12 Unique Restaurants in Wisconsin: Dine Differently in Wisconsin’s Most Unusual Restaurants

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Wisconsin
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Welcome to our exploration of the most unique restaurants in Wisconsin! This guide will take you through a selection of eateries that provide unforgettable experiences. From dining in a treehouse to enjoying a meal with a side of horror, we’ve got something to surprise and delight everyone.

Welcome to Wisconsin, where every meal is an adventure waiting to happen. Imagine eating pancakes with goats chilling on the roof or finding yourself in a place straight out of a gangster movie. Ever thought you’d need a secret password just to grab a bite? Or what about enjoying a meal in a place where the decor is as fascinating as the dishes?

In Wisconsin, the food isn’t just food—it’s a whole experience. We’re talking about places that’ll stick with you long after you’ve finished eating, making you want to come back for more. Whether you live here or are just passing through, we’ve got some must-try spots that are anything but ordinary. Ready to check out some of the coolest, most unique restaurants around? Let’s dive in!

The top restaurants to visit in Wisconsin right now

Unique Restaurants in Wisconsin: 12 Incredible Wisconsin Eateries

From quirky themes to breathtaking locations, Wisconsin’s unique restaurants are sure to provide an unforgettable experience. Let’s explore these culinary gems and see what makes them stand out.

1. Moccasin Bar

Ever walked into a bar and found yourself staring at a boxing raccoon or a yodeling chipmunk? Welcome to Moccasin Bar, one of the most unique restaurants in Wisconsin where you’re in for a wild ride. This cool spot in Wisconsin is part bar, part museum, and totally unhinged.

Picture this: every inch of the place is packed with stuffed animals doing the craziest stuff. Think of a rabbit cheating at poker or a wolf judge laying down the law in animal court. The star of the show? A giant fish called a “muskie” that’s almost the biggest anyone’s ever caught around here.

People who love fishing hang out here, hoping to catch something even bigger. And while the drinks are cheap, the stories and laughs are rich. It’s like stepping into a cartoon where the animals have taken over. So, if you’re up for a bite or a sip in a place that feels like a wild adventure, Moccasin Bar is your go-to. It’s not just a meal; it’s a whole experience, making it one of the most unique spots to eat in Wisconsin.

Moccasin Bar is one of the unique restaurants in Wisconsin.
Moccasin Bar is a uniquely wild restaurant where animals box and chipmunks yodel amidst drinks and meals. | Image Source: https://www.yelp.com/

2. Rocks for Fun Cafe

At Rocks For Fun Cafe, you’ll find a quirky mix that you didn’t know you needed: pasties and rocks. Located in Tigerton, this cafe is a hidden gem on Route 45. It’s famous for serving up pasties, but not just any pasties.

They call them Rockin-Pockets, and they come in over 40 varieties. Imagine biting into a pasty filled with a mix of 21 spices, meats, veggies, and cheeses. People can’t get enough of them, saying they’re unlike any pasty they’ve tried before.

In this fun place to eat in WI, it’s not just the food that draws you in. The cafe is filled with hundreds of rocks turned into quirky sculptures. With a bit of creativity and googly eyes, these rocks take on personalities of their own.

The owner, Don McClellan, loves to share the stories behind his rock collection, complete with silly jokes and puns. Between the delicious pasties and the unique rock art, visiting Rocks For Fun Cafe is an experience that’s both tasty and entertaining.

Discover Rocks For Fun Cafe, where pasties and rocks collide in a quirky culinary experience along Route 45.
Discover Rocks For Fun Cafe, where pasties and rocks collide in a quirky culinary experience along Route 45.

3. Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant

Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant stands out for its blend of tradition and whimsy. Since its opening in 1949 in Sister Bay, it has been a staple for those craving Swedish pancakes and more. What sets it apart isn’t just the delicious food; it’s the entire experience. Imagine dining in a cozy log cabin, crafted by Norwegian artisans, while goats graze on the roof above you. Yes, goats!

