3 Hours of Must Eats in this Danish village named Solvang

Solvang was founded by three Danish immigrants who purchased nearly 10,000 acres of land in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1911. I first came to Solvang years ago when I joined a west coast tour with my parents and brother. Many years later, my husband and I decided to do a California road trip and this Danish town was one of the many stops we made. I was super excited to be back because I remember not having enough time to explore the last time around. Here are the shops/restaurant you have to check out while you are in Solvang:

Solvang Bakery ($) – The first thing I did when I woke up in Solvang was run to the closest bakery to get us some pastries for breakfast. We love their warm fresh bear claws and jalapeño cheese croissant. They are known for their bear claws, honey almond tarts, gingerbread houses and men, and coffee.

Solvang Bakery’s pastries

Rating: 8.0/10.0
Hours: Sun to Fri: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM/Sat: 8:00 AM to 6:30 AM
Menu

Solvang Brewing Company ($$) – This 1911 brewing company was a great spot to relax and grab a beer at one of their outdoor tables. We ordered their soft pretzel-shaped like small long rolls. The pretzel was okay so I would just stick to their beer.

Rating: 7.5/10.0
Hours: Mon, Wed, Thur & Sun: 11:00 AM to 10:30 PM/Fri to Sat: 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM/ Tues: Closed
Menu

Paula’s Pancake House ($$) – This restaurant opened in 1986 with a menu around a variety of Danish pancakes and traditional American breakfast. We ordered the popular Danish pancake combination with Danish sausage and two eggs (12.75 USD) and took it back to the hotel while we worked. Danish pancake is a fusion of an American pancake and French crêpe. I thought I would like it more but it wasn’t anything special.

Rating: 7.6/10.0
Hours: Mon to Sun: 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Menu

Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery ($$) – When I first came to Solvang, our tour guide brought us to this bakery and insisted we buy a bucket of butter cookies. They are also known for their ring cakes, kringle, and Danish waffles. This time we got their butter cookie and the Danish waffles. We loved both and wished we got more than one of each.

Rating: 8.0/10.0
Hours: Mon to Thur: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM/ Fri to Sun: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Menu

Mortensen’s Danish Bakery ($$) – This bakery owned by its original owner for over 40 years is known for its strudels, kringle, butter cookies, bear claw, and owl-eye cookies. I would skip their cream cheese danish but make sure to get lots of their pistachios squares. I regret only getting one pistachio square and sharing half with my husband.

Pistachios squares

Rating: 8.5/10.0
Hours: Mon to Sun: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Menu

Copenhagen Sausage Garden ($$) – The Copenhagen Sausage Garden is an outdoor beer garden that offers the famous Danish Rod Polse along with 11 family-made sausages from around the world. We did the 3 sausage samplers (Red Polse, Bratwurst & Hot Italian) plus two bread rolls (21.95 USD). We love the Hot Italian (8/10) and the Bratwurst (7.5/10) but weren’t fond of the Red Polse (5/10).

Rating: 7.4/10.0
Hours: Mon to Thur: 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM/Fri to Sat: 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM/ Sun: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Menu

OTHER FOOD RECOMMENDATION

Mad & Vin ($$) – The Landsby’s signature restaurant specializes in delicious wine-country inspired cuisine crafted made with fresh, seasonal ingredients from California’s central coast.
Hours: Mon to Thur: 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM & 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM/Fri: 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM & 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM/ Sat: 7:30 AM to 11:00 PM/ Sun: 7:30 AM to 10:00 PM
Menu

Solvang Restaurant ($$) – This restaurant is known for Arne’s Famous Aebleskiver, as well as serving traditional Danish and American Food. Aebleskiver is like a waffle or a pancake formed like a tennis ball.
Hours: Mon to Thur: 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM/Fri to Sat: 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM/ Sun: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Menu

OTHER RECOMMENDATION

Julefest – We went to Solvang in August but it’s definitely on my list to go back in December. Solvang was voted as the best Christmas town in America. Solvang Julefest (Christmas festival in Danish) is a month-long festivity that includes the tree lighting ceremony, Julefest parade, Nisse (gnome) scavenger hunt, Santa village (picture with Santa), and more.

Ostrich Land – You can be up close and personal and feed the 100+ ostriches and emus.
Cost: General Admission: 7 USD & Ostrich feed: 1 USD
Hours: Mon to Sun: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Solvang Wineries – The Santa Ynez Valley is well known for its wineries. Here are some winery suggestions: Buttonwood Farm, Rideau, and Lincourt.

“The Little Mermaid” Fountain – If you love Disney princess movies as I do then you want to check this replica of the larger statue in Copenhagen, Denmark.

FAQ

How many days do you need in Solvang? Half a day
How long did it take to get to Solvang? 6+ hour drive from San Francisco through Big Sur or 2 hours 10 minutes from Solvang to Los Angeles
Where did you stay? Hotel Corque (8.0/10.0) – The room was clean and spacious. It’s right next to Solvang Windmill & Solvang Bakery. Everywhere in town is within walking distance from the hotel.
Is Solvang expensive? $$
When did you go to Solvang? August 2021

  1. Ah, I have not been back to Solvang since 2013! I’ve eaten at Solvang Restaurant (and yes, I tried the aebleskiver!), and I recall I got Danish pastries at Olsen’s (including a massive butter ring– it was HEAVY!). I hope to make a stop over again when I head up to Big Sur later this month; Solvang brings back a lot of good memories!

    Liked by 2 people

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