What To Eat, Drink, and Do in Grünerløkka, Oslo's Coolest Neighborhood

© Knut Egil Wang/Moment/INSTITUTE

The city’s arty enclave, grows up.

No neighborhood points to Oslo's next chapter better than Grünerløkka, which stretches north from the city’s center. Once a gritty haven for artists (Edvard Munch lived there), it now has a booming restaurant, bar, and shopping scene. The first sign of a sea change was the opening in 2012 of Mathallen, a sprawling market, and food court that quickly became the city’s de facto gathering place. It has vendors ranging from seafood bar Vulkanfisk to street-food purveyor Atelier Asian Tapas, along with cooking classes.

Mathallen food market has 30 specialty shops, cafés, and eateries. Hilke Maunder/Alamy

From Mathallen, it’s a 10-minute walk across the Akerselva River to the area’s retail corridor. For high-end men’s streetwear, head to Dapper, which offers Scandinavian labels like Greater Than A and Copenhagen-based Colorful Standard along with global brands like Still by Hand from Japan. At nearby Ensemble, owner and former stylist Marte Økelsrud’s discerning mix epitomizes Nordic cool, presenting women’s fashion such as Totême, Rodebjer, and Faithfull the Brand, alongside international favorites like Budapest- based Nanushka. Lining the whitewashed walls at Hasla are shelves of distinctive silver and gold jewelry produced in Norway’s Setesdal valley.

And don’t miss Fransk Bazar, a cabinet of curiosities run by a French expat who stocks it with singular objects from his travels. When you’re ready for a break from shopping, pop over to the park at Olaf Ryes Plass, a popular spot where you’ll find a hip local mix of all ages.

The no-frills dining room at Bass Oslo. © Knut Egil Wang/Moment/INSTITUTE

Some of the area’s most fashionable bars—the gin joint Chair and beer hall Grünerløkka Brygghus—line part of a lively street called Thorvald Meyers Gate. It is also home to Bass Oslo, one of the city’s buzziest newcomers, which serves creative small plates such as grilled mackerel garnished with verjus-marinated mustard seeds and pickled cucumber, backed by an impressive natural-wine list. There’s also the tapas bar Delicatessen, on Søndre Gate, which serves a wide range of Spanish delicacies. After dinner, the industrial club Blå is the area’s prime spot for live music, and the adjacent cocktail bar, Bortenfor, is its post-show hangout.