Sunday is a bit of a dead loss in Oslo, but Vega, located in a former hydrotherapy baths run by the Seventh Day Adventists, is the one exclusively vegetarian place that is open that day (but not, obviously, on Saturdays).
It’s a bit tricky to find. You need to go in the main entrance to the baths (Kurbadet), which looks locked. It isn’t – you just need to turn the knob. Turn left, though the most spectacular Arts and Crafts corridor and turn right just before you get to the door of what used to be the men’s bath.
English is spoken, and they will guide you through the options available to you, and let you know which few dishes in the buffet are not vegan. This afternoon, the only things that weren’t were a pasta salad containing feta, and the lasagne. The lunch buffet was 125 Kr., drinks other than tap water extra.
There was a creamy asparagus soup, and a wide variety of salads to choose from. The hot dishes were the aforementioned lasagne, stir-fried mixed vegetables and rice – I didn’t bother as the salads were more than satisfying. By the bread were a couple of chutneys–a fantastic banana one, and an Indian style one consisting of large pieces of green chilli and whole cloves of garlic. I liked that one even more.
The atmosphere is exceptionally peaceful and relaxed. There are no windows in the dining area, yet it didn’t feel like I was in a hole in the ground. The loos are worth mentioning, too. Outrageously clean is the default in Oslo, but considerable care had been taken in their decoration too.
Update: I returned the following spring, and the food was even better. The only pain was the woman outside who wanted to evangelise me, even though she spoke bugger-all English.