Looking for the perfect restaurant for a romantic dinner in Oslo? Here are our top 5 choices.
When you’re planning a special evening or want to surprise someone (wink wink: Valentine’s Day is happening this year too), what would be better than a romantic dinner in a restaurant that has a special atmosphere. Maybe it’s sitting by a fireplace, the service that makes you feel special, or the surroundings. Oslo has something for every occasion and taste. Here are our recommendations for romantic restaurants in Oslo.
Statholdergaarden – Classical gourmet in Oslo
The Michelin star restaurant is located in a 17th century building right in the heart of the city. You can even book a private dining room. There is a lot of local flavours on the classical menu, and the wine list is impressive. The chandeliers and the outstanding service are just some of the elements that create the perfect atmosphere for a special night out. One of the best restaurants in Oslo. Statholdergaarden holds a Michelin star Our tip: Make sure you book a table in advance. Statholdergaarden, Rådhusgate 11.
Fjord offers a great selection of fish and seafood and a nice selection of wines to wash it all down with. The interior is on the dark side, dominated by tones of blue – like the night sky in the winter before it gets really dark. A good choice if you want to experience a romantic atmosphere and local flavours. Restaurant Fjord, Kristian Augusts Gate 11
Let’s start with a small personal disclosure: This is where me and my significant other had our first date, so Cru will always have a special place in my heart. But it’s not just me: the place comes highly recommended by many food connoisseurs in Oslo. It has also made its way to the Michelin guide. The wine list is guaranteed to satisfy even the most demanding guest, while the British-inspired menu (the manager is originally from the UK), rustic interior and knowledgeable team ensure that your evening is memorable. Highly recommended! Do also check out their wine bar which is downstairs. In addition to wine, they also have a seasonal 3-course menu. Cru, Industrigata 51.
Eik Annen Etage
Located in the same building as the Continental hotel, the restaurant Annen Stage is decorated in dark colours such as black, red and gold for a feeling of contemporary luxury. The menu has focus on Nordic ingredients, such as seasonal root vegetables, fish and meat. The wine list will also please even the connoisseurs, and among other things includes a wide selection of top champagnes. Great choice for that special night out. Eik Annen Etage, Stortingsgata 24.
Hos Thea – One of Oslo’s hidden gems
This is a charming little restaurant that you probably won’t come across by accident. Located in Skillebekk, a central residential area, the restaurant is equally popular among the locals and visitors. A touch of classical, old fashion charm and a menu boasting local flavours (especially seafood) with a a French twist are the ingredients for a memorable evening. The restaurant is fairly small, so do make sure you book your table well in advance. Hos Thea, Gabels gate 11.
A dinner or lunch at Aker Brygge is never a bad idea. We put together a list of 10 great restaurants to consider – something for every taste.
“So much food, so little time” fits perfectly with Aker Brygge: the wining & dining possibilities are fantastic, and whether you’re after fine dining or a super juicy gourmet burger, you’ll find it here. Here are our top picks for every occasion.
1. Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin – Seafood
I’ve been to this restaurant on all types of occasions: an informal lunch with friends, a date night and a business dinner, and it really works for every occasion. The interior is light, simplistic and Nordic, and the big windows allow you to soak in the views and atmosphere of the Aker Brygge / Tjuvholmen area while you eat.
Situated just by the canal, Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin has a seasonal menu that offers many local, seasonal flavours (for example root vegetables in the winter) and ingredients in addition to a good selection of seafood. Try the Norwegian King Crab if you want to try a local alternative to lobster (which they also have on the menu, of course). Another local speciality is the shrimp, which often comes from Norway, and is peeled by hand (by you that is). There is also something for the meat lover and the vegetarian. The wine list is also very good. Ask for pairings with food, as the staff really know their wine.
If you prefer a young, hip restaurant with a rustic interior, you’ll love Delicatessen. It’s a a super popular, Spanish-inspired restaurant that offers small tapas dishes and a nice selection of wines. In addition to the regular menu, there is always a selection of seasonal flavours. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from.
Delicatessen is almost always crowded (read: booking an advance is highly recommended), and there is a reason for that: the dishes are perfect for sharing with your date, family or friends, and the atmosphere is perfect for meeting friends. Delicatessen has two other locations: Grünerløkka and Majorstuen.
