The Wisconsin Dells is recognized as the “water park capital” of the world. It has a great reputation as a place for fun. Yet, for fine and healthy dining, not so much.
Broadway in downtown Dells is an epicenter of souvenir shops, antique stores, fast food joints, and popular national chain restaurants. Folks who need to control their cholesterol intake, salt intake and red meat consumption, stay away. Eating out can be a challenge in the Dells, but it’s not impossible.
The Cheese Factory Restaurant
Wisconsin’s most well-regarded vegetarian and vegan restaurant is The Cheese Factory Restaurant. Located at 521 Wisconsin Dells Parkway South, the site was a former cheese factory that inspired the restaurant’s name. Locals claim it is the best in Wisconsin, and in 2010, the eatery was featured in Rachel Ray Magazine.
The Cheese Factory is reminiscent of a diner from the mid 1900s and has a vintage soda fountain that still makes milkshakes, root beer floats and phosphates while oldies rock ‘n’ roll plays in the background.
Photo by Simon Doggett via Wikimedia Commons
Tourists with a comfort food craving will be disappointed to find a menu vacant of macaroni and cheese or cheeseburgers. Expect a wide variety of vegetarian dishes and grilled cheese for kids made with Wisconsin’s most famous product as the star ingredient. What else will make your mouth water? Vegan Pizzettas are Italian wood fired and all natural with hand-pulled crusts. Dig into Sicilian, Three Cheese or Mediterranean pizzas or treat yourself to savory pasta dishes like Mushroom Stroganoff or Righteous Ravioli.
photo by Bruce Clay, Inc via Flickr
For a healthy lunch, order the Grilled Veggie Boat. You’ll bite into delicious multi-grain toasted flatbread with grilled broccoli, onions, red pepper, marinated tofu, smoked almonds, and Romesco sauce. While the almonds add a satisfying crunch, the Romesco sauce adds just the right amount of heat. A little bit of seasoning creates tofu perfection. And the only alcohol you’ll find here is in their beer cheese soup.
Meals average between $5 and $15. Visit The Cheese Factory Restaurant for more information.
The High Rock Cafe
The High Rock Cafe at 232 Broadway is right in the middle of chaotic downtown Dells. It’s a favorite of locals, and tourists who make the effort to find the High Rock will not be disappointed. The atmosphere is relaxed for this lunch and dinner spot that opens at 11 a.m. every day. The menu features American dishes that includes appetizers, soups, unique salads and sandwiches, and pasta. Leave room for the outstanding homemade desserts. The food here is healthy, locally sourced, sustainable, and prepared creatively. Come to the High Rock Cafe to enjoy excellent healthy food that’s innovatively served in a contemporary, kid-friendly dining room.
Photo by ralphunden via Flickr
Meals average between $8 and $18. Visit the High Rock Cafe for more information.