Must-try foods in Solvang, California

Must-try foods in Solvang

A Hidden Gem of California

I didn't know there's a Danish Village situated in Santa Ynez Valley, a small city called Solvang.  Solvang is considered one of Southern California's best-kept secrets. The town is known for its Danish influences, in downtown, you'll find a very iconic windmill inspired by Danish architecture. Bakeries serve authentic danish pastries and delicious gelato's. There's also wine tasting, danish craft beer, danish sausages, and meatballs. I said yes.  Here's a  list of must-try danish foods and treats and what to do when visiting the village of Solvang. Let's go!

Must-try foods in Solvang

Danish Pancake Balls
Danish Pancake Balls

1. Danish Pancake Balls or also known as Aebleskiver ( pronounced as aye-bill-ski- ver). It is a traditional Danish dessert ball made with dough and drizzled raspberry sauce and powdered sugar. The pancake balls are often served at Christmas. 

I love these pancake balls as they are not too sweet and have a fluffy feel to them. Even the raspberry sauce has the right amount of sweetness to it, but I can only finish three and that's it- wait! is that the whole serving? Burp! Ahahaa. 

Solvang Restaurant
Address: 1672 Copenhagen Dr #2759, Solvang, CA 93463

Danish Sausage
Danish Sausage

2. Danish Sausage Medisterpolse or also known as Christmas Medister. It's a sweet-tasting Danish Pork sausage filled with pork, garlic, ginger, onions, allspice, other seasonings, and a broth made with pork bones or chicken. It is paired with potatoes and brown gravy. 

I'm impressed by how good this sausage is as I'm particular with my meat. There are stores that offer frozen danish sausages if you want to take some home with you - I regret not buying one. 

Danish Meatballs
Danish Meatballs

3. Danish Meatballs or also known as Danish Frikadeller traditionally consists of minced meat (veal, pork, beef, mixed), eggs, onions,  milk, seasonings, rolled-in bread crumbs/flour and pan-fried to perfection.

Solvang Danish Pastry
Danish Pastries

4.  Solvang is a Danish Pastry Heaven! There are plenty of bakeries in every corner selling danish pancakes, waffles, strudels, cinnamon rolls, even tarts, croissants, and cookies. Danish pastries with a variety of flavors to choose from: blueberry, cream cheese, raspberry, apple, lemon, and the list goes on. 

Wine tasting in Solvang
Wine tasting in Solvang

5.  Wine tasting 
There are a few numbers of wine-tasting boutiques in Solvang. I saw maybe more than 10 around downtown. We found a sweet spot at the Toccata tasting room and ordered the superior list of wines. 

Toccata tasting room
Toccata Tasting Room
Address: 1665 Copenhagen Drive, Solvang
Wine tasting price: 20 USD per person

6. Cheese Tasting
Toccata tasting room also offers wine and cheese pairing. However, a lot of things have been changed and canceled due to the COVID pandemic. Hopefully, things will get back to normal soon.

Best Gelato in Solvang
Best Gelato in Solvang

7.  Solvang offers the best ice creams, authentic Italian gelato, and frozen desserts. It's a happy place to be especially on a hot, sunny day. We had our share of happiness at Cafe Dolce, we ordered a Coffee gelato and Cookies and cream gelato - the best gelato in town!

Cafe Dolce 
Address:  475 1st St, Solvang, CA 93463

Danish Breakfast
Danish Breakfast

8.  Try Danish Breakfast
A basic danish breakfast consists of bread or pastries paired with coffee and tea.

What to do in Solvang
Danish Beer in Solvang

9.  Danish Beer
Make sure to try the Danish Red Lager when you visit Solvang. They said the color of the Red Lager is inspired by the color of Denmark's flag which is red, this just raises the bar as a must-try when in Solvang. Some stores in Solvang are still closed due to COVID and weren't fortunate enough to find a danish beer in the other restaurants too. 

Danish Chocolates in Solvang
Hunting for Danish Chocolates in Solvang

10. Chocolate Tasting
From Solvang's famous windmill, you'll find two chocolate shops in Alisal Road, one famous shop in Copenhagen Drive, and one more at Mission Drive. Make sure to grab a bite as Danish chocolates are known as one of the best and delicious chocolates worldwide.

Where to Stay

Where to stay in Solvang

1 night 100 USD
Free Danish Breakfast

We didn't plan to stay overnight however, I can't get enough of Solvang. Luckily, we found a great place downtown. It's a walking distance of all the famous sites and restaurants. 

Where to stay in Solvang

The place is perfectly situated not too far from a bakery and a restaurant. I also loved the fact that it's away from the crowds which are perfect for a good night's rest and a wonderful morning. The price wasn't so bad considering we did an impromptu booking while having a wine tasting. 

Nearby popular attractions from Atterdag Inn:
Restaurants: Olsen's Danish Village Bakery, Birkholm's Bakery & Cafe, The Solvang Bakery, and Mortensen's Danish Bakery. 
Attractions: PCPA (Pacific Conservatory Theatre), Solvang Festival Theater, Elverhoj Museum, and the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum

What else to do in Solvang aside from food...

Danish Windmills in Solvang
Danish Windmills

1. Danish Architectural Icons. Walk around and see the Windmills (like five of them), the Little Mermaid Fountain,  Giant red clog (big red shoe), and the Round Tower.

2. History of Solvang
Check out: Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, and the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum. These were close to Atterdag Inn where we stayed for the night.

Shopping in Solvang

3. Shopping and Souvenirs
Everywhere you go there will be a boutique shop as shopping and food are very much valued here. Souvenir shops are everywhere too, once you find that cute thing you want, just buy it, as it will get confusing coming back for it again later.

4.  Ride and See Solvang in a unique way by taking a tour by Trolley or Segway.  You can also ride a horse or rent a bike.

What to do in Solvang

5. Annual events and performances
From June through September they perform plays at night in the Solvang Festival TheaterThey host a lot of events however make sure to check the website for any cancelations due to COVID. 

A few of the exciting events I want to join for next time: Solvang's Danish Days or also known as the Danish Heritage Festival in September, expect parades and concerts. 

Solvang Grape  Stomp in October where people gather for grape stomping, wine harvest, and lots of dancing.  

Lastly, the Julefest in December, I'm excited about this as they have been hailed “Most Christmassy Towns in America” by Time Magazine. The street will be crowded for sure as people will be looking at light shows, parades, and visiting the Santa Village.

Have fun and be safe ^__^

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