With 300 miles of shoreline, waterfront views are practically visible anywhere in Door County—you’re never more than a few minutes from lunching in the sunshine or toasting by the waves. What else is a given in Door County? Delicious food.
From Egg Harbor to Ellison Bay and beyond, the peninsula’s scenic towns lure in world-class chefs, sommeliers and foodies ready to light up the shore. Regardless of who’s in your crew, whether kids, friends, or a mix of your favorite people, the views are as wonderful as the moments you'll savor at these five waterfront gems.
Harbor Fish Market & Grille – Baileys Harbor
There’s a sense of magic in the air at Harbor Fish Market & Grille. Whether it’s the combination of 1908 original hardwood floors and copper ceiling, the floor-to-ceiling windows or the lush garden overlooking Lake Michigan, this spot is popular with locals and visitors alike.
Considered a Door County institution, the restaurant is a must for brunch, dinner and their signature offering: a New England–style lobster boil that’s available year-round. From Wednesday through Sunday, watch the wood-fired pot light up the shore as every three-course feast is made to order. You can even bring your dog to this patio, where they’ll also be spoiled with special treats.
Waterfront Restaurant – Sister Bay
It’s all in the name here! Every table at Waterfront Restaurant is perfectly arranged for a fabulous evening with loved ones. This establishment features a rotating, seasonal (and sometimes nightly) menu, which includes twists on chef-designed fare showcasing local ingredients, as well as panoramic views of Green Bay.
Equal parts romantic, refined and relaxed, Waterfront is a great place to kick off your Door County vacation or grab one last peninsula sunset. Accompanied by good friends and fine wine, it’s the perfect way to complement Mother Nature’s dazzling finale.
Sonny’s Italian Kitchen & Pizzeria – Sturgeon Bay
Right off the historic Michigan Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay and perched on the marina, no place does homemade Italian goodness quite like Sonny’s. This is greatly owed to the outdoor tiki bar that comes alive with live music and fire tables in the evenings. Sonny’s delivers it all, where friends spend an evening under the stars and families find a kid-friendly menu without sacrificing ambiance (you can even stake out a spot on the roof to watch the continually passing boat parade).
Tip: Pair a pizza with a visit to the neighboring Door County Maritime Museum or a stroll along the Ice Age Trail—both offer waterfront marvels of their own.
Wilson’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor - Ephraim
There are few Door County spots as iconic as Wilson’s, which has been scooping, serving and plating up Americana since 1906. A red-and-white landmark on Water Street in Ephraim, older generations will enjoy a blast from the past (old-fashioned soda fountain, jukebox melodies and old-school sundaes) and younger generations will enjoy a feast of flame-broiled burgers and an extensive list of ice cream flavors.
Outdoor tables are quickly filled at this popular spot, but that’s no issue — sundaes are equally delicious at the waterfront picnic tables across the street.
Jackson Harbor Soup – Washington Island
Though most folks stopping into Jackson Harbor Soup are traveling to or from Rock Island State Park—the restaurant’s just steps from the ferry—it’s more than the convenience that explains the consistently long line out the door. Make no mistake: this place is worth the wait. Indulge in excellent sandwiches, soups like Grammy’s Potato and Beer and Cheddar and mouthwatering paninis as your group relaxes at an outdoor table, letting you savor your meal right on your own slice of waterfront.
Between the delicious food, yard games, Adirondack chairs and the restaurant’s homestyle vibe, you and your crew won’t want to leave this popular Door County spot.
Still hungry? Discover more delicious restaurants throughout Door County.