This place was hopping, but it was not suprising since the aroma coming out the door of the place was catching everyones senses if you happen to be walking by. It caught our attention, so we bought a simple pastry from the walk up window. We were trying to taste everything..lol.
We had to try some Danish pastries and were not dissappointed at all. I cannot remember what anything was called, all I remember is that is was delicious! A little expensive, but worth it. There are so many wonderful bakeries here, so it will be hard to chose which one to try out...lol!
Open 7 days a week.
They have traditional Danish cuisine including aebleskiver and open face Danish sandwiches. We decided to eat here because the pancake place across the street looked crowded. We entered and were very pleased. It looked cozy and it smelled so good in here already. I had the traditional breakfast with eggs, bacon, hashbrowns and toast. My best friend had the pancake balls and beacon. She said it was good. Our plates were filled with food and so you get your monies worth here for sure. We could not finish our food at all. I ate half and was stuffed.
Open daily 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
My best friend has eaten here several times and says the food and service is good. She brings here family here for breakfast everytime they are in the area.
Open 7 Days a Week
6am - 3pm
You will find Olsen's Bakery when you first drive into the town from the highway 101. The bakery opened in the 1970's by Bent Olsen who learned his craft from his father and grandfather who were master bakers in Aeroskobing, Denmark. Using recipes handed down to him by four generations, Bent Olsen's bakery has won many competitions, trophies and ribbons. I think this is one of the better bakeries in Solvang and believe me that says a lot as there are many excellent bakeries to be found in the town of Solvang.
Favorite Dish: I really love pastry. Moreover I just love the Danish pastries, especially the cream cookies or "petit fours" which are like a very small pie with a crust, the buttercream and raspberry jam filling topped by a royal icing and buttercream flowers. These also are offered as chocolate petit fours but they are too much chocolate for me. Then there are the flaky pastries like Napoleans and my favorite which is two pieces of crispy sugar topped pastry dough, filled with cream and raspberry jam put together like a long sandwich, oh I am getting hungry just thinking about it! There are marzipan treats like the almond horns with the ends dipped in chocolate and rolled in chopped almonds.
The New Danish Inn offers Danish Smorgasbord as well as an extensive menu of Danish and American dishes. It's windmill on top makes it easy to spot in the midst of the other businesses, especially at night when it glows with little white lights. Although I was unable to find a website for them, I was able to find a webpage through another site I have posted for you. Cozy atmosphere is nice for a romantic dinner and quiet for talking.
Favorite Dish: I have yet to try only the Thai salad so far ~ baby greens, grilled shrimp, wontons, sour cream, and citrus dressing. So good I can't seem to not order it and try the other dishes yet......
The River Grill is located at the Alisal River Golf Course on Alisal Road. The restaurant has a lodge feel with high ceilings and river rock exterior and fireplace. The outdoor patio is my favorite area ~ with incredible views of the mountains and golf course. I would consider the menu American for breakfast and lunch and Mediterranean during dinner hours. Great food and service.
Favorite Dish: My favorite is the Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto for dinner and their Veggie Burger with onion sprouts, avocado and tomato for lunch. They make great omeletes for breakfast as well.
Wake up Solvang! The new Chef in town is cooking up new innovative dishes and his name is Bradley Ogden. The name of his latest creation is "Root 246", a play on the road route down the street, Highway 246. My wife, Sue, and I dined at Root 246 within 2 weeks of opening and I must say,"This ain't the old Solvang." Not fully complete, the outside is still in need of landscaping, but hey, I came for the food. Chef Ogden works in the open kitchen and is very receptive to his guests. How he finds the time to say hello is amazing. As the saying goes, "this place is jumping". Of course, an Executive Chef will be needed to take over for Chef Ogden after the intial opening days of business. That is not to say that Chef Ogden will not be around. He loves the area, at least I assume he does. He now lives within a few miles of Root 246 and still can be found in the kitchen on some of the nights.
Up till now, renowned, award-winning Chef Bradley Ogden has opened 11 restaurants and Roots 246 is his latest. He has opened locations from San Francisco to San Diego and even in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace. Roots 246 is owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians that also own the nearby Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez. Roots 246 is one of the very few upscale, up to date and culinary gourmet restaurants between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, which means not only tourists to Solvang will be able to enjoy Chef Ogden's fresh palate pleasing gems but locals will have a big city restaurant in their midst. On board as the Executive Chef is Johnny Church who will recreate Chef Ogden's recipes and I am sure he will add a few of his favorites as well. Chef Church was chef de cuisine at AJ’s Steakhouse at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in that hard to please town of Las Vegas, Neveda. While there, he was named one of the “Top Chefs de Cuisine” in Las Vegas by Las Vegas Life Magazine. We have a winner coming in as Executive Chef and his name is Johnny Church. I returned to this new restaurant with my wife, Sue, in late December and saw that Chef Church has turned up the heat. New dishes were on the table and the ones tried before are still out of sight, delicious. The new recipes are fantastice as well.
