Thursday, December 9, 2010

Eating Gluten Free / Dairy Free in Oslo, Norway

Earlier this month, I spent a long weekend in Oslo, Norway.  While it is often said that Italy is the best place in the world to be a Celiac - Scandinavia must be a close second! 

I did some investigating of the GF situation in Oslo before leaving (see the travel tips here: Traveling Dairy Free / Gluten Free).  I really couldn't find any recommended restaurants, but I did identify a gluten free bakery, a coffee shop with gluten free options, and all of the nearest supermarkets.  I saw information leading me to believe that their were gluten free hamburger buns available at both McDonald's and Burger King but I couldn't confirm this (and their Norway sites are only in Norwegian).  [Please note, I did see a couple of gluten free pizza options but none were dairy free.]  I also taught myself a couple of phrases of Norwegian before I went (to be polite) but never needed more than "do you speak English?" as everyone I met did (and quite well!) 

Gluten Free / Dairy Free Roast Beef Sandwich at Bakefri in Oslo, Norway
The first afternoon there, I visited Bakefri (Kirkegata 15, 0153 Oslo, Norway, 22 42 55 55) the gluten free bakery I had found.  After asking which breads were also dairy free, I had a delicious roast beef sandwich (see photo).  It was near the hotel but most days I was out sightseeing in a different neighborhood at lunch time.  I did try to return to this location the final day there (Sunday) but forgot that they were closed that day.  They do have a website: but it is only in Norwegian!

Breakfast was included at the hotel (Rica Oslo Hotel, Europarådets Plass 1, 0154 Oslo, Norway) and I was amazed to find that they had WASA gluten free crisp bread.  (I've since emailed WASA and no, this is not available here in the U.S.)  The last day there they also had gluten free / dairy free multigrain bread available as well!  (In hindsight, I suspect they were out of it and perhaps would have restocked sooner had I asked.)

Gluten Free / Dairy Free Hamburger meal in McDonald's in Oslo, Norway
The second day, I stopped at a McDonald's for lunch.  Every McDonald's there has gluten free buns and there is no additional charge.  (Oslo is fairly expensive however, so the hamburger, water, and fries pictured on the left cost about $10 U.S. Dollars!)  The wrapper said gluten free bread/bun in a multitude of different languages!  [Note: at least in the U.S., McDonald's french fries are flavored with beef stock that contains both wheat and dairy in minuscule amounts.]  [See more about French Fries here: Are French Fries Gluten Free]
The McDonald's Gluten Free / Dairy Free Hamburger Unwrapped

The bun was good.  It wasn't the same as a gluten containing McDonald's hamburger bun but it was good enough.  It was also slightly bigger than the patty.

While the restaurant the first night was a little unsteady on their knowledge of celiac disease and food allergies, starting the second night and for the rest of the trip each restaurant was superb.  Saturday night the restaurant even had gluten free bread!  (It was slices of whole grain sandwich bread but better than most restaurants here in the U.S.!)

Burger King's Gluten Free / Dairy Free Hamburger in Oslo, Norway
On the third day, I made it to a Burger King.  Their gluten free / dairy free hamburger bun didn't taste anything like its gluten containing counterpart . . . it was better!  It actually reminded me of a bagel!  Not the type you might get in the Midwest or frozen in the supermarket, an actual Northern NJ / Manhattan area bagel shop bagel!  I wish they sold them plain, I would have bought some to bring home.  Just like McDonald's there was no extra charge for the bun and all Burger Kings had them.

The McDonald's Gluten Free / Dairy Free Hamburger Unwrapped
As I always do when I travel, I stopped in quite a few Supermarkets as well.  (I like to see what's available elsewhere in the world.)  Most supermarkets had gluten free crisp bread and some had a good gluten free selection, including cookies, bread products, and multiple brands of crisp bread.  A good portion of these were dairy free as well. 

One last thought, if you are tempted to purchase a loaf of Schär Gluten Free / Dairy Free Landbrot to take home with you (like I did), don't.  It is extremely bitter and sadly not worth the effort.

Overall, it was a great trip and it was super easy to eat out!

Updated 12/20/10

Added link to Traveling Dairy Free / Gluten Free

Update 3/6/11

Added link to Are French Fries Gluten Free

Other articles you may be interested in:

McDonalds in Spain offer Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

Cheeseburger in Paradise to Offer Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

Gluten Free Swedish Meatball Recipe (yeah, yeah, wrong country, but it's still a great recipe!)


  1. Hi -- I'm going to Norway in a couple of days! Can you tell me the restaurants where you ate when you were there?
    Many thanks,

  2. We ate at:

    The Grand Cafe (inside the Grand Hotel Oslo - Karl Johans Gate 31, NO-0159 Oslo, Norway) - no gf/df menu but very accommodating.

    Brasserie 45 (Stortingsgaten 20, N-0161 Oslo, Norway) - they have a gf/df entree and a gf/df orange sorbet for dessert!

    Bølgen & Moi Tjuvholmen (Tjuvholmen Allé 5, 0252 Oslo, Norway) - nothing on the menu but they were very accommodating and this was the restaurant that had the gf bread.

    Have a wonderful trip!

  3. Hi! Just discovered your blog and tho' I'm not in NJ, there's till relevant stuff here for me. Thanks!!

    This snippet:
    "it is often said that Italy is the best place in the world to be a Celiac"
    has me oh-so-curious! Italian restaurants are the ones I most avoid, due to the heavy use of wheat and dairy. It's been over a decade since I've been anywhere in Europe, so I realize that results back then do not still apply, but can you fill me in? Is GF "all the rage" in Italy now??

  4. There's a big difference between Italian food in Italy and here in the US. The Italian government has pretty strict rules on celiac disease, Italy has one of the best diagnosis rates in the world (I think somewhere in Scandanavia is slightly better), GF food is subsidised, and I hear rumor that employees are granted additional time off during the year because shopping takes longer!

    I haven't actually been back to Italy since going GF so this is all hearsay, but Spain and Norway were both great!

  5. Hello Jason. I'm in Oslo right now and thanks to your blog I had a cool experience today eating at a Burger King. I normally eat healthy food, but I got to tell you that a fast (and not so expensive) lunch here is a rare finding. Thanks a lot

  6. @Marina, glad to hear it! If memory serves, Bakefri wasn't too expensive (for Oslo that is!).

    Enjoy the rest of your trip!



Comments are welcomed but backlink spam will be deleted and reported.