Best Eats Recommendations from Milwaukee to Fond Du Lac
Hey everyone! Heading to Wisconsin next week for 3 short days and looking for recs for the best eats. Preferablly something near the airport near milwaukee and anything between the airport and Fond Du Lac. Coming from Dallas so unless it's amazing mexican or BBQ no recs on those. Thanks!
Basically, all of the city of Milwaukee, including areas in and near downtown, is on your route, since you have the choice of driving through the city (on I-94 to US-45) as well as around the city (via the I-894 bypass). So don't worry about eating near the airport, which is not where the best eating in town is, and consider the entire city.
How do you define "best eats"? Do you mean "fine dining", i.e. a dress-up, splurge type place? If so, Sanford is one of the best restaurants in the entire Midwest - www.sanfordrestaurant.com - Yummmm!!! Or would you prefer ethnic food, or some other type of food, and if so, what type?
Incidentally, you can find a lot of restaurant reviews and great articles on the entertainment website of the Journal-Sentinel newspaper at http://www.onwisconsin.com/dining . I've found them to be pretty reliable. Their reviewer does annual articles on the top thirty restaurants in town ( http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.a... ) and on the best new restaurants of the year ( http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.a... ). (Both lists are not limited to "fine dining" and include ethnic and other finds as well as the splurge places.) Their dining guide also includes reviews of two places in Fond du Lac, Restaurant Fusion and Theo's.
I'm assuming that you are interested in regional food, so here goes. I've lived in Milwaukee since 2003. I don't know restaurants north of here, yet.
Jo's Cafe - 3519 W Silver Spring. My favorite breakfast place, good lunches too. Blue collar, limited seating. For bfast check out the Hoffel Poffel - a mix of scrambled eggs, salami chunks, potatoes, onions, and American cheese. They have fresh baked cinnamon rolls too. This is in the northern part of Milwaukee (the airport is in South Milwaukee).
Karl Ratzsch - One of the better Old World German restaurants. Located downtown. Good food.
Kopp's Custard - A lot of Milwaukee ppl will argue with me, but I like Kopp's. This is the dairy state, and we know our custard. Three locations, one in South Milwaukee. http://www.kopps.com
McBob's - Friday fish fries are big here. Lately I've liked McBob's at 4919 W North Ave. This is central city Milwaukee. Make sure you get the potato pancakes.
Three Brothers - Serbian food, near the airport. 2414 S St Clair.
Ahhh Kopps... actually one of my favorite custard places to go to when I lived in Chicago and used to head up to Milwaukee way back when. Well, guess only 8 years but it's been a while so my memory of hole in wall type places, fine dining(couldn't afford it back then), pizza, etc, etc is buried deep in my brain. Mars cheese castle still there on the highway from chicago? Just curious! Anyways, anything is fair game. The girlfriend and I tend to dislike commercialized Sisco delivered, frozen and reheated or fried crapola. From scratch and even with the simplest freshest ingredients or time consuming lengthy processes are the things we like. We have a few Culver Custard chains here in Dallas but not quite the allure of Kopps that I remembered. Sanford looks interesting so we may have to give that a try. Looked at onwisconsin.com/dining but wanted to get some non food critic opinions for the area. Anything else regional specific in the area aside from the aforementioned? Aside from not wanting any mexican, tex-mex, bbq, or steakhouses please be free to unload your culinary tastes. Thanks everyone!
Regional food here tends to reflect our city's European roots (i.e., Germany, Poland, Russia, etc.) and *that* food tends to be on the hearty (and processed) side. Also, remember that this is January in Wisconsin, so fresh ingredients are coming from out of state.
HOWEVER, there's the organic farmer/chef-owned Roots: http://www.rootsmilwaukee.com/. You might want to call and make a reservation now. A few Wisconsin farmers have had success growing greens in the middle of winter here using hoop house and vermiculture technology, and Roots grows a lot of their stuff.
Asian restaurants haven't quite done anything yet in Milwaukee. If you want really good Asian, go to Chicago.
An alternative to Kopp's is Leon's - 3131 S 27th, kinda sorta near the airport.
And Mars Cheese Castle is still here in all its glory.
Enjoy your trip!
In BETWEEN Milwaukee and Fond Du Lac, there are a few things of note, depending on what you are hungry for, and depending on what route you are taking.
The town of Brownsville is about an hour north of Milwaukee and maybe 20 minutes south of Fond Du Lac along Highway 41. About a mile west of 41 on Highway 49 is a small place called Rock The House Pub & Grill. It is an extremely friendly place with a sort of roadhouse/supper club vibe to it. I have had the prime rib and the prawns and for a place well off the beaten path, they do superlative work. I'm pretty sure they do a fish fry, and I would bet real money that it is great.
As a Milwaukee resident, I cant really say that it is worth the drive up just for dinner, but it is absolutely worth the drive down from Fond Du Lac.
Sanford was just rated among Gourmet's Top 50 in the US, and is a James Beard award winner. He also owns Cafe Coquette in Milwaukee, a bistro-type place that won't be as hard to get into nor as expensive.
Look for Dennis Getto's reviews at
His latest "Best New" Rstuarants includes several in the area north of Milwaukee.
In Milwaukee, try forty-eight, or the Jackson Grille. I've enjoyed both as small places that put out very yummy food.