Ådne’s best Oslo tips
How to be an Eco-Tourist in Oslo.
Ådne having tapas at Funky Fresh Foods. Photo: Line Orfjell.
It really took time, but finally being eco-friendly is considered trendy in Oslo. More and more restaurants serve organic food and beverage, Øyafestivalen intend to become one of the eco-friendliest music festivals, and the inhabitants of Oslo are fortunate to have one of the world’s most high-tech sorting plants for household waste.
I’m Ådne (26). I’m totally crazy about everything that is eco-friendly, organic and fair trade. I’m that kind of guy who tend to buy stuff only because it’s organic. It’s a bit silly, I know, but I get so happy when someone actually tries to make the world a better place. Here are my best eco-tips for visiting Oslo:
Many restaurants in Oslo use some ecological ingredients, but they don’t necessarily brag about it. Norwegians don’t like to brag, you know. Still, there are a few places that is certified organic.
Funky Fresh Foods is a good place to go for an (almost entirely) ecological lunch or dinner. The name is a little bit awkward, I know, but the food is really good. They serve vegan food that can convince even the most hard-core meat lover! I usually go for the burger, but the tapas you can see at the picture (which should be pre-ordered) is nothing but awesome. They also serve plenty of good ecological wines and (expensive!) beers. During the summer season they also have an outdoor dining, pretty close to Akerselva. While you’re there, you should also stop by the museum store at DOGA: They’ve got several eco-friendly gifts made by Norwegian designers.
Located next to one of the biggest commercial coffee chains, Ekte Vare at Sagene is a local café that is nice to support. The café is small in size, but big on charm, located inside an ecological grocery store. Go there for delicious ecological lunch, pastries and great coffee, or just to support a really good initiative. Don’t forget to take a look at the wide range of locally produced cheese and meat inside the grocery store. Ekte Vare is open Monday to Saturday 11 to 17, Thursdays 11 to 18. Closed on Sundays.
PS: We at USE-IT Oslo serve organic coffee that is quite okay, for free. Visit us at Møllergata 3.
Ekte Vare serve delicious sandwiches and coffee.
I can’t think of any bars only serving eco-friendly, but most bars have something organic on the drink menu. My tip, Rent Mel, is really an organic bakery and pizzeria, but it’s a nice place for a few glasses of beers or wine as well – serving only ecological goodies. The interior looks like a fusion between a Norwegian mountain cabin and a hotel canteen, but they have a backyard and a good range of ecological beverages and pastries. If you get hungry, they can offer pizza. In fact, Rent Mel claim that they have the spiciest pizza in the world! If you can handle it, you will get famous, at least among the staff who work there. When you’re tired of the walls decorated with rosemaling, you can walk a few meters to Sentralen, which also have some organic beverages on the menu.
PS: Rent Mel is also serving breakfast.
Shopping isn’t eco-friendly at all – and if you really need to buy something, you should go second hand. Oslo has a plethora of vintage and second hand stores, but it’s also possible to buy something new that also is eco-friendly.
LiBe Etisk Mote is a cosy little shop at Sagene, an area probably soon to be Oslo’s new eco-district. In this tiny (but copious!) store you’ll find ethically produced clothes, shoes and accessories. Unlike other similar stores, they sell stuff that you actually fancy, and they also have some menswear if you ask for it. Definitely worth a visit! Note that they have very limited opening hours: The store is only open on Thursdays (11 – 18), Fridays (11 – 17) and Saturdays (11 – 15). If you call them in advance, they can let you in whenever it’s possible for you. Nearby you also find Nøstebarn, selling eco-friendly children’s clothing in wool.
LiBe Etisk Mote is worth a visit.
Why not escape from the city, into the woods? Oslo has plethora of forest very close to the city center. Thanks to Allemannsretten, the Right to Roam, everyone can roam freely in the forest. You can also pick as much as you want of berries, mushrooms, wildflowers and wild herb roots. (Right now there are perfect conditions for blueberries and chanterelles!). You can even camp for free! I grew up near Sognsvann, so I know this area very well. Take the subway no. 5 to the last station, Sognsvann (approx. 25 minutes from Oslo S). Go for a walk around the lake (3,7 km, 45 min.) or go to Ullevålseter (5,3 km, approx. one hour walk) where you can buy hot and cold drinks, pastries, ice-cream and even lunch (not organic). It’s an easy walk, and the road is well signposted. Choose another path on your way back to town.
During the summer, Ullevålseter is open Tuesday to Friday 10 to 16, Saturday and Sunday 9 to 17. Closed on Mondays.
PS: Locals do not usually swim in Sognsvann because of bird mites, but there are several beautiful lakes nearby that are great for a swim, for example Store Åklungen. Note that the nearest lake, Svartkulp, is approved for nudists, but open to everyone.
Photo: Rachel Hjorth-Jenssen.