It's that time again. Time to wrap up warm, eat more than you care to admit, and make small talk with people who you only see once a year. It's christmas my dudes! If this is your first christmas as a vegan you might be getting a little FOMO when you think about all the totally not vegan christmas traditions you would usually take part in. Don't worry though, you don't have to miss out AT ALL. In fact the best cure for FOMO is a festive weekend in Oslo in which you can go out and eat a lovely vegan christmas lunch, do a little vegan grocery shopping and even get some gifts for your friends and family.
Of course there are loads of restaurants and cafes in Oslo that now have great vegan options, (just download the Vegan Norway app to see) but we are talking about vegan christmas food and that is sadly much harder to find. In Oslo the best place is Funky Fresh Foods. They are holding a sunday vegan christmas buffet for two sundays in December: the 10th and the 17th. Their christmas food is so popular that this year you have to book ahead. I would recommend booking as soon as possible! It costs 349,- for adults, and 149,- for kids. There is a massive buffet which includes vegan pinnekjøtt and sausages, boller, christmas root vegetables, oven baked amandine potatoes, cauliflower puree, christmassy salads and dressings. There is also festive desserts including vegan riskreme and some lovely cinnamon raw cakes. You can keep going back for more food until you are full! Book a christmas meal at Funky Fresh Foods.
You can also get a vegan christmas meal at Egget in Grunerløkka. They have made a lovely three course christmas menu which has multiple options on it including vegan ribbe and pinnekjøtt! You have to book ahead here too. Book a christmas meal at Egget.
We love to visit the christmas markets at least once every year. Even though there isn't so much stuff for vegans there, the atmosphere is really cosy and we can treat ourselves with our favourite thing ever: churros and candied almonds! The churros they sell at Oslo Christmas Markets are totally vegan, and we were so happy to find out that the chocolate sauce that they have for drizzling on top is vegan too! We usually buy them and get a nice christmas coffee from Stockfleths to wash them down with before starting the christmas shopping.
A little birdy tells us that Nordvegan will also have some christmas food in the coming weeks so make sure you are following them on social media to stay updated.
Christmas grocery shopping
You can find a lot of vegan christmas groceries in regular stores. Stuff like gløgg, tangerines, certain brands of pepperkaker, and marzipan pigs (check the ingredients) are already vegan anyway, and you can make loads of vegan christmas food from regular ingredients. I'm a huge nerd so I plan all my christmas recipes in advance and tend to do a huge christmas shop online at Kolonial.no or Holdbart so that I'm on top of it all. I have to do some 'real life' grocery shopping though for those luxury christmas things that you should absolutely treat yourself to. My favourite place to go is Sunkost Gunerius where I recommend buying some fancy vegan cheese from Furu Creamery, Booja Booja chocolate truffles and maybe some Delizia pistachio ice cream? If you are planning some ski trips over the christmas break then you can get yourself some vegan weiners to pop in a thermos. Yum! Other specialist grocery stores I would check out are Røtter, Kinsarvik and Helios.
Don't forget the drinks! Norsk Vegansamfunn has an updated list of all the vegan wines they have at Vinmonopolet, and the Barnivore app should help you with the beers. I would recommend picking up a lovely christmas coffee from Java, Tim Wendleboe or Stockfleths to have ready for when the family come over.
Good gifts for vegans include bamboo underwear, vegan fancy chocolates, cookbooks, and a donation to an animal rights charity that they really care about. If you are vegan and want to buy a present for someone who isn't vegan then we recommend going for something not too vegan sounding (like hemp underwear for example), some nice skincare products from LUSH or Aesop should do the trick.
Buying stuff is nice, but it's even nicer to make gifts yourself. This year we have decided to make hot sauce for our friends and family. It's going to be a spicy christmas at our house!
The best gift you can give at christmas though is your time. Last year we spent christmas day volunteering at the Red Cross's homeless shelter in Majorstua. It was really easy to sign up to do a volunteer shift and we all had a lovely day. If you would like to do something meaningful during the holidays sign up for a shift here. You can also check out what other options there are for volunteering in Oslo right now at frivillig.no
Happy holidays from all of us at Vegan Norway!