Hanging out in Oslo is expensive, but if you have done your research in advance you can enjoy food and drinks for a good value also in Oslo. Tourists visiting Oslo for the first time use to ask me these questions: Why is everything so expensive in Oslo? Where can I find affordable eating places in Oslo? That is why I decided to share my experiences with you about the Best Affordable Restaurants In Oslo. I want to create a guide which can help newbies to Oslo. It’s totally possible to eat a complete dinner from 75 kroner ($9) to 200 kroner ($25).
First of all I want to answer the question “Why is everything so expensive in Oslo?”. Norway has a high living standard, and may be compared to Canada, Switzerland and Denmark in many ways. All Norwegians have free education (universities are free for everyone), healthcare system is free for everyone too, and most people don’t pay any extra private health insurance. The Norwegian government also support people without any job or with health issues, so everyone is taken good care of. And all those quality factors must be paid for. That’s why taxes are very expensive in Norway. We have extremely high taxes for alcohol, cigarettes, sugar and anything else… Norwegians used to spend most of their money in the supermarkets and prepare all of the food at home. It is still quite common preparing your own sandwiches for job and school and bring them with you. It is worth to notice that food in the supermarket isn’t that expensive, while food and drinks in restaurants are very expensive compared to most other countries.
It is interesting to see that the lifestyle trend is changing more and more… Norwegians nowadays like to have a cup of coffee on the way in the morning, for lunch and after work… New cafeterias are popping up everywhere in Norway. It’s getting more common to go out even on weekdays now. Earlier people (except from students) used to only hang out with friends in the weekend. That means we eat more food out than we used to. If you eat out more frequently, you don’t want to spend that much money every time, and restaurants should have affordable meal options too. Check out this savings guide and you will at least not waste your money while you stay in Norway. There are many restaurants with delicious food and good service, and prices are not super expensive. Most places you can have water for free. There are still some places where you can eat a complete dinner for less than 200 kroner ($25). Most restaurants serve International cuisine. Norwegian authentic food is not what Norwegians are eating when they eat out. That’s why you will find more exotic food than local food in the restaurants in Oslo.
Where do I find the cheapest restaurant areas of Oslo? Look for Grønland and Grunerløkka if you want cheap restaurants in Oslo. Both areas are getting more and more popular so price level is increasing also here. The cheapest food is normally Turkish and Indian/Pakistani/Asian.
Where is the most expensive eating places in Oslo? The most expensive area is on the waterfront near Aker Brygge, also known as the most beautiful area, with waterside restaurants. Here you have plenty of luxurious restaurants and outdoor restaurants, very popular on sunny days.
Do I need to pay TIPS on restaurants and cafeterias in Oslo? No, for sure. Salaries in Norway are good, also relatively good in the service business. That means you should not feel guilty if you just pay the basic price on the bill. In case you are super happy with the service and food you can add some extras, but it’s absolutely not required. So there is no 10% or 20% Tips rule in Norway. Just pay the bill and the waiters are more than happy.
Punjab Tandoori serves probably the cheapest dinner in Oslo. For 75 kroner (less than $9) you will find”Today’s Menu” which could be Chicken Curry or Tandoori Chicken or similar. All dishes come with rice, nan bread and salad. The owner’s wife is the chef and the quality is always good. Although the restaurant looks old and small, you get good value for money here. They have also several vegetarian options. Punjab Tandoori is a 27 years old restaurant located in Grønlandsleiret in Grønland, one of Oslo’s main streets, always a busy street with lots of people and a vibrant atmosphere. You can discuss if this is a restaurant or a cantine but who cares as long as quality is good?
There is normally a line at the counter where you order and pay at the same time. The concept is super easy: Order, pay and eat. You normally get the food within 2-3 minutes and you take the food to the table yourself. They normally bring the free nan breads to the table a bit later. All their food is fresh and tastes good. It is also possible to order take-away. Punjab Tandoori is known for having real and authentic Indian food. We wished there had been more places like this in Oslo. Water is free, but you can also try some imported Indian beers for affordable prices.
