There are a few popular coffee chains in Oslo. One that you see quite a bit is Stockfleths and luckily for us there was one right across the street from where we stayed. The company has a long and rich history. Started in 1895, the company is really focused on high quality sourcing of coffee and tea and provide training and equipment for those who want to learn more about coffee and being a barista. They had great oatmeal, incredible pastries (they had a cinnamon roll type pastry that was just delicious), I had heard that they had a good hot chocolate too. Their hot chocolate was one of the most beautiful visually I have had, but was quite sweet and syrupy for my taste (they do use a chocolate syrup called DaVinci). The coffee, according to Rich, was very good.
This extra sugar though gave a lot of fuel for our walks today. We walked across to Torggata and up the road until the river, then turned off onto a pedestrian path just before crossing the bridge. Continuing along this path, we reached another little bridge covered in little stalls selling crafts and second hand bits and bobs. The little river looks more like extreme rapids and had not only overflowed onto the banks, making the ducks pretty happy, but was coming down in some places at a rate that I suspect would be too fast even for white water rafting. Someone obviously opened the tap somewhere far above and walked out for a coffee. The buildings in this area, unlike the downtown, were kept intact and are in different stages of redevelopment.
Just here around the bridge many are covered head to toe in graffiti art, some quite interesting. A few steps away is the start of the Mathallen Market. This market is a large food hall with stalls selling ready made food or individual ingredients such as cheese or fish. They offer a range of food related events, courses and competitions as well. If you are visiting make sure you pass by Den Blinde Ku, a great cheese shop. The owner was making cheese for her friends and one of those friends brought it to New York a few years ago and entered it into the fine food competition without telling her. The cheese won silver and resulted in an overflow of orders allowing her to expand. Here you can try a whole range of cheeses but also the famous Norwegian brown cheese. From here you can venture into the surrounding neibouhood where, especially on a sunny day, you will find everyone out on terraces or sunning themselves in the parks. If you are a coffee lover make sure you pass by Tim Wendelboe, located at Grünersgate 1 and grab a coffee or coffee cocktail. They have the goal to be known as the best coffee roaster and espresso bar in the world and seem to be close to succeeding.
Verdict: Nice hot chocolate and perfect fuel for a walk around Grunerlokka and the food market. Stockleths Old Town, Munkegata 2, Oslo, Norway