As one of the most unique Wisconsin restaurants, the menu pays homage to Swedish flavors. Guests rave about the square Swedish pancakes, lavishly topped with strawberries, cherries, or lingonberries. Beyond pancakes, the restaurant offers Swedish meatballs, herring, and other Scandinavian classics, bringing a slice of Sweden to Wisconsin.

The goats on the roof are not merely an attraction; they’re a signature feature that defines Al Johnson’s. This unique touch began as a playful prank but has grown into a cherished tradition. Inside, the restaurant’s charm is amplified by Rosemaling art, enhancing its authentic Scandinavian ambiance.

Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant is known for its pancakes and dining experience with goats on the roof.
Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant is known for its pancakes and dining experience with goats on the roof.

4. Little Bohemia Lodge

More than just a spot on the map, Little Bohemia Lodge is one of the unique restaurants in Wisconsin with a story that sounds straight out of a movie. Built in 1927 in Manitowish Waters, this lodge-turned-restaurant was once the hideout for the infamous John Dillinger and his gang. Imagine dining in the same room where one of the most famous FBI shootouts in history took place!

Back in April 1934, Dillinger and his crew chose Little Bohemia Lodge for a bit of R&R, not expecting it to become the scene of a dramatic FBI raid. The lodge’s owner was promised peace, but the visit quickly turned south when the FBI, tipped off by the owner’s wife, attempted a surprise attack. The raid didn’t go as planned, leading to a shootout that allowed Dillinger to escape, leaving behind a tale that’s become legend.

Today, Little Bohemia serves as a restaurant and a mini-museum, preserving the bullet holes and artifacts from that night. Visitors can explore rooms dedicated to the 1934 events, including Dillinger’s own room and a collection of his personal items.

Little Bohemia Lodge is a historic restaurant, offering a dining experience steeped in cinematic lore.
Little Bohemia Lodge is a historic restaurant, offering a dining experience steeped in cinematic lore.

5. The Safehouse

The Safehouse in Milwaukee is a standout among the themed restaurants in Wisconsin. Imagine a place where entering feels like stepping into a spy movie. To get in, you need a password. If you don’t know it, you’ll have to prove you’re not a threat. This spy-themed restaurant is a blast for both kids and adults, offering casual food and drinks with names inspired by espionage.

Once inside, the adventure continues. The restaurant is decked out with spy gear and memorabilia, making you feel like you’ve discovered a secret world. Your mission? Participate in a scavenger hunt. Start by finding clues near your table, then explore the restaurant’s themed rooms to solve the puzzle.

The menu is a spy’s delight. Start with Fried C4 Cheese Curds, move on to Tradecraft Tacos or a Mission Impossible burger, and don’t miss the License to Kill Mac & Cheese. There’s even a special menu for junior spies.

Every dish is a nod to espionage, making dining here a delicious adventure among Milwaukee restaurants. Leaving is just as fun as entering. Spies never exit the way they came in, and at The Safehouse, you’ll find an alternative way out! This makes it a top activity in Milwaukee at night!

The Safehouse offers spy-themed dining with passwords for entry and espionage-inspired dishes.
The Safehouse offers spy-themed dining with passwords for entry and espionage-inspired dishes.

6. Campo di Bella

Those looking to savor the Italian way of life will find Campo di Bella to be one of the best places to eat in WI. This charming farm-to-table restaurant is run by Marc and Mary Ann Bellazzini, a duo passionate about bringing authentic Italian cuisine and culture to Wisconsin. Here, dining is more than just eating; it’s an experience that invites you to slow down and enjoy every bite.

At Campo di Bella, the menu changes with the seasons, ensuring each dish is made with the freshest local ingredients. From handcrafted pastas to rustic wood-fired pizzas, every recipe tells a story of Italian heritage and the Bellazzinis’ love for food. The winery on-site adds to the allure, offering a selection of wines that perfectly complement the Italian flavors.