Info about where to find Punjab Tandoori
This restaurant is one of the cheapest in Oslo. It sits in the middle of Grønland. Once you are at the Grønland Torg big place. You see Punjab Tanoori across the Grønland street. All of the Oslo Metro lines goes to the Grønland metro station. You can also reach it if you take the Bus Line 37 or 60 to Tøyengata or Norbygata bus station. Then just walk about 100 meters back, where you bypass the Grønland Basar shopping mall and Asylet pub.
Address: Grønland 24, 0188 Oslo
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11.00 – 23.00
Funky Fresh Cafe
There are not many vegetarian/vegan cafeterias in Oslo, so we really wanted to try out Funky Fresh Cafe. Located a as a hidden pearl, with entrance beside of Jakob’s church and view towards the river Akerselva, in the same building as DogA (a short for Norwegian Design- and Architecture Center.) The cafeteria has 70 seatings and a cozy garden outside with seatings as well. Here you can order a cafe latte with almond milk, fresh smoothies and juices. If you are hungry you can order everything from wraps to sandwiches and burgers to tapas. They also serve wine, beers and non-alcoholic drinks. The cafeteria is already Debio Silver which means it is accepted as 50-95% biologic, and the owners work towards Debio Gold (95% biologic).
Funky Fresh Cafe is the place to visit in Oslo if you want to find gluten free, sugarfree and healthy meals. They also have cakes, pastries and other snacks. It’s a relaxing place to come just for a home made drink, like e.g. a mint chocolate shake or a strawberry shake. They also have Raw Pressed Juice, lemonades and Health Boost Shots by pure Ginger and Lemon. The rest of the drink menus are also impressing because you have several options you can’t find anywhere else. High quality drink bottles of peach, ginger, goji, grape, acai, raspberry from the Kombucha Bryggeriet are not easy find elsewhere in Oslo. Coconut water and ginger beers are also on the menu. If you want hot drinks they have Fresh Ginger Lemon Tea, Chai Latte and Hot Chocolate. They use Oatly’s oat milk as standard in all their hot drink.
We visited Funky Fresh Cafe in a sunny summer afternoon and wanted a refreshing, cold drink and decided to share a big bottle of Kombucha’s Voelkel, a German quality drink with 0.5% alcohol only, and we really liked it. We also ordered the Pulled Jackfruit Burger with Green Pesto Dip. It was a barbecue flavoured jackfruit with a meaty texture. It came also with oven roasted sweet potatoes, coleslaw, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprouts and a pineapple mango chutney. We found that the flavours were good balanced and we really enjoyed our dinner. And yes, don’t worry, the dishes are large. We paid 179 kr for one bottle (1 litre) and 179 kr for the burger + 10 kr extra for the pesto dip + 35 kr extra for today’s freshly baked scones which were very yummy. We also had ginger’ish cake with a punch of fresh ginger as dessert. They had topped it with a cocoa powder. It was really delicious and we felt really full after eating all of this.
Info about where to find Funky Fresh Food
For reaching this place, you take the Bus line 34 or 54 to Jacob kirke station. This restaurant also sits near the food hall called Mathallen, which is about 400 meters from the place. Other interesting place which isn’t about food is SYNG, which is a Karaoke only bar that is only 100 meters away over the Akerselva river. This service is open from day to late at night and they do have a 20 years old rule. Scandic Vulkan hotel is also around 400 meters away from Funky Fresh Cafe-
Address: Hausmanns gate 16, 0182, OSLO
Opening Hours: Monday – Tuesdays: 11.00 – 20.00, Wednesday – Friday: 11.00 – 22.00, Saturdays: 12.00 – 22.00, Sundays: 12.00 – 20.00
Website Info: www.funkyfreshfoods.no
If you want a bit more luxurious Indian restaurant experience, you should take Tram 13 towards Bekkestua or Metro 3 towards Kolsås and leave it at Bekkestua station. Bekkestua is a charming little suburb with a small shopping mall. Restaurant Aroma is located at the 2nd floor of the mall. The entrance is quiet and relatively dark with some beautiful decorations and you feel welcome. The interior design looks classic and cool with wooden architecture in brown and grey. Here we were welcomed by a friendly Indian guy and shown a table next to the window towards a quite street.
