“authentic swedish cuisine with goats on the roof!”
Al Johnson’s is an authentic Swedish family owned restaurant where you can find goats grazing the sod roof. It's quite a sight, and it's made this place one of the most famous restaurants in Door County. Inside the casual, carpeted dining room, young ladies in Scandinavian garb dish out limpa bread and Swedish meatballs. The menu consists of a variety of Swedish fare, from pancakes with lingonberries to Swedish meatballs, whitefish, sandwiches, salads, and a variety of hot and cold plates. The story about how goats came to be on the sod roof of Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant has floated around Door County for decades. Here’s how local writer Norbert Blei recounted the tale a few years back: “Wink Larson was a man who understood tradition. Every year, in celebration of Al Johnson’s birthday, he would bring Al a gift. Not an ordinary gift, of course. But something memorable. One year it was a burro; another year a sheep; once a baby pig; and the single gift which would change Al’s life, the village of Sister Bay, and the entire history of Door County tourism—the birthday Wink walked into the restaurant with a goat named Oscar, ribbons tied to its horns and a note: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AL. I was not an eyewitness. But I can see the grin on Wink’s face…sense the commotion in the restaurant. And hear Al’s laughter. The rest—is history.” —Norbert Blei
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food at Al's, especially if you opt for one of the Swedish dishes on the menu.
There's also a beer garden next door, operated by the same owners with lawn games that my kids loved. And the locations, right across the street from the waterfront park (beach and playground) made it perfect for my family with two young kids. If you pick up postcards at the gift shop, you can mail them at the post office, right across the street.
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Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant & Butik
- Sun - Sat: 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
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