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Touring Wisconsin Food

Wisconsin Supper Clubs

A long tradition in Wisconsin is a unique version of the dining out experience.  They are called “Supper Clubs.”   They focus on the evening meal which in Wisconsin is called “supper.”  Others call it dinner, but here it is supper.  And these restaurants are not “clubs” per se but rather gathering places for good food, good atmosphere at a reasonable price.

relish tray

Relish tray

The most traditional version starts the meal with a relish tray that would include fresh carrots, celery, olives and pickles.  It wuld be accompanied by a basket of cellophane wrapped crackers and a dish of soft spreadable cheese.  You dinner selection would include a salad, normally a quarter of a head of iceberg lettuce and a selection of dressings.

friday fish fry

Friday night fish fry


Prime Rib dinner

On Friday nights the special would be a deep fried fish, usually cod, and French fried potatoes with a side order of cold slaw.  Wednesdays and Saturdays the feature would be a slice of prime rib.  Petite, queen or king size?  And how would you like that done?  The chef recommends medium rare.  Dessert was optional but usually included some specialty of the house.


Ishnala dining room

We recently had the opportunity to dine at a fine example of this tradition – Ishnala- just outside Wisconsin Dells overlooking beautiful Mirror Lake.

Summer evenings are delightful in Wisconsin and they are made even better with trip to your favorite supper club.  There many scattered throughout the state and they attract locals and visitors alike. has a book about them you can use as a guide.5943-the-supper-club-book-Supper-Club (1)  How long would it take to visit each one?

Which is your favorite Wisconsin Supper Club?

1 Comment

  1. Kristina Schiller

    August 27, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    You should visit and do a write up of Dorf Haus Supper Club. They are in the book and absolutely fantastic! Located in quaint Roxbury, you won’t find a better fish fry and German tap beer or old-fashioned. Enjoy!

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