The menu was gigantic with 68 items to choose from and it took a while to make the decision what to eat. We ordered number 49 Palak Paneer with traditional Indian homemade cheese also served with spinach, garlic, herbs and spice. The drink he recommended to this course was a local Indian beer, Cobra, served on a 0,33 litre bottle, which tasted really good. While we were waiting they gave us some tasty kind of chips and 3 sauces. We found the flavours were a perfect mix set together and it made us look really forward to the main course. It took less than 15 minutes to get the food, although there were many guests in the restaurant. The main course was served with a candle below of it, which maked it keep warm. The rice came in a boiler to be shared for 2 people. We wished actually to have more rice. We didn’t ask for more rice, and don’t know how much extra rice would cost. We didn’t order nan bread this time as they charged extra for that too.
We really loved this cheese course and would definitely order it again. We found the value good as we paid only 189 kroner ($22) for one course and the beer was 79 kroner ($9). The atmosphere is also good and not too much noise.
Info about where to find Aroma Retaurant
Address: Gamle Ringeriksvei 34, 1357 Bekkestua
Opening Hours: 15.00 – 23.00
Website Info: aromabekkestua.no
Bar Social Eating Tjuvholmen
If you are not very hungry, you can actually consider to visit Tjuvholmen too… Next to the sea in a luxurious environment you will find BAR SOCIAL Eating Tjuvholmen. This restaurant is located on the harbour side where its getting sunny until very late in the summer evenings, almost 11pm. If you are lucky with the weather it will probably be overcrowded here and difficult to find a table. You should wait for a waiter at the entrance to be seated.
Their menu consists of small “tapas” with flavours from the world. Please note you will not be full at all if you only order one dish here. You have 3 or 4 options in each of the categories “Greens”, “Meat”, “Fish” and “Sweet stuff”. They experiment with food from Mexico, Japan, Norway and Mediterranian – and more. We love creative menus! You should probably order 3 to 5 items if you want to have a complete dinner as every dish is small. We ordered the most typical Norwegian dish we found on the entire menu, Lettuceous cod with browned butter, egg and dill (134 kr/$16). The second “tapa” was a “Poke” salad with trout, mango, chili and avocado (134 kr/$16). The third “tapa” was Quesedillas with mushrooms, fennel and lemonade (92 kr / $11) and it was our absolute favorite. The cod was also really good, and better value than the Poke salad because it was really small. We were still hungry and wanted to order more food, but the waitress said “Sorry, kitchen is closed”. It was Saturday night and time was 10pm, and the restaurant was full of people… But we enjoyed the place and we will definitely go back. You get larger portions at Olivia, next to this restaurant. They serve Italian pizzas and pastas and you can easily get them for less that 200 kroner ($25). It’s indeed a better choice if you are hungry than Social Eating.
Info about where to find Bar Social Eating Tjuvholmen
Address: Bryggegangen 6, 0252 Oslo
Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday: 15.00 – 01.00, Thursday – Saturday: 15.00 – 03.00 and Sundays: 15.00 – 00.00
Website Info: barsocialeating.no
Italian food is served everywhere in Oslo, and there is a jungle of places to eat Italian pizzas, pastas and so on. It seems like more and more of those places specialize in just one thing. This is also the case for Tipo, which is located in Nedre Grunerløkka, near the river. Here we found a seating outdoor in the sun. Indeed, at this place you can enjoy the sun almost until it goes down. You can choose to be seated on the regular table, or more private in a booth, which is great. Music in the background, the volume was not disturbing, not too loud. The place is modern and rustic.
