Whenever I head out to explore a new community, the thought of the adventure, meeting new people, and trying the local cuisine adds to the excitement. This time I was heading to a community with a population of 5,082 people and two miles square.
Buellton, California, is located on California Highway 101, 43 miles north of Santa Barbara. Since it is just 10 miles from the sparkling Pacific Ocean, would the cuisine focus on seafood?
Located just 3.5 miles from Solvang, known for its Danish heritage, would the local restaurants emphasize Danish food? Would I get my fill of the regional delicious cherry Danish?
I was eager to explore Buellton restaurants to find out for myself!
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The 5 Must-Try Buellton Restaurants
350 E Highway 246 – Buellton // 1- 805-686-1655
It had been a 4.5-hour drive from Palm Springs, and after I checked in at the Pea Soup Andersen Inn, I was ready for a hearty meal, for my lunch on the road was pretty meager. In retrospect, this was one of the Buellton Restaurants that was the perfect place for my dining. One cannot possibly walk away from this restaurant hungry.
The minute I parked my car and walked to the front door, I realized this would not be an everyday experience. Western décor welcomed me, and old-time Western music attacked my senses simultaneously.
Once I was escorted to a table in front of the fireplace, my dining experience began. A cast-iron pot arrived with a hearty beef soup filled with vegetables. While it was delicious, and I could serve myself more, I felt I needed to save some room for the rest of the meal. Good thing I stopped for the salad with the bleu cheese dressing was superb. Probably the best I ever have had in a restaurant.
Given the opportunity, I had the chance to order barbecue spareribs, both beef, and pork. I was handed several wet wipes. I can say I used them for these ribs were truly finger-licking good.
Dessert choices include a root beer float or an after-dinner liquor. I chose the root beer float, which lived up to my childhood memories. This was indeed one of the most unique restaurants in Buellton CA.
272 Avenue of the Flags – Buellton// 1-805-688-5312
When I was having conversations with random visitors to the area about which restaurants in Buellton are best to have a brunch or something sweet, they mentioned how good Ellen’s Pancake House is. I noticed that as soon as I visited it. It really looked like I needed to add this as one of the Buellton Restaurants to my list to try while visiting.
It was mid-morning, and I had finished my notes. So, I was off to have Danish pancakes. I perused the menu and discovered it was one of the most varied menus I had seen in a long time. Most surprising, they offered 12 egg omelets. Smiling, it noted it was for two or more people.
I opted for Ellen’s Special, very thin, crisp Danish pancakes prepared in a frying pan. A palate pleaser with applesauce encased in the pancake and topped with powder sugar.
Okay, I’ll admit it, I ordered a highly recommended side of the thick bacon. I finished three of the five slices and wished I was home so I could put the remaining pieces on a future salad.
I peeked at the Lunch Menu. If only I had more time, I think this restaurant’s Ruben’s sandwich would be a place for a superb lunch for Everything was freshly prepared.
420 E Highway 246 – Buellton // 1-805-688-0676
While visiting Ostrich Land, I asked my guide where in which Buellton restaurants I would find the best lunch. Without hesitation, she replied, “Oh, you have to have the hamburger at the Hitching Post. Let me check. They don’t serve hamburgers every day.” Sure enough, hamburgers were being today, so I knew immediately where my next stop would be just down the road. As I was walking out the door, she came up to me and said, “By the way, make sure you order a side of bacon.” Duly noted.
It was a beautiful day and delighted to learn that lunch was served outside. The menu was small, but it didn’t matter because I already knew I would have a hamburger and a side of bacon. I stood in line, gave my order, and took my number to one of the tables made from wine barrels.
Since the wine tasting room is adjacent to the restaurant, it seemed only appropriate to have a glass of chardonnay while I was waiting for my meal. It wasn’t hard duty to watch people under the tall oak trees.
As I bit into the hamburger, I could taste the subtle hint of smoke, for it was cooked over an open-air grill. Tender and favorable, with just the right amount of lettuce, tomato, and onion to have me thinking, this is a delicious hamburger. French fries were hot at crispy and a great accompaniment to make this a very satisfying meal. AND, oh yes, the bacon. Delighted, I tried it, but with the hamburger and fries, I probably would have been wiser to add it to the hamburger instead of eating it on the side. In any case, definitely a must-visit amongst the Buellton Restaurants.
181 Industrial Way – Buellton// 1-805-688-8807
This industrial area is a must-stop when you are in the area. Wineries have lovely outdoor patios where you can taste some of the finest local wines. Dorwood Distillery encourages you to come in and sip some of their liquors produced on site. Industrial Eats is located directly across the parking lot.
I am glad I met a colleague to have my first meal here. The restaurant’s popularity was apparent, for the line to order was right inside the door. She pointed out the menu on brown butcher paper tacked up on the wall. Then there were one-page specials located in a different place. Yes, I was a little overwhelmed.
She was great at explaining the system AND asked me what I felt like eating that night. Since I was close to the ocean and hadn’t had seafood, I opted for a seafood dish made of white shrimp, pancetta, Chile, and garlic. Everything is farm-fresh prepared, and with a unique cuisine twist.
Once our entrée and beverage were recorded, we were handed a number we took our seats at a community-style table. We joined two women who were having escargot and freshly baked bread paired with a crisp Pino Grigio.
Our meal arrived. Oh my. The flavors danced on my tastebuds. The shrimp was cooked to perfection, and the sauce, with garlic presence, was superb and will not quickly be forgotten. We shared the giant Caesar salad, which had unusual flavors, making the whole meal a gourmet experience. One of the best Buellton restaurants, in my opinion.
376 Avenue of the Flags – Buellton// 1-805-688-5581
Walking into the restaurant, I passed the bakery, and the thought of breakfast quickly came to mind, for one of their Danish pastries would be a great finality to any breakfast. However, I was on a mission. I wanted to see if the Pea Soup was good, as I remembered, maybe 20 plus years ago, on a past visit. Definitely a must-visit amongst the Buellton Restaurants.
I ordered the Traveler’s Special. A bowl of pea soup, bread, and a chocolate shake. Knowing I had a drive before me, I asked the server to hold off on serving the shake because I wanted to take it with me.
The soup arrived along with a basket of bread. I dipped the soup spoon in the pea-colored liquid set before me. Once the liquid entered my mouth, I immediately thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, this is soooo good.” I sat there savoring every spoonful. The bread was okay, but the soup definitely was the main character in this traveler’s special. Yes, I finished every morsel of this vegetarian soup. Gone is the belief that split pea soup must have ham in it to be good.
With bowl licked clean bowl (No, I really didn’t lick it.) I spoke to the server and asked for the shake so I could continue my exploration of Buellton. Just a word to the wise, the shake is very thick, so you will need a spoon if you want to consume it right away.
I visited the town under the auspices of Discover Buellton and 360 PR View. However, being the curious soul I am, I found some of these Buellton CA restaurants on my own and want to share how I ate my way through Buellton.
Journalist and travel writer with immense curiosity that has taken her to 29 countries, 16 islands, and 49 states (Alaska on the bucket list). She is the author of two books: Face-to-Face Networking: It’s All About Communication and It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication, which was named Best Book Finalist by USA Book News.
Her motto: Let me help tell your destination’s story to the people throughout the world.