Fast Food Places: Four Wisconsin Originals

By Brenton Martell

It’s a common dilemma: you’re hungry but you’re also in a hurry. Thankfully, even when you have to get in, out, and back on the move quickly, you can enjoy some original Wisconsin fare at these fast-casual and fast-food kings that were founded in the Dairy State.

Erbert and Gerbert’s (founded in 1987 in Eau Claire)

Narmer, Flash, Girf, Boney Billy and Narmer: not a misfit band of superheroes, but the names of some of Erbert and Gerbert’s most popular sandwich choices.

Although the whackily worded sandwich names are a popular topic of discussion, there’s a single word that even better emphasizes what this sandwich shop is all about: guts. “Guts” refers to the inner part of the bread in each sandwich that is sliced out in order to create room for extra meat, cheese and toppings. Fear not for lost bread, though; the guts are placed on top of every sandwich for your outside-of-the-sub enjoyment.

Pro Tip: those who are in the know call it “Erbs and Gerbs”
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Rocky Rococo Pizza and Pasta (founded in 1974 in Madison)

Specializing in a thick, rectangular pan-style slice that dares you not to use a fork, Rocky’s provides hearty pizza and a unique and versatile pizza dining experience. Customers can select individual slices fresh out of the oven for a quick bite with optional breadstick-and-drink combo add-ons, or order entire pies for delivery, dine-in or take-out.

Pro Tip: meat lovers will delight in slices featuring Rocky’s mountainous hand-pattied sausage.
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Culver’s  (founded in 1984 in Sauk City)

A Wisconsin fast-food staple, Culver’s offers fast food prices and prompt service, but the comparison to traditional fast-food dies there. Culver’s famous ButterBurgers (named for the lightly toasted and buttered buns) and custard are popular picks, but the menu also sports an impressive array of additional options. Indeed, while Culver’s is always an easy meal choice to make, the tough decisions come once you’re inside. No matter what you select from the expansive menu, though, Culver’s will have you coming back for more the next time you pass by.

Pro Tip: add some extra Wisconsin flare to your meal by subbing out your french fries for some delicious, deep-fried cheddar cheese curds.
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Kopp’s Frozen Custard (founded in 1950 in Milwaukee)

Renowned for its classic frozen custard since the 1950s, Kopp’s is an absolute must-have for summertime cold-treat lovers as well as for huge-burger hounds searching for a new conquest. Geographic exclusivity sets this local gem apart from its more widely dispersed counterparts described above, so if you’re lucky enough to pass through Milwaukee, make Kopp’s a priority.

Pro Tip: be prepared to debate the merits of Kopp’s custard versus that of the ever-growing powerhouse that Culver’s has become.
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This entry was posted in Fast Food