The atmosphere is cool and relaxed. A waitress came to our table and were smiling and welcomed us. We were offered the menu shortly after being sat at the table. She gave us an exciting and fun rich menu. There are plenty of tasty, crispy pizzas on the menu with many authentic flavor combinations. They offer a wide range of pizza, salads, smaller plates, appetizers and desserts. The pizza bottoms are gluten-free. The cheapest pizza here is Pizza Margherita (119 kr/$14). We ordered Capriccosa (149 kr/$18) and Parma (179 kr/$21) and shared. The two pizzas were very tasty and gave us a great pizza experience. They also have a wide selection of wines and other drinks. Something that makes this a great place for drinks as well as food. We also enjoyed beer from the bare island (Nøgne Ø, a Norwegian beer) and a good wine selection also pulls up. We summarize this eating experience: Great food. Nice and trendy rooms and a central location. The service was good with a welcoming and friendly staff. Absolutely recommended!
Info about where to find Tipo
The map doesn’t show where this restaurant is. But it is just there where Ditt Apotek is showing on our open source map. Jacob Aall is also replaced with Kebab og Ketchup and Trancher have moved a few meters up. You can reach the place with the Tram Lines 11, 12 and 13. You need to go off at Schous Plass station and then walk 200 meters down the Thorvald Meyers gate street with the tram tracks.
Address: Thorvald Meyers Gate 80, 0550 Oslo
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday: 16.00 – 22.00, Fridays: 16.00 – 23.00, Saturdays: 12.00 – 23.00 and Sundays: 12.00 – 21.00
Website Info: tipopizzeria.no
Pasta Fresca Popolare
Located in a hidden garden near Schous plass, there is a new pasta deli named Pasta Fresca Popolare. Here you buy fresh pasta and Italian products like olive oil, cheese and olive. You can order take-away, but you can also eat in the little seating area next to the window or outside in the garden where they have more space. There is no menu or information next to the counter. But the friendly lady welcomes us and gives us all the information we need. -Here we serve just “Today’s Pasta”, she says. Today’s pasta is gnocchi sardi al pesto di basilico, she said. The price is 120 kr ($14). We were asking for Coke, but they didn’t have other than Italian sodas, so we tried an Aranciata from Lurisia (40 kr ($5). We also were served free water.
Summary: An incredibly tasty pasta of today for a reasonable price. Elegant food served in unpretentious surroundings. Recommended for a quick snack. There is always some of their freshly cooked homemade pasta. Very good! Also friendly service.
Info about where to find Pasta Fresca
This place sits not so far from Tipo. If you see the Schous logo on the building along the river. Walk inside of the backyard and you will find several restaurants there. A hotel for musicians where they can rent instruments, Riksscenen which is a cultural theater, SATS gym and Popsenteret which is a musical museum sits next to the restaurant there.
Address: Trondheimsveien 2
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11.00 – 1800, Sundays: Closed
Website Info: pastafrescapopolare.no
Azadi Restaurant is one of the newest Turkish restaurants, and it’s not unique as the Turkish restaurants pop up everywhere in Oslo for the moment, especially in the Grønland area, near Oslo Bus Terminal. Here the waitresses wear read and black uniforms, which is very common in Turkish eating places. There were not many guests when we visited it around noon time. But since it’s a new place and we came in the Summer Vacation there are less people everywhere in Oslo. The benefit is that you don’t need to wait for an available table and you will get help quicker from the waitress.
Just after ordering at the counter and going to the table, the waitress served us a bonus pea soup as a surprise from the staff. We liked the soup and it was a perfect starter! In Norway we are definitely not used to get anything for free, so it was a nice gesture. And the main dishes came quickly to the table too. If we compare it in volume of food that you get served on the plate, this is definitely the most food you can get served anywhere in Oslo, that means a really good value for money. And we mean, LOTS OF food, actually we struggled to eat everything because we were so full! Azadi Restaurant at Grønland is a totally new restaurant that have prices around 100,- NOK ($12), which is quite cheap, for every meal that they have. The restaurant is surprisingly spacious and they have funky lights in the roof that are blinking in different colors. So, taking your kids here will be a fun experience for sure. If you don’t mind blinking lights, then Azadi is something for you. Well, you should come for the food, nothing else, because the food is indeed very delicious and the service is great too. We tried a chicken meal with couscous rice and a pasta alike chicken meal with spaghetti that were yummy, both served on huge plates (platters 22 and 24 on the menu). The dishes came with vegetables, salad, lemon, beets and red onion. I will say they serve food in American portions here, not European for sure. That means you will need to go here when your stomach is crying for food and you haven’t eaten anything in advance. The waitress at the restaurant smiled to us and gave us everything we needed. This is the kind of service that you should expect in expensive restaurants, but since everything is cheap in Azadi, we came in with absolutely no expectations at all. Azadi Restaurant didn’t disappoint us in any issue. You get good value for money, that’s sure, and in this restaurant we can say that the price is right for sure. We paid for everything when we finished eating and they gave us a friendly smile when we said good bye.
