Every small town has their own special watering hole. It’s a place where locals gather to celebrate the big win, to connect with friends, to hold book clubs, or to just shoot the breeze. Solvang, CA is no different. It is predominately a tourist town, a place where visitors from all over the world can go and learn a bit about Danish history, architecture, and Danish delights. While Solvang is a beautiful little city to visit, there are about 5,000 people that live there year round to keep the city alive.
For those that make the town what it is for tourist, sometimes they need a place of their own. About a year ago the Peterson family opened the perfect place for locals, CHOMP, Burgers, Fries, Shakes. This is one of the few non-Danish restaurants you’ll find in Solvang. The reason: Solvang has a city ordinance that prevents chain restaurants, fast food places, hotels, stores, and such from building and operating within the city limits. According to CHOMP owner Aaron Peterson, if your business has more than five locations, you’re not allowed within the city. If you are wondering where then the locals shop for everyday items, less than 10 minutes away is Buellton where there aren’t business restrictions.
While some of the Danish restaurants in Solvang have general American food on their menus, CHOMP is the place to go if you’re just not in the mood to try some of the Danish delights or if you just want some good ol’ American food. From the outside is has the Danish feel like the surrounding businesses, though it’s outdoor tables with the signature red umbrella stands pops it out from the other stores nearby. Once you walk in it’s almost like your transported back in time. I half expected to see girls in poodle skirts on the swivel seats at the counter top. It has a very friendly feeling inside, with the soft oldie tunes in the background, and despite the industrial looking tabletops. The red cushions on the benches, chairs, and stools help in softening the atmosphere.
As I looked at the menu trying to decide what to get I was amazed at the prices. They are what I like to call “family friendly prices”, with the most expensive item at $9.75, how could you resist! The menu also isn’t limited to burgers, fries, and shakes they have a variety of items; burgers, salads, fish, hot dogs, chicken, fries and desserts. The burger I choose, Wrangler, was delicious!! I loved that there was bacon and onion rings on the burger, two of my favorite things! The burger came with fresh french fries, and an orange slice to top it off.
CHOMP is a great restaurant, and a good place to dine in at during your trip to Solvang. If you’re curious about the name of the restaurant as I was here’s what I learned. The Peterson’s knew what they wanted to serve, and what type of atmosphere they wanted to have, but they just weren’t sure on the name. They brainstormed a number of different options, but none fit. So using the ever so popular Facebook they made a campaign. Out of all the options the Facebook crowd gave up, CHOMP was the winner. So when you’re visiting the, not to be missed, Little Mermaid bronze sculpture go right into CHOMP for a quick bite to eat, or a delicious shake.
For more information visit CHOMP online. If you’d like to plan your trip to Solvang or see what other little gems are there read my articles on the King Fredrick Inn and the Greenhouse Cafe. Also visit Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau online today!