Folks who dismiss Wisconsin as a flyover state are missing out on our miles and miles of lake shore, Great and small. With a couple of huge rivers, more inland lakes than those braggarts to the west and two Great Lakes, Wisconsin has a ton of beachfront and waterfront dining. With tundra-like winters, Wisconsinites know we have to treasure every moment of warm weather we’re allotted each year and we love to eat, drink and gather outside with friends to enjoy summer.
Here are 15 Wisconsin restaurants right on the water where you can soak up some sun, dip your toes and generally enjoy being in such a beautiful state.
1. Blue Bayou - Manitowish Waters
A Cajun/Creole restaurant with its own dock, killer cheese curds and super-strong hurricanes? It's hard to believe this place exists, but it does and it's perfect. Located at 5547 US-51, Manitowish Waters, WI 54545.
2. Fox Harbor Pub and Grill - Green Bay
Big windows and a gorgeous patio make this place a must stop in Green Bay in the warm months - or when you want to bring a bit of the outside in, but not freeze to death. Located at 348 S Washington St, Green Bay, WI 54301.
3. High Shores Supper Club - Chippewa Falls
Everything you love about a classic Wisconsin supper club combined with a truly prime location. Perfection. Located at 17985 Co Hwy X, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729.
4. Jimmy Seas Pub and Grill - Green Bay
Everything from sandwiches to homemade guac and a place to dock your boat. What more could you possibly want? Located at 1330 Marine St, Green Bay, WI 54301.
5. Pier 290 - Williams Bay
In the trendy Lake Geneva area, this place is upscale and amazing, with a gorgeous outdoor area, a spectacular menu and even fire pits. Located at 1 Liechty Dr, Williams Bay, WI 53191.
6. The Anchor Inn - Edgerton
Newly reopened and located right on the Rock River, this place is an absolute favorite of locals. The new building has high ceilings and the same amazing outdoor space. Located at 718 WI-59, Edgerton, WI 53534
7. Mariner's - Madison
Right off the beltline, a short drive from downtown Madison where the Yahara River meets Lake Mendota, this place is nothing but chill vibes and great food. Located at 5339 Lighthouse Bay Dr, Madison, WI 53704.
8. Third Coast Wood Fire Pizza - Racine
It doesn't get much better than wood-fired pizza right on the water. A perfect location, casual but delicious food and a killer deck make this place a local favorite.
Located at 207 Gas Light Cir, Racine, WI 53403.
9. Loopy's - Chippewa Falls
Loopy's is more complex than restaurant and it's more corner bar than anything else, but the location right on the river is absolutely amazing. It's huge, so find a quieter corner and tuck in to some killer bar food. Or use it as a starting point for a tubing trip.
Located at 10691 County Hwy X, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729.
10. Harbor House - Milwaukee
Not only do they have the best seafood in the Milwaukee area, but they have the most stunning views of downtown, as well. Make sure you check for their specials and happy hours. Located at 550 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
11. Old Rittenhouse Inn - Bayfield
Set in a gorgeous Victorian guest house, this place is fine dining meets casual "up north" atmosphere. You'll get top notch food in a relaxed setting. Located at 301 Rittenhouse Ave, Bayfield, WI 54814.
12. The Waterfront Restaurant - LaCrosse
Relax on their stellar patio and dine on some truly delectable bites in this upscale-meets-casual restaurant. Located at 328 Front St S, La Crosse, WI 54601.
13. Milwaukee Ale House - Milwaukee
A lot of restaurants have come and gone along this strip of the Milwaukee Riverwalk, but the Ale House remains a stalwart of comfort food with great beer, entertainment, and their very own dock. Take a break on the river and settle in for a meal before you're off on more adventures.
Located at 233 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
14. Mama's Supper Club - Minocqua
When we've written about waterfront dining in the past, readers have recommended Mama's in droves. Mix the charm of a Wisconsin supper club with the warmth of grandma's Italian kitchen and you've got a meal at Mama's. Located at 10486 WI-70, Minocqua, WI 54548.
15. Fred and Fuzzy's Waterfront Bar and Grill - Sister Bay
Door County has nothing but amazing waterfront, high-class dining. Fred and Fuzzy's isn't that. Instead, it's like heading to a friend's for a casual, relaxed meal on a gorgeous stretch of land that has some of the best sunsets in the state. It's friendly and chill and you won't regret a meal or three here. Located at 10620 Little Sister Rd, Sister Bay, WI 54234.