Oslo street food article for Guardian Travel

Forget hygge. The original Nordic lifestyle trend was all about the ultimate comfort food: hotdogs.

The Syverkiosken [pictured above] is an Oslo landmark. The low-fi, 12 m sq kiosk located near to Alexander Kiellands Plass, has been serving hotdogs every day since 1979.

With prices starting from 20 Krone (£1.90), it’s one of the cheapest snack options in the city.

But there’s more to the Norwegian love of hotdogs than just a cheap snack.

Living history

There were previously more than 40 such kiosks around town but late-opening Syverkiosken is now the last one standing, fending off cheap hotdogs from convenience stores with its family recipes and retro-fashion styling.

“Hotdog kiosks have always been a part of our culture, a place where people from all walks of life stand beside each other,” says hotdog chef Elias Pellicer Ruud.

“For Norwegians, real hotdogs are the taste of nostalgia.”

Owner Erlend Dahlbo recommends using boiled wiener sausages while fried, German-style bratwurst are favored in the west of Norway.

What differentiates these to hotdogs in Denmark or Iceland is the topping, a thin potato pancake to keep your dog toasty.

Taste explosion

Suitably inspired, I order The Special, a hotdog served in a bread roll with potato salad and mushrooms picked fresh that morning in the forest outside of Oslo.

I pair it with a can of Toyen-Cola, a local take on Coke.

The taste is comforting yet deliciously spiced with a particularly fiery brand of mustard and, when it explodes in my hands, smearing my chin with sauce, I wear it as a badge of honor.

Like any self-respecting Osloite, I’m lost in a moment of hotdog heaven.

Maridalsveien 45, Oslo

This story was first published in The Guardian under the headline Hotdog heaven on the streets of Oslo. I’ve updated it to credit the quote to Elias Pellicer Ruud.

It was subsequently picked up by the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

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