By Paul Smirl
Special to TravelWisconsin.com
Delight in all things flamingo, browse rock art, have your food delivered by a train, and take on a top-secret mission – all at Wisconsin's themed restaurants. Here are five favorites.
Flamingos are native to the southern hemisphere, but that doesn’t stop their pretty, pink selves from invading Wisconsin’s “Up North” region and establishing a home in Bayfield at the one-of-a-kind Maggie’s Restaurant.
Decked out with flamingo paintings, ornaments, stuffed animals, and knick knacks, Maggie’s – also known as The Pink Palace and Flamingo Land – is a tropical and trippy out-to-eat experience that will turn your Northwoods adventure into a cutely-curated, kitschy cruise.
And we know what you’re thinking ... is flamingo on the menu? Sort of: They have a spicy item called the “Flamingo Chicken Sandwich,” which while lacking flamingo does have their special “flamingo hot sauce.”
Part log cabin, part stone shrine, Rocks For Fun is the outsider art exhibition of Wisconsin restaurants, presenting a slew of strange, handcrafted rock art pieces that radiate with Midwestern charm and local specificity.
While much of non-urban America has been painted with cookie cutter cafes with cookie cutter food, Rocks For Fun represents a truly unique establishment, with an unusual owner who breathes life into the venue’s singular decor and dining culture.
Grab a pastie, check out the art and bask in one of Wisconsin’s oddest and coolest cafes.
PC Junction was voted the top spot for kids in Door County and there’s no mystery why! The train-themed restaurant located in the “Peninsula Center” part of the region actually delivers your food to the counter on a small train.
Complete with The Pizza Czar outdoor patio, a playground and a selection of other off-beat items such as tables made from old doors, PC Junction is a quirky hangout and awesome dinery for the whole family! Just look for the big, red PC Junction tower and come right in.
Unlike the flashy outer images of our other themed eateries, Safe House goes undercover, offering zero signage and requiring a password to get in. That’s because this is a spy-themed restaurant, turning patrons’ hunger and desire for entertainment into a secret agent-style mission.
Bring the whole family during the day and enjoy Safe House’s nightlife atmosphere when the sun goes down. The Milwaukee hot spot offers an array of events and activities including “Tradecraft Trivia,” “Movie Mission Tuesdays” and “Sin Sundays.”
We’d love to tell you more about Safe House, but we're sworn to secrecy! Go visit it for yourself.
Mix one-part funk with two-parts kitsch, add a bar and cover with a tent and you’ve got Tom’s Burned Down Café, or at least something like it. Rumor has it that a fire in the 90’s left Tom’s in disrepair, and a jumble of tents, trailers and other island miscellany was built up around it to create what it is today – an eclectic indoor/outdoor bar, where locals and tourists mingle over laid-back drinks and an appreciation of all things Madeline Island
Tom’s isn’t the place to go for posh appetizers or a long beer list, and that’s part of the fun. It may not have an obvious sign or a proper front door, but if you step inside and find a mixture of license plates, wooden signs, mismatched chairs and a happy crowd, you’ll know you’ve come to the right place.
Hungry for more? Check out five pizza places with inspiring stories and tasty pies!