4 New-Nordic Restaurants Redefining Oslo's Culinary Scene

Courtesy Maaemo

With an emphasis on reinvented classics and super-fresh ingredients, Oslo puts its own stamp on New Nordic cuisine. 

Tradition, with a twist. These restaurants lead the way when it comes to Norway’s innovative take on New Nordic cuisine.

Maaemo

Any 20-plus-course New Nordic tasting menu risks comparison with Noma. And though this Michelin three-star institution does employ a few of the same tricks (a spare, hushed dining room; after-dinner kitchen tour; menu presented upon departure), chef Esben Holmboe Bang goes his own way. The menu makes rigorous, imaginative use of hyperlocal ingredients, ants and all.

Dishes like scallop with smoked roe and fermented celeriac or smoked reindeer heart with sour cream and plum vinegar strike a perfect balance between cerebral surprise and pure Nordic deliciousness. Norwegian waffles with whipped cream for dessert, meanwhile, is surely universal comfort food. 

— Jeffries Blackerby

Kontrast

After the Swedish chef Mikael Svensson gained a following for his focused approach (he sources almost everything from in and around Oslo’s own fjord), he relocated from residential Frogner to the emerging industrial neighborhood of Vulkan to build his physical interpretation of New Nordic: a space of concrete, steel, and glass contrasted with wooden tables, handmade ceramics, and tasting menus that center on ingredients like lingonberries, whitefish roe, and brown cheese. restaurant-

— Anders Husa


Stian Broch/Courtesy Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin

Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin

Set at the water’s edge, a mussel shell’s throw from the Astrup Fearnley museum, Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin serves some of the freshest seafood in Oslo, most of it local. Its modern, light-filled dining room is as sweeping as the menu is concise, and both are equally elegant. Fish dishes are expertly prepared—especially the crave-worthy fish soup, redolent of tarragon—but the thing to get here is shellfish: oysters, prawns, and the most preternaturally plump langoustines you’ve ever seen, sliced lengthwise and lightly grilled. 

— Julian Sancton

Bokbacka

This omakase-style restaurant brings to life chef Simon Weinberg’s food memories from growing up on his family’s farm, Bokbacka, in Skåne, Sweden. Start your meal with “the Tree,” a bonsai surrounded by an edible garden of fresh vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes, and sprouts. This is followed by a series of dishes that reinterpret regional classics, like a plate of smoked fish with sour-milk bread and a blueberry soup with marzipan ice cream.  

— A.H