History buffs and food aficionados, unite. Relive a little piece of history as you enjoy a scrumptious meal at some of Wisconsin’s finest historic restaurants. Some are still housed in their original buildings, circa the early 1900s (and some even older!). Bring a camera, and take some snapshots to preserve your own memories in history. Here are our favorite historic restaurants in the state.
Opened in 1848, the Red Circle Inn is housed in a quaint-looking building, complete with authentic historic photos decorating its walls. After a fire gutted the original restaurant, a two-story remodel occurred—leaving the restaurant much as it is today. Dine with the family or host a wedding or a banquet, the Red Circle Inn has room for it all.
Originally dubbed Eddie’s Wonder Bar, this slice of the past first changed hands in 1948. Even after several different owners, the Wonder Bar Steakhouse remains an historic symbol in the heart of Madison. As evidenced by its name, stellar steaks are on the menu. Choose from the Wonder Bar Steak, Bone-In Kansas City Strip, Cowboy Steak, and many other cuts.
When Mader’s was founded in 1902, lunch only cost four cents. While prices aren’t that low anymore, they still remain affordable. Visit Mader’s website to check out their list of celebrity guests they’ve hosted, from Steven Tyler and Aerosmith to past presidents even. Regardless of celebrity status, Mader’s staff treats each customer with excellent service.
Back in 1952 customers could enjoy a meal, get a haircut, and then go upstairs to visit Bob and Hazel Blanck, the original owners of the supper club. Nowadays haircuts aren’t on offer, but customers can definitely still enjoy a superb meal. Order the nightly special or peruse the American fare Blanck’s has to offer.
Nestled on the shores of the Mississippi River and almost adjacent to Perrot State Park, the Trempealeau Hotel (1851) not only offers delicious food, but also it offers a window into the past. Enjoy local fare from Ecker’s Apple Farm, Empire Fish, Bloedow Bakery, and more.
“You are a stranger here but once,” says Jack Pandl’s website. The restaurant has been owned by the same family since it was founded in 1915. Because of that a warm family-friendly atmosphere radiates throughout the dining room. At Jack Pandl’s enjoy a Sunday brunch or a Friday fish fry—either way you’ll be pleased.
The Union Hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a must-visit for any who pass through De Pere. Located on a quiet corner with a vintage neon sign, this 1883 hotel is easy to find and even easier to enjoy.
This supper club, opened in 1918, originally consisted of a main lodge with four outlying cabins; everyone gathered at the main lodge to break bread together. It wasn’t until 1983 that the buildings were consolidated to create a condominium resort. Now serving supper-club fare, the restaurant offers fantastic Old Fashioneds in a warm rustic atmosphere.
Celebrate the joys of life at Kurtz’s where they celebrate Oktoberfest—and every other day—German-style. Currently owned by the third-generation of the original family, Kurtz’s is a hometown staple in Two Rivers. Kurtz's has been in business since 1904.
Turner Hall of Monroe, opened in 1868, is host to the Ratskeller Restaurant, where folks can enjoy both the history of Monroe and the classic dishes served at the restaurant. Every Tuesday the Ratskeller hosts a different event paired with a specialty meal. Visit the website to peruse all of your options.