At the top end of the market, Oslo possesses several dozen fine restaurants, the most distinctive of which feature Norwegian cuisine and ingredients, especially fresh North Atlantic fish, but also more exotic dishes of elk, caribou and salted-and-dried cod – for centuries Norway’s staple food. There is a reasonable selection of less expensive, non-Scandinavian restaurants too – everything from Italian to Vietnamese. More affordable – and more casual – are the city’s cafés and café-bars. These run the gamut from homely places offering traditional Norwegian stand-bys to student haunts and ultra-trendy joints. Nearly all serve inexpensive lunches, and many offer excellent, competitively priced evening meals as well, though some cafés close at around 5 or 6pm as do the city’s many coffee houses, where coffee is, as you might expect, the main deal alongside maybe a light snack. Finally, those carefully counting the kroner will find it easy to buy bread, fruit, snacks and sandwiches from stalls, supermarkets and kiosks across the city centre, while fast-food joints offering hamburgers and warme pølser (hot dogs) are legion. Smoking is forbidden inside every Norwegian bar, café and restaurant – hence the smoky huddles outside.

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