Cheese Trail

Start your day by sampling decadent cheeses at a local shop before paying a visit to a factory to see the cheese-making process with your own eyes. In the evening, gather around a picnic table with your family and friends and enjoy a wood-fired pizza dinner on a dairy farm.

While Wisconsin is home to many cuisine options, cheese is a staple and often infused in our top culinary experiences. We’ve put together a few cheese trails highlighting must-see spots across our state, so you can spend more time eating and less time planning.

Madison Spots

Our capital city is a popular destination for history and cheese lovers. In the morning, take a tour of the Capitol Building in Madison before refueling with a cheese tasting at Fromagination. The shop also offers cooking classes and plenty of local cheeses and other products to take home with you.

Continue your cheese adventure with lunch at The Old Fashioned Tavern & Restaurant. Order the beer cheese fondue, cheese curds, or both as an appetizer. And for your entree, savor a burger topped with Wisconsin cheddar cheese.

If you’re in Madison on a Wednesday or Saturday, stop by the Dane County Farmers’ Market for even more of a variety of local cheese from area farms.

End the day with dinner at L’Etoile, a French restaurant using locally sourced ingredients, including local cheeses, to create spectacular dishes.

In & Around Appleton

If your travels take you to or around Appleton, get into a cheese state of mind at these popular local spots.

Your first stop is Simon’s Specialty Cheese in Appleton, which sells award-winning cheeses and curds, as well as spreads, gourmet food and sausages. Then, drive west of Appleton and visit Union Star Cheese Factory in Fremont, a family-owned business offering tours of its cheese-making process.

For lunch or dinner, try one of our supper clubs, like Lox Club just outside of Appleton or The Red Ox Seafood and Steakhouse within city limits. Both establishments offer menus featuring cheesy dishes and sandwiches, as well as seafood and meat entrees.

Eau Claire Haunts

You can also find some of the best Wisconsin cheese spots in and around Eau Claire.

This city is home to popular cheese stores, including Rump’s Butcher Shoppe and the Eau Claire Cheese & Deli. If you’re craving cheese curds, hit up local spots like Dooley’s Irish Pub or Northwoods Brewpub Grill outside of the city in Osseo. Then, visit Durand, where Eau Galle Cheese makes cheese curds from scratch using milk from local farmers.

For a unique culinary experience, visit an area pizza farm for dinner, depending on the season. Suncrest Gardens in Cochrane, an hour drive south from Eau Claire near the Mississippi River, offers picnic-style dining and serves fresh pizza seasonally, and so does AtoZ Produce and Bakery in Stockholm.

Start your adventure with any of these trails and discover even more spots during your visit. Wherever your travels take you, there's always a place where you can sample and purchase locally-made cheese. The best part is you and your family can always come back to Wisconsin for seconds. Trust us — you'll want to.

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