Info about where to find Azadi Restaurant
Azadi Restaurant sits just side by side with a 24 hour grocery store on Grønland. On the other side for it, you find the Grønland Basar shopping center with Max Burger fast food chain. The Azadi Restaurant is easy to locate from the Grønlandsleiret street from Grønland Basar entrance. To get here, you need to cross Grønlandsleiret from it. But you also can take the Bus Line 37 or 60 to Tøyengata or Norbygata bus station. If you take the Bus Line 37, then it’s only 40 meter in walking distance! Grønland metro subway station is also near, which sits about 200 meters away from the restaurant.
Address: Mandalls gate 2, 0190 Oslo
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11.00 – 23.00
Website: None at the moment
Do you want to try authentic food from Sri Lanka? Then you should visit Palmyra Cafe located in Grønland. In my opinion, this is the best Sri Lankan food in Oslo. I chose their vegetarian dinner and had a delicious dinner: Rice With salad, pappalam and various curries. The food was tasty, the prices absolutely affordable and good service. The Vegetarian meal costs only 110 kr ($13) and the course is big! They also serve southern Indian food here. This is definitely a place I will visit again! Their menu stands out from the other Indian restaurants in the area, and they also have an extended weekend menu.
Info about where to find Palmyra Restaurant
At the heart of Grønland, you find this restaurant. It might not be so easy to reach, but once you have got yourself to Grønland torg. Then you see Punjab Tandoori which we also have visited. Beside this restaurant, there is a street leading you to a mosque and a park. You just walk for 200 meters and then you reach Palmyra Cafe. Nearest transportation station is the Grønland metro station where all lines meets.
Address: Norbygata 15, 0187 Oslo
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11.00 – 21.00
Rice Bolle Thai Cafe Restaurant
If you want tasty and cheap authentic Thai food, you should visit this little restaurant located near the river (Akerselva). Not so big local, but they have taken advantage of the space well and there are many tables. The smiling Thai waitress welcomed us and gave us the menu. I decided to try the Phad Karri Kai (150 kr/$18): Fried chicken fillet with Thai yellow curry, coconut milk, mushroom, tomato, onion, thai clove, cashew nuts, coriander and rice. My friend ordered Phad Tom Yam Kung (150 kr/$18): Fried king prawns with lemon grass, chilli, galangal, lemon leaf, tomatoes, mushroom, coconut milk and rice. Drink came quickly and it made the food too, surprisingly fast. We got the dishes delivered less than 15 minutes from ordering and both dishes were very yummy. Rice Bolle gives you big portions and delicous flavours for 150 kroner ($18).
The food was very good, actually some of the better we have experienced in an Asian restaurant in Oslo. When the price also is reasonable, the place is definitely recommended!
Rice Bowl (in Youngs gate 4) and Risbolle (in Dronnings gate 24) are two sister restaurants to this one. They are located in the city centre and normally overcrowded. That is why Rice bolle is the secret tip for you if you don’t want to wait for finding an available table.
Info about where to find Rice Bolle Thai Cafe
Markveien 67, 0550 Oslo. Just take Tram 12 towards Kjelsås and leave the tram at Schous’ Plass.
The tram ride takes only 6 minutes. It is located on the corner beside of Marita’s second hand shop