The Food Hall in Oslo is a food market which opened in 2012 in a former industrial hall by the Akers river, built in 1902. Today, the hall contains 30 grocery stores, restaurants, specialty food shops and eateries, bakers, bars and more, all offering high-quality products from Norway and abroad. We met with the manager of development at Aspelin Ramm, Frode Rønne Malmo. Learn more about the foodie paradise in the capital of Norway.
Malmo tells us that this is a place for individuals, families or companies to sample and socialize. The staff are proud of their products and love to talk about food you cannot find elsewhere in the capital.
Mathallen is located in the old hall on Vulkan with three floors with almost 3,500 square meters. In former times, iron elements were cast for railways and bridges here.
It is said that Scandinavia’s largest silver mine was located in the area where the Vulkan (Volcano) site is now located. Legend has it that a terrible dragon guarded the area and that this is one of the reasons why Oslo is where it is. Furthermore, the area was extremely important for the industrial revolution, with water saws and bridge factories. “We have attempted to incorporate this energetic development into the area’s overall design,” says Frode Rønne Malmo.
He adds, «Today, this is an informal place for everyone. There are no chain stores here, and the leases with the stores are from one to three years. They can be renewed, but it is important that our tenants fit in well with the environment. 3 of 30 leases are changed every year. 14 have been with us from the very beginning,” says Rønne Malmo.
The Food Hall
Several of the shops and eateries have their own serving areas, but it is also possible to enjoy your food in the common serving area of the Market. Although about 40% of visitors come from the local neighborhood, Mathallen has also become an attraction for all Oslo residents, particularly at the weekend. Before the corona, an increasingly number of foreign tourists found their way to Mathallen, and will probably be back again when the situation becomes more normal.
“Cooking classes and events are an important part of activities here,” explains Malmo. For example, Årets Kokk (Chef of the Year, i.e. Norway’s official selection for the international Bocuse d’Or cooking competition) takes often place at Mathallen. By the way, Norway is the most awarded country in Bocuse d’Or. Mathallen has also hosted a number of current affairs programs and TV series, not to mention the many festivals taking place throughout the year.”
A world of food in one place
At present, visitors can enjoy Hungarian food at Bistro Budapest as well as a French creperie, Hopyard bar offers more than 200 different beers, French and Swedish founders at Le Pain have a pure passion and knowledge for bread and Via Italia is serving ecological food from Italy, just to mention a few. If you enjoy Fish & Ships, British visitors claim that the fish at Vulkanfisk is even better than at home.
You can find all the shops here.
If you’re in Oslo, be sure to check out Mathallen. You can get a great value meal at any one of the many food stalls, or mix and match your meals from different stalls the way we did. There are also several restaurants and eateries at the adjoining areas.
Check out Mathallen food hall if you’re ever in Oslo – it’s not far out from the center of Oslo (nothing much is, it’s a very walkable city), and well worth the trip.
Mathallen is closed on Mondays.
Staying in the area
If you want to stay in the area, Scandic Vulkan Hotel is a convenient design hotel. After the opening, the hotel was nominated for the European Design Awards for best lobby, lounge and public areas. “It was very important for both Scandic Hotel and the owner Aspelin Ramm that the city council took into account the site’s history,” said the creative director at the design agency Stylt Trampoli, who was responsible for the outline.
The Foodie Paradise in the Capital of Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg
All images © Tor Kjolberg/Daily Scandinavian, except photo of Scandic Vulkan Hotel © Scandic Hotels