Although it seems like this café / brasserie has been around for decades, Café Christiania opened for business only in 2005. Located across the street from the Norwegian Parliament building, the café occupies the ground floor of the handsome main lodge building of the Norwegian Order of Freemasons. The “Buen” (or bow) section extends from the building in a stone semicircle with large windows and outdoor seating on the rooftop terrace — prime viewing areas for people-watching in one of Oslo’s liveliest areas.
Inside, the café exudes decades of history via its collection of Norwegian country store items from the first 60 years of the 1900s. From mismatched chandeliers to stylish hats, from cookie tins to advertisements for all things Norwegian, the assorted bric-a-brac has the potential to make the place feel a little kitschy, but somehow the medley of curios transcends that, and Café Christiania comes off as elegant. The collection also provides plenty of entertainment while you wait for your meal to arrive, delivered by a helpful staff.
Try This: The café serves a proper afternoon tea six days per week, but if you’re here for dinner, begin with fresh asparagus with greens and Serano ham, or try the fish and shellfish soup. For the main course, the halibut with garlic foam, puréed carrots, potatoes, and sweet onions with a touch of licorice is unbeatable, although the lamb shank with barley and baked root vegetables, and the homemade sausages with mustard, parsley butter, and almond potato purée both sound fantastic. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a “chocolate nemesis,” served with a sorbet of blood orange and berries, and a raspberry syrup.