FoodTravel

Food, Fun, and History at Pea Soup Andersen’s

History, fun and food at Pea Soup Andersen's in
History, fun and food at Pea Soup Andersen's in

Pea Soup Andersen’s in Santa Nella (photo by Yvonne Condes)

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If your travels take you and your family north of Los Angeles, make it a point to stop at Pea Soup Andersen’s. Yes, that Pea Soup — the cans of green soup we’re used to seeing in the market.

The first location was opened more than ninety years ago in Buellton (off the 101, north of Santa Barbara) and  the second location opened in Santa Nella (off Interstate 5) forty years ago.

Pea Soup Andersen in Santa Nella

Outside, the mural declares they’ve been “splitting peas since 1924.” That’s because back in June of 1924, Anton and Juliette Andersen first began serving split pea soup and other tasty foods at their small cafe. Originally, their restaurant was called “Andersen’s Electrical Cafe” to commemorate their new electric stove (at the time, most families still used a gas stove). Shortly after opening, their pea soup became quite an attraction and the restaurant became known as “Pea Soup Andersen’s.”

A stop at the restaurant doesn’t just provide families with an extensive menu, good food, and clean bathrooms.

The women's restroom in Pea Soup Andersen's

The restaurant serves as a great distraction and conversation-starter for children because there’s so much to see and do. Outside, you’ll find coin-operated rides for kids (only 25 cents!). There’s also the fun photo-opportunity where family members can take turns poking their heads into the cut-out billboard of  “Hap-Pea” and “Pea-Wee.”

Inside, you’ll find much more than a restaurant. There is also a gift shop area, a bakery, a marketplace, and the year-round “Christmas Shoppe.” Not only can you take some cans of soup to go, but you’ll also find some fun souvenirs and memorabilia (decorative objects, magnets, and more).

There's more than just soup at Pea Soup Andersen's. The gift shop has everything from food to keepsakes.

The restaurant has an extensive menu offering all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. The children’s menu includes waffles, chocolate chip pancakes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese, and more kid-friendly fare. Of course, adults may opt for the classic “Travelers Special” — all-you-can-eat Andersen’s split pea soup. (When you finish your bowl, you’re rewarded with a picture of Hap-Pea and Pea-Wee at the bottom of the bowl). Or, opt instead for soup and salad, one of their many hamburgers and sandwiches (Classic Rueben, Bacon Burger), entrees (Chicken Pot Pie, Danish Style Meatloaf), or pasta (Fettucine Alfredo). According to their menu, the restaurant uses “more than 10,000 pounds of peas a month and serves millions of bowls every year!”

History, fun and food at Pea Soup Andersen's in

Two locations:

376 Avenue of the Flags, Buellton, CA

and

12411 S. Highway 33, Santa Nella, CA

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IN LOS ANGELES WITH KIDS.

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Wendy Kennar (416 Posts)

Wendy is a freelance writer who finds inspiration in her nine-year-old son and from her experiences from her twelve-year teaching career. Her writing has appeared in several publications and anthologies, both in print and online. She prefers sunflowers to roses and thinks chocolate is okay at any meal. You can find her at wendykennar.com.


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