After learning that the town of Solvang, California is known for their Danish bakeries, I immediately knew my mission.
Sample all of the bakeries to find the definitive winner for my own selection of the the best bakery in Solvang.
Little did I know that I would also uncover the new title holder of best bakery in the world, but more on that in a minute.
Birkholm’s Bakery & Cafe
It just so happened that the parking lot where we parked upon entering Solvang bordered a bakery, so that was the first stop on my quest to eat all the tasty yum-yums in the town.
We arrived fairly early in the town, so the bakery wasn’t all that busy yet. And the display case was full of things that looked amazing.
Since we intended to hit every single bakery, we only ordered a single item here so that we’d have room to eat all the things.
Riley chose the cherry boat, which you see in the bottom of the picture above. As well as in the images below.
And I vowed to get one of those cinnamon rolls when were ready to leave Solvang…but alas, they sold out by the time we made it back.
As you can see in the images above, the “boats” this bakery sells feature a fruit topping in the center and a generous smattering of powdered sugar.
The dough part of this pastry was unlike anything I’d ever eaten – kind of like a cross between a croissant and a danish. It was incredibly soft and just downright delicious.
The cherry topping tasted a lot like cherry pie filling, which means that overall this pastry was a big win.
On a non-pastry note, the staff here were really nice and welcoming. And there was plenty of seating inside this place.
Just four doors down from Birkholm’s is the cleverly named Solvang Bakery.
The exterior of this bakery was just downright adorable, but the inside was both tiny and crowded.
And the teens working behind the counter seemed a bit overwhelmed.
They seem to sell more than just pastries as there were candy and other non-Danish items available.
Since Riley chose the previous treat, this time it was my turn.
I opted for the chocolate eclair simply because I love eclairs and it looked unlike any other that I had eaten.
Yes, I know that this isn’t really Danish, but it’s what I tried and you know what – it was the best eclair that I have ever had!
However, it was not better than the cherry boat from Birkholm’s, and I don’t really like that this place doesn’t specialize and instead sells non-Danish stuff.
There was limited outdoor seating and no indoor seating, so we got our treat to go.
By the time we made it out though, there were no available seats and we ended up outside a pizza restaurant nearby that was closed.
Mortensen’s Danish Bakery
Feeling as if we needed to walk a bit before our next pastry tasting, we took a stroll through the town until we ended up at Mortensen’s bakery.
This was a fairly large place with an equally as large amount of outdoor seating.
They had a fairly large amount of options to choose from and Riley, being a lover of all things custard, chose the custard strip.
It was served deli-style in a paper boat with deli paper.
As you can see, there is a lot going on with this one – icing, almonds, and custard.
It tasted like part almond danish, part cinnamon roll, and part custard. And it was all crazy sweetness.
While it was good, the overwhelming sweetness (and too much going on), did make it my least favorite thing that we’d tried so far.
Since Solvang is known for something called aebleskivers, we did a bit more walking until we ended up at the place that is popular for them.
Looking at them, I figured they would be similar to Dutch poffertjes…but that wasn’t really the case.
They are topped with raspberry and powdered sugar.
When these were placed on the table, Riley commented that they smell a lot like crepes, which I agree with.
The texture of these wasn’t exactly as I expected.
They were a cross between a cake pop and the Dutch New Year’s treat oliebollen. In fact, I think aebleskivers would be amazing with apples in them, like oliebollen.
But overall, these were good and I’m glad that we tried them.
The Winner Is…
As you may guess, we did not end up making it to every single bakery as intended.
Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery had a line that was WAAAAAY too long and there wasn’t anything in the display case that caught my attention.
And while Danish Mill Bakery had an amazing window display and no line, we also didn’t see anything compelling in their display case.
Needles to say, nothing beat the experience and taste of Birkholm’s and I declare it the best bakery in Solvang.
For more than a decade, I’ve held strong that the best bakery in the world is Aux Merveilleux de Fred in Brussels, Belgium (near Grand Place) because they make the most amazing chocolate brioche that you will ever put in your mouth…but Birkholm’s has now taken that crown, for me.
Upon leaving the town of Solvang, we popped back into Birkholm’s to get some treats for the road.
While the cinnamon rolls were sold out, we did get a box of several yummy items and none of them were bad!
I can’t wait to return and finally try one of those cinnamon rolls.
Shawna is one half of the Enter the Lens duo and she always seeks out the best potato dish in any location. The first place she traveled to was either Gatlinburg or Florida as a child. Since then, she’s traveled everywhere from Dubai to Oslo to Brisbane.