3. Le Vin Wine & Food – The Hidden Gem with French Twist
While not literally in Aker Brygge, Le Vin, opened in late 2018, is worth an introduction. As the name suggests, this is the place for wine lovers. The food menu combines French and Norwegian flavours (mostly meat and fish) , and there is nice selection of bar snacks if you feel like just having a glass of wine and a small bite to eat. The charming restaurant has become a favourite among the locals after it opened in late 2018 and is on the small side – make sure you book a table in advance. They also have a wine cellar – Le Cave – for private groups up to 20 people, the perfect place for a celebration with a larger group or business associates.
Hot tip: Next door to Le Vin sits another hidden gem, Barotto, a small bar that is run by the team behind Le Vin. They serve good cocktails and have an impressive wine menu (also top champagnes) – the perfect place for pre-dinner or post-dinner cocktails.
Hanami is a favourite among those that love Japanese food. The restaurant has two kitchens: one dedicated to sushi and another for warm fusion food. There is also a nice cocktail bar that has many cool Hanami signature drinks. The menu consists of a large variety of Japanese small dishes, various meat types from the grill and salads for those that prefer a lighter meal – in other words, something for everyone. If you love food that also looks beautiful (read: Instagram friendly), you’ll enjoy a visit to Hanami.
The restaurant is located just by the waterfront, and a dinner on the popular terrace on a warm summer evening is one to remember. It’s a popular restaurant throughout the year, so book your table in advance.
If you’re into architecture, you’ll love dining at Ling Ling, “the naughty little sister” of the world-famous Hakkasan restaurants. The hip restaurant is located in a landmark building in Aker Brygge. It’s not just a place to see, but also a place to be seen: it’s known as the venue for many celebrity parties. Those who are familiar with Hakkasan, won’t be disappointed with Ling Ling. Ling Ling is a good choice for a special night out with someone special or friends: there is a DJ every night from Thursday to Saturday.
Hot tip: request for a table with a view over Aker Brygge or Akershus festning, because the views are that great. Read more about the restaurant building here.
6. Lofoten Fish Restaurant Oslo – For seafood lovers
Lofoten fish restaurant in Aker Brygge, opened in 1992, specialises in seafood only, and does it really well – the restaurant is mentioned in the Michelin Guide. A particularly popular choice for business lunch or dinner, the restaurant has a minimalistic Nordic interior and the menu consists of a wide variety of seafood. Try their signature fish soup (starter) and fresh lobster from the tank for specialities, or order the shellfish platter (they request that you order this at least a day in advance) to taste a little bit of everything. We recommend meat lovers and vegetarians to consider other restaurants.
Book a table on the heated terrace for a great view towards the Aker Brygge promenade and for some people watching while you eat.
Lofoten Fiskerestaurant, Stranden 75, Oslo.
7. The Thief Foodbar
If you’re staying at The Thief, this is where you’ll have breakfast, but for lunch and in the evenings this restaurant turns into a modern food bar.
This is a great place if you are not up for fine dining, but want to enjoy a stylish environment and good service. During the day, there are many small dishes you can combine for a full meal, and in the evening the menu is a balanced combination of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes.
Looking for the perfect place to dine on a warm summer evening? Try the rooftop bar at The Thief – it offers one of the best views over the Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen area.
8. Louise – Norwegian flavours in a nautical atmosphere
Louise is a true classic and many locals remember this place from company dinners, but it’s a great restaurant for a lunch, a romantic evening or even a dinner with the family. The menu has something for everyone – including vegetarians – and has a lot of fresh local ingredients such as fish to choose from. Generous seafood platters are their signatures – pick one with lobster for that little extra.
9. Vingen – The Astrup Fearnley Museum Cafe & Restaurant
Let’s face it: Vingen, especially the terrace, has one of the best views in the Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen area, although it’s rarely mentioned among places to visit.
The café and restaurant closes early (depending on the day, 6 pm or 7 pm), so it’s most suitable as a lunch place, and actually because of its location, the perfect place for a little break if you’re exploring the area or sightseeing in Oslo. The menu and drinks are partially inspired by the museum exhibitions, so expect signature drinks you won’t get anywhere else. In the summer time, the terrace is the perfect place for a lunch or a drink.
