La Bettola del Gusto

Dinner at La Bettola del Gusto

Earlier this month, I was in Italy and visited Rome, Pompei, and Naples (with a day-trip to Tivoli). This and upcoming posts will revolve around these places, so stay tuned 😉

“La Bettola del Gusto” roughly translates to something like “hole in the wall of enjoyment” – odd, considering the restaurant’s central location across from Pompei Train Station, yet somehow fitting, because one can hardly believe that such a remarkable restaurant experience is found in the small Italian city of Pompei.

The food in Italy is generally delicious, but what stood out about La Bettola del Gusto was the cosy atmosphere, complemented by outstanding service – perfect for date night or just to wind down after a day of exploring the ruins of Pompeii. The simple dishes – typical of the Campania region – are thoughtfully prepared to bring out exquisite flavours and craftily presented in hearty portions. The extensive wine list and complimentary appetiser and dessert (served in addition to those you order) make this the best value (money- and taste-wise) dining experience I had the entire trip.

Eirik and I had dinner here our first night in Pompei. We initially planned to spend the second night dining elsewhere, but after an exhausting day of exploring the ruins, the only adventure left in us was to try a different cut of beef followed by a different dessert – our wish was graciously granted by the attentive staff at La Bettola del Gusto.

Complimentary appetiser at La Bettola del Gusto
Complimentary appetiser

If you are heading to Pompei – whether for a day trip or for several nights – make a reservation at La Bettola del Gusto. I am already looking forward to having dinner there again on my next visit to the city! 🙂

Authentic experience at Lille Saigon

I often get cravings for Vietnamese food and despite having thought about making my favourite dishes at home several times, I must admit defeat – it is a daunting task to cook many of them and the availability of ingredients in Norway is scarce. Thus, on chilly winter days like these, I visit Lille Saigon for a bowl of phở bò (pictured below) to satisfy and warm my belly.

The small, bustling restaurant may not seem very spectacular, but it offers authentic Vietnamese food (along with authentic service). I recommend ordering the fresh or crispy spring rolls (numbers 5 and 4, respectively) for appetiser. Both kinds of spring rolls are juicy on the inside and served with complementary sauces.

Crispy spring rolls at Lille Saigon 1, Oslo

The main dishes vary from popular Vietnamese dishes (like phở, numbers 8-11) to more obscure ones (like bún bò Huế, number 14), but also include Westerner-friendly options like beef and broccoli (number 34). By Oslo standards, the portions are quite generous and contain a decent amount of meat and vegetables.

If you are looking for a fancy restaurant experience, try elsewhere. But if you are looking for affordable, authentic Vietnamese food in the heart of Oslo, stop by Lille Saigon (the Grünerløkka location is my preference) for a tasty meal 😉