The Wisconsin Northwoods is well known for its supper clubs and a classic Friday fish fry. And for good reason! But did you know that the Eagle River area is home to some delicious dishes outside of these staple meal categories?
Much like a freezing negative 20-degree day can surprise anyone walking out the door in the morning, there is some food that might send a shiver (in a good way!) down your spine. When it comes to dinner options, an Italian dish or upscale pub fare can fill even the biggest appetites after a day of outdoor Eagle River fun. Lunch spots and juice bars in town can hit the spot nicely for some quality midday sustenance, too.
While there is a handy, one-stop online restaurant guide with all your Eagle River options, let’s take a spin around the area for some dishes that might surprise you on your next visit.
AIELLO’S ON WALL STREET – THE GODFATHER
The sheer size of this one might be surprising. Coming in at 8 inches, 12 inches, or a whopping 24 inches (we recommend you share that one), The Godfather at Aiello’s is aptly named. When you check out the ingredients, there’s a reason why this sandwich is like someone made you an offer that you can’t refuse. This cold grinder comes with salami, pepperoni, hot capicola, ham, provolone, lettuce, tomato, mayo, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and special seasonings on a French loaf.
In addition to this favorite, Aiello’s also serves up a variety of cold sandwiches, hot hoagies, handmade pizzas, daily soups, and freshly made salads. There’s even a salad version of The Godfather for those who prefer lighter green leaves to a hearty bread.
BORTOLOTTI’S CIN CIN WINE BAR & BISTRO – VEAL SCALLOPINI
Authentic Italian fine dining might not be the first thing you think of when in Eagle River. But with the veal scallopini at Bortolotti’s Cin Cin, maybe it should be – well, at least crack the top five things you think about. Don’t shy away from the antipasto section of the menu. It’s here you’ll find the “vitello di scallopini” or “veal scallopini.” The dish includes tender veal slices with a traditional gremolata—a savory combination of tomatoes, celery, onions, lemon, garlic, parsley, and minced anchovy—on top of a creamy parmesan and yellow polenta. You might need a box to take some home.
Besides the veal dish and other excellent entrees, the pasta dishes will put a smile on any face at Cin Cin’s.
THE CRAFTSMAN AMERICAN TAVERN – MAHI-MAHI
The mahi-mahi isn’t something you can catch in any of Eagle River’s lakes. It is a tropical fish, after all. Fortunately, it is something you can eat on a sesame seed bun at The Craftsman in Eagle River’s downtown. The mahi-mahi is grilled, then topped with fresh Roma tomatoes, red onions, and lettuce, coming with a side of Cajun remoulade and lime. It’s not only unexpected, it’s delicious.
Of course, The Craftsman includes more traditional upscale pub food as well, ranging from burgers and heavy appetizers to tacos, pizzas, and pasta dishes. The prime rib and BBQ ribs are no joke, either. And a child’s menu makes this spot a true family meal option.
ROOTS – THE NORTHWOODS JUICE PUB – SMOOTHIE
Due to an ever-changing daily menu, one of the most unexpected snacks in all of Eagle River might just be a smoothie from Roots. Orange, strawberry, and banana? Sounds like a “Dream” smoothie with a sweet kick. Aronia, coconut, and yogurt? Sign me up for an “Aronia” smoothie with its balanced dry and creamy textures. How about the “Mango+” with yogurt, lime, and basil? You get the idea. Add in shots of wheat grass, ginger, or other healthy options to deliver even more unique drinks.
And if you’re not into smoothies, as the full name implies, Roots has juice options. It also has protein shakes, coffee, and tea drinks.
TRY A NEW DISH
We’d never steer you away from your favorite Eagle River meal. We also want to make sure you don’t miss out on a dish that might become your favorite feast!
The next time you’re up here for your favorite activity or event, think about switching up the eatery you visit. Our non-traditional Northwoods meal options just might surprise you in the best way possible.
Just the guys heading up to Eagle River? Chances are you’ve already got a few ideas on how to spend your time in our neck of the woods. All the same, you might want to check out our most recent Field Notes video for a few more ways to enjoy your Eagle River experience.