Hot tip: Sunsets on the Vingen terrace are lovely as you’ll have a good view over the Oslo fjord.
Wondering where to find the juiciest burgers in town? Try Burger Joint. It’s a small, rustic American style burger joint that relies much on local ingredients. Try one of their classics such as the Juicy Lucy, Bacon Supreme or Holy Smoke and their Fries Royale (black truffle mayo & parmesan) and wash it all down with a shake for a meal that will keep you going all day.
Hot tip: In the summer, grab your burger to go and enjoy it by the waterfront in Aker Brygge or Tjuvholmen.
Luxury comes in many flavours in Oslo. The classical 5-star, the sustainable, or perhaps the choice of rockstars – check out our recommendations.
Oslo is a compact city, which means that you’re never really that far from the city centre or attractions regardless of which hotel you choose. And there is plenty to choose from – although global chains such as Hilton, Hyatt, Sofitel or Marriott are missing. Here are our top pics for a great stay in downtown Oslo.
The Thief – The trendy luxury design hotel
When rockstars come to Oslo, they stay at The Thief. It’s the flagship hotel of the Nordic Choice hotel chain and uniquely located in Tjuvholmen (the name literally stands for “the thief islet”, hence the name), and was opened in 2013.
Dark colours, design details and light, wooden floors are the trademarks of this trendy hotel, and they have a nice lobby bar that is popular not only among hotel quests but locals alike. If you happen to visit the hotel during the summer, a visit up to the rooftop terrace is a must – the views are breathtaking. The hotel also has a high-end spa with a swimming pool. There is also a hotel restaurant, but for dinner you’ll find several excellent options within a few minutes walking distance in the Aker Brygge area. Landgangen 1, 0252 Oslo
The Grand hotel – The symbol of classical luxury hotel
This hotel, which received a full face lift a couple of years ago, represents classical continental 5-star glamour. The hotel is managed by Scandic, a large Nordic hotel chain, and regularly hosts state heads, celebrities and even Nobel Peace Prize winners. The Grand hotel is located on Karl Johans Gate, perhaps the best known street to visitors. The hotel faces the Norwegian Parliament building and has a fantastic location for anyone looking to explore the city by foot or the public transport.
The Stortinget tube station is just one minute away, and the luxury shopping district, Promenaden, within 3 minutes walking distance. If you’re looking for a hotel with a spa and a swimming pool, you’ll enjoy the Artesia Spa at the Grand Hotel. There is a rooftop bar (Eight) with a view towards the Parliament, a restaurant (Palmen) and a lobby bar (Othilia). Karl Johans gate 31, 0159 Oslo
Carlton Hotel Guldsmeden Oslo – The cozy hidden gem
For some reason, this charming boutique hotel is not among the first you’ll see mentioned in conventional travel guides, however it’s a lovely hotel with a great location.
Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice about this hotel is the unique style, and those who care for the environment will appreciate the hotel’s throughout dedication to sustainability (and the breakfast is organic). If you have an eye for details, you’ll enjoy staying at Guldsmeden. This hotel is what you get when you combine cosy with luxury. The location is in Vika just behind Aker Brygge, with some 5 mins walk to the Astrup Fearnley museum. Parkveien 78, 0254 Oslo.
Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz Oslo
While not a 5-star hotel, Rosenkrantz is a regular at the top of list of the best hotels in Oslo. And it’s no wonder: it’s a solid 4-star hotel with a great location in the heart of the city (across from the Court House), a fresh, colourful design, good service and perhaps the best hotel breakfast in town in the restaurant Paleo.
It’s the small touches that make this hotel a tough competition for 5-star hotels: free coffee and often also bakery products in the reception area, protein bars for gym guests, free (simple) dinner and even hand lotion in the reception area restrooms (we have an eye for details).There is no room service, but there are plenty of restaurants, bars, kiosks and cafes around the hotel. Thon hotels is a Norwegian-owned hotel chain, and here is a fun fact: the owner, Olav Thon, is still very visible despite his 90+ years. Rosenkrantz’ gate 1, 0159 Oslo.
Hotel Continental Oslo
Just like the Grand Holte, the hotel Continental is located smack in the middle of the city center. In addition to having many of the attractions, shopping and culture around the corner, you’ll find a tram stop, a bus stop and a tube station across the street.
