The First-Timers Guide to Eating in Door County
The Door County peninsula may be relatively narrow, but it’s home to a wide range of great restaurants with unique flavors and offerings to be found. In fact, Door County is practically overflowing with foodie destinations. To get an idea of what Door County has to offer, check out some of these hidden gems and “can’t miss” dining options while planning your next trip.
Can't Miss: Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant
You may have heard about Sister Bay’s legendary Al Johnson’s, AKA “the place with the goats on the roof”, but you really need to see it for yourself to believe it. While the goats might get you in the door, the food will keep you around. First time visitors should definitely start out with a stack of Swedish pancakes. Served either sweet with strawberries, or savory with Swedish meatballs, the Swedish pancakes are always served with a delightfully tart side of lingonberries. Of course, Al Johnson’s also has plenty of classic breakfast options for those in the mood for something a bit more familiar.
Hidden Gem: Village Café
Up on the north side of Egg Harbor is Village Café, where you can grab a hearty breakfast any time of the day. Their quiche of the day always gives you something new to try, but the biscuits and gravy have remained an enduring favorite among locals and visitors alike. Even if you’re too full for dessert, don’t leave without taking a slice of Village Café’s famous carrot cake home with you!
Can't Miss: Cookery Restaurant and Wine Bar
Since 1977, The Cookery in Fish Creek has been serving casual American fare with a focus on incorporating only the absolute freshest local ingredients. They describe their menu as “an ode to fresh, family home cooking” and you can feel the love that goes into preparing each dish from scratch. Their lunch menu includes a wide range of delectable sandwiches, salads, and plenty of vegetarian options. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, dishes like the roasted vegetable quesadilla with dry rubbed roasted red peppers, zucchini, and Monterey Jack cheese pack enough flavor for anyone to enjoy.
Hidden Gem: Bier Zot
Bier Zot in Sister Bay is a taproom first and foremost, but their irresistible selection of snacks, small plates, and sandwiches make it a perfect lunch destination. The European gastropub-style menu suggests beer pairings for even the most adventurous menu items. The Aubergine Zacusca, with grilled eggplant and basil chevre, goes great with a glass of Saison Dupont, a Belgian-style ale. However, the real star of the menu is the specialty Bier Zot Bratwurst. This one goes with everything, so you really can’t go wrong!
Can't Miss: Chives Door County
Settled just above street level in Baileys Harbor, Chives Door County serves up a wide variety of cuisine in addition to great harbor views. The unique menu is divided into small, medium, and large plates to suit any appetite. Build your own sampler of small plates for a taste of everything, or go straight for the larger portion if you know you’ve got a craving to satisfy.
If you’re looking to try something new, one of the most talked about items on the menu are the beef cheeks. This unbelievably tender cut comes from nearby Waseda Farms and is served with dark brown sauce and spaetzle. The elegantly rustic atmosphere is cozy yet sophisticated, which makes this hotspot perfect for a romantic evening or a nice family meal.
Hidden Gem: Trixie’s
Trixie’s may be tucked at the end of a little street in Ephraim, but this hidden gem is beyond impressive once you enter its doors. The decor is chic and modern, but in a way that makes you feel welcome and at home. Trixie’s menu is as artfully curated as its decor - Starting with responsibly sourced ingredients, all the way to the plated presentation, you can sense the thought and care that goes into every step of creating these beautiful bites.
The menu changes frequently, but you can expect to find items like carefully curated charcuterie, fresh seafood, and house-made pastas. With just a handful of tables, Trixie’s provides the perfect atmosphere for an intimate dinner. Reservations are recommended!
You know where to eat, so now – what to do? To expereince the peace and quiet Door County is known for, check out these seven tranquil escapes.