They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so naturally, we take it seriously here in Wisconsin. And by seriously, we mean deliciously and surrounded by good company. Whether you’re an early riser, a bruncher or a breakfast-for-dinner kind of person, we have many stop-worthy breakfasts throughout the state. So forget that soggy bowl of cereal, here are seven of our favorite breakfast places, sorted into classic diner feels, unexpected gems and breakfasts with some history.
Back to The 50s with Classic Diner Vibes
It’s the scene we know and love — the bright retro decor, the long counter lined with stools and servers that know your “usual.” Breakfast in an all-American diner setting has a way of just tasting better. Experience it in Wisconsin with breakfast at these iconic diners.
Frank’s has been voted the Best Diner in Kenosha County, and it’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Beyond the award-winning atmosphere, Frank’s is home to having gigantic buttermilk pancakes, fluffy omelets, Garbage Plates (known elsewhere as scramblers or skillets) and breakfast specials every weekend. This is the perfect place to sip on orange juice, enjoy award-winning food and catch up with your favorite people over a memorable breakfast.
Mickies Dairy Bar will have your mouth watering as you smell their classic Scrambler being prepared — three fluffy eggs, bacon or sausage topped with veggies and gravy served with toast. It’s a local favorite, and folks line up for it every Saturday. But take our word for it — it’s well worth the wait. What’s waiting is a table (or a spot at the counter) at one of the most iconic stops in Madison since 1946.
Even if you’re still half asleep, your eyes will open wide and your mouth will water as soon as you see a Delta Diner breakfast arrive at your table — french toast, fluffy eggs, breakfast “sammich” and/or crepe-like Norwegian cakes. This Northwoods gem serves up the American roadside diner experience, all set in an authentic retro vibe. Talk together between each tasty bite about what’s the next stop for the day’s adventure.
Breakfast with a Dash of Unexpected
While we love a classic diner breakfast, we also like to keep things fresh with the new and unexpected. These two breakfast favorites each have something that makes them extraordinary.
With a motto like “All breakfast. All the time.”, it’s safe to assume their breakfast is done right. Choose something sweet like a chocolate chip stack, sweet potato oatmeal pancakes and pecan streusel French toast, or go the savory route with Cajun biscuits and gravy, corned beef hash and pulled pork with cheesy grits. But our favorite thing to order is The Blind, and it’s why we put the Short Stack in this category. Ask if it’s savory or sweet then order it, and the chef will whip up a special surprise. Maybe you’re feeling adventurous, or maybe you just can’t decide what to order.
The Wooden Chair is out of the ordinary because of its collection of eclectic antique chairs. Be sure to scope out your favorite before you take a seat. Beyond the variety of chairs, the restaurant’s famous breakfasts make it a local favorite. Choices like the huevos rancheros omelette, corned beef omelette, Greek omelette, banana walnut pancakes and Belgian waffles make this place a must-see and must-eat. It’s the perfect place to catch up with some of your favorite people.
A Side of History & Culture, Please
As long as there have been humans, food has shaped our culture. So why not embrace some culture and history while enjoying your breakfast? Conversations are sparked with ease in places that ignite our curiosity and call to the past. Our last two favorite breakfast spots each feature something about the deep roots that serve up their deliciousness.
At the Norske Nook, traditional Norwegian staples mix with modern American favorites to create unforgettable breakfasts to be shared with the people who matter most. Our favorite is the Lefse Wrap, a Norwegian potato pancake filled with classic breakfast fillings and drizzled in hollandaise sauce. Don’t forget to try a slice of pie — their pies are incredible. Whether you share Norwegian heritage or not, this is a place worth experiencing.
The building at 116th Main Street in River Falls, now home to the South Fork Café, has been a restaurant since 1915, and the building’s history dates back even further. After a few name changes, the South Fork Café continues to delight with local favorites like sirloin steak and eggs, breakfast pizza, eggs benedict, cinnamon roll French toast and the Mexican omelet. You and your breakfast-mates might not arrive on a horse and buggy like they did in 1915, but the tastes being served here now are just as good as (or better than?) they were back then.
Whether you’re an early bird or not, there’s always time for a delicious breakfast. And in Wisconsin, delicious is never hard to find. For more memorable eats, check out these Food Network Famous Restaurants in Wisconsin.