Favorite Dish: Chef Ogden brings the freshest of ingredients to his innovative dishes and one of the best starters is Oven baked flatbread, hand foraged mushrooms, bufala mozzarella, spring onion "fondue" with home made fennel sausage. I thought it was one of the best starters I have had and the onion "fondue" was smooth and rich. The other starter that I tasted was a mouth smacking delicious treat called the Maytag blue cheese souffle & tangerine salad, wild watercress.
You almost could say that the starters would be the finish. Not true, for the entrees beckon with overpowering aromas from the 3500 sq. ft. kitchen. My eye caught the Colorado braised lamb shoulder with spring garlic & arugula corn spoon bread, "chimichurri". This dish showcases Chef Bradley Ogden's fresh approach to American cuisine. I must admit the flavors of this fabulous dish are still lingering in my head as I write.
On the return visit, I enjoyed the new dishes. A starter dish of Aebleskivers stuffed with foie gras, a generous splash of huckleberry sauce over the top of the Aebleskivers (a round pancake) and foie cappuccino served in a miniature cup. For the main course, a well blended and creamy rich risotto with braised and pulled lamb shank sprinkled over the top of the risotto that was completed with a creme fraiche and a good amount of shaved black truffles and what looked like pioppini mushrooms in the blend. Again, not disappointed and if you are in the area of Solvang, a must gourmet dining experience.
Solvang has the look, the feel, and the taste of Denmark. At the restaurant "Bit o' Denmark" you can try the danish favorite, Smorgasbord. It is the local foods of Denmark served buffet style. This restaurant has the distinction of being in one of the first buildings in Solvang built in 1911 and served as a college for 3 years. It then served as a church till 1929. In 1929 it became a restaurant and in 1963, remodeled as the Bit O' Denmark. This is one of the few places that offers a smorgasbord in Solvang. It is not a large buffet but it does have the dishes that give it the taste of Solvang, if not Denmark.
As to the restaurant itself, the service was a little slow, but I believe that was due to a large number of people deciding to eat at Bit O' Denmark. I think it took them by surprise, so the waitstaff was understaffed to say the least. One server for the bar and restaurant. I asked for wine and it took over 15 minutes to get the server to pour the wine. More help came but when you order smorgasbord, you are mainly on your own. I guess I should have tipped myself. Well, as I mentioned, if you want smorgasbord, this is one of only a few that offer it in Solvang.
Favorite Dish: The best dish in this smorgasbord was the meatballs. A little gravy to moisten the meat and I was okay with them. OKAY? Yes, other than the meatballs, I was not thrilled. Oh, the sausage was alright, but I think they are brought in already made. The mashed potatoes that always go great with the meatballs was not up to par. Why mess up potatoes with an artificial taste and margarine. The best smorgasbord restaurant in town had to shut down because of the upgrades needed by city law was too expensive and I have only tried one other, so I still search for a good smorgasbord in a town that should have a great one. Bit O' Denmark missed the mark.
For those who seek the non-chain coffeehouse, Bulldog Cafe is a great alternative. Enjoy your java- coffee and wireless internet here while browsing through the magazine rack and looking at the adorable painted bulldogs on the wall. Though I thought my iced latte could be colder at first, I enjoy it enough. The cup serving size is huge by the way, like at many American coffeehouses. For food choices, the sandwiches are average but the quiche made from scratch is the thing to sing about. Enjoy sweet homemade pastries here as well. Overall, there is a very cozy, relaxed atmosphere here and it's good real estate- close to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, a featured town attraction point.
Favorite Dish: chorizo quiche- tasty but a bit pricey, about $4 a slice
The Solvang Restaurant is also home to Arne's Famous Aebleskiver. Now, don't jump to conclusions. There is no apple in an Aebleskiver. Hard enough to say, try writing it. You could have apple in the recipe but the one served at the Solvang Restaurant is a round pancake style dough, fried and then has raspberry jam spread over it with a coating of powdered sugar. Served with three on a plate.
There is a Danish food menu to go along with the American food menu. They are open from 6 am daily and are open only for breakfast and lunch. They close at 3 pm during the week, 4 pm in summer, and 5 pm on weekends.
