Pea Soup Andersen’s – Living Nostalgia in California

By Iman Sadri

July 5, 2022

Pea Soup Andersen’s is one of those classic California restaurants that offers more that just its menu. In the case of Andersen’s, it’s known for split pea, but offers a ton more. Its menu is comprised of a whole host of food items in addition to its classic split pea soup. Andersen’s was created by Anton Andersen and his wife Juliette in 1924. It was a secret recipe of Juliette who made the pea soup in her electric stove.

Growing up in Sacramento my family would drive down to Southern California several times per year. Along the way on the 5 we would see the array of billboards advertising Pea Soup Andersen’s. The two iconic characters Hap-Pea and Pea-wee donned the billboard with their spatulas and aprons. As a kid those billboards were effective. Especially before cell phones when the attention was on the scenery along the 5 freeway.

The first Pea Soup Andersen’s location I went to as a kid was off the 5 freeway was at Santa Nella, an un-incorporated city in Merced County. Later visiting UC Santa Barbara on a college tour, as an 18 year old I asked my Dad to drive me to the Buellton location. The nostalgia and the famed split pea soup was worth the drive.

This past weekend I was able to re-visit Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buellton, which has Danish themed architecture, and is only 4 miles from Solvang, the Danish capital of America. Pea Soup Andersen’s is a great place for the whole family. If you haven’t been swayed in by the billboards then the pea soup and the memories you can create is worth the time to stop by.