With the National Opera and Ballet as a natural architectural focal point, the newest and most exciting part of Oslo, Bjørvika, is a testament to innovative Nordic and Scandinavian design. Soon to be home to some of Norway’s most important cultural institutions, such as the Munch Museum and the Deichman Library, this part of Oslo presents a cuisine as creative and exciting as its architecture. Here are ten of the best restaurants in Bjørvika.
One of the top 100 restaurants in the world, and decidedly Norway’s finest, Maaemo serves world class food in the middle of Oslo. Having earned two Michelin stars in one go, this innovative kitchen serves a delicate tasting menu of more than 20 courses, packed with seasonal and organic Norwegian produce. Offering a near panoramic view of the newly developed Barcode Project, and the Opera Quarter, Maaemo sets the stage for a spectacular dining experience, brandishing some of the very finest and most creative cuisine the Nordic region can offer at the moment.
As one of the two restaurants housed by the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Argent Restaurant provides a fine-dining option to anyone venturing inside the impressive marble building. As well as having a superb location, Argent has gained a solid reputation as a restaurant serving delicious food, made with fresh and seasonally adapted produce. As a result, Argent is a restaurant offering refined dining as well as a view towards the city center and the newly developed Barcode high-rises, which are both next to the opera. The view is of perhaps the most architecturally interesting building to be added to Bjørvika in recent times.
Founded by a quartet of profiled skiers and one of Norway’s favorite chefs, Arne Brimi, Vaaghals is, as the name ‘daredevil’ suggests, a daring new establishment in the new Barcode buildings. With the focus directed on to the concept of sharing – sharing a meal and sharing company – the restaurant serves large platters to be distributed among you and your chosen companions. In somber and international interiors, Vaaghals puts the spotlight on fresh, Norwegian produce, through a communal and scenic dining experience.
Sanguine Brasserie, as the second of two restaurants housed within the Opera, is the more casual dining alternative, providing a perfect backdrop for a pre-show dinner or a drop-in meal in beautiful surroundings. With a snow-white marble terrace going right into the fjord, and the spectacular building of the Opera which is an example of world class architecture, Sanguine Brasserie serves a continental selection in the most iconic surroundings contemporary Oslo has to offer.
Managing to capture a spot in one of Oslo’s new Barcode buildings, Serrano’s Bodega serves tapas to a wide variety of people, ranging from businessmen and women having lunch to the more relaxed evening crowds. Serrnao’s Bodega serves Spanish tapas and naturally has a large drinks menu dominated by wines of the Spanish variety. The restaurant also has a small deli counter from which you can buy some of the products served. Serrano’s Bodega is the ideal location for a pre-performance meal before heading across the street to the Opera.
In the outskirts of the Bjørvika area, bordering on Oslo’s Old Town, lies Ladegården – a baroque estate from the 1700s. Flaunting beautiful authentic interiors, the building also houses a cafe. Ladegården Café serves what allegedly is the very best Italian pizza in the city, in charming and historic surroundings. Perfect for the summery half of the year, enjoy a beer and some good food in great surroundings.
For more than 150 years, Engebret Café has been providing a solid dining experience to anyone so lucky as to find themselves in their vicinity. Meeting a demand for good food in one of Oslo’s most vibrant cultural areas, the cafe prides themselves on having been a haunt for the likes of Ibsen, Munch and Grieg, as well as other Norwegian and Scandinavian icons. Primarily providing a large selection of seafood popular during the summer months, Engebret Café also serves venison during the hunting season and traditional Norwegian Christmas dishes closer to the holidays.
Adding their efforts to the very trendy burger frenzy sweeping the Norwegian capital, is Bun’s Burger Bar. Situated on the tip of Sørenga, right next to the newly opened and extremely popular city beach, this burger joint has found an ideal location for a booming business. Bun’s Burger Bar serves juicy homemade burgers packed with flavor and has been hailed as one of the stand-out burger makers in the city. As a part of the ever developing, new and exciting, part of the Oslo cityscape, with the opera and the Barcode Project starring impressively in the background, this burger bar should have all hungry visitors heading in their direction.
Like many of the restaurants in the area, Cargo Restaurant and Bar is a newly opened addition to the Oslo dining scene. The hospitable and modern restaurant with the classic Italian menu is a far cry from Sørenga’s former existence as a container terminal, though it is occasionally reflected in the interior decor. Serving rustic pizzas made in wood-fired ovens and delicate linguine, Cargo is a welcomed new act with fantastic outdoor seating, offering some of the best views in the city.
Technically only existing in the summer half of the year, Sukkerbiten has occupied the perfect spot for an outdoor dining experience in the ever expanding and exciting bay area of Bjørvika. Among looming containers, Sukkerbiten (the ‘sugar cube’), serves a large selection of seafood, lunches and ice cream, but also hosts concerts and exhibitions in cool and rustic surroundings. Behind the Opera, down by the water, this restaurant has become one of Oslo’s favorite summer pastimes.