Can’t Miss Cafés: Oslo

Norwegians drink a lot of coffee. We are the second largest coffee-drinking country in the whole world (Finland drinks a little bit more). According to an article by Foodpedia, on average, Norwegians drink 5 cups a day. Yet, if you are traveling to Norway, do not think we prioritize quantity over quality! Some say Norwegians drink coffee like people drink wine; appreciating different blends from different regions as one would with wine. Because of this, Norway has some of the best quality coffee out there. And these are the top five cafés you should visit in Oslo.

This café first opened in 1963 – and it still carries the same style perhaps as it did back then. The space looks like a vintage interior catalogue! Which it in fact is. Co-owner, Peppe Truslen is one of the foremost experts in Norway on vintage furniture from the 50’s and 60’s. Which is appropriate since a few meters from the store they have opened a vintage shop.

Fuglen is café by day and cocktail bar at night. Although I have not tried their cocktails, their homemade ginger beer is delicious! And they have won several barista awards over the years which shows their dedication to quality coffee. I would recommend getting a brownie with your drink, which apparently a friend bakes for them every day – it will evoke the nostalgic taste of real homemade brownies in you.

This is a place I stumbled upon in Grønland – I was immediately taken with the simple yet cozy atmosphere. They sell quality tea and coffees. Since their opening in 1997 they have had a continuous focus on sustainable, organic and fair trade coffee. It is in the heart of what they do! They also have a good selection of teas and coffee beans to purchase, which are perfect for gifts!

A little piece of Berlin at the top of Oslo’s hipster area Grünerløkka. If you travel to Norway as a hipster, you have to go to Grünerløkka. If you are hipster and live in Grünerløkka, then you go to Liebling. Libeling, translated from German means ‘loved one’. The owner, who is himself German, has taken inspiration to recreate what can only be described as a “hyggelig” atmosphere of Berlin’s street cafés. Liebling is a low-key place to grab one of their fantastic mochas and chill with friends. And if you wish to drink a glass of wine Friday night without going out to bars, it is a peaceful alternative to going out. Whilst you’re there, scatter through the second hand shops under the faint disco light and Columbian Chi Cha music!

The Literature House in Oslo is a unique cultural hub which brings together all sorts of cultural people – hosting several events; book releases from renowned authors to political debates. The café is a ‘reading café’. Bring your own book or borrow one! You can bring your own food and drink too. This is a common Norwegian cultural habit, called “nistepakke” – or else the café and restaurant has a good selection of things to order. Litteraturhuset also has my favorite bookstore – with the perfect balance of classics and contemporary literature. It is a good place to get some work done or to read with the right amount of distraction.

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It would be wrong not to mention Tim Wendelboe in this mix – although I would not recommend it to everyone. Tim Wendelboe has world renowned coffee – the owner, Mr. Wendelboe, roasts his own coffee in store. So you could say he is pretty good at making coffee. Yet, I think only true coffee lovers can thoroughly enjoy the intense flavor. I do not count myself as a true coffee lover, but I can easily see how some people could collapse into ecstasy at sipping this elixir. You can obviously find Tim Wendelboe at Grünerløkka.

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