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California loses a soupy icon


Pea Soup Andersen's, a Danish-themed restaurant in Buellton, California has abruptly closed, just short of its 100th birthday, bringing an end to an epic story and what was once one of the best-known roadside restaurants in the state.

The restaurant, which once had road signs from many miles away, drawing travelers with the promise of rich and hearty sustenance. Rob Jensen, one of the TravelGumbo founders remembered that when he was young, "you could drive across the state, always seeing the signs: 200 miles from... etc."

Founded and run by two generations of the Danish-heritage Andersen family (the restaurant is near the Danish-themed town of Solvang), in recent years it has been through several owners. During the pandemic, it struggled to stay open three days a week (see our blog Pea Soup Andersen: A California Story).

No advance announcement was made of the closure, and plans for the site are unknown. A branch, the last of five, still operates off Interstate 5 in Santa Nella.


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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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