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Located an hour north of Milwaukee, Elkhart Lake offers crystal clear waters, plenty to do and a variety of culinary experiences. Whether you’re visiting with your family, significant other or on a girlfriend getaway, the Elkhart Lake restaurants have you covered.
Disclosure: All or part of this trip was provided free or at a reduced cost for review purposes, but the opinions are solely that of the writer.
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin may be a small town, but it is bursting with flavor. Each of the three resorts on the lake has more than one restaurant, and there are several others either in or just outside of town that have a great deal to offer as well.
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I recently visited Elkhart Lake and had the opportunity to eat at many of the local spots. I am not always the most adventurous of eaters, but I enjoy the chance to try new dishes whenever I can. Elkhart Lake certainly did not disappoint!
There is only one chain/fast food restaurant in Elkhart Lake (Subway). And while it certainly fills a need for quick takeout, you’ll have a chance to sit and relax and enjoy the food and the ambiance at any of these other local restaurants.
Please note: In 2021, many of the Elkhart Lake restaurants are open with limited hours and have had difficulty hiring and retaining enough staff. They ask that you please be patient and are doing their very best to provide the best service as possible.
Elkhart Lake Restaurants at The Osthoff Resort
Location: 101 Osthoff Ave, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020
The Osthoff Resort is the largest resort on Elkhart Lake. Over the past year, they have taken the opportunity to renovate and revamp their restaurants, with completely new design and menus.
Concourse Restaurant & Lounge
Concourse offers both indoor and outside lunch and dinner dining, along with a private dining room. We enjoyed some hors d’oeuvres inside but dined outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather and view of their grounds and Elkhart Lake.
In Wisconsin it’s almost a requirement to eat cheese, right? And the Wisconsin cheese board at Concourse provides local cheeses to sample. I have to admit that I am not the biggest cheese fan (shhh!) but the others in my group certainly enjoyed this spread. My favorite shareable on the menu is the spinach and artichoke flatbread.
For dinner, I ordered the petite salmon from their light menu. The salmon was amazing and I loved the asparagus served with it. It was a wonderful meal that definitely fit the ‘light’ category. Next time, I think I would go for the blackened chicken, which was enjoyed by another in our group and definitely made my mouth water. Don’t miss out on their delectable desserts either – the crème brûlée was soooo good!
Concourse does offer a kids’ menu that would work for even my picky eaters. Along with buttered noodles, grilled cheese and mac & