1. Embrace Surprises At Sanford Restaurant
If you’re looking for exciting upscale dining in a chic, relaxing atmosphere, Sanford Restaurant should be at the top of your list. The chef and owner, Justin Aprahamian, won the James Beard award for the best chef in the Midwest in 2014, and with his innovative, perfectly plated New American dishes, it’s easy to see why.
Adventurous diners shouldn’t miss the Seven-Course Surprise Tasting Menu, where a custom menu is prepared according to the whims of the chef, and is best paired with something off the impressive wine list.
2. Traditional Tastes At The Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned pays tribute to the best of Wisconsin’s traditional foods, and that’s reflected in their locally inspired décor. The fried Walleye sandwich, brats, and beer cheese soup are a must, best paired with a local tap beer or The Old Fashioned House Brew.
Of course, no traditional Wisconsin meal would be complete without incredibly tasty cheese curds, and a meal at The Old Fashioned is no exception.
3. Gluten Free Eats So Good You’ll Forget About Grain At Plae Bistro
Anyone with a gluten allergy knows the true significance of finding delicious gluten free bread, which is why so many flock to Plae Bistro. If you don’t fill up on their delicious appetizer bread, try their bacon macaroni and cheese and beef tenderloin. Don’t miss out on your greens; innovative salads, like the Ahi salad, are always crisp and fresh at Plae Bistro.
4. Take A Trip To Texas Without The Flight At Joe’s Texas BBQ
Finding delicious, authentic, finger-licking-good Texas BBQ in Wisconsin is no easy feat. Joe’s Texas BBQ may be a hole in the wall spot that’s tough to track down, but once you try the tender sliced beef brisket, or the perfectly seasoned ribs, you’ll understand it was totally worth the hunt.
5. Veggie Friendly Eats That Even Please Carnivores At Comet Café
Comet Café is a cozy spot where vegans, vegetarians, and even the Ron Swansons of the world can come together over delicious, fresh, seasonal eats. Whether you’re stopping in for a mid-morning brunch, or staggering in at one in the morning for some much needed finals week sustenance, you’re in for a delicious dish.
The Compact Turkey dinner and vegan meatloaf are great comfort food meals, and a little coconut banana caramel pie for dessert is the perfect way finish it off. If you’re not sold on veggie “meats” you can still order a few slices of their delicious real bacon.
6. Dig Into The Perfect Combination, Pizza And Beer, At Wild Tomato
This family owned and operated affordable restaurant that’s committed to using sustainable products is a choice you can feel good about. Oh yeah, and it tastes absolutely amazing too.
Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grille serves up delicious pizzas with fresh, creative toppings, paired with local craft brews. The quaint atmosphere and super friendly staff are added bonuses.
7. Grab Classic Diner Dishes At Franks Diner
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That seems to be the philosophy behind Franks Diner, and it’s definitely working. This restaurant serves up the best of classic diner breakfast foods at the best classic diner prices.
Order a garbage plate (which is actually delicious), homemade cinnamon rolls, and a mimosa, and you know your day will start off right.
8. Fill Up On Fancy Ramen At Tochi
If you still think ramen is that packaged stuff you lived on in college, you’re seriously and sorely mistaken. It’s time to reeducate yourself immediately with a trip to Tochi.
In the mood for traditional? The Shoyu Ramen is topped with tender pork belly, flavorful smoked egg. In the mood for fusion? The Wisconsin Ramen is topped with brat sausage and dehydrated sauerkraut. Either way, it’s going to be way better than anything you ate as an undergrad.
9. MACS Gets Creative With Mac And Cheese
MACS serves up macaroni and cheese that bears absolutely no resemblance to the dollar boxed stuff. Creative macaroni and cheese options include Memphis Mac, topped with pulled pork and BBQ sauce, and Hangover Mac (three cheeses, bacon, fried hot dog, green pepper, onions, mushrooms, hash browns, and sriracha should about do the trick). MACS also has delicious melts, wedge salads, and desserts, all in cast iron skillets.
10. Brunch That’s Worth The Wait At Blue’s Egg
Blue’s Egg serves up some of the most delicious breakfast and brunch in Wisconsin…and the secret is out. You may have to wait awhile for a table, but the monkey bread with bourbon glaze alone will make it worth the wait.
With endless coffee refills, tasty mimosas, perfectly poached eggs Benedict, and flavorful goat cheese hash browns, it’s easy to see why this classic American brunch spot draws such a big crowd.
11. Devour Flavor Packed Cajun Dishes At Stella Blues
Stella Blues brings a taste of Louisiana to Eau Claire. With cozy, retro décor in a pretty historic building and super friendly wait staff, Stella Blues isn’t just a pleasant place to eat—it has the food to match.
The Andouille sausage packs a flavorful kick, and pairs perfectly with hearty portions of moist corn bread. The jambalaya and gumbo are perfectly seasoned, and absolutely can’t be missed.
12. Get Your Friday Fish Fry On At Lakefront Brewery
Friday fish fries are to Wisconsin as baseball is to America. There are dozens of spots diners could choose, but there’s a reason people keep coming back to Lakefront Brewery for the Friday fish fix.
When your food is served in a beer hall with live polka music playing, and it’s a deep fried cut of tender cod and potato pancakes with a cool glass of local beer, the experience just can’t get any better.
13. Authentic Mexican Eats In A Unique Environment At Taqueria Guadalajara
If your passport isn’t up to date or you just don’t have time to fly down to Mexico for authentic food, Taqueria Guadalajara is the next best bet. Order a delicious Huarache el Paisano, grilled cactus, chicken chimichanga, and Mexican coca-cola, and you’ll get to watch it prepared in the quaint restaurant’s open kitchen. Oh…and then you’ll get to eat it, which is definitely the best part.
14. Feed Your Soul At The Cozzy Corner
Sometimes eating is about so much more than feeding your body. Sometimes it can be about feeding your soul. A meal from The Cozzy Corner in Appleton does just that. The tasty mac and cheese, collard greens, hush puppies, and chicken and waffles The Cozzy Corner serves are always seasoned and cooked to perfection.
All the food is best enjoyed with a group of friends or family in the warm, welcoming, and of course, cozy environment with music-themed décor.
15. Locavores Rejoice At Graze’s Fresh Regional Eats
Graze is more than just a place to grab a bite. It’s a chic, modern dining experience where customers are treated to the best fusion eats made from local ingredients, and tasty innovative cocktails.
Whether you’re grabbing Nutella French toast to satisfy your morning sweet tooth, or a bibimbap burrito and noodle bowl for a filling fusion lunch, you’ll be as pleased with the way your meal tastes as you are with the trendy atmosphere.
What’s your go-to for great grub in Wisconsin? Tell us in the comments below!