Your guide to Mathallen, Oslo’s food hall
Opened in 2012, this food destination keeps traditional cuisine alive while showcasing new food trends from at home and abroad
There is a lot of talk about traditional and “new” Norwegian cooking these days. Historically, Norwegian food has been characterized by a modest list of locally available raw ingredients preserved or prepared in a short list of ways. However, the way that many Norwegians eat today has been influenced just as much by history and technological advances in food preservation and preparation methods as it has been by influences from abroad.
Opened in 2012, Mathallen Oslo, is food destination that has taken on the challenge of keeping Norwegian food traditions alive, showcasing what is new and exciting in Norwegian cuisine and promoting the capital’s connection to popular food trends from all over the world. Located in a former factory and a part of the Vulkan group, with over 30 concept boutiques, restaurants and shops to choose from, this is the location in Oslo for food enthusiasts.
Come here for some of the friendliest staff in Mathallen Oslo but above all else, a celebration of all things seafood. One of the best places for seafood in Oslo, this outpost takes on special orders and carries only the freshest seafood available. Named after the Norsk goddess of fertility and love.
Smak av Valdres
More of a food collective of regionally branded goods, this boutique features the best locally produced food products from Valdres, Norway – a town located in Oppland kommune. The lush woodland areas and pristine lakes of Valdres make it a keen location for fishing, rearing animals and growing grain. Cheese, spekepølse, fenalår and flatbrød are all favorites here.
Find brown cheese displayed under glass like works of art, specialty Norwegian cheeses and Norwegian saft drinks from local fruits like apples and various berries. Owned and operated by Tine (the largest dairy in Norway and 20th largest in the world).
Bondes Market carries Norwegian foodstuffs from all over Norway. If you can’t find it anywhere else, it’s probably here. Reindeer sausage, dried game meat, mountain berry juices and of course, brown cheese among several other products. All meat and game for sale are vacuumed packed. Bondes Market is a great place for those interested in organic, Norwegian and wholesome goods.
Gutta På Hagen
Translated to “boy in the garden”, Gutta på hagen focuses on the best in cheeses, meats, chocolates, jams and other accompaniments from all over Norway (especially Rørosmeieriet – winner of The Best Norwegian Dairy Prize 2013), Sweden and the Mediterranean region. Home to one of the foremost experts in Norwegian cheese and one of the most respected cheese experts in Europe, this is boutique has an additional location in Oslo’s St Hanshaugen neighborhood.
Veganism and vegetarianism are not new to Oslo, or even Norway for that matter but they have both been gaining a lot of traction in the last years. Vegan Wagon is a great place for soups, salads and smoothies with influences from Europe, Asia and the world over. It’s one of the newer installations at Mathallen Oslo but a good option for not only vegans but those looking for a fresh and interesting take on eating healthy.
Focusing on the art of French cookery, this is a sister outpost to Ma Poule in London’s Borough Market and Copenhagen locations. Part food boutique, part eatery, this place sells some of the best chicken confit I’ve ever had outside of Paris. Tasty food, incredibly knowledgeable staff and by far the ripest cheese in Oslo.
More than just a place to eat, a food destination
Mathallen Oslo is also home to the Kulinarisk Akademi, a space for cooking courses and private events. Courses here range in subject, but are very popular and worth trying to attend if you happen to be in Oslo. Most classes are held in Norwegian.
Whitney Love originally hails from Tucson, Arizona and is currently living in Stavanger, Norway. She runs the English-language food blog Thanks For The Food where she documents her love affair with Norway through the lens of traditional and modern Norwegian gastronomy. You can find her online at thanksforthefood.com or on Google Plus.
This article originally appeared in the March 14, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.