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Apr 9, 2009 12:16 PM

Hayward, WI - Milwaukee - Chicago - ??

I will be visiting my brother in Hayward, WI in July and we will be taking a road-trip to attend the Brewers/Dodgers game in Milwaukee on Saturday, 7/11 and then off to Chicago and (hopefully) the Cubs/Cards game at Wrigley the next day (Sunday) with a stayover in Chicago from Sunday to Monday (Days Inn Lincoln Park). We will be spending the day of the 11th in Milwaukee and would like some suggestions of where to eat there as well as on the road after the game between Milwaukee and Chicago (we plan on getting a hotel somewhere along the way before we get into Chicago for Saturday night).
I live in Los Angeles, so I am very lucky as food options and variety go, however, my brother is from here originally and craves sushi, Vietnamese, pretty much everything that his 2,000-person town in NW Wisconsin does not offer.
On Monday, we are leaving Chicago and probably going north and around that way to end up in Hayward on Monday night.
So here is my question: If you were a couple of 30-somethings on a road-trip, where would you stop? What do you always have to have when in the area? My brother has already put Chicago pizza and Chicago Dog on the agenda, so that is covered. Any and all food options are enthusiastically welcomed! We are more than willing to go out of our way or off the beaten path. We are both adventerous eaters and willing to try new things (especially things that are regional to the area).
I know from previous experience that you are all very knowledgeable and helpful and look forward to hearing what you have to say. I have done a search and printed items I found from as far back as 2007, but thought I would post this trip specifically as well, in case there are any new and not to be missed places. Also, if you have any other suggestions of things to do/routes to take/places to stay, please share them as well. You can email me at eklundlatyahoodotcom. Thank you all in advance!! Take care!!

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  1. I'm not knowledgeable about Vietnamese, but I think there are several places on National Ave, near Miller Park. How about it, folks? What are they?

    El Rey, the mexican grocery, with huge deli (if you can use the word "deli" in this case) is on 35th and Burham. Pretty good tamales and other stuff. There's a small sit down restaurant in the store too.

    Just a couple ideas that are near by.

    1. Lao Lian Xing in Madison is some of the best Laotian Food i have ever had.

      Had a great meal at Capitol Grill im Milwaukee just last week

      In Hayward try the lumberjack ... really good

      1. Here are some suggestions along your route which I have driven many times.

        throughout illinois and wisconsin: culvers for burgers, sandwiches, and fried cheese curds. good custard too. you pay at the register and they individually prepare your meal and deliver to your table. they always seem to have very friendly staff.

        milwaukee: martinos for chicago style italian beef and redhots.
        leons for custard, and eddie martini's for steak.

        madison: lombardinos for italian, the old fashioned for old style wisconsin supper club foods with a twist as well as a great draft beer selection, state street brats for brats and beer in a sports bar, tornado club for venison, nitty gritty and dolly dumplings for burgers and beer, great dane for cheese and brat soup and the best grilled cheese and bacon sandwich ever, avenue bar for friday fish fry, plaza bar for plaza burgers, and Smoky's club for martinis and steaks in a funky throwback setting (Bobby Knight always took the Indiana basketball team there when they were in town to play the Badgers).

        There is not much between Madison and Hayward so I usually stick to Culver's which are near interstate interchanges every 30 miles or so.

        Hayward is not a chow destination. There are however a few places that offer hearty northwoods fare. There's the Waterfront on Grindstone Lake, the original Famous Dave's on Round Lake for decent barbecue, the bar/restaurant right next to the Comfort Suites on County B for a lively weekend crowd along with decent northwood fare (try the fried walleye sanwich), and Sue's Hot Dogs and Mini Golf downtown for decent vienna beef chicago style dogs. There is also a decent restaurant on Lac Court Oreilles but I forget the name its the only one on that lake. There a bunch of traditional supper clubs near Hayward that have interesting menus but I haven't yet tried any of them.

        If you are looking to stay the night between milwaukee and chicago i would suggest rockford. not much real chow there but in addition to the usual chain hotels (generally at reasonable prices) there is a usually reliable steak 'n shake just off the highway for dinner.

        1. Chicago and Milwaukee are only 90 miles apart. With so many excellent food options in both cities, and such a short distance between them, there really isn't much need to look for food in between the two.

          For Vietnamese food in Chicago, go to Argyle Street in the vicinity of the CTA Red Line stop, and that stretch has lots of Vietnamese places; the most well-known is Tank Noodle on Broadway. For sushi in Chicago, see the discussion at And for dining in the vicinity of Wrigley Field, see I'm sure you're aware that the Chicago Area has its own forum on Chowhound; if you have more questions about dining around Chicago, feel free to ask there.

          Here are discussions where you'll find lots of recommendations for Madison:


          2 Replies
          1. re: nsxtasy

            I love Milwaukee-I lived there for six months when I was student teaching.
            Good cheap food is found on the East side, by the U of M. From Miller Park, take 43 North I Locust, then exit. You'll go through the hood, but it's not for long. Turn right on Oakland and there's lots of fun places to try. Make sure to go on a drive along the waterfront as well, you can see the water and the mansions on Lake Street.
            Try Oakland Gyros for their Athenian chicken on Oakland, or go next door to Authentic Thai Kitchen. They have something called Volcano chicken which is amazing. Brady street (not far) is full of great bars-Pizza Man has good pizza and fried eggplant. Go across the street to Beans and Barley (co-op )if you want to take some snacks for the next leg of your voyage. I would try Jake's as well, for pastrami sandwiches. I've never gone, but I've heard. Try Kopp's for frozen custard.

            1. re: jenniegirl

              Good suggestions all, but Pizza Man, Beans & Barley, and Jake's are on North Avenue, not on Brady Street. North Ave is also home to Hooligan's and The Twisted Fork. (Jake's is actually on West North Ave, the others are on East North Ave--is that confusing enough?)

              Brady St does have a pretty good concentration of food and drink destinations, Mimma's, Cempazuchi, Bella's, Bosley's, The Hi Hat, The Dogg Haus, Apollo Cafe--just not the ones you mentioned.

          2. Thank you all for your wonderful advice! I will take a notebook with me and take notes and post once I get back home. You are so helpful - I love the midwest!! ;-)