If a California road trip takes you north on Highway 101 or Interstate 5, plan a lunch stop at Pea Soup Andersen’s and be sure to try the namesake family recipe. The eatery has two locations: The original, opened in 1924, is near the bucolic Danish town of Solvang off Highway 101, and the second location is just south of Stockton off Interstate 5 in the Central Valley.
The restaurant was initially named Andersen’s Electric Café after Danish-born couple Anton and Juliette Andersen purchased a coveted electric cookstove. The couple later added the family soup recipe to the menu. Now the famous restaurant—replete with an inn and marketplace—serves up gallons of the vegetarian and gluten-free green soup every day. Not in the mood for soup? Other options range from Danish sausage in a tomato-and-onion sauce to Hap-Pea’s monster burger with American cheese on a grilled sesame-seed bun. Kid-friendly selections include grilled cheese sandwiches, buttermilk pancakes, and Belgian waffles.
Post-meal, comb the adjacent marketplace for saltwater taffy, Danish cookies, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, kids’ T-shirts, and pans for making aebelskiver, the spherical Danish pancakes.