Cafe Fedora is a mecca for things American in Oslo and showcases American cuisine in a fantastically unique and refreshing way. Everything on the Cafe Fedora menu is homemade and many vegan as well as gluten free options have recently been added to their menu.
I first met Anthony and Nicole Juvera, owners of Cafe Fedora, in 2011 by complete accident. During my first trip to Oslo, as a friend of mine and I casually strolled through the Frogner area, we came across a cafe opened on (gasp…wait for it…) a Sunday. We saw the words “American” on the sign outside and dashed over to see if this cafe could in fact be a place to eat authentic dishes from back home.
Despite the ever evolving conversation about what American food actually is, Cafe Fedora has done an impressive job translating their version of America on a plate for the Oslo cafe scene. The pecan pie sold here rivals the one I grew up eating on special occasions in Tucson with my family as do the red velvet cupcakes. If you are in Oslo and planning on having an American Thanksgiving celebration, Cafe Fedora does special orders on pies and sweets as well as other seasonal goodies (they are also hosting a Thanksgiving buffet for any of you looking to simply eat, not prepare your bird on T-Day).
Sweets aren’t the only thing this cafe has to offer however, AUTHENTIC burritos, tacos and other Mexican food take me back to my days in Tucson eating Mexican street food on the south side of town (South Tucson). Anthony and Nicole were kind enough to allow me to share their Cafe and insight about their future vision for the restaurant & cafe scene in Oslo in an interview.
1. Basic Info:
Name: Anthony & Nicole Juvera
Restaurant name: Café Fedora
Restaurant address: Frognerveien 22 (located on Gabels gate)
Restaurant niche: Café / Restaurant
Social media: Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, Pinterest, Instagram
2. What can diners expect at ___? What are you known best for? Why is your restaurant special/noteworthy?
First, thank you Whitney, for interviewing us for your blog! We have been following your development over the years in Stavanger’s culinary scene! It has been fascinating to watch. We cannot wait to see what’s next for you….a TV show perhaps?
Café Fedora is a bit like “Cheers” the TV show from the late 80’s. We know most of the customers that come through and if we don’t, we will still treat you as if we do. One of our goals is to put the “humanity” back in to dining out. One can expect to hear a lot of laughter because we are a just happy team and do not take ourselves too seriously. We embrace being different from other restaurants/cafés and our customers seem to appreciate it. Dining with us feels more like hanging out rather than dining out. One can expect good authentic American comfort food, friendly service and a lively international atmosphere.
We are best known for our brunch menu that features items like hash browns, pancakes, omelets, breakfast burritos and so much more. We are also known for our dessert pies like pecan pie and key lime pie as well as our cupcakes. We have also added some Mexican dishes to the menu such as tacos, burritos and huevos rancheros. We care about the customer’s experience in Café Fedora. We stand behind the authentic flavors of our menu and make everything ourselves. If we would not serve it to our mamas, we would not serve it to you!
3. Share a bit of your history with us. How did you end up in Oslo? Why this restaurant? And why now? Why in Olso?
Seven years ago, Anthony was recruited in NYC by a Norwegian hotel corporation. When his contract ran out, we took time off to figure out our next step. The economy was not great in the US at the time and both of us were born with an entrepreneurial spirit. We started first with our supper club, Bold Soul Kitchen, testing out American Southern and Mexican cuisines on the Norwegian market. We were unapologetic with flavor and spice. But it worked because everyone loved us for it.
With BSK, we also noticed the transformation in conversations between strangers when good food is involved. It brought complete strangers from different walks of life together over food and they spoke and laughed together as if they had been friends forever….in our apartment! At that point, we knew we were on to something. As our guest list grew and the dinners became more frequent, people began to tell as what they loved about American cuisine, the dishes they have always wanted to try. It created this big hilarious dialogue about what is “American” food and how it came into existence. Once the supper club dinners had become really popular, we decided to open a café.
At the time, Oslo’s food culture had lots of space to create something that was unique, familiar and desperately desired and thus, Café Fedora was born! We re-created the type of restaurant that we missed visiting from home. We were also very lucky that Norwegians love all things NYC.
4. I’m hosting a dinner party for 6 and need something memorable to make – what do you recommend I prepare?
There are endless possibilities! Our favorite dinner party to this day was the supper club dinner where we introduced double-dipped buttermilk fried chicken, mac-n-cheese, green beans with onion and roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic mashed potatoes and apple pie with vanilla ice cream. It caused mass hysteria! People were coming the next day for leftovers! So that would be my suggestion! Just make sure that you have cleaning helpers throughout the process or your kitchen will be a disaster!
5. Which meal of the day is your favorite? Breakfast, lunch or dinner? Why?
We love to eat! It is a toss-up between breakfast and dinner. Lunch is just filler. A great big breakfast especially on your day off is sublime! It is the best way to start the day and a great dinner is the ONLY way to end it!
6. What’s your favorite tip for anyone cooking on a budget in Norway?
Buy all of your veggies and exotic foods at the independent international markets whenever possible. When I discovered them in Grønland, it was like finding the lost city of gold! Fresh food is so much more affordable there and variety is unparalleled. Also, the internet is your best resource for recipes and learning about the substitute/alternative ingredients to complete your dishes.
7. How do you see the restaurant scene changing over the next few years in Oslo? In the country as a whole?
Oslo is exciting because it is the best place to try out new cuisines. Most people travel out of the country to exotic destinations where good food, good wine, good music is abundant. We have found that they want to relive those experiences here. Oslo’s food culture is diversifying rapidly as a result. Our importers come to us with new specialty items from different regions of the Americas quite often. Smaller importers have popped up offering more options than the bigger guys.
We have also noticed a major increase in food allergies as Anthony has also developed a gluten allergy. We have begun to cater to that as well as carrying some vegan dishes. These changes to our menu has brought in a wave of new customers.
As different cuisines become more popular in Oslo, it will spread out to the smaller cities eventually but it will take years unless someone with guts decides to just do it, like we did. The successful restaurants do the research to make sure that they offer the most authentic menus. In the last few years, we have noticed more American, French and Indian restaurants but to anyone reading this, I miss good Chinese restaurants and there is more to Japanese food than sushi!