Norway’s capital city sets the scene for health-conscious travellers owing to its outdoorsy lifestyle and growing range of superb green eats. Organic, locally produced, and vegetarian options are gaining a foothold in Oslo, thanks to imaginative entrepreneurs, decreasing prices, and soaring demand.
Kolonihagen restaurant is one of the forerunners of Oslo’s green eating wave. Their first eatery, opened in 2009, serving takeaway sandwiches and coffees, was followed soon after by a restaurant and a bakery, all specialising in organic, locally produced foods.
“We believe there’s a health benefit to eating organic and we like to share that with our guests. Hopefully in the future the organic label will no longer be needed and it will be the standard,” says Kolonihagen’s chef Thomas Kongstad. The restaurant in the Frogner district is housed in old, converted stables with a leafy outdoor eating area, and has become a favourite hangout among locals and a must-visit destination for health-conscious travellers.
Like many other farm-to-fork restaurants around the world, Kolonihagen changes its menu once a month to highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients. And while organic farmers are growing in number in Norway, the country’s strict regulations on using pesticides mean that even non-organic ingredients are cleaner than in many other countries. Chances are you’ll be eating healthy, pure food even when you’re not specifically looking for it.
Here are our top picks for green goodness in Oslo:
The Frogner neighbourhood on Oslo’s swanky west side is best known for its luxury apartments and upscale boutiques. Kolonihagen is a popular organic eatery housed in the inner courtyard of Frognerveien. Best loved for its atmospheric beer garden, rustic interiors, and beetroot salad, the restaurant also brews its own beer and prides itself on an almost exclusively organic wine list.
Frognerveien 33, 0263 Oslo kolonihagen.no/restaurant-frogner
Specialising in organic, gluten-free, and vegan foods, PUR Oslo is a rarity in the Norwegian capital. The founder Megan Guertner’s own gluten allergy inspired her to start a food business that caters to a growing clientele with a variety of special dietary requirements. Guertner’s specialities of quinoa sushi and raw, vegan, peanut butter cake, have found a solid fan base among locals.
Youngs gate 6, 0181 Oslo puroslo.com
The neighbourhood store Økohjertet (“eco-heart”) looks charmingly old-fashioned with its shelves made of old, wooden grates, but its offering is as modern as it gets with an emphasis on cutting out unnecessary waste. “Some 70 per cent of our products are unpackaged,” says founder Robert Crnalic, presenting tubes and jars brimming with lentils, grains, beans, and nuts.
Huitfeldts gate 12, 0253 Oslo okohjertet.no
Text and photos by Amanda Soila
This article is published in the May-June 2017 issue of Blue Wings.