Whether you’re there for a cozy dinner or a special farm-to-table event, Campo di Bella promises a culinary journey that’s both delicious and deeply personal. It’s a place where food, family, and tradition come together to create unforgettable memories.

Campo di Bella is one of the unique restaurants in Wisconsin.
Campo di Bella offers an authentic Italian dining experience, embodying the Italian way of life.

7. Georgie Porgie’s Treefort Restaurant

Nestled in the southeastern part of Wisconsin, Georgie Porgie’s Treefort Restaurant offers a unique dining experience that’s perfect for families. This treehouse-themed spot not only serves up some of the best burgers and custard in the state but also brings a playful atmosphere that delights both young and old.

With local ingredients at the heart of their menu, every meal is a testament to Wisconsin’s rich culinary landscape. The decor, featuring a giant tree with steps leading up to a top-level dining area, transforms a meal here into an enchanting adventure. It’s this blend of whimsical ambiance and top-notch local cuisine that places Georgie Porgie’s among the best restaurants in WI.

Whether you’re enjoying the outdoor vibe indoors or indulging in their creamy smooth custard, every visit promises a fairytale-like experience. Georgie Porgie’s commitment to quality and fun makes it a must-visit for anyone looking for a memorable meal.

Georgie Porgie's Treefort Restaurant offers a playful family dining experience with top-notch burgers and custard.
Georgie Porgie’s Treefort Restaurant offers top-notch burgers and custard. | Image Source: https://www.yelp.com/

8. WichCraft: Spirits and Sandwiches

WichCraft: Spirits and Sandwiches in Eau Claire offers a dining experience that’s not for the faint-hearted. It’s where delicious food and drinks come with a side of the supernatural. Located conveniently off Highway 53, it’s the perfect pit stop for those daring enough to explore its eerie ambiance.

Step inside, and you might feel like some guests never left. It’s Halloween every day here, with horror movies, spooky decor, and a vibe that’s uniquely chilling. Among the unique restaurants in Wisconsin for dinner, WichCraft stands out for its Halloween and horror theme. Try a Grave Digger cocktail or dive into a Slimy Joe, each dish and drink is a nod to the spooky.

This place isn’t just about scares; it’s about fun, too. With special events like clown parties and creepy trivia, it’s a blast any day of the year. WichCraft: Spirits and Sandwiches isn’t just a meal; it’s an adventure. It’s where horror fans can revel in their love for the spooky while enjoying some seriously good eats.

WichCraft offers a daring dining experience with a twist, perfect for the adventurous off Highway 53.
WichCraft offers a daring dining experience with a twist, perfect for the adventurous off Highway 53. | Image Source: https://www.yelp.com/

9. Glarner Stube

Tucked away in New Glarus, Glarner Stube shines as one of those hidden gem in Wisconsin. This Swiss tavern brings a slice of Old Europe to the heart of the state, celebrated for its rich Swiss heritage and architecture.

It’s the go-to spot for anyone craving an authentic Swiss meal or a cozy spot to sip a beer. The village itself is a nod to Switzerland, and Glarner Stube stands out as a must-visit within this charming setting.

At Glarner Stube, the menu is a hearty nod to Swiss and German traditions. Favorites include cheese fondue made with a mix of Swiss and Gruyère cheeses, white wine, and a secret blend of seasonings.

Don’t miss out on their sausages, schnitzels, and rösti, a delicious Swiss-style potato dish. The ambiance here is as warm as the food, with Swiss decor and a friendly vibe that makes everyone feel at home.

Pair your meal with a selection from their beers and wines, including local Wisconsin craft beers. Stepping into Glarner Stube, you’re greeted with a warm welcome, promising a dining experience where you’re treated like royalty in a cozy, rustic setting. It’s definitely a must-do while you’re in New Glarus!

