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Chowhounding in Solvang

David Kahn Apr 11, 2002 05:04 PM

Once a year I go up to Solvang for the day (don't ask), and every year I end up eating in some lousy tourist trap that tastes like a bad Denny's, only with a Danish-inspired menu. Does anyone know whether there are any truly good lunch spots in or around Solvang?

  1. j
    Jerome Apr 11, 2002 06:01 PM

    I like Cold Spring Tavern in San Marcos Pass.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jerome
      Burger Boy Apr 11, 2002 06:02 PM

      Three cheers for Cold Springs Tavern

      1. re: Burger Boy
        torta basilica Apr 11, 2002 08:03 PM

        I remember eating lunch at Alisal Ranch (which, by the way, is a great place to stay) several times, but can't remember if you can drop in if not a guest. If yes, this is worth a visit & definitely better than old greasy aebleskivers! (I remember those from a trip to Scandinavia & somehow they lose a lot in the voyage across the sea...)

        1. re: Burger Boy
          LisaPizza Apr 12, 2002 10:10 PM

          Definitely check out Cold Spring Tavern -- try it out for breakfast, too!

      2. v
        Vanessa On The Town Apr 11, 2002 07:25 PM

        There's a little market in Los Olivos called the R Country Market that has a deli. They make great sandwhiches. They have a few tables out front if you want to eat it there, or you can make a little picnic and eat at one of your wine tasting stops. Last year we happened upon this place, and I was really pleased with my lunch.
        R Country Market
        2948 Grand Avenue
        Los Olivos 805-688-6750

        1. b
          Barbara Nevens Apr 11, 2002 08:15 PM

          We love Hitching Post in Buellton. Great steaks cooked over red oak. Quail, ostrich, ribs, are also very good. I especially love the grilled artichoke. Good wine list, espeically HP wines. Desserts are outstanding. We drive up there specifically to have dinner.

          See link below for more info.

          Link: http://www.hitchingpost2.com/restaura...

          3 Replies
          1. re: Barbara Nevens
            Jon Leventhal Apr 12, 2002 01:56 PM

            While I too adore the HP, it is unfortunately, only open for dinner. Bar, I believe, opens at 4:00, and they start serving at 5:00.

            Eat an early dinner there...you won't be disappointed. (don't forget the artichoke app)


            1. re: Barbara Nevens
              Jon Leventhal Apr 12, 2002 02:09 PM

              While I too adore the HP, it is unfortunately, only open for dinner. Bar, I believe, opens at 4:00, and they start serving at 5:00.

              Eat an early dinner there...you won't be disappointed. (don't forget the artichoke app)


              1. re: Barbara Nevens
                Chino Wayne Apr 14, 2002 02:04 PM

                I was looking forward to a shot of beef at the Hitching Post on the return leg of the Napa Road Trip last week, but alas we got waylayed at the Gilroy outlets, and it was going to be too late when we got to Buellton. So we stoped for BBQ in SLO, which I will be reporting on later today on the California board. Still would like to make it to the Hitching Post one day.

              2. j
                Just Larry Apr 12, 2002 09:52 AM

                Angelica's in Solvang
                Cabernet Bistro in Solvang
                Remmington's in Los Olivos
                Ballard Inn in Ballard

                Ballard General Store (name may have changed) in Ballard

                Buccatini in Santa Clarita
                Wine Cask in Santa Clarita

                All of these are with-in a very short scenic drive of Solvang or are in Solvang.

                Enjoy and reoprt back.
                They are not as good as the Best in LA but they are all quaint and wonderful in their own way.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Just Larry
                  LisaPizza Apr 12, 2002 10:08 PM

                  Larry means Bucatini and Wine Cask in Santa Barbara. :-) Which is 30 minutes away from Solvang, so you'll need to plan for the drive.

                  1. re: LisaPizza
                    Just Larry Apr 13, 2002 11:01 AM

                    Actually, I don't. They are both in Santa Ynez a short drive from Solvang. Just past the Indian Casino. The Italian is in the shopping center at the end of the main street (the street with the Post Office) in town. The other is just before the shopping center. The Italian even has a wood burning pizza oven and the owner/chef grows his own tomatoes.

                    1. re: Just Larry
                      LisaPizza Apr 14, 2002 01:28 AM

                      Larry, you did say Santa Clarita, didn't you? You're confusing me. Santa Clarita is almost 2 hours south of Santa Barbara, nowhere near Santa Ynez. Since Bucatini and Wine Cask are both in Santa Barbara and I've never seen either of them in Santa Ynez, I assumed you misspoke (mis-wrote?).

                      1. re: LisaPizza
                        Just Larry Apr 14, 2002 02:49 PM

                        I am wrong. They are in Santa Ynez. I have had dinner at both. Buccatini may have changed it's name but it was there last October and the restaurant with Wine in its name is on the same street. The street with the Post Office. I have had dinner at Bucatini in Santa Barbara too. It was pretty good. They are not related. The Italian man in Solvang that custom manufactures Espresso machines tipped me off to the place in Santa Ynez as his favorite in the area. His company is Salvatore and he makes the most amazing, and expensive Espresso machines the world has ever seen. Remarkable hand crafted works of art.

                        1. re: Just Larry
                          LisaPizza Apr 14, 2002 11:00 PM

                          Thanks for clarifying, Larry. And thanks for realizing that I wasn't trying to pick a fight -- I was just VERY confused by your original post! I'll have to look for those two places next time I'm up there. My husband works at Lazy Acres in Santa Barbara, and they have Salvatore machines in their espresso bar. Didn't know they were handcrafted; that's pretty cool.

                          1. re: LisaPizza
                            Just Larry Apr 15, 2002 09:13 AM

                            If you go to his shop he will show you his machine shop and how much better the parts that he uses are compared to a Krups machine. You will also be able to see his latest custom creations. There is a machine shaped out of hammered copper that looks like a world globe, a tennis court where the cups are stored in the grandstands, you get the idea. It is hard to believe that work like that is still being done today.

                2. f
                  FED Apr 12, 2002 12:31 PM

                  several years ago i ate a couple of pretty good meals at a place in Solvang called "Brothers". anyone know if that is still there? a couple of ex-Spago-ites. i think they actually were brothers.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FED
                    Just Larry Apr 13, 2002 11:53 AM

                    Unfortunately they no longer have a restaurant. They were going to buy the Ballard General Store but were out bid at the last minute by the people that own Angelica in Solvang. We were lucky enough to have had dinner at their restaurant about 6 times before they disappeared. They last time we were there almost every table was filled with local wine makers and their guests. It was a local secret.

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