In the warm weather we are blessed with in Oslo at the moment, you need to cool down with some ice creams from time to time. The city has ice cream parlors spread all over town, from the big brands to the small mom-and-pop stores and even ice cream trucks, bikes, and wagons. These are the top ice cream parlors you need to try this summer. Check the map for locations.
Update: Several of the places in this guide has closed. For a more up-to-date guide, check my map of the best ice creams in Oslo.
Dolce Vita – The Classic Gelato!
The Italians at Dolce Vita have run a gelateria in the middle of Oslo city for years now. It’s a classic on the Oslo ice cream map and a safe choice for a creamy and tasty gelato. The gelato is made fresh every day and the flavors vary, but some classics are pistachio, vanilla, mango, lemon, red berries, and tiramisu. Fresh ingredients are key for a good gelato. At Dolce Vita, the pistachio ice cream has a lighter green color than the artificially flavored ones you get almost everywhere, and you can feel the finely ground pistachio nuts.
Make sure you go straight to the register first and pay for the number of flavors you want. You get a small ticket which you then show at the ice cream bar. In my opinion, Dolce Vita is a great place for ice cream, but not so much for the other stuff they sell like sandwiches and coffee.
Gutta på Haugen – Organic Soft Serve
Gutta på Haugen is a small deli at St. Hanshaugen. It’s always been a go-to place for my favorite store-bought ice cream brand: Kulinaris. A few years ago Gutta på Haugen started selling soft serves in their store, made with Kulinaris ice cream. The best part was the amazing homemade toppings they offered – like salted caramel. This year they have taken the whole ice cream sale up a notch. A separate ice cream parlor has been built on the open space in front of the park outside.
Now they’ve got an organic soft serve instead, but Kulinaris is no longer the partner. Henning-Olsen was the only one that could make an organic ice cream and help fund the new project, according to the store manager Benedicte Eriksen. The homemade toppings are still available, and they make new special combinations every weekend. I asked for a combo of their rhubarb compote and liquorice sprinkles from Lakrids by Johan Bülow. It was a great mix of sweet, acidic and salty flavors, with a nice crunch! Be warned: the queues can get long outside this place – we got lucky on this day.
Ice Crime – Ice Cream Truck & Bike
Ice Crime is a brand new player in the ice cream market. The two founders Eric and Patrick want to bring creative American ice cream varieties to Norway. In addition to exciting flavors and toppings like corn ice cream with caramelized popcorn, they also serve ice creams as a sandwich – stuck between two biscuits. Doughnut sandwich with ice cream is on their wish list once their food truck is ready. It will most likely be parked at Aker Brygge. Currently, they only have their ice cream bike, which moves about between the most popular parks of Oslo like Kubaparken and Sofienbergparken.
Ice Crime should not be confused with the Belgian ice cream brand Ice Crime that can be found in some stores. That’s a healthy type of ice cream made with stevia instead of sugar. Ice Crime in Oslo wants nothing of that. They want fat, sugar and great taste. Currently, they make their ice cream in cooperation with a factory in Vågå, but they hope to open their own brick and mortar shop in Oslo to produce proper artisan ice cream.
På Pinne – Handmade Ice Lollies & Bars
På Pinne has a permanent spot at Sukkerbiten in Oslo next to the Opera house. They also do events and caterings and regularly pop up with their ice lolly wagon at festivals like Øya. The concept is homemade ice lollies and bars made with natural ingredients only. It’s refreshing and tasty! At the Øya festival, they even did some cocktail varieties – like Mojito ice lolly.
Kulinaris – Made in Kolbotn!
A safe sign of summer is when the ice cream truck from Kulinaris is rolled out in the park at Olaf Ryes Plass. Kulinaris is proud to announce that they are made in Kolbotn – a short drive from Oslo city. They have one of the best vanilla ice creams I know of! I also tested their new brown cheese ice cream “G35.” Brown cheese is a Norwegian specialty that many foreigners struggle to appreciate, but I have to say the ice cream version is a very soft introduction. Quite the delicacy in my opinion.
BA53 – Soft Serve From Kulinaris
Whether you choose to sit inside the coffee shop or in the sun outside of restaurant BA53, you should order the soft serve from Kulinaris. You can get it as an affogato – that’s soft ice in a coffee cup with a double espresso poured over – or you can ask for the adult version with chocolate liqueur on top.
We met the wonderful couple Helle and Erik for a drink and a soft serve in the sun. Helle also writes about food and travel at Helle’s Kitchen, and Erik shares his life of music, travel, and fashion at Mitt liv som Erik. Don’t miss the wonderful cocktails made by Sondre if you stop by here.
Sentralen – Yogurt Soft Serve
Sentralen is a restaurant with a soft serve machine! A brilliant idea for making simple and tasty desserts. This is a casual place where you can walk in and order whatever you want off the menu. You just feel like a yogurt soft serve on a warm day? No problem. I’m not sure they would do a takeaway version, but you’ll eat that thing so fast you’ll be off again in no time.
The Big Brands
Oslo also has ice cream parlors all across town from the bigger brands like Diplom-Is, Mövenpick, Hennig-Olsen, and Ben & Jerry’s, as well as ParadIS. They all make decent ice cream. The largest companies use more artificial flavoring and ingredients, of course, while the smaller use more natural. I’ve marked big boys’ spots on the map as well, in case you are in the vicinity and badly need an ice cream to cool down.
What is your favorite ice cream in Oslo? Please leave a comment below.