Glarner Stube is the go-to spot for authentic Swiss meals and cozy beer.
Glarner Stube is the go-to spot for authentic Swiss meals and cozy beer.

10. Mader’s Restaurant

Mader’s Restaurant is a Milwaukee classic that’s been serving up Old World German specialties for over a century. With a history dating back to 1902, it’s a place where tradition meets a touch of modern flair. The restaurant has managed to keep its charm and quality, making it a beloved spot for both locals and visitors.

In the realm of fine dining in WI, Mader’s stands out for its commitment to authentic German cuisine. The menu features favorites like crispy schnitzel, hearty sauerbraten, and the must-try potato pancakes, served with a modern twist. The ambiance, complete with vintage chandeliers and a suit of armor, transports diners to a different era, all while enjoying some of the best food Milwaukee has to offer.

Mader’s isn’t just about the food; it’s about the experience. From the moment you step in, you’re part of a story that spans generations. It’s a place where every meal is a celebration of German culture, right in the heart of “Brew City.”

Mader's Restaurant, a Milwaukee classic since 1902, serves Old World German specialties with a modern twist.
Mader’s Restaurant, a Milwaukee classic since 1902, serves Old World German specialties with a modern twist.

11.  Camp Trippalindee

Complete with board games and a menu that screams summer camp, Camp Trippalindee in Madison offers a playful escape with its “up nort’ at the lake” theme, This spot, perched atop the Graduate Hotel, transforms dining into an adventure, blending nostalgia with a dash of whimsy.

It’s among the fun restaurants in Wisconsin where the vibe is as important as the menu. Imagine toasting marshmallows over fire barrels or sipping on cocktails named after camp memories. The food is simple yet delicious, featuring items like a Big Mac-inspired double cheeseburger and barbecue chicken wings that hit the spot.

Camp Trippalindee’s decor, filled with vintage finds and cozy plaid, makes you feel like you’re dining in a lakeside cabin. This restaurant is a testament to Wisconsin’s love for quirky, themed dining experiences, making every visit memorable. Whether you’re here for the games, the grub, or the unique atmosphere, it’s a place where fun and food go hand in hand.

Camp Trippalindee offers a playful theme atop the Graduate Hotel, blending nostalgia with whimsy.
Camp Trippalindee offers a playful theme atop the Graduate Hotel, blending nostalgia with whimsy.

12. Grateful Shed Truckyard

Grateful Shed Truckyard brings a vibrant twist to dining in Wisconsin Dells. It’s a celebration of street food, fun, and an atmosphere that’s anything but ordinary. Imagine stepping into a space where immobile food trucks serve up a delicious mix of sushi, grilled cheese, and tacos.

This spot is one of the most unique places to eat in WI. The setting is a creative blend of a mobile home park and a food court, with food trucks reclaimed from a junkyard. It’s a feast for the eyes as much as for the taste buds. The on-site bar, crafted from old VHS tapes, and refurbished Volkswagen vans as drink dispensers add to the quirky charm.

Grateful Shed Truckyard is where food, fun, and creativity collide. With a vintage Greyhound bus hanging from the ceiling for booth seating and yard games like giant Jenga, it’s a place that defies the ordinary. Whether you’re here for the tasty grub or the lively atmosphere, it’s a dining experience you won’t forget.

Grateful Shed Truckyard is one of the unique restaurants in Wisconsin.
Grateful Shed Truckyard offers a vibrant twist on street food dining served by immobile food trucks.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Unique Places to Eat in Wisconsin

Got questions? Our Wisconsin restaurant guide FAQ section has the answers you’re looking for.

What food is Wisconsin famous for?

Wisconsin is known for its dairy, especially cheese. Visitors and locals alike rave about the cheese curds, which are often served fried. Beyond dairy, Wisconsin is also famous for its bratwurst, a type of German sausage. These foods reflect the state’s rich cultural heritage and agricultural background, embodying its Midwest charm. Whether at a local diner or a state fair, trying these iconic foods is a must for a true taste of Wisconsin.

