During the 19th century, thousands of Germans started to settle in Wisconsin. While they set up home all over the state, the largest group placed roots in Milwaukee and the surrounding area. Their influence was strong and can be found today across the state everywhere from churches and schools to restaurants. Here we explore some of the delicious German dining establishments found throughout Wisconsin.
Dorf Haus Supper Club
Restaurant, American, German, $$$
Located in the town of Roxbury (it’s address is in Sauk City), Dorf Haus Supper Club is a beloved restaurant specializing in German and American delicacies. Founded over 50 years ago by the Maier family, this place features ample seating within a distinct German interior, complete with antiques, artworks depicting famous German kings and castles, and beautiful stained glass. Procuring the best, freshest ingredients, the culinary team create delicious German classics such as jager schnitzel or pan-fried veal cutlets topped with a mushroom sauce and served with flour dumplings and the German sausage platter accompanied by German potato salad and red cabbage. Open Wednesday through to Sunday, Dorf Haus also offers a Bavarian Smorgasbord on the first Monday of each month.
Founded by Herb Feil, the son of German immigrants, Feil’s Supper Club delights diners again and again with its flavorful cuisine. With a menu featuring American dishes along with some German classics, this welcoming restaurant, located in Randolph, will satisfy a wide range of tastes from meat lovers to vegetarians. Within an interior adorned with German décor, guests can savor a variety of tasty options, such as the sauerbraten, which is prime braised pickled beef on a bed of spaetzle topped with gravy; and veal Louise or pan-fried veal topped with brown gravy and pieces of shrimp. The restaurant also hosts a German fest buffet on the last Sunday of every month.
Located in Cable in Northern Wisconsin, Garmisch USA Resort is a charming, Bavarian-style resort featuring a full service restaurant offering a variety of German dishes, along with steak and seafood entrées. Showcasing Old World architecture, the family-friendly environment presents guests with a warm, inviting interior, complete with warm wooden accents and vaulted ceilings with open beams plus stunning views of Lake Namakagon. Enticing options from the dinner menu include rahm schnitzel or pork tenderloin medallions topped with a sherry-mushroom sauce and kassler ripchen, which are smoked pork chops served with sauerkraut. Something for everyone, the menu also features some vegetarian options and a special fish fry on Friday nights.
Starting out as Hermann’s Cafe in 1904, Karl Ratzsch’s is a beloved German restaurant located in downtown Milwaukee. Guests visiting this gem can savor not only German specialties but also American dishes, all within a beautiful space decorated with warm woods, European steins and glassware. Must-try dishes include the crackling pork shank served with pan gravy, sauerkraut and potato dumplings, the roast goose shank accompanied by natural gravy, wild rice and red cabbage and the sautéed chicken schnitzel served with steamed vegetables and spätzle. Luscious desserts, including a German apple pancake, plus German liquors, make a wonderful ending to a delicious meal.
Another Milwaukee gem, Kegel’s Inn was established in 1924 and is still run by the same family. A German beer hall and restaurant, this friendly venue attracts guests again and again with its delectable German and American fare. Within a lovely interior adorned with heavy wooden beams, murals, and leaded glass; diners can try classics such as the hearty beef goulash served over noodles, hasenpfeffer — marinated rabbit with special seasonings and vegetables on a bed of noodles and the half boneless roasted duck, a house speciality. Open for lunch on weekdays as well as dinner everyday except for Sunday, this is a definite must-try for any lover of German cuisine.
Established in 1983, Lorelei Inn is a welcoming venue located in Green Bay. A family-run establishment, the restaurant offers guests a delightful choice of German and American dishes along with a selection of German beers and wines. A cozy, inviting space, complete with a mural inspired by Lorelei Rock, awaits diners seeking to try tasty dishes, including the combination delight, which includes samples of all of their German specialties: sauerbraten or marinated beef with gingersnap gravy, wienerschnitzel, and heisse schlachte plate or pork loin and knockwurst with tangy kraut. Popular for its delicious fare, the Lorelei Inn is also favored among ghost-hunter, as it is believed there is a spirit roaming the property!
Founded in 1902, Mader’s is an iconic Milwaukee German restaurant loved by many, including locals, tourists, celebrities, and politicians. Guests can savor a delectable array of German delicacies within beautiful surroundings adorned with an impressive art collection, including medieval armor and antiques, many of which date back to the 14th century. Enticing options from the dinner menu are liver dumpling soup, the famous pork shank with an apple demi-glaze, red potatoes and red cabbage or sauerkraut, and a savory strudel made with beef and mushrooms. A variety of German beverages are available as well. Be sure to visit their gift shop on the second floor for a wonderful selection of German steins and M. I. Hummel figurines, the largest selection in America.
Located in Appleton, OB’s Brau Haus is a unique establishment serving German and other Europeandishes. A restaurant from 4pm to 9pm, the venue becomes a lively nightclub later, which is illuminated by colorful LED lights and features DJs. Within a modern interior with stylish furniture, guests can enjoy appetizing choices such as schnitzel art des hauses, which is a choice of chicken or pork baked with white asparagus, ham, mozzarella cheese and topped with a three-cheese sauce, and meatballs served in a rahm-cream sauce over a bed of spaetzle. To complement the meal, try one of eight house brews made with imported German barley and hops and finish with a tantalizing dessert, including apfel (apple) strudel.
With a passion for her heritage, Sigrid Bronkhorst, a native of Kotzting, Bavaria, opened the eponymous Sigrid’s Bavarian Trail in order to give guests a taste of her beloved culture. Situated in the woods on Loon Lake in Shawano, this charming, friendly restaurant, complete with German décor, also features a store where visitors can purchase a variety of imported treats from Germany and other countries. Open Tuesday through to Sunday, popular choices with diners are the sauerkraut soup and any variety of schnitzel both of which are often raved about on review sites.
Located in Western Wisconsin in the small city of Hudson, Winzer Stube is a lovely, family-friendly restaurant specializing in traditional German cuisine. Situated along the St. Croix River inside the historic Opera House in downtown, the warm interior provides a comforting environment to sample delicious dishes made with recipes direct from Germany. Preparing everything from scratch daily using only the best ingredients, enticing options to note are pfefferschnitzel ‘madagaskar’, which is a breaded pork cutlet topped with a green pepper-cognac sauce, and the spätzle with parmesan cheese topped with caramelized onions accompanied by a salad. A great selection of German wines, beers, ales, and liquors is also available.