Favorite Dish: You have to be kidding. It's the Aebleskiver. My goodness, this was easy. That line that waits outside the takeout window tells it all. In fact, my wife, Sue, insisted that we get a frying pan that is made just for the Aebleskiver. That was years ago, as we have enjoyed coming to Solvang and having Arne's Famous Aebleskiver at the Solvang Restaurant, year after year, although I must say that my wife's recipe with ham and cheese seems yummier to me than the raspberry jam and coated powdered sugar Aebleskiver that make the Solvang Restaurant so famous.
The "Red Viking" restaurant sits in the middle of Solvang and is painted red. OK. A bit overdone look with the Danish theme. Since my favorite smorgasbord restaurant in Solvang, "Danish Inn," closed, I find that only a few restaurants have the Danish smorgasbord that meets my standards of fresh, good, ethic dishes that just jump out at you. Actually, smorgasbord is a Swedish name, so I don't know why they call it smorgasbord because the word in Danish is kolde bord (cold buffet).
The "Red Viking" tries but doesn't quite cut the mustard. Cutesy front draws you in to a homey and country style interior. The buffet (smorgasbord) is set up toward the rear of the location and has little eye appeal except for the cold cuts meat platter. There is a regular menu which you can order ethnic dishes like Frikadeller (meat balls) and Medisterpølse (sausage) served with red cabbage. I had the smorgasbord. Try the menu instead. The buffet was not the best I have seen or tasted. The meat balls were not quite ball shaped and were rather bland and the brown sauce was cool. Overall, the buffet was not as I would have liked, but maybe if this was the first time you tried it, you might enjoy it.
Favorite Dish: To be fair, cold cuts were displayed well and they had a fresh cut good flavor. The herring was nice as well.
The aroma of waffles fill the air at the Belgian Cafe from 7 am till 3 pm every day and the locals as well as tourists fill the house. A wonderful wakeup decor has opened blue pole less patio umbrellas inside covering tables. On the walls are the fancy blue, maybe Delft, maybe even that hard to find Flow Blue, plates. Nice designs or artwork in the center of the plates gives you small art work to gaze at while waiting for your breakfast or lunch.
The waitstaff is very friendly and helpful as you try to decide what is going to make your meal a delicious experience. They explain some of the dishes so you can get an idea of what is in store for you if you order a certain dish. I don't speak or read Danish and some of the dishes are Danish in name like wienerbrod which simply is Danish pastry. Of course, breakfast is called morgenmad, but I am morning happy after a tasty Belgian waffle.
Favorite Dish: I saw the red, white, and blue waffle and decided not to look any further in the large menu. Luscious strawberries, blueberry jam, and a ton of whipped cream top a golden crisp waffle. Now that is a morgenmad.
Remember when the circus came to town? Cotton Candy was the treat. Remember when you went to a beach town? Taffy was the treat. How about Hawaii? Shave Ice was the treat. Baseball game? Hot Dogs! Get the picture. Munchies, Sweets & Treats has them all and more!
Brother and Sister, David Wilbur and Jessica Elledge, have opened up a fun snack shack right in Solvang. If you get the munchies, head on over for a quick fix of the sweets and treats. If it is hot the shave ice or great ice cream will cool you off. I enjoyed watching them spin a huge cotton candy on the machine. Very professional. Always with a smile. Good Luck guys.
Favorite Dish: Okay. I saw this cotton candy machine and could not resist. Many flavors as well as the pink cotton candy of my circus memory. My choice, Grape. Great flavor. What a sweet treat.
Going to be in Solvang, California then you must try some Danish pastry. There are many to choose from but you don't have to leave the main street, Mission Drive (Hwy 246) to find the best. Olsen's Danish Village Bakery has every Danish pastry your heart could desire.
I met Bent Olsen and heard his story at the "Taste of Solvang" 17th Annual Food & Wine Festival while he was doing what he loves best, talking about and serving his cakes and pastries to those at the Dessert Showcase Reception. Well, actually Bent loves baking first and most of us that tried his cakes and pastries love his baking as well.
Bent Olsen and his wife Susy have been at the helm since opening the Olsen's Danish Village Baker in 1970. Bent came over in the 1960's from the family run business, a bakery since 1890, to learn English and to bake in the Santa Ynez Valley. He met Susy, go married, and settled in Solvang. His father and mother joined them for six years to help show both Bent and Susy how to run a successful bakery and in time Bent became a master baker.
Favorite Dish: My wife, Sue, says that we have to order the Almond Custard Kringle. I insisted that there are many pastries to try, so we tried a few, all yummy, and then we ordered the large Kringle for pickup the next day. I sure was glad my wife wanted to order the Kringle. Olsen's is open weekdays from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm and on weekends-7:30 am to 7:00 pm.