Wisconsin January 15, 2019
9 Restaurant Lines Around Wisconsin That Are So Worth Standing In
Most times, when we plan to dine out we want to walk in, sit down and get with the eating. But sometimes, we crave something so delicious, so amazing, so popular that we know we’re signing up for some time in line and we’re totally ok with it. There are just some Wisconsin spots that are universally popular. They’re delicious and iconic and no matter when you go, you know there will be a wait. They’ve been around for awhile and the hype never dies down, but that’s ok because you’re absolutely willing to wait to get to eat that scrumptious food. Here are nine spots in Wisconsin that seem to always have a line, but we don’t let that dissuade us from sampling the wares.
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. Schwarz's Supper Club - St. Ann
The general rule here is go early, know you'll still wait awhile and just relax. The problem is, now everyone is doing that, too, so even if you go at 4:30, you're going to wait. But that's fine. This is old school supper club dining, so you'll place your order at the bar and be seated sometime after. Settle in for a drink or two and relax with friends. This is meant to be a slow, chill, kicked back experience and the food is well worth the time it takes to get to you.
Located at W1688 Sheboygan Rd., New Holstein, WI 53061.
2. Daddy Maxwell's Diner - William's Bay
With some limited hours most of the week, the breakfast and lunch spot has long been considered the best in the area and the reputation means you're not the only one who knows. If you're an early bird, they open at 6 and your chances are much better then, but either way, it's an area institution and the food makes the wait worthwhile.
Located at 150 Elkhorn Rd., Williams Bay, WI 53191.
3. White Gull Inn - Fish Creek
In summer high season, this is THE place to go for a fish boil. Open since 1896, there's a ton of history here and they've perfected the art of serving delicious local seafood to the masses.
Located at 4225 Main St., Fish Creek, WI 54212.
4. Kopp's Custard - Milwaukee
You're never not going to walk into a wall of people in line here. They do keep separate lines for grill and custard orders, but know that both will have lines. Grill orders are fresh made and so worth waiting for the smokey, wonderful flavor that imparts. Lines move quick and so do the cooks.
There are three Kopps locations in the Milwaukee area – 5373 N Port Washington Rd, Glendale, WI 53217, 7631 W Layton Ave, Greenfield, WI 53220 and 18880 W Bluemound Rd, Brookfield, WI 53045.
5. Nite Cap Inn - Palmyra
This inn has been around since 1857 and the restaurant was restarted in 1938. The fish fry here is iconic, but their potato pancakes have people lining up for as long as it takes. This place is a throwback and you can imagine folks waiting in the same spot decades ago for the same amazing food. They'll ask your order and then you'll wait and wait some more and if you ask how long, you'll be told "you'll eat when you eat." It's fine. Don't come starving, don't be impatient and learn to unwind a bit before having what might be the best fish fry in Wisconsin.
Located at 227 S 3rd St., Palmyra, WI 53156.
6. The Old Fashioned - Madison
The Old Fashioned feels like it should come off gimmicky, with all the Wisconsin cliches you can imagine, but instead it's just welcoming and cozy and feels a bit like visiting your favorite relative's house where they feed you all your favorite things. They have one of my top two fried cheese curds in the state, an amazing bar and a menu that feels like mom made it. It's always busy, but the wait moves quickly and you should have a cocktail to help ease the wait.
Located at 23 N Pinckney St. #1, Madison, WI 53703.
7. Frank's Diner - Kenosha
The place is about 15 feet wide and the size of a train car, so that definitely limits the seating options, but we promise that squeezing in line along the wall is worth a meal here. The servings are huge, the staff friendly and the experience one-of-a-kind.
Located at 508 58th St, Kenosha, WI 53140.
8. Aunt Mary's Hooterville Inn - Blue Mounds
Another iconic fish fry spot, this place is nostalgic and a true throw-back. You'll love everything about the people and atmosphere here. It's exactly what you'd imagine for a small town Wisconsin fish fry hot spot.
Located at 10992 Division St., Blue Mounds, WI 53517.
9. Blue's Egg - Wauwatosa
This place is deceptively big with a back room you don't realize is there and additional outdoor seating in the warmer months. If you're by yourself or in a pair, keep an eye on the counter service, which moves quickly. Listen, I know it's delicious, but stop trying to go here with 12 people on Father's Day - you're going to literally wait forever. You're here because the flavors and combinations are top notch and go way beyond standard breakfast fare. They're a breakfast and lunch spot that have their own pastry chef, so have the bread, biscuits and anything else on the menu from the bakers. I honestly usually compile an a la carte plate of all my favorite things and it's always so hearty and satisfying. There are killer specials, fun drink options and just really great, locally-sourced and homemade plates.
Located at 317 N 76th St, Milwaukee, WI 53213.
Where are the places you don’t mind putting in some time to enjoy? Let us know about it in the comments!
They might be popular, but
here are the restaurants we think you should visit this year. Check out our 2019 Wisconsin Dining Bucket List.