1. Mathallen has had six million visitors since opening in 2012
Although about 40% of visitors come from the local neighborhood, Mathallen has also become an attraction for all Oslo residents, particularly at the weekend. Many foreign tourists increasingly find their way to Mathallen too – 120,000 visited this summer.
2. Food is at the core of everything at Mathallen, but we're not just talking food shops and restaurants
Cooking classes (at the Kulinarisk Akademi) and events are an important part of activities here. For example, Årets Kokk (Chef of the Year, i.e. Norway's official selection for the international Bocuse d'Or cooking competition) has taken place at Mathallen three times. Mathallen has also hosted a number of current affairs programmes and TV series, not to mention the many festivals taking place throughout the year.
3. There are two large beehives on the roof of Mathallen
The modern wooden structures, designed by acclaimed Norwegian architects Snøhetta, are part of a pilot project to help bees survive in an urban environment. The idea? Create a route filled with green roofs and flowers for the bees to pollinate their way through – the world's first urban bee highway. Managed by a certified beekeeper, the beehives produce honey due to go on sale in Mathallen this autumn. The best bit? No carbon footprint.
4. Mathallen was established as part of the development of the Vulkan area
Vulkan is a former industrial area by the Akerselva River in East Oslo. The 'Old Broverksted', a distinctive brick building that now houses Mathallen, has stood next to Akerselva's oldest bridge since 1908. It was in use until the late 1960s. Mathallen received in 2014 the Norwegian Heritage label Olavsrosa for successfully transforming an older industrial building and adapting it for new, sustainable use.
5. Mathallen is home to a steady flow of new ventures
Soon visitors will find Hungarian food on offer here, as well as a Poke bar, a French crêperie and a place selling the ever-popular Portuguese 'Pastel del Nata'. Plans for 2018 also include a more streamlined connection with Vulkan Depot next door. Vulkan Depot already boasts Michelin-starred restaurant Kontrast, sourdough bakery Handwerk, Smak av Italia (Taste of Italy), Sapporo Ramen (Oslo's very first ramen bar) and a grocery shop.
READ ALSO: Top budget restaurants in Oslo