Oslo - How to shop
Bread can be bought in any food shop and supermarket as well as bakery shops. In addition to white bread, a variety of wholemeal bread is available.
Norwegians love cakes and cakes are often baked at home for the afternoon coffee and the weekend. Sponge cakes and home made cookies are traditional, but pastries are also popular. Many Norwegian families try to keep the tradition of baking their own birthday cakes, often together with the children. But as both parents often work, and people have busy lives, birthday cakes are frequently ordered from a bakery shop (bakeri or konditori) or the supermarket.
Wine (vin) and spirits (sprit) are not sold in supermarkets or regular food shops. Beer is sold in food shops, but not after seven o'clock at night. To buy wine or spirits, you need to visit a state monopoly shop (Vinmonopol), which is found in shopping centres and central shopping areas. The monopoly shops offer a wide selection of wines and spirits from all over the world and the staff is knowledgeable. Opening hours should be the same as for shops, but are shorter on Saturdays and the day before a holiday. For information, call + 47 (815) 00 160 or + 47 (22) 01 5000. To find a list of locations or to do your purchases online, visit their web site at: www.vinmonopolet.no
Monopoly shops in Asker and Bærum
Knud Askersv. 26
Tel: + 47 (66) 79 4818
Gml. Ringeriksv. 40
Tel: + 47 (67) 53 3751
Øvre Torg 3
Tel: + 47 (67) 54 3510
Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Being aware of who has the best prices can really make a difference. There is a strong competition between shops, and prices vary considerably according to region. For instance, food prices are substantially lower in ethnic shops in the downtown area of Oslo called Grønland, compared to the western region of Oslo as well as Asker and Bærum, where people in general are wealthier. Prices are shown with the tax included (MVA, value added tax, currently 23 % - this varies).
Forms of payment
Most shops accept credit cards and checks are rarely used.
Opening hours (åpningstider) are displayed in shop windows or doors and it is rare to find shops that are open 24 hours (except petrol station shops). Shops are closed on Sundays (but open on Sundays in December). Opening hours are shorter in summer (June, July, August). Supermarkets and shopping centres are open between 9 am and 9 pm. Other shops close at 5 pm (Thursdays at 7 pm). On Saturdays shops close at 1 or 2 pm, but this varies.
Where to buy food
Supermarkets and shopping centres
The biggest supermarket chain in Norway, Rimi, has many locations and relatively reasonable prices, but the selection of food is traditional and limited. Competitors are Rema and Prix. Supermarkets with a wider selection are Mega and Meny. A supermarket chain with a more international selection of food is Ultra (in shopping centres such as Sandvika Storsenter, tel. (47) 67 52 23 00, Brynsenter, tel. (47) 22 27 94 50 and Stovner senter, tel. (47) 22 78 99 70) and the Centra chain (gourmet), tel. (47) 22 06 59 00.
The general opening hours ( åpningstider ) for most shops are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (17) on weekdays. Saturdays shops may close as early as 2 p.m. (this varies). Supermarkets normally stay open until 9 p. m. (21) but may close earlier. Sundays shops are closed, apart from smaller food shops or kiosks with special permission (such as Seven Eleven and food shops at petrol stations). Shops are open Sundays in December. In the summer (June, July, August), many shops reduce their opening hours. On public holidays shops will be closed (see Culture; National and local holidays), and the day before a holiday the shops will have shorter opening hours. Make sure you stay informed about the opening hours displayed on the door or window of the shop.
To buy food online, see www.handlegaten.no or www.markedsplassen.no/
Generally, the use of pesticides in the production of fruit and vegetables in Norway is moderate, compared to countries with a warmer climate. The selection of organically grown fruit and vegetables is now increasing, but the prices on these products are still higher than on other food products. Organic food is sold in health food shops (helsekostbutikker) and in bigger supermarkets. Look for food with the name "Økologisk" or Debio (Norwegian) and Demeter (imported). For more information on organic food, visit this web site: www.debio.no