Our insider lists places where you will find one-of-a-kind products and uncompromising service.
Håvard Schei is the man behind the book Mitt Oslo (My Oslo), an homage and a guide to the alternative scene, in a city that is basically quite offbeat. “Many of us are fed up with generic shops that can be found in any city. We embrace small, independent places run by true enthusiasts. This is what creates the city culture”, states Schei.
“Our aim with the Mitt Oslo project is to highlight the dedicated and hard-working people who make it great to live here”. Areas like Gamlebyen, Grønland, Markveien, Torshov and Torggata have recently developed into 24 hour feasts.
Photo: Håvard Schei
Håvard Schei recommends the following one-of-a-kind joints for an offbeat Oslo experience:
Dapper is a cyclist-oriented parlour offering clothing and other city ride equipment. Its closely connected to the next door Krankenhaus, a chic vendor of the iconic Brompton folding bike.
Address: Nordre gate 13, 0551 Oslo
Handpicked furniture and design objects signed by both up-and-coming and established Scandinavian designers.
Address: Rathkes gate 4, 0558 Oslo.
A workshop community and outlet, Embla is also a supplier of ceramic crockery to, among others, Oslo’s three-star restaurant Maaemo. You can observe the working ceramists through the window at street level, before pulling the entrance door.
Address: Hegdehaugsveien 14, 0167 Oslo.
Ruth is an old-school Norwegian female first name and Route 66 is a legendary American road stretch. Hege Nylund runs this shop specialising in Americana and other curiosities.
Address: Torshovgata 3, 0476 Oslo.
A cult shop for heavy metal that is also a museum. Fans come to Oslo from afar only to visit this joint with a name that in English means nosebleed.
Address: Schweigaards gate 56, 0656 Oslo.
A less genre specific record shop and music café alternative is Råkk & Rålls Brukthandel, the country’s biggest market for vintage records.
Address: Akersgata 39, 0158 Oslo.
Norway’s major permanent flea market. Here you will find all elements from Norwegian daily life of the past hundred years. A cheap and joyful alternative to the usual tourist souvenirs.
Address: Sinsenveien 11, 0572 Oslo.
A shop with the oldest trends in nature: Fossils, minerals, meteorites, insects, explorer outfits and other conversations pieces. The creator of this universe, Rune Frøyland, shares his passion and knowledge of nature, environment and science. While you're here, you might as well spend the rest of the afternoon visiting the relevant, nearby Museum of Natural History and Oslo Botanical Garden.
Address: Hagegata 1, 0577 Oslo.
A truly weird place, a kind of battle supply supermarket, with an unmatched mix of Viking outfits, film effects, uniforms, knives, sabres, masks, armour and almost everything else you never knew you needed. A playground for adults who are into all kinds of vintage relics.
Address: Storgata 37, 0182 Oslo.
Buy freshly caught and cooked shrimps. Enjoy it all while relaxing on one the many benches around the huge square facing the Town Hall. A meet-up with the fishermen who arrive early with their boats is an old tradition in the epicentre of the capital of the fjords.
Address: Rådhusbrygge 1, 0037 Oslo.
Proud chefs who are widely respected for their simple, locally prepared seafood. Cheap and cheerful in a city area that is increasingly popular among hipsters and the rest of us.
Address: Maridalsveien 188, 0469 Oslo.
A cosy neighbourhood establishment that attracts followers from all over the city. The location on a quiet corner gives room for spontaneous musical events.
Address: Rostedsgate 7, 0178 Oslo.
A popular local hang-out and eatery that has developed into a sort of a cultural hub, with both planned and spontaneous musical surprises.
Address: Bøgata 25C, 0655 Oslo.
Memory lane-friendly café where everything you sit on and see of vintage, desirable objects are for sale.
Address: Markveien 33, 0554 Oslo.
Join the distinct concert and café crowd who are more or less residing permanently inside this colourful courtyard.
Address: Grensen 8, 0159 Oslo.
A little piece of Brazil on a square filled with numerous cafés and restaurants that are increasingly popular night-time hang-outs.
Address: Møllergata 12, 0179 Oslo.
This espresso bar, coffee roaster and bean community spins around its creator and owner. Tim Wendelboe is considered an international guru in the field of squeezing the best out of every bean.
Address: Grüners gate 1, 0552 Oslo.
Small, wooden outlets selling sausages have long been a typical Norwegian phenomenon, but with new food trends moving in, few of these remain inside the city of Oslo.
The red-painted Syverkiosken is considered the only one still evolving around this culture. It subsequently enjoys credibility for the quality of its services.
The many loyal customers vary from the man in the street to notabilities. Apart from a myriad of choices in ketchup and mustard, one of their specialities is a shotgun, a double barrelled sausage wrapped in white bread.
Address: Maridalsveien 45b, 0175 Oslo.
This highly charming restaurant is situated on a tiny island. Since 1929 food has been served continuously in this building that formerly serviced ship crews queuing to unload and load in the Oslo harbour.
The menu mainly consists of fresh seafood with very good reviews.
Address: Herbernveien 1, 0286 Oslo.
This tiny, but high quality cheese shop and eatery is squeezed in between popular bars in the Grünerløkka area. The proof that Norwegian cheese is now much more than the traditional brunost.
Address: Thorvald Meyers gate 27
This gay-oriented hair salon is a local landmark that also houses a coffee bar, plus an adult shop in the basement.
Address: Schæffers gate 1, 0558 Oslo.
Barstool-based eatery in this Italian food shop, located next door to the popular pizza restaurant Villa Paradiso, which is also among entrepreneur Jan Vardøen’s numerous places. Located just a side-kick from the main street in eastern Oslo’s most frequented area, Grünerløkka.
Address: Markveien 34, 0554 Oslo.
A concert joint and a local hang-out that has a strong international touch with the help of notable artist who come to perform here. Idyllic location by the river of Akerselva that separates the west of Oslo from the east.
Address: Brenneriveien 9, 0182 Oslo.
Between the Oslofjord and the forests lies Norway’s capital and largest city, with its vibrant social scene and special combination of nature experiences and city life.
The downtown waterfront area in Oslo is reborn as a neighbourhood blending museums, restaurants and chic urban living.
A stay in Oslo doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact there is a lot you can do for free in the Norwegian capital.
Oslo’s unique location means almost unlimited opportunities for fun. Hike in the forest, swim in the fjord and go to a concert – all on the same day.