If you’ve been doing research for your Door County vacation then you’ve likely heard of Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant and Butik.
Maybe you’ve seen pictures of goats on the grassy roof or the classic Scandinavian décor.
Yes, there really is a Door County restaurant with goats on the roof!
As is often the case with your favorite restaurants, you are likely to find a wait at this quality establishment.
We’re here to give you the facts needed to decide if that wait is worth it!
Not to spoil the surprise, but we think it’s a great experience and even have a tip to cut down your wait time.
Al Johnson’s also has a beer garden called the Stabbur. Check out more details below.
Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik
See it on Google Maps: Al Johnson’s, Sister Bay, WI
Website: Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik
Menu: All Day Breakfast & Lunch
Phone: (920) 854-2626
Is Al Johnson’s Restaurant Worth the Wait?
This is a popular eating option in Door County. So if you want a quick bite during rush hour you might consider another restaurant.
However, if you have a little extra time we think its worth the wait!
Plus, stick around to the end of a few tips on making that wait time a little more manageable.
In one word, Scandanavian would describe the inside of Al Johnson’s Restaurant.
When choosing a place to eat, the quality of food is important, sure. But we all know the vibe of a restaurant is almost more deciding.
With ornate wood carvings and a lodge-like interior, Al Johnson’s has a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else.
Incredibly, stepping into this traditional log structure will make you feel smack dab in the middle of a European village.
And have we mentioned the goats?
In the summer months, this Door County restaurant has goats on the roof chowing down on the family’s ecofriendly sod.
However, don’t leave your goat viewing opportunities to chance. Check their goat cam for a live feed of the action.
Don’t know what Scandanavian food entails?
Think saucy meatballs, berry jam, and all-day pancakes.
And Al Johnson’s serves it up right.
If you want the whole experience, try their pickled herring specialty plate. We didn’t, or else I’d give you an opinion.
What I do know is that their rectangular pancakes, stacked up in piles on rosemaled plates, are definitely worth the visit. And it doesn’t matter what time it is either because breakfast is served all day.
We also tried the Swedish meatballs, which were recommended to go with our pancakes. It’s not something we’d normally order for breakfast, but they tasted amazing!
The restaurant goes through more than 300,000 meatballs every year so we must not be the only ones who think they’re great!
All-in-all the dining experience at Al Johnson’s is exceptional and the authentically Swedish waitstaff was wonderful.
Al Johnson’s Butik
If the Door County goats aren’t on the roof and you’re waiting to be seated, Al Johnson’s has a specialty shop called the Butik.
This is your one-stop-shop for everything goat merchandise if that’s something you’re looking for.
Explore Scandanavian trinkets, clothing, books, and Al Johnson products such as Swedish syrup, jam, and coffee.
The store could certainly keep you entertained for a while.
But why wait?
Check out our secret (not so secret) tip to quick seating for small groups in the next section.
A Quick Dining Tip
Our first experience at Al Johnson’s Restaurant was fantastic.
When we first arrived there was plenty of convenient parking but when we got inside the wait time was pretty long.
It turns out, in the far back of the restaurant there is a bar for open seating. With only a party of two, we were able to find seats right away and skip the line!
If you plan to try this time-saving tip, we recommend confirming with the host that the bar is still open seating.
Overall Restaurant Review
We absolutely recommend Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant!
Where ever you’re staying in Door County, Sister Bay is likely only a short drive and this Scandanavian experience is well worth it.
The rich history behind this unique restaurant provides a dining experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
Whether you’re a couple wanting brunch, or a family looking for a fun lunch, Al Johnson’s is the perfect stop.
The Stabbur Beer Garden
During the Door County busy season, late Spring to early Fall, Al Johnson’s opens up their Stabbur beer garden.
This fun log structure offers many beer options, a full bar, Friday fish fry, and live music.
Get more info here: Al Johnson’s Stabbur Menu
A Little Bit of Al Johnson’s History
This local Sister Bay business celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2019.
When Al Johnson opened the business he did everything from cooking to cleaning. When he met his wife Ingert, she helped to make this Scandanavian eatery what it is today.
The business is now run by the couple’s three children, Lars, Annika, and Rolf.
To get a virtual tour of the restaurant and hear an in-depth history, we highly recommend the video linked below.
YouTube: Door County Today
The Goats on the Roof
Finally, a little more info on those Door County goats.
About four or so goats enjoy their summer days chowing down on the green roof of Al Johnson’s.
They get there by way of a three-level ramp in the back.
During inclement weather and throughout the winter months, these goats are well kept at the Johnson farm. If seeing these goats on the roof is on your bucket list, then we don’t recommend leaving it to chance. Make sure you check the goat cam just before you visit.