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Sheboygan Culinary Highlights and Bucket List


Sheboygan Culinary Highlights and Bucket List

Whether you’re visiting Sheboygan or from Sheboygan, there are plenty of culinary experiences to enjoy. According to Travel Agent Central, up to 75% of Americans cite food and beverage as important factors of their traveling experiences. Different places have different dishes, restaurants, and culinary events that are special to the locals and the tourism industry in that city; Sheboygan is no different. We can discover a lot about culture and history through food, which is part of the enjoyment of discovering new dishes and restaurants. This week, inspired by Bravo’s Top Chef release this week, I am sharing with you my complete local food highlights and Sheboygan culinary bucket list. 

The Highlights:

Sheboygan has some very specific claims to fame in the culinary world, one of them being a world-renowned title. After competing with Bucyrus, Ohio in 1970, Sheboygan won the title of Bratwurst Capital of the World. As you might guess, there is a lot of German heritage in Sheboygan. In fact, during the 1890’s many German, Slovenian, Lithuanian, Croatian, and Greek immigrants arrived in the Sheboygan area. This influence can be found across food, interior design, and product manufacturing.

The hard roll is also a famous Sheboygan staple and is passionately paired with brats. Sheboygan hard rolls are specially created using a “sponge and dough method” in which the sponge mixture is fermented for four hours before placed in a mixer with the rest of the recipe, mixed, and then put into the oven.

Although you can eat your Sheboygan bratwurst on your Sheboygan hard roll (which would be very Sheboygan of you), hard rolls are more commonly used as burger buns or for sandwiches. The City Bakery and Four of a Kind are immensely popular places where Sheboygan locals and guests from far and wide flock for hard rolls.

Speaking of hamburgers, The Northwestern House, also known as Gosse’s by locals, is a hit for Sheboygan hamburgers, sandwiches, and brats. The family-owned restaurant opened their doors in 2001 and have been a favorite for American food and classic Sheboygan meals since.

It wouldn’t be a Sheboygan food guide without including the popular American-style supper club restaurants. Although supper clubs are popular throughout Wisconsin, there are some beloved locations around Sheboygan that all the locals know and rave about. No matter what, the Wisconsin supper club is an absolute must for your Sheboygan culinary bucket list! Steaks, sandwiches, and fish fries are common dishes, but the supper club experience goes beyond just the food. The drinks, the atmosphere, and the hospitality are what makes these dining experiences stand out.

Supper clubs rose in popularity during the mid-1900’s and most still resemble an old-fashioned cozy atmosphere with dim lighting, leather booths and deep wood accents, fireplaces, and a lounge area (often incorporated with the bar) to linger, socialize, and celebrate. Essentially, supper clubs are for comfortable socialization over comfort food and good company. Rupp’s Supper Club in downtown Sheboygan is a favorite, but Sheboygan County is home to several supper clubs that are popular among locals such as Schwarz’s, PJ Campbell’s at the Depot, Red Cabin at Green Acres, and Kettle Moraine Supper Club.

Some other stand out restaurants in Sheboygan that are known for their comfort food include Faye’s Pizza, Parker John’s BBQ  & Pizza, and Harry’s Diner that serves American style breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a 50’s diner environment. The Black Pig in downtown Sheboygan is known for their “casual comfort food with a twist” and includes a range of dishes on their menu from soups and salads, to mac and noodles, entrees, and hand held sandwiches.

Beyond American-style food, Sheboygan locals and tourists alike love the Italian style dining that the Viglietti family serves across their three family-owned restaurants as well as their food market on downtown’s 8th Street. Ask anyone in Sheboygan about Il Ritrovo, Trattoria Stefano, Field to Fork, and Stefano’s Slow Food Marketplace and you’ll quickly learn that all four are necessary to try out first hand. If you’re looking for Italian cuisine, or even just fresh, healthy food in Sheboygan, these three restaurants and food market are THE destination.

The dishes are composed of the best ingredients from local farmers, producers, bakers, and butchers, ensuring the food is fresh, tasty, and well resourced. Field to Fork is the perfect place to meet up for all your favorite café menu items, as well as healthy lunch or brunch plates. In 2000, Il Ritrovo became? a certified Neapolitan pizzeria and has been recognized alongside Trattoria Stefano by the Chicago Sun Times, Food & Wine Magazine, and Bon Apetit, just to name a few.

As you can see, there are many favorite American, German, and Italian restaurants in Sheboygan that have made a name for themselves, but this wouldn’t be a Sheboygan food highlight feature without including the Greece E Spoon or Cocina Mi Familia. Like I mentioned earlier, during the 1890’s there was a wave of immigrants arriving in the Sheboygan area, including Greek immigrants.

The Greece E Spoon is your to go for authentic Greek cuisine, from gyros and salads to baklava and imported Yamas iced teas. If you’re looking for a unique and authentic Greek lunch, you absolutely need to make your way to Greece E Spoon.

Cocina Mi Familia is your go-to restaurant for Mexican cuisine in Sheboygan. Complete with inside seating and a bar, you’ll find tacos and quesadillas, Birria and Chilaquiles, Margaritas and Micheladas, and more! The atmosphere is very welcoming and the food is absolutely mouth-watering!

And here we have it, my local Sheboygan food highlights! It was very difficult to condense all the options this town offers to just one blog post, so scroll down further to see a longer list of my Sheboygan restaurants bucket list, including the businesses already mentioned plus more that I didn’t have time to dive into!

Blue Harbor Resort’s Taste of Sheboygan event features a couple of the restaurants listed under my bucket list, and Blue Harbor has created a Taste of Sheboygan Cookbook with local recipes that have been passed down generations, represent a quintessential Sheboygan dish, or maybe even come from some of your favorite vendors and restaurants!

To buy and access the official Taste of Sheboygan Cookbook, click here. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Sheboygan County Food Bank, whose mission is to increase food stability within the county.

The Bucket List:

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