POV: You’re hungry. You’re craving something new. And you want to get away with some friends. Then, out of nowhere, this Travel Wisconsin article lights up your screen with the answer: Beloit.
This southern Wisconsin community is brimming with good food. From fine dining to meals with live music to unforgettable cocktails and more, Beloit has the culinary game down — and you’re invited to come try it. Only 90 minutes from Chicago and 60 minutes from Madison and Milwaukee, Beloit makes for a perfect escape for your friends and family. And with enough can’t-miss restaurants to fill a week (or more), everyone’s inner foodie will rejoice.
Here’s the lowdown on Beloit’s unexpectedly tasty culinary scene — enjoy!
Fine Dining | More Good Eats | Cocktails & Drinks
FINE DINING IN BELOIT
Sit down, unfold your cloth napkin, and cheers to amazing, high-class dining experiences in Beloit. While these spots are classy, they’re also welcoming in warm, casually friendly way.
At Velvet Buffalo, on the ground floor of the stylish Hotel Goodwin, attention is given to every last detail. You’ll notice right away — the modern Italian dishes are presented impeccably, the extensive (and award-winning) wine collection is arranged like first-edition books in a professor’s study, and the service is next to none. The menu is always changing, and ingredients are sourced locally. It’s not uncommon to see Chef Jonna Froelich collecting her produce at the Beloit Farmers’ Market. Start with some unbelievably tasty bruschetta, then ask your server for the menu’s newest in-season winners.
The vibe is casual-yet-classy date night, or an upscale catch up with friends. The dark wood accents, floor-to-high-ceiling windows, antique-style chandeliers set the stage for easy conversation and a fantastic meal.
Zen Sushi & Grill
Cross Beloit’s downtown Grand Avenue for fine tastes from across the Pacific. Zen Sushi owner Brian Park and master sushi chef Hiro-san (who trained in Japan and New York) have created a unique, showy menu and an atmosphere authentic to both Japan and the U.S.
At first, you’ll notice the Japanese-style carpentry that accents the décor — the wood is North America-native Douglas fir. Then, you’ll see the variety of fusion sushi roll recipes. Try the Spicy Kamikaze Roll for a jalapeño kick or any of their rolls served en flambé. The Japanese Old Fashioned mixes the Wisconsin classic cocktail with Japanese whiskey. Raise your glass and “kanpai” (Japanese for “cheers”) and enjoy your meal in good company!
Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint
A couple blocks away, you’ll find Merrill & Houston’s, a steakhouse in the industrial-chic Ironworks Hotel. Paying homage to Beloit’s storied past, the brick walls are filled with real black-and-white photos of the city’s memories. The soft-light, friendly service atmosphere is a prime place to reconnect with people you love. Plus, there’s live music on Fridays!
Order the Ironworks to savor a rib eye topped with buttery shrimp, scallops, lobster and breadcrumbs. Or go for one of the restaurant’s house specialty pastas. Ask your server to recommend you the perfect wine pairing.
Visit any of Beloit’s three supper clubs for an iconic Wisconsin fine dining experience. The Butterfly Club, The 615 Club and Benedetti’s each have their own personality. Check out the supper club staples of course: steaks, Friday Fish Fry, Old Fashioneds and more.
BELOIT’S UNEXPECTEDLY GOOD EATS
From neighborhood hangouts to no-frills deliciousness, these spots serve great food with a dash of unexpected.
Mr. B’s Coffee & Snack
Mr. B and his wife Vicki are two of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet. And the no-frills, budget-friendly food at their humble diner is some of the most delicious. This place is perfect for a family meal that keeps everyone happy.
Mr. B started making pork rinds and crackling 20+ years ago. Then with the help of Vicki, he’s expanded into a small, well-loved hangout serving breakfast, American classics — try Mr. B’s Philly Cheesesteak — and ice cream. Inside, the walls are covered with signed dollar bills and coffee mugs, all gifts from loyal customers. There’s seating for maybe 10 people tops inside, but feel free to use the outside picnic table or take your food to go.
Another downtown gem, truk’t serves delicious street tacos and craft cocktails in a casual, stylish downtown spot.
Catch live music by local artists, savor unexpected taco combinations — like the Korean BBQ or the pineapple-y Pork al Pastor — and ask about their W.T.F., Weekly Truk’t Feature. Sip on a hand-crafted cocktail and choose from their large, curated collection of tequila and whiskey. The margaritas are a hit, and the margarita pitcher is the perfect option for sharing.
Lucy’s #7 Burger Bar
The story of Lucy’s #7 Burger Bar dates back to 1926, when the legendary Lucy Winslow was born. Entrepeneur, restaurant-owner, heroic WWII nurse and popular mid-century pin-up girl, Lucy was a powerhouse beloved by many. The Burger Bar opened in 2015, honoring her story and her love of great service and farm fresh ingredients. Inside the restaurant, you’ll see Lucy’s famous 1949 pin-up ad painted on the wall.
There are lots of burgers to choose from, like the cheese-lover's Wisconsinite and the meat-free Veggie-licious. Choose from a variety of Wisconsin-brewed beer on tap and end with some dessert. Lucy’s blended ice cream drinks hit the spot, served in a classic diner-style milkshake glass topped with whipped cream and a cherry.
Head out of downtown and up Prairie Avenue to find this unexpected Beloit treasure — Dulce Vida. This Mexican-owned café serves authentic favorites. Owner Esmerelda brought her family’s recipes with her from Mexico to the US when she was young. Now, she loves sharing her delicious dishes with Beloit.
Head inside — you’ll be welcomed by the bright pink walls and menus, plus all the delicious confections on display. For lunch or dinner, try some specialty tacos or a specialty torta. Kids especially love the dozens of Mihoacana ice cream flavors. The protein smoothies make for a great to-go snack and always check fresh display case for more — the dessert polenta is a local favorite.
ABC Supply Stadium
Why is a baseball stadium among these top-notch restaurants? Because the food at ABC Supply Stadium is surprisingly good. Get tickets to a Beloit Sky Carp game or event and you’ll be enjoying dishes like the sweet and savory Chicken & Waffle Sandwich, the Wisco-burger on a stick and bratchos (yes, brat nachos). There’s a lot more to try too, like the Fowl Pole Golden Ale, that can only be found at the stadium.
BELOIT’S UNFORGETTABLE DRINKS & COCKTAILS
Explore cocktail culture and craft drinks at these Beloit spots.
5BAR wrote the definition for good vibes. Why? Mid-century retro décor, couches at the bar counter, and the owner’s corgi (named Lady) is a regular. Journey to the back through the hallway that has recently been widened to easily accomidate wheelchair users, where there's often live music, comedy, or karaoke, and look up to see a ceiling of backlit cotton candy clouds.
Every month, owner and mixologist Levi serves a new themed cocktail menu. A couple past menus: Dark Side of the June (featuring Pink Floyd themed cocktails in June) and Steep’d-tember (featuring tea-based cocktails in September). Each month is different and everyone 21+ is always welcome!
Above the Hotel Goodwin is Beloit’s premier rooftop hangout, The Rooftop. There’s an indoor and outdoor portion, and the big windows give stunning views of downtown. This place makes for a romantic sunset date night or an essential stop with friends on a night out. Catch live music seasonally and enjoy some snackable apps — they pair perfectly with the cocktail, wine and beer menu.
G5 Brewing Company
The taps at G5 Brewing Company are always changing, and the beers are always creative and tasty. At G5, they’re known for their unique sours and IPAs, plus the “Hindenburg In A Lightning Storm” Kolsch is a mainstay the locals love.
Family focused with great service and full lunch & dinner menus — G5 brewing company does more than brew beer. And the prairie views from the modern-industrial brewery building add to the experience.
Hungry for more? Explore more with Visit Beloit and plan your trip today!