What is the oldest running restaurant in Wisconsin?

The oldest running restaurant in Wisconsin is The Red Circle Inn, established in 1848. Nestled in Nashotah, it offers a glimpse into the state’s rich history through its elegant dining experience. The restaurant has maintained its charm over the years, serving exquisite meals that blend traditional and contemporary flavors. Dining here is not just about the food; it’s about being part of Wisconsin’s storied past.

What is the signature dish of Wisconsin?

The signature dish of Wisconsin is undoubtedly the cheese curd. These bite-sized morsels, either fresh or fried, are a staple in the state’s culinary scene. They embody the essence of Wisconsin’s dairy culture. Fried cheese curds, with their golden crust and gooey interior, are a favorite at local bars and restaurants. They perfectly represent the state’s love for cheese and its status as America’s Dairyland.

Wisconsin Cheese Curds
Wisconsin Cheese Curds | Image Source: https://www.wisconsincheese.com/

What food is Madison Wisconsin famous for?

Madison, Wisconsin, is famous for its farm-to-table cuisine, highlighting the state’s rich agricultural resources, making it one of the top places to live and visit in Wisconsin. The city’s food scene is diverse, but it shines with dishes like artisanal cheeses and craft beers. Madison’s farmers’ markets also play a crucial role, offering fresh, local ingredients that inspire both home cooks and professional chefs. This city is a food lover’s paradise, where the emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients makes every meal memorable.

Where can I find Wisconsin’s best restaurants?

Wisconsin’s best restaurants are scattered across the state, from bustling city centers to quiet, lakeside towns. Cities like Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay boast a variety of dining options that showcase the state’s culinary diversity. For a truly exceptional experience, explore the local favorites in small towns, where you’ll find everything from gourmet dining to classic Wisconsin supper clubs. These restaurants offer a taste of the state’s rich flavors and warm hospitality.

What are some scenic places in Wisconsin to eat?

For those seeking scenic places in WI to eat, the state offers numerous restaurants with breathtaking views. From dining beside the tranquil waters of Lake Geneva to enjoying a meal overlooking the rolling hills of the Driftless Area, Wisconsin’s natural beauty enhances the dining experience. Restaurants along the Great River Road, overlooking the Mississippi River, provide stunning vistas that make every meal unforgettable.

Where can I find cheap eats in Wisconsin?

Finding cheap eats in Wisconsin is easy, thanks to the state’s wide range of budget-friendly dining options. From classic diners in small towns to food trucks in urban areas, Wisconsin has something for every palate and budget. Cities like Madison and Milwaukee offer diverse cuisines at affordable prices, especially in university areas where you can enjoy delicious meals without breaking the bank. Don’t miss out on local specials and happy hour deals for the best bargains in this Midwest gem.

What are the must-try dishes for visitors to Wisconsin?

Visitors to Wisconsin must try dishes like beer-battered fish fry, a Friday night tradition, and the iconic bratwurst, grilled to perfection. Don’t forget about the state’s famous cheese curds, either fresh or fried. For a sweet treat, indulge in a scoop of rich, creamy custard. These dishes offer a taste of Wisconsin’s culinary heritage and are a must for any food lover exploring the state.

Final Thoughts On Unique Wisconsin Restaurants

Our journey through the flavors and sights of the Badger State comes to an end, but the adventure doesn’t have to stop here. With our Wisconsin restaurant guide, you’ve got a treasure map to the state’s culinary gems.

From spooky meals that thrill to cozy spots that feel like a trip to Europe, Wisconsin’s dining scene is as diverse as it is delicious. Remember, every meal is a chance to explore something new, whether it’s a dish you’ve never tried or a view you’ve never seen.

The top restaurants in Wisconsin for all types of travelers
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