Hi there, I'd like to join in (although not sure how live this thread is...) I have been in GB for almost two months doing field work. My favorites have been: the under-rated and SUBLIME Z Harvest Cafe, which serves lunches and takes everything to a new level; wraps, soups, sandwiches, salads, fresh juices, teas, and desserts. It's off the beaten path but well worth it (near the University). My other favorites are A Bravo, which also has live music on Thur/Sat and serves wonderful wine, although it's $$$; the PHO at Nukeo, off Main St in strip mall someone mentioned is very good; Kavarna for lovely atmosphere and wraps/vegetarian fare, nice coffee; and of course, Alpha Delight in De Pere for incredible pastries and greek-style food!! I'm trying Caliente in De Pere tonight.
I've never tried Xcetera. Hinterland is okay- a little snobby. I love Cafe Marios- its tucked away by Zeller's Sport Shop on the Fox river. The same little road you take to get to Jimmy Sea's. Cafe Mario's is amazing italian with a great atmosphere. Nice wine selection. Thorneberry is pretty popular as well, for a upscale place.
Love El Sarrape- very authentic- great margarita and salsa.
A'Bravo off GV by Tuscans is also a great little off the beat place.
Kavarna & Cafe Espresso are nice coffee places downtown. Kavarana is completely veggie- Espresso has a mixed ethnic hole in the wall flair.
There is a new Greek place downtown GB that has a pretty darn good Gyro Greek mix.- Fetaz is the name.
I was not impressed with Titletown the last time I was there for Mother's day... so prehaps stay away from their special events with large crowds and not so great buffet lines.
A newer place in town is the Burger Company. Very strange atmosphere. We brought my 1 yr old daughter. Pool table is mixed in with dining section... rest of the place is a bar. But we have gone back twice.. the food is perfect. Fries hot- burger perfect and bun is toasted properly. I would give it a try. I am not sure if they will long term be good or if its just a 3x floof.
Someone asked about hole in the wall hmong places... there was a Thai place off main st. Near the corner of main and mason. Across from Copps on Main st. Kinda strange on their serving hours...its in a little strip mall. I think they only serve until 2:30 but the food was pretty darn good. I was there once but my family highly recommends it.
Finally I like the Indian place off 41 and Oneida. Kinda pricey but the only indian that i know of in GB.
Zesty's is also good for cheese curds and butter burgers.
My husband and I (and my whole company) discovered a little gem on N. Broadway...it's called Xcetera...it's kinda hard to miss because it doesn't look on the outside the way it looks on the inside...the inside is really awesome looking and the food is great. Best burgers I have ever had...and the staff is so very friendly. We go so often they recognize us and remember what we like. http://www.xcetera.onbroadway.org/
I went to school in Appleton, and loved the area. Titletown has really great bloody marys, which you might not try at a brewery otherwise. The brewery in the fox river mall is decent as well. In appleton, my favorite restaurant for a nice dinner was Peggy's on college avenue, though it's been a couple years since I've been there. Some people thought it was overpriced, but I never thought so, especially compared to other more upscale places that charged way more than they were worth.
Old Bavaria has really great german food (schnitzle, spaetzle (sp?), bratwurst, litre steins of german beer ), and was another favorite. The locale looks kind of like your midwestern grandmother's basment, and I usually avoided the salad bar. But we loved this place. It made for a great date night that was romantic in a slightly kitchy way.
If you like pubfood, I'd say the wooden nickel has the best burgers in town and the best fried potato variation I've ever had anywhere (I day dream about them still). They are called 'chippers,' and are fresh-cut to a thickness between a potato chip and french fry.
Koreana, on northland, has pretty decent sushi and korean/japanese, and Sai Ram right next door has decent Indian food. The best breakfast in town by far is at Galvin's on northland as well. I'm not usually one to praise quantity, but I like generous breakfast portions and they give quantity with out sacrificing quality great egg dishes and pancakes.
In Appleton avoid the Appollon (mediocre and overpriced greek), mangoes mongolian grill (just terrible), and I'm not a fan at all of victoria's (despite its popularity).
