There is plenty to keep you busy in Wisconsin’s scenic town of Fond du Lac, from museums to water sports on Lake Winnebago. After a thrilling day out, turn your attention to the local dining scene where you can tuck into everything from fresh seafood to homemade ice cream. Here are The Culture Trip’s favorite eating spots.
The main draw of Trepanier’s grill and bar is its fantastic patio space where you can enjoy a casual al fresco lunch or evening aperitif snuggled under the outdoor heaters. The extensive menu counts an array of international cuisine, from Mexican to Italian specialities, and offers regularly changing specials (think Cajun shrimp alfredo and chicken egg rolls). There are plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options, and the affable staff will always go out of their way to help other dietary needs.
Tuck into some teatime treats at Bryanna’s Bakery, where each country loaf and perfect pastry is crafted lovingly by a family of passionate bakers. The attractive displays and mouthwatering smells will make taste testing a handful of their sweet treats an indulgence difficult to resist. Along with the flourless chocolate cakes and flaky baklava, the jam-dripping doughnuts and colorful French macarons and are all-round winners here.
Stop in at Ala Roma for a taste of classic Italian fare and arguably the best pizza in town. The extensive menu reads like an encyclopedia of red-checkered classics, there are fresh pizzas, calzones and pasta dishes all made from scratch, while the offer of small plates means there is something for every appetite. Be sure to leave room for dessert, the triple chocolate strata or espresso-soaked tiramisu will make the perfect finale to a great meal.
Those hankering after some good old-fashioned American fare should pick Schreiner’s, a Fond du Lac landmark since 1938. The kitchen delivers classic Wisconsin comfort foods that never go out of style; there are fried cheese curds, New England-style clam chowder and pie happy hour. The restaurant is adjoined to Bernie’s Pub where in a cozy setting of dark wooden furnishings and stained glass windows you can pair beer of the month with some naughty-but-nice nibbles.
Dive into this bright and breezy seafood shack and you’ll find that whimsical nautical trimmings set the scene for some scrumptious fishy treats. Beyond the attractive wooden façade, diners will step into a world of white and blue, where maritime-themed trinkets add to the seaside atmosphere. The scene is well set for tucking into seafood fettuccine, deep-fried shrimp or Cajun-style catfish. There is also a healthy salad bar and plenty meaty offerings for those wanting both surf and turf.
This diner owned by the Greek-American Katris family is a great family choice thanks to its laid-back hospitality, generous portions and extensive menu providing for every foodie fancy. Come at any time of day to indulge in the breakfast menu (one of the best in town) when enormous Belgian waffles and chocolate-chip pancakes will take the edge off hunger. Homemade soups, delicious dumplings and hearty chowder are up for grabs at lunchtime, and there are always specials to keep the regulars coming back for more.
Relish a juicy meat cut or tender chicken breast in Sebastian’s light-filled dining room that achieves the balance between cutting-edge style and cozy comfort with its muted-toned walls, exposed bulb lighting and sky-high glass ceilings that look out onto lush garden shrubbery. There is also a spacious banquet room for large private parties and a more intimate cocktail lounge for romantic fireside drinks or smaller groups of friends and families.
You’ll feel right at home at this super friendly Chicago-style Italian restaurant where smiles start from the moment you’re greeted at the door. Start with the Sicilian salad and antipasti before sampling the irresistible stuffed-crust, oregano-topped pizzas, tortellini carbonara or meatballs in fresh tomato sauce, all washed down with a bottle of Chianti or two.
Those with a sweet tooth may want to skip mains altogether and have a triple scoop at Kelley Country Creamery, a farmstead voted the best ice cream shop in Wisconsin. Located on a country road just outside of Fond du Lac, the creamery has been part of the Kelley family since the 1860s and churns out a whole host of inventive and delectable flavors; mix and match the peach cobbler with oatmeal crumble, the heady amaretto and maraschino cherries and the pumpkin cheesecake with spices and pecan nuts. Indulgence comes with education too, as a viewing window allows visitors to watch how the ice cream is made while they tuck in to their tasty treats.
Cheerful décor and a buzzy atmosphere are assured at this well-priced Mexican restaurant that serves dishes typical of the Yucatan, Oaxaca, Mexico City and Hidalgo. The kitchen staff whips up a mean guacamole, an essential accompaniment to the handmade shrimp tacos, shredded chicken quesadillas and parrillada mixed plate large enough for families to share. As the name promises, the bar has an eye-watering array of more than 100 different types of tequila blends, try just a few shots and you’ll be singing along to the mariachi band before you know it.