Never was the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” so true as when it comes to some of the best, most delicious restaurants in all of Wisconsin. If you’re looking for fancy decor and white tablecloths, these joints aren’t for you. But if you’re looking for stellar food without the fuss, start making a list and plan to visit these unsuspecting but downright amazing spots:
1. The Varsity Deli - Elkhorn
This place is all about the simple, filling and delicious comfort foods. You'll fall in love with their soups and crave their sandwiches once you've discovered them. Located at 464 E Geneva St, Elkhorn, WI 53121.
2. Steve's Pizza Palace - Platteville
Whenever I make a list like this, the comments are full of people telling me I should have added Steve's. The exterior looks like an Irish pub, but inside you'll find some of the best pizza anywhere in the state.
Located at 175 W Main St, Platteville, WI 53818.
3. Sam's Diner - Waterford
Another spot our readers pointed out, Sam's looks like a thousand other diners you could pass on a million different highways, but inside you'll find amazing food that folks say is their absolute favorite. Located at 28432 N Lake Dr, Waterford, WI 53185.
4. Broadway Diner - Baraboo
With an outside that looks straight out of a Route 66 postcard and a menu chock full of filling, wonderful meals, this is a spot that can't be beat. Located at 304 Broadway St, Baraboo, WI 53913.
5. Cozzy Corner - Appleton
You might drive by this spot a time or two before you even spot it, but those in the know have taken note and could drive here with their eyes closed. Soul food in central Wisconsin isn't a combination you'd think would go well, but Cozzy Corner proves us wrong. The food here is full of love and flavor and it's a total gem you have to find for yourself. Located at 111 N Walnut St, Appleton, WI 54911.
6. Wayne's Pizza - Genoa City
Another spot that locals rave about in the comments, Wayne's has deep dish and thin crust and a ton of toppings and the folks in Genoa City are so happy to have them. Located at 100 Elizabeth Ln, Genoa City, WI 53128.
7. 6th Street Filling Station - Wausau
This former gas station has been turned into an amazing diner serving up giant plates of spectacular food. Located at 1314 N 6th St, Wausau, WI 54403.
8. Shah Jee's - Milwaukee
Tucked into the basement of an office building in Milwaukee's downtown, these guys are a special lunch spot for those smart enough to seek it out. You'll love the huge plate of amazing flavors. Located at 770 N Jefferson St, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
9. The Launching Pad - Shawano
Shawano folks love the burgers at the Launching Pad and want everyone to know.
Located at 221 Airport Rd, Shawano, WI 54166.
10. Chili John's Cafe - Beaver Dam
A new one to me, Chili John's is one the locals rave about. Located at 223 Front St, Beaver Dam, WI 53916.
11. Late's - Manitowoc
A big, delicious burger, fries and onion rings you'll dream about and thick, creamy malts make the meal at Late's. Located at 1924 S 9th St, Manitowoc, WI 54220.
12. Parthenon Gyros - Madison
Anyone that has spent any amount of time in Madison has an affinity for Parthenon. Sure, it's great late at night, but unlike a lot of those types of places, Parthenon is just as good, if not better, before a bunch of drinks. Located at 316 State St, Madison, WI 53703.
13. Mickey Lu's - Marinette
Mickey Lu's feels like a blast from the past - a greasy spoon type place that looks like it's from a 1950's sitcom. The burgers are made over an open flame and you get to watch your meal being made. Located at 1710 Marinette Ave, Marinette, WI 54143.