A classical 5-star luxury hotel, the Continental hotel hosts one of the top restaurants in the city: Eik Annen Etage. The food and beverage offering doesn’t stop there though: on the ground floor you’ll find restaurant and cafe Theatercafeen (their weekend brunch is highly recommended, but only served a couple of months a year) and lobby bar Bar Boman, which is popular among the locals as well.
Most of the hotel rooms, including the suites, have recently been fully refurbished. This hotel has a guest garage, which is convenient if you are planning to get around by a rental. Stortingsgaten 24/26, 0117 Oslo.
In case our top 5+1 reason to travel to Oslo didn’t already convince you to visit the capital of Norway, we put together a list of 10 events that will be happening in 2019. There is something for everyone: for the sporty one, for the foodie, for the music lover and so on.
Oslo Wine Festival 1-3 February 2019
Let’s face it: Norway is not a wine producing country, but we do love our wine. The great thing about not being a wine producing country is that the selection of top wines from literally all over the world – not just one or a few countries – is impressive. The Oslo Wine Festival is located in the Aker Brygge / Tjuvholmen area. There will be over 100 events happening in 20 different restaurants in the area, ranging from quick courses to guided tours. Learn more (only in Norwegian – sorry!)
Biathlon World Cup
The annual, international event takes place at Holmenkollen and gathers tens of thousands of winter sport and ski enthusiasts. In addition to a great sports event atmosphere, you also get to experience the unique closeness of the hills of Holmenkollen – just a short tube ride from the city center. As a bonus, you get to admire the amazing views over entire Oslo. For program and tickets, visit the Holmenkollen Ski Festival website.
Norwegian National Day
This is a day worth experiencing. It’s a day that, to many, begins very early: a festive breakfast, often enjoyed with a glass of champagne, is an important start of the often long day. To Norwegians, 17th May means school and marching bands, ice cream, getting dressed up in traditional outfits (bunad), meeting friends, overdosing on cake and waving small Norwegian flags to anyone and anywhere. This is the day when you’ll see the streets filled with people, regardless of the weather. If you’re planning to dine out, make sure you book a table well in advance. It’s also good to know that 17th May is a public holiday, meaning all shops and most services are closed (except for the public transport).
Every two years, the global maritime industry gathers in Oslo for a 4-day event called Nor-Shipping. The actual fair is in Lillestrøm, some 10 minute train ride from the Oslo city center, but there are maritime and shipping related events all over Oslo, especially in the Aker Brygge area. Read more.
Jun 14 – Jun 23
Oslo Pride is the biggest Pride event in Norway, and brings together tens of thousands of people to celebrate and enjoy arts, diversity and culture. The highlight of Oslo Pride is the parade which is 22 June. For full program, visit the Oslo Pride website.
The name literally stands for “the island festival”, and while the event moved onshore many years ago, it really started off as a festival on island called Kalvøya outside Oslo. It’s now one of the biggest urban music festivals in the Nordics, and is held in Tøyen Park, some 20 min walk from the Oslo city center. There are also tens of events and concerts around the city. Some of the names for 2019 have already been announced: Robyn and the Cure. For more info and tickets, visit the Øyafestivalen website.
Oslo Jazz festival
Each year, thousands of jazz lovers gather in Oslo to enjoy up to 90 concerts around the city. The festival is well established with a history that dates back 30 years. The program for the 2019 festival will be published soon.
Foodies have a good reason to visit Oslo in September when the biggest food festival Matstreif takes over Rådhusplassen between Aker Brygge and the Akershus Fortress. There will be some 200 exhibitors, and you can pamper your taste buds with flavours from all over Norway and the world. The program and info for the 2019 event will be announced soon.
The timing of Oslo marathon is actually quite ideal: in late September, the chances for the weather being too warm are minimal, and the risk for rain and cold weather is not too high. For runners this means good weather conditions. The running event offers several other distances too, including half marathon and kids marathon. You’ll find more info and registration on the Oslo marathon website.
Opens 30 November
The Christmas fair – Winter wonderland – seems to get bigger and better each year, and is a must for anyone visiting Oslo in December. It’s a great place for Christmas shopping, tasting through Norwegian specialities, trying your luck on ice skates and much more.