Okay, let me start off by saying I did not pay $58 for one taco. I did however pay $58 hard earned American dollars for 4 mini tacos (the size of 2 regular tacos) and a beer at Taco República. Yes $58. Granted the two lamb ones I had were absolutely amazing and probably my favorite thing in the taco world since Rachel’s fish tacos. But still, $58? That wasn’t a fluke. Prices for food were high all over Oslo, Norway.
- Stopping into McDonald’s to look at a menu as a lot of times fast food are the cheapest options in a city. 18 chicken nuggets were going for $11.61. Back home last time I checked (which was a few years ago) it as 4 for $1.
- A grande latte at Starbucks was $7.78 (That’s close to NYC prices at least, but still outrageous in either city when you stop to think about, it’s COFFEE).
- 3 build your own tacos from Mucho Mas that came with rice and beans and I got a margarita, that cost $42.15
- A personal pizza and a beer from Den Gode was $21.23.
The economy in Oslo has been based on oil for decades now and over the last year and a half or so (at the time of this writing March 2016) has been in the decline. (See: http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-norway-economy-insight-idUKKBN0DO07520140508). A declining economy usually means the currency exchange rates are better and tourism goes on the rise.
Or so I thought. I just looked into historical exchange rates (See: http://www.x-rates.com/historical/?from=NOK&amount=1&date=2016-03-01) for March 1 of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 and at least for the USD rates were $.17, $.16, $.13, & $.11 respectively. So, in essence it would have been a better exchange rate back in 2013. Not that 6 cents on the dollar really makes that much of a difference.
But all I can say in the words of the villain Scar, Be Prepared. I was not, but then again I rarely ever am. I luckily stayed at an AirBnB this time around. (There will be a blog posting about that) so the room was fully paid for before my arrival. I however knew people in town an ended up going out to dinner nightly with the various said people who all happened to travel to Oslo at the same time as me (Again, as I stated earlier, tourism is on the rise). I did have snack bars with me for breakfast and lunch but damn dinner was a doozey to my budget. I’m luckily not a big drinker myself, but if you are I’d say you could easily spend $100-150 a night on dinner and drinks.
Seafood pasta at Di Rock Bar for $24.00 however it was made with spaghetti which was an odd choice in my opinion. The sauce was so so. My Margarita from Mucho Mas. Nachos from Cafe Sara and my beer from Chair. (Both of which were paid in cash and I’m unsure if the price off hand.) Cafe Sara is probably one of my favorite spots that I went to and I think I ended up there 3 out of my 5 nights.
All in all prices are what I would expect to pay for food probably a star or star and a half higher than the quality I actually got. I have no qualms paying a high dollar price for amazing eats, but all of these meals would have been in the $10-$20 range.