Eating out in one of the world’s most expensive cities can be quite daunting at first. In Oslo, Norway, a pint of beer can set you back $8 and a basic lunch (sandwich + Coke) about $25. Even a Big Mac combo meal is $12! A nice dinner for two at an upmarket restaurant can amount to over $200. So, how would you enjoy delicious Scandinavian cuisine without exhausting your bank account while on vacation in Norway?

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The concept was labeled “Trash Gourmet,” meaning the food would be equally good as at their high-end restaurants, but served without formalities and at more affordable prices.[/pullquote]

credit Julia Norlander/

credit Julia Norlander/

Fortunately, the rules of supply and demand come into play quite favorably. High prices also mean fewer diners can now afford high-quality cuisine created by award-winning chefs. As a result, some of these acclaimed Oslo chefs decided to take matters into their own hands and opened a series of tier-two restaurants. The concept was labeled “Trash Gourmet,” meaning the food would be equally good as at their high-end restaurants, but served without formalities and at more affordable prices. There is no compromise on the quality of ingredients either.

Here are some of the Trash Gourmet restaurants you have to try while you’re in Oslo:


Torggata 30, 0183 Oslo

Oslo’s only bona fide Mexican eatery has developed quite a popular following. Authentic Mexican specialties include chilaquiles, cochinita pibil, pollo asado, and ox tongue, served with homemade gluten-free corn tortillas, salsa, and guacamole. The interior is colorful and cozy, accentuated with a rustic margarita bar. The best part is that entrees range from $6-12. Chef/Owner Anders Braathen prides himself on using only locally sourced ingredients such as organic pork, eggs, and chicken as well as fresh-caught Norwegian wild fish.

credit Veslemøy Vråskar/

credit Veslemøy Vråskar/


Budgeting Tip: The cheapest dining options in Oslo are typically casual Indian, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese restaurants and pizzerias.


Badstugata 1, 0179 Oslo

Piscoteket is the creation of Jaime Pesaque, who is well known for his Peruvian restaurants all over the world. Go there for a vibrant interior, a large bar, Andean music, authentic pisco sours and of course, classic Peruvian dishes made with Norwegian ingredients. They offer a $55 set menu including wine or cocktails.

Dietary Tip: Norwegian chefs are very conscious of ingredients that can cause food-borne allergies. Expect to find notifications for vegan, dairy, seafood, wheat, soy, nuts, etc. next to every dish on the menu.


Bernt Ankers gate 8, 0183 Oslo

Often rated the best burger joint in the city, Munchies offers gourmet burgers that can satisfy even the largest appetite on a budget. Beef patties are topped with mango curry, jalapeno mayo, or blue cheese dressing, and served with crispy fries. Choose from their six classic burgers (approx. $12 each) at their Torggata or Grünerløkka locations.

Dining Tip: When eating at restaurants, tip by rounding out the check to the next 10/50/100 NOK. If you really liked the service, 5-10% is an acceptable tip.

credit Moe Chakiri

credit Moe Chakiri

RELATED: Norway isn’t the only Scandinavian country serving up great grub. Check out what our expert foodies have to say in this Ultimate Food Guide to Sweden!


Torggata 32, 0183 Oslo

Go there for the beer, stay for the food. This classic American brewery located in an old brick building offers 20 kinds of beers on tap. With a lively atmosphere on most nights, it has become a popular place for locals and visitors alike. On the menu are varieties of kebab wraps for only $10, and even a whole suckling pig on special occasions.


Mariboes gate 7, 0183 Oslo

For fine Nordic cuisine, you can’t go wrong at Arakataka, which is run by Oslo restaurateur Nevzat Arikan. They serve seasonally inspired dishes in tapas-style portions. Try the most intricately prepared pepper crab, skate, or halibut, and finish with a plate of Norwegian cheeses. Prices are very reasonable at $15 per dish when you choose a 5-course dinner.

credit Julia Norlander/

credit Julia Norlander/

Will the high prices hold you back from visiting Norway? Why or why not? Leave your response below… 


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About The Author

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer who has traveled to 70+ countries and is on a mission to see the entire world. She is also the founder of the nonprofit organization, Go Eat Give, which promotes cultural awareness through food, travel and volunteering. Sucheta is the author of a series of children's books on travel, "Beato Goes To" that teach kids about different countries and cultures.