In the dairy state, there’s no more beloved snack than the cheese curd. Whether fresh from the dairy or deep fried and served with an array of dipping sauces, the cheese curd cannot be beat. Other states try to replicate them, but those glorified cheese sticks can’t compare to the ooey-gooey, fresh-battered curbs that we have in abundance. Of course, most things are good deep fried – the real test of the curd is how much we devour them fresh and often straight from wherever they’ve been made. So fresh they still squeak and so delicious we eat them by the pound.
In no particular order, here are some of the places around Wisconsin that serve up the best cheese curds you can sink your teeth in to – fresh or fried.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery - Ellsworth
Ellsworth claims to be the cheese curd capital of the world. They produce 160,000 pounds of curds every day!
Located at 232 N Wallace St, Ellsworth, WI 54011.
2. Lakefront Brewery - Milwaukee
The curds come from nearby Clock Shadow Creamery. The sauce is garlic ranch. The batter includes their own beer and leans toward a light tempura. They're fabulous. And addicting. Located at 1872 N Commerce St, Milwaukee, WI 53212.
3. The Old Fashioned - Madison
Fresh and never frozen, these are beer-battered in a buttermilk/lager mix. Fresh curds are brought in twice a week from Vern’s Cheese Inc. in Chilton. Located at 23 N Pinckney St, Madison, WI 53703.
4. Wisconsin State Fair - Milwaukee
Look for the very large mouse on top of a cart advertising Hot Wisconsin Cheese - there's usually one just outside the cream puff building. The line might seem long, but it moves fast and it's so worth it. You're waiting because they are fresh frying your curds. Stand and bask in the cheesy, fried smell until you get them into your hot little hands, then devour them and enjoy.
The state Fair is in August and located at 640 S 84th St, West Allis, WI 53214.
5. Stone Tap - Hudson
Stone Tap uses Ellsworth curds and a house beer batter and serves them up with an unusual but delicious blueberry bbq sauce. It's a great twist on an old standard. Located at 517 2nd St, Hudson, WI 54016.
6. Graze - Madison
These curds come from Hook's and have the bonus of being wrapped in a vodka batter. Less appetizer and more first course, you might need a fork to attack these curds. They're located at 1 S Pinckney St #107, Madison, WI 53703.
7. WI Dairy State Cheese Company - Rudolph
A family owned and operated cheese manufacturer, cheesemaker Mike Moran started making cheese in 1962 alongside his father. He is a Life Member of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. Located at 6860 WI-34, Rudolph, WI 54475.
8. Titletown Brewery - Green Bay
Made with Renard's white cheddar curds, they're delicious on their own, but even better in the restaurant's poutine. Located at 200 Dousman St, Green Bay, WI 54303.
9. Horse and Plow - Kohler
Made with curds from Gibbsville Cheese in Sheboygan Falls, these curds are beer battered, fresh fried and one of the most popular things to eat at a resort known for its food. Located at 419 Highland Dr, Kohler, WI 53044.
10. Renard's Cheese - Door County
Family owned and operated for three generations. Owner Chris is a Master Cheesemaker. They have 15 flavors of curd listed on their website.
Located at 2189 County Rd DK, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235.
11. Field to Fork - Sheboygan
These are extra large chunks of cheesy goodness served with a honey mustard dipping sauce.
Located at 511 S 8th St, Sheboygan, WI 53081.
12. Craftsman Table and Tap - Middleton
These Carr Valley curds are dipped in a Surly Helles Lager beer-batter. Each one is more than one bite. Located at 6712 Frank Lloyd Wright Ave, Middleton, WI 53562.
13. The Fill Inn Station - Chippewa Falls
These lovelies are hand dipped in a Leinenkugel's batter and fried to a nice dark golden brown. Located at 104 W Columbia St, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729.
14. Curd Girl - Madison
These curds come from a cart during Saturday farmer's markets. The cart is run by two friends who grew up in the cheese community of Monroe. They feature homemade sauces and drinks to accompany the fried goodness. Located at State St & W Mifflin St, Madison, WI 53703.
15. 2510 Restaurant - Wausau
These curds come in original, beer battered or cajun, or in a sampler basket of all three. Fried to perfection, they keep the locals coming back again and again. Located at 2510 Stewart Ave, Wausau, WI 54401.
16. Rocky's Supper Club - Stoddard
They call themselves the “Home of the original batter fried cheese curds." Located at 101 S Main St, Stoddard, WI 54658.
17. Clock Shadow Creamery - Milwaukee
Wisconsin's only urban cheesemaker, Clock Shadow brings fresh curds to the metro masses. Not only do they have a bunch of flavor options including White, Yellow, Garlic Dill, Cajun, Spicy Ranch, Tomato Basil, or Pizza, but they also sometimes make goat cheese curds. Located at 138 W Bruce St, Milwaukee, WI 53204.
18. Mullins Cheese - Mosinee
Mullins Cheese is the largest family-owned and operated cheese factory in Wisconsin. They even serve fried curds right in their store. You'll never get fresher ones. Located at 598 Seagull Dr, Mosinee, WI 54455.
19. OSS - Madison
Crispy with just the right amount of batter and OSS has a ton of dipping sauce options. Curds come from Silver Lewis Cheese Factory in Monticello, WI.
Located at 910 Regent St, Madison, WI 53715.
20. Kroll's West - Green Bay
Kroll's is a Green Bay institution. There may be newer or fancier places out there, but Kroll's is the place locals remember from their childhood. Located at 1990 S. Ridge Road Green Bay, WI 54304.
We’re certainly spoiled for cheesy choices – where else do you love to go indulge in some squeaky or fried goodness?