Here in Wisconsin we're known for our award-winning cheeses, beers and wines, and there’s no shortage of great places to try them. Whether you consider yourself a foodie or just love a delicious meal, there are so many amazing areas to check out across the state to enjoy all sorts of Wisconsin delicacies!
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is perhaps best known for its famous breweries, but increasingly it’s known for its local food scene. Milwaukee is rich in historical and cultural attractions, making it the perfect place for a day or weekend of exploring, drinking, and eating!
- Check out Clock Shadow Creamery; where you can see firsthand how your cheese is being made. In 2012 Master cheesemaker Bob Wills opened the state’s first urban cheese factory, and the factory gets much of their milk from the cows at the Milwaukee zoo! Visitors can tour the city’s first all-green building, which is made out of 50% recycled materials. The building boasts a geothermal heating and cooling system, a rooftop garden, rainwater reuse system, a power generating elevator and many other ecological innovations! Not to mention they make great cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches!
Must try item: Clock Shadow Creamery’s signature cheese Quark: similar to cream cheese, this slightly tart and milky fresh cheese is light and spreadable and tastes like a cross between ricotta and sour cream. Try it in a savory or a sweet variety!
- On the other side of town you can visit the Wisconsin Cheese Mart and Uber Tap Room. Spend few minutes sampling all the different varieties of cheeses they carry, and then head to the taproom for a Wisconsin cheese board paired with your favorite wine or cheese.
- Don’t forget dessert! Indulgence Chocolatiers is one of Milwaukee’s premiere chocolatiers. Offering tasting classes where you can pair decadent hand made chocolates with beer, wine, and even old fashioneds!
- Door Artisan Cheese is a place that you could spend the better part of a day! Head to the cheese store where you can, not only sample cheese, but see it being made, tour cheese caves and learn about Wisconsin’s cheesemaking history. Then head over to the attached restaurant Glacier Ledge for a great meal prepared with local ingredients!
Must try item: Valmy Cheese, a Wisconsin original cheese honoring the Belgian heritage in Door County, WI. Valmy is a beer washed rind cheese, with hints of the yeasts and malts emerging from the Trappist style beer. And it’s named after the small town in southeastern Door County!
- Then head south to Renard’s Cheese for a family-friendly excursion where you can sample and try locally produced cheeses, stop for a meal in the deli, and work off some calories at the attached playground!
- Then grab ingredients for your own meal by heading to Waseda Farms Market located in Baileys Harbor. Stroll the beautiful gardens and pick your own produce, then head to the on-site store to pick up some cheese, beer and wine to compliment your meal.
The village of New Glarus is a popular tourist destination best known for its Swiss heritage, old-world architecture, traditional dining, and, of course, the famous New Glarus Brewing Company. An area worthy of a weekend visit!
- First stop should be near Brodhead at Decatur Dairy for their unique cheese varieties such as Colby Swiss (a mix of Colby and Swiss), Chedster (a mix of Cheddar and Muenster cheeses), and their signature Stettler Swiss!
Must try item: Any of their signature grilled cheese sandwiches made on-site!
- Next stop: New Glarus Brewing where you can tour the facility to see how beer is made and relax on the patio with a fresh-made craft beer while enjoying a cheese plate full of locally-made cheeses.
- Top off your stay-cation with a visit to the Glarner Stube: a traditional Swiss restaurant serving up cheesy delicacies like Swiss fondue, homemade deep fried cheese curds, and Roesti potatoes loaded with Swiss cheese.
- Head to Grantsburg and Burnett Dairy Cooperative for a day trip! The cheese store, full-service deli and ice cream parlor are attached to a working cheese factory, so all of the cheeses on your sandwich and in the store are guaranteed fresh.
- Then head south to Menomonie and grab a pizza and freshly brewed beer at Lucette Brewing Company! With an official Neapolitan-style brick pizza oven and fresh hand-pulled mozzarella, the pizzas are to die for!
Must try item: Feta Bruschetta! Made with whipped feta cheese instead of Ricotta, these little appetizers are a meal all its own.
And there you have it! Four great areas in Wisconsin to sip, savor, and shop! Learn more in this weekend's episode of Discover Wisconsin - it airs on Saturday, April 27 at 10am on Fox Sports Wisconsin and is now available on Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Apple TV, Smart TV, Roku, and DiscoverWisconsin.com.
[All photos from @wisconsincheese]
Amy Wallace is a member of the Discover Wisconsin crew. Stream Discover Wisconsin on Roku, Apple TV, Smart TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast or discoverwisconsin.com. Or tune in Saturdays at 10 a.m. on Fox Sports Wisconsin.