Door County, Wisconsin is a favorite weekend getaway for Wisconsin and northern Illinois residents. Door County is essentially the entire “thumb” of Wisconsin and has an abundance of offerings for everyone. The area features several golf courses, wineries, and restaurants which offer beautiful views of both Green Bay and Lake Michigan.
Al Johnson’s is located very near the northern tip of the Wisconsin thumb in Sister Bay, WI and is just across the street from Sister Bay Beach. The restaurant is extremely noticeable thanks to its grass roofs featuring live goats. That’s right, there are live goats responsible for trimming the grass roof. The number of goats on the roof vary day to day, but if you are unable to see the goats live, Al Johnson’s offers a “Goat Cam” to see the goats you may have missed. The restaurant also features a wonderful gift shop offering a wide variety of Scandinavian gifts.
The food at Al Johnson’s is a great mix of breakfast and lunch foods, most notably of which are the traditional Swedish Pancakes! The pancakes are absolutely delicious and come with a side of either Swedish meatballs, Canadian bacon, traditional bacon, or ham. There is also a side of Lingonberry jam at each table which makes a great addition to the pancakes even it if is not advertised as such. There are also several sandwich and burger options, but if you are a first time visitor, it is highly recommended to try the pancakes.
New in 2016, Al Johnson’s opened the “Stabbur Beer Garden” next door to the restaurant which is a great way to pass the time while waiting for a table. The beer garden has several delicious cocktails and some of the best views of Sister Bay available. There are also a selections of lawn games to help younger family members pass the time while the older folks have a few drinks.
Al Johnson’s is quite the drive from the lower part of Door County and often has a wait over 30 minutes, but the food, goats, and new beer garden make the drive well worth it. If you are ever near the thumb of Wisconsin, I highly recommend making the drive up the bay to Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant.
To learn more about Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant and their nearly 60 year history, please visit their website here.