Are you ready for a foodie adventure? Sometimes the best-kept epicurean secrets are outside a big city’s restaurant circle. Explore these sought-after cafes, diners and lounges that excel in all things local: food, flair and fun.
Pull up a barstool at the Red Rooster Café, a friendly diner bursting with charm in the heart of historic downtown Mineral Point. The Red Rooster has been a Mineral Point institution for over 30 years and is known and loved for its Cornish pasties – thick, hearty pastry filled with tender meat and veggies – and other Cornish specialties like figgyhobbin.
Dessert after breakfast is acceptable (and encouraged) at the Norske Nook, whose homemade pies have been delighting diners and raking in blue ribbons for years. Sweet-lovers from all around make the trip to taste from an incredible assortment of pie flavors – everything from fresh raspberry to Snickers caramel, Pecan Fudge and more – and to fill up on home cooked Norwegian food (don’t skip the lefse wraps!)
At Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ, it all starts with the sauce: the owners have been making their Original sauce for over thirty years, first for family and friends and now for the masses at their restaurant in Dodgeville. Drive about an hour from Madison to experience BBQ made with pride – slowly smoked and cooked from scratch in Bob’s kitchen, and using ingredients that are sourced locally whenever possible.
Love the Milwaukee Public Market? Make a trip to Field to Fork in Sheboygan. It’s more slow-paced, farm-to-table focused, and creative. You’ll find a cafe serving hipster classics like chorizo breakfast burritos, alongside a juice bar, in-house coffee roastery, bakery and mini grocery store. Field to Fork is most popular for breakfast and lunch, but their inspired dinner menu is worth checking out, too.
Located inside an 1881 Waukesha railroad station, La Estacion is an under-the-radar gem bringing authentic Mexican flavors to greater Milwaukee. The menu is broad, encompassing both traditional Mexican dinner options and a variety of breakfast dishes with a Mexican twist, a favorite of Sunday diners during their popular brunch. Enjoy a meal indoors in the dining room, outdoors on the patio (in the summer) or in one of two train cars!
Near the Twin Cities
This local breakfast mecca attracts long lines and even Eau Claire’s famous native, Justin Vernon from Bon Iver. Foodies will appreciate the list of homemade crepes on the menu, though the lemon ricotta hotcakes and the El Presidente hashbrown scrambler draw the biggest fanfare.
This hole-in-the-wall restaurant and bar is famous for its jumbo, all-you-can-eat chicken wings served all week long. At the River Inn Bar, you can challenge your friends to video games while you devour the huge wings, burgers, fish fry and local Leinenkugel’s beer.
The dining destinations are endless. Find whatever you're craving!