Oslo’s reputation as a food-lovers destination is growing, but holiday makers wanting to experience some Nordic cuisine this summer may be disappointed. Many top restaurants remained closed during July, and those still open were often impossible to get into.
The summer holidays are practically sacred in Norway, and many shops, eateries and offices close down for the month. Of Oslo’s five Michelin star restaurants, only Maaemo was open in July, reported newspaper Aftenposten. Ylajali, Statholdergaarden, Fauna and Bagatelle were all closed until early to mid August.
Maaemo’s press officer Bandar Abdul-Jauwad said the restaurant had been inundated with booking inquiries from foreign travelers since receiving a number of awards recently, including last year’s Nordic Prize for the best Nordic restaurant. It was the first time a Norwegian eatery had taken the title. So, they decided to remain open.
“We had the same offer last year, we thought it was a shame that tourists who come to Oslo and want to eat Norwegian food, meet closed doors,” Abdul-Jauwad said. “During the summer we find that we have many more visiting guests, both Norwegian and foreigners.” He said Maaemo was only a small restaurant with nine tables, and while it was still possible to get a seat in July they were often fully booked.
However, Norway’s major seasonal variances meant several popular places only opened during the summer months, particularly around the waterfront. Restaurants and bars including Lekter’n at Aker Brygge, seafood restaurants Solsiden and Royal Marina by the harbour, Sukkerbiten by the Opera House, and downtown rooftop bar Stratos all offered some extra options for Oslo visitors and locals.