Peggy's closed several years ago unfortunately. Mongos is also closed. Next to Hinterland and that French place across from the country club in Appleton, it was my favororite Valley-area restaurant. In Appleton we liked Koreana, Sai Rom, The Season's is pretty good, and Nakashimas (the original and the one on College). Franks is good. Cy's in Neenah is supposed to be good.
With that: Hinterland in Green Bay is the only place in GB I have had a great meal, but I did not spend much time there. Kroll's has pretty good chili.
I would second most of what the first response shared, but would also add Koko's Sushi Bar (Bellevue) or Little Tokyo sushi bar (downtown). There's a cute Italian cafe' between De Pere and Green Bay called Cafe' Mario that we like a lot.
Andrew's in De Pere is very good, but pricey.
Caliente in De Pere is not authentic Mexican, but fun and decent. El Maya is really good, authentic Mexican food, at a very reasonable price . . . but connected to a gas station. When you're in the restaurant, you can't tell. Maria's downtown and El Azteca also have very good Mexican.
Grazie's has trendy Italian, and Victoria's has decent Italian, but is really known for its monstrous portions.
Hinterland Brewery -- across the street from Titletown -- also has exceptional beer and a really modern take on pub food. Fairly spendy, but very good.
Depends on what you like, I'm a former resident but get back there a lot for visiting family.
For mexican food, I'm partial to El Sarrape on East Mason, near where it intersects with Main St. Most residents suggest Los Banditos, which is good, but not really authentic mexican.
For pizza, Jakes on Main St. is my favorite by far. Kind of a different crust, not really thick or thin, but really good pizza.
A lot of people suggest Krolls for burgers, but Basils II, on some rural road somewhere near Denmark, (look in a phone directory for exact address) serves the exact same burgers at better prices and better portions. I believe the owner of Basils used to work at or was an owner of Krolls or something to that extent. Culvers doesn't make a butter burger. Krolls or Basils do. Huge pats of butter on top of the burger, with butter dripping out when you take a bite. Delicious.
For a Friday fish fry, I like the Settlement on Bay Settlement road. Huge crowds on Fridays, so belly up to the bar for an old fashioned. Just watch it, they really fill 'em up with brandy/whiskey.
Rossi'sItialian Deli on Velp has good authentic italian food stuffs. Great sandwiches.
Black and Tann Grille in DePere and Hinterland Brewery are the places to go for upscale eats. I've never heard a bad word uttered about Hinterland.
Also, if you a sign at a church or whatnot advertising Chicken booyah. Get a bowl. Better yet, bring an ice cream pail and have them fill it up. Local delicacy. Other places do it, but Green Bay does it best. By far. It's basically a chicken stew, cooked over a wood fire. Community groups and churches sell it for fund raisers mostly. Or various people make up a batch get a keg or two and invite their friends and family over for a good time. It's Green Bay culture at its finest and I miss it a lot.
A lot of food snobs decry Green Bay as a bad eating city. It's not Minneapolis or Madison by any stretch. Ethnic food is scarce and quality is below average in most instances. But if you just get out and look, or find someone like minded there are a lot of places in town deserving of your money that you'll enjoy.
"A lot of food snobs decry Green Bay as a bad eating city."
Yeah well, I just moved here from a small town in the Iowa cornfields. Their idea of ethnic food is anything not involving corn, soybeans, or pork ;)
Thanks for all the tips. I'm gonna be busy trying all these places out.
I went to college in GB and take the rare trip back to visit, from my transplanted home of Albuquerque.
So I'm not interested in Mexican, though it's good to hear that decent stuff still exists.
An underrepresented ethnic group in the Southwest that has GB number is Hmong - are there any hole in the wall or even hidden Hmong and/or Laotian restaurants in the area?
My breakfast favorite is out on the edge of Green Bay and worth the trip - Bill's Pancake House. The best, uber-thick and crazy-stuffed-with-add-ins cakes I've had this side of The Griddle in LA....
Andrea, in ABQ