Cafes, bikes, and brews are the traditional ways to enjoy a bike ride on the weekend. Starting the day with a coffee is how a lot of cyclists make it through those early miles, while celebrating with a beer aids recovery and solidifies friendships forged on the road.
The thread between the three is tightly woven and Wisconsin’s culture makes it easy to find cycling fare across the state. Here are some of the best places to go to find all three ingredients to a perfect weekend ride.
Whether you’re going to ride on some of the best mountain bike trails in Wisconsin at CamRock County Trails or enjoy the quiet country roads surrounding Cambridge, CamRock Cafe & Sport is the perfect place to start. You’ll feel right at home in with signs of cycling culture all over the cafe. With a full service shop and rentals, as well as a cafe, you can have your bike tuned up as you fuel yourself for the miles ahead.
With the self-proclaimed, “cheapest drink prices in town,” Mink Farm Tavern is a great spot to relax and recover after a day in the saddle. Grab a beer and the best French dip sandwich anywhere, then head outside and enjoy the time off the road with your friends.
Start your day at this retro style diner that’s been serving the Wausau area since 1888. You’ll find home cooked favorites and a charming atmosphere right in the center of downtown.
From there, head southeast to catch the Mountain Bay State Trail. Once you’re on the trail, you could stay on it 84 miles all the way to Green Bay! No matter how long go, you’ll find numerous bridge crossings and be treated to views of farmland, forests, and wetlands.
A true haven for cyclists looking to decompress and refuel, Red Eye Brewing Company tops the list as one of the best restaurants in Wausau. You’ll immediately notice the bikes hanging from the ceiling and the custom cycling jersey on sale. Settle in for some amazing craft beer, and don’t skip out on their unique and delicious wood-fired pizzas.
Just steps away from the Mississippi River with an outdoor patio to take in the view, this cafe will get you ready to ride in no time. The menu changes each week, so you’ll always have something new to look forward to. Their weekly selection of Fresh Fruit Smoothies will provide you with the right energy to get you going.
When you’re ready to head out, you’ll have a choice of which route to ride. Built on an abandoned railroad line, the Great River State Trail will take you 24 miles north along the Mississippi River, while the La Crosse River State Trail heads east over 24 miles of prairie remnants, farmland, and hardwood forests.
If choosing which route to take was difficult, choosing between the 400 beers at Bodega Brew Pub will be your next challenge. With your beer ordered, take a look at the menu that has a great selection of hot sandwiches and flat-bread pizzas. If you’re lucky, you may even be treated to live music during your meal.
This newly renovated European style cafe has strong roots in the Milwaukee cycling community. They sponsor a number of professional teams as well as club of casual riders, so they know how to take care of cyclists. You’ll find all of your breakfast favorites here as well as traditional Belgian waffles. Be sure to check out the rooftop patio!
After you’ve rode along the Hank Aaron State Trail or explored Greater Milwaukee via the 100+ mile Oak Leaf Trail network, come back to the oldest building in the Third Ward for a unique dining experience. You’ll find a wide selection of beers, but most importantly, the Wicked Hop is home to “Milwaukee’s Best Bloody Mary.” Grab a drink, enjoy the atmosphere, and unwind with your friends after a full, fun day.