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The Fragrance of the Heart - GlasMagasinet

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 16 reviews )

GlasMagasinet, Stortorvet 9 (at Møllergate), Oslo, Norway, 0155

Younger sister cafe of The Fragrance of the Heart by the city hall. Nice interior and peaceful environment. Serves similar food to the other cafe, with some prices slightly higher here due to the location. Try the soups and curry. Made in-house Italian ice cream. Mon-Fri 7:30am-7:00pm, Sat 9:00am-6:00pm Sun-Mon closed.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Indian, International, Western, Delivery, Take-out

Reviews (16)

First Review by feorag

Just OK - Edit

I met a Norwegian friend here for lunch. I had their greek spanakopita with soup and he had the quiche with soup. Neither of us were particularly impressed. Both dishes (with the exception of the soups) were heated in the microwave. The flavors were quite average and price was expensive for a quick lunch bite. I wouldn't return.

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Barely acceptable - Edit

Cakes were dried out and not that tasty, drinks menu unspecific and unhelpful, staff incompetent and doing little except confusing one another. They have soy milk and things are labelled "vegansk", and that's all I can say that's positive. Also overpriced.

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Really good vegan soupes and cherry pie! - Edit

I was there for a business trip and I was pleased to find this place recommended by a collegue!

Pros: All the menus of the day are vegan, Excellent soups, Next to the fjord

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good - Edit

This is the larger of the two restaurants run by members of the Sri Chinmoy cult in Norway. It's in a fairly ice department store.

The food is clean and good, and they'll go out of their way for you if you're vegan.

This branch is closer to the train station.

Pros: close to station, nice environment, clean decent food

Cons: not all vegan, a little difficult to find the first time

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Peaceful, beautiful and delicious - Edit

I love this cafe. The athmosphere is sooo peaceful, the interior is beautiful and the food is delicious. I think this is my favorite place to eat. Also: they have great juice :)
If - or when - you visit Oslo, you should definitely give this place a try.

Pros: Nice athmosphere, Great food, Friendly staff, even on busy days

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A nice place for vegetarians - Edit

This vegetarian cafe is located on the ground floor of GlassMagasinet, a beautiful upscale department store right in the city center of Oslo and in walking distance from the central station. The cafe is closed in the evenings, so it is not the place to go for dinner - a pity, seen the limited vegetarian and vegan options in Oslo.

The place is mainly ovo-lacto, they have soups, sandwiches, wraps, cake and some lunch dishes. When I asked for vegan options I was first told there was only soup, but then the staff started to discuss with each other and in the end it turned out they had a vegan risotto and a cake. I felt a bit awkward since the food was not labelled as vegan and the staff was obviously not informed about the ingredients of the food. It was tasty, though, and it really seemed to be vegan.

I believe the place is great for vegetarians (and omnivores) who are in the area to have a quick tasty bite. As a vegan I'd wish they had more vegan options, "vegan" labels and better informed staff.

Pros: tasty food, location

Cons: not clear what is vegan, pricy

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Not recommended for vegans - Edit

Nice place, nice staff, nice prices. However, the only reason I go there is because there aren't really any other places that serve a range of vegan foods in Oslo. I always ask the staff if something is vegan, and I have had it happen twice now that I've eaten something, come back and asked again and a different member of staff has told me it's not vegan. This is the last time I'll be going to this place. I would definitely recommend avoiding for vegans unless you want to get them to check every meal with the kitchen.

Pros: Cheap, Friendly staff

Cons: Inexperienced staff, Have been told non-vegan food is vegan

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Lovely but small - Edit

This was a very nice place - bottom floor of the shopping centre - but only don't expect a huge choice for vegans. When we went there they only vegan option was hummus salad wraps and some biscuits. The wraps were very nice, but more of a quick lunch stop than a restaurant.

Pros: Nice food

Cons: small

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A dissapointment - Edit

Although I don't like to criticise vegan places where veggie food is not common the food here was not worth the money. I had a slice of vegan shepherds pie which was Kr79 & came with no sides. This was heated up in the microwave but cold inside when it arrived, although it was tasty. After eating this for a while I then had a mouthful with a small piece of grit in which the counter staff said is often found in lentils (?!). My dining companion had a nice slice of spanakopita and tchai tea. All together this came to Kr226 - the best part of £30, although of course Oslo is super expensive.

Friendly staff and nice atmosphere.

Pros: Staff, Decor, Taste

Cons: Quality, Food temperature, Limited vegan options

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Prefer the other Fragrance of the Heart - Edit

This cafe is located in a shopping mall, therefore usually more crowded and less relaxing than the other cafe. Also, the vegan food selection seems to be better at the cafe next to town hall. Still good to have a vege place to central though.

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Good food and friendly staff - Edit

I always go here when in Oslo. Good quality veggie food and friendly staff. Great place for a solo traveller to eat and feel comfortably alone in.

Pros: healthy , good value, friendly staff

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Lunch, Day 4 - Edit

Our first trip to this location (after some excellent soup at the City Hall location two days ago). We had the vegan tomato soup, hummus wrap and a soy chai late (only place in Oslo that we have found with soy milk as an option so far). All quite good. A pretty limited vegan selection, but by that point in the trip, we were just happy to find something that we could eat! Great ambiance and very kind English speaking staff.

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So delicious, friendly and also beautiful interior - Edit

I have to say WOW about this café. The place is often quite busy but the staff is extremely friendly. There is a special feeling in this place, very nicely decorated, calm music and of course delicious food, cakes, coffee etc.
When you visit Oslo you should definitely get "the Fragrance of the Heart" experience.

Pros: staff, food , beverages

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A pleasant surprise - Edit

This cafe is located by the entrance to the GlasMagasinet department on the corner with Møllergate, by the large ochre-coloured half-timbered building.

A department store cafe is never going to score highly on atmosphere, and I think they'd done pretty well, but it still felt like eating in the staff canteen of a New Age hobbit hole. Decorating a vegetarian eaterie with dangling slices of seashells was also a little odd.

Fragrance offers a set menu at lunchtime for 99Kr, which is outrageously good value in Oslo. It consists of a small bowl of soup and the curry of the day. The soup was lentil, and was thick, rich in flavour and warming. The curry was probably curry by Norwegian standards, but I would have called it a pea and mushroom stew. There was no detectable chilli in it, though the rest of the tomatoey sauce was rich with other spices, and contained plenty of coconut. It too hit the spot on a frozen November day.

Dessert is not part of the set menu, but knowing the odds of eating anything substantial for the rest of the day were quite remote (I was about to head off to the airport for a two-leg journey home via Schiphol), I had a slice of the wholemeal apple pie. There did not appear to be any vegan cream options to go with this, so I had it on its own, but it was moist enough. The coffee is also good, and the meat-eating partner was more than satisfied with the omelette baguette which was apparently much larger and more filling that it appeared.

Pros: Dead central, good lunch deal

Cons: odd atmosphere

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