante in the summer, take advantage of the outdoor seating arrangement, where you can soak up the sun while your bread soaks up the sauces of a hearty meal.
Copa Con Oro
Restaurant, Cafe, Mexican, $$$
Copa Con Oro
is the sort of place where you can while the whole day away, with retro furniture and plush sofas for comfort, and floor-to-ceiling windows for watching the world pass by. For drinks you can start with a cup of their excellent coffee, or their hot chocolate with chili for a spicy wintertime treat. For the main event, split a heaping plate of nachos with a friend, then dig into a big fluffy omelette served with potato wedges and salad. If it’s nice out, you could also try to grab a table on their beautiful patio outside, which is always packed with happy customers.
Restaurant, American, Mexican, $$$
is a modest Californian/Mexican restaurant serving fresh, home-style food. If you prefer to sleep in before a leisurely afternoon brunch, roll into Mucho Mas one afternoon and try something different. Their delicious tacos are liberally filled with your choice of grilled or braised meat or seafood, and heaped with guacamole. The torta sandwich is always a great choice here too. Mucho Mas offers a refreshing change of pace if you’re tired of the usual heavy eggs-and-bacon brunch, and all their dishes are packed with natural, top-quality ingredients for a healthy start to your day.
Cafe, European, Pub Grub, $$$
With its subtle background music, free Wi-Fi and intriguing decor, Liebling
is a laid-back choice for brunch where you can easily camp out and relax for hours after your meal. They serve fresh food here for brunch, like sandwiches and thick slices of bread topped with creamy hummus, lettuce and cucumbers, or with their house avocado spread and cherry tomatoes. The coffee and espresso drinks are the true stars of the show at Liebling, so be sure to try a latte or cappuccino to complete your relaxing experience here.
Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
is a popular retro-styled club that’s often packed for drinks and dancing in the evenings, but its all-American brunch menu is still relatively under-the-radar. Dine on fluffy pancakes drowning in maple syrup while grooving to golden oldies from the 50s and 60s, or go Californian with their sumptuous San Francisco burger, topped with mozzarella and fresh avocado. Don’t forget to try their unbeatable milkshakes, which come in a range of classics like strawberry and vanilla, as well as more surprising flavors like blueberry, pistachio, and Oreo cookie.