Spending a day at Lake Geneva’s golf courses, spas, resorts and ski slopes can really work up an appetite. So, check out our recommendations for the best restaurants in the city that is one of Wisconsin finest vacation spots.
A genre of swanky, old-fashioned restaurants with reasonable prices – known as supper clubs – can only be found in the Midwest countryside. Though they had their heyday in the mid-20th century, many supper clubs still exist today with the same family-friendly atmospheres and comfort food-filled menus. Among them is Anthony’s Steak House. Founded in 1978 and still run by Anthony himself, who is now in his late 80s, the supper club has an impressive menu. It features everything from soups to seafood to steak to the classic Wisconsin fish fry on Friday nights. These dishes are all at prices that will make your wallet just as satisfied as your appetite.
Nestled beside Geneva Lake in a 129-year-old Victorian-style mansion that’s been gorgeously maintained, the Baker House is known for its historic decor and old-world charm. The home was originally built in honor of Emily Baker’s late husband, Robert. However, throughout the years, it has also functioned as an upscale sanitarium for Chicagoans and a Prohibition-era speakeasy. Nowadays, diners nosh on Wisconsin cheese plates and dishes such as grilled Atlantic salmon. There are a number of rooms on the first floor, each decorated with eloquent, turn-of-the-century-style furniture. In accordance with the house’s history, the Baker House hosts weekly Murder Mystery and Cabaret-themed events on Fridays and Saturdays, respectively.
For many Milwaukee and Chicago residents visiting the city, a trip to Lake Geneva is a time specifically meant for being with your family and close friends. The owners of Corleone Sicilian Restaurant are well aware of this and also know that gathering over delicious, home-cooked food is often the best way to reconnect with loved ones. Corleone’s authentic Sicilian dishes like the pollo cacciatore, based on a beloved family recipe, and linguini con vongole, or linguini served with rock clams in a red or white house-made sauce, are perfect served with a view of Geneva Lake, which happens to be located just off Corleone’s back deck.
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The Grandview Restaurant & Lounge lives up to its name: the sweeping views of Geneva Lake through its bright dining-room windows are truly grand and arguably some of the best in the Lake Geneva area. If you’re lucky, you’ll be seated at a table on the patio when it’s warm outside. With a range of breakfast, lunch and dinner items, as well as variable portion sizes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Numerous wine dinners are offered throughout the year, where featured wines are paired with a four- or five-course meal that showcases the wine’s place of origin. These events are a must for any self-proclaimed wino.
Classic Mediterranean dishes and hospitality come together at Lake Geneva’s Medusa Grill and Bistro. Being named after one of Greek mythology’s most infamous figures, you might expect the venue to have a menu filled with purely Greek food. A handful of Italian and American options however, round out the menu nicely. Still don’t see anything you’re in the mood for? Go with the very special ‘Chef’s Choice’: just choose your favorite meat or seafood and owner, operator and chef Greg Anagnos will personally cook up a special entree just for you. Be sure to save room for dessert, because Anagnos also makes fabulous gourmet Gelato from scratch using an assortment of all-natural ingredients.
When you’re visiting a city far from home and looking for a great meal at a venue that won’t be swarming with tourists, go where the locals go. In Lake Geneva, that place is Next Door Pub & Pizzeria. Serving made-from-scratch, stone hearth-fired pizzas with a friendly, casual ambiance, Next Door Pub has been an area staple for more than 40 years. During that time, it’s accumulated a considerable amount of accolades, including ‘Best of Walworth County’ for four straight years in the categories of Best Pizza, Best Pub, Best Casual Dining and Best Overall Restaurant. Though it’s famous for its Garbage Pizza, a pie topped with cheese, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers and onions, the menu features burgers, pastas and sandwiches, too.
Tucked into the acclaimed Grand Geneva Resort, the former Lake Geneva Playboy Club Hotel, Ristoranté Brissago offers a truly authentic Italian dining experience. Fresh ingredients are flown in from Italy on a weekly basis to craft some of the best Italian cuisine in southeast Wisconsin. Since nothing goes better with fine Italian food than fine Italian wine, Brissago also offers a vast selection of reasonably priced options for you to choose from. Look over the countryside on the patio or soak in the elegant decor of the dining room as you enjoy dishes like pasta tossed in roasted tomato marinara with sauteed garlic shrimp, and grilled filet mignon with Gorgonzola crust and Parmesan mashed potatoes.
The growth and success of the state’s farm-to-table movement is evident at Sopra Bistro. Chef and owner Simon Cumming uses his passion for the Wisconsin outdoors, knowledge of different ingredients’ peak seasons and appreciation of the purity of raw ingredients to spin traditional comfort food into more innovative fare. In the golden glow of the warm yet elegant dining room, try entrees like the grilled pork tenderloin with a garlic potato puree, grilled asparagus, mixed wild mushrooms and apple-infused veal demi. Or, choose the braised lamb shank with saffron gnocchi, asparagus, parsley and natural jus. Don’t forget about Sopra’s extensive craft beer list, either, featuring brews from around the Dairy State and beyond.
As its name implies, Simple Café is all about getting back to basics – food as nature intended it to be. Its owners’ goal is to promote sustainability through recycling and being good stewards with the resources with which they have been provided. To foster this mission, the cafe recycles its organic wastes, reuses timber to create its dining furniture, and buys as many of its dishes’ ingredients as possible from local farms in the southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois area. As a result of this close partnership between farmers and the cafe, the menu of scrumptious breakfast and lunch dishes changes with the seasons. Their fall menu, for example, features an acorn squash chicken sausage strata and a seasonal harvest frittata.
Authentic, tasty Japanese food is available in the Wisconsin countryside. Venture away from downtown Lake Geneva to Tempura House, a fine-dining establishment located within a lovely, slightly unconventional residential neighborhood. There’s sushi and sashimi aplenty, but if the idea of eating raw fish makes your stomach churn, the tempura, Mongolian and hibachi dinners are also divine. Coming during peak lunch and dinner hours may result in a bit of a wait for a table, especially if you have your heart set on sitting on the patio on a balmy summer night. However, know that your patience will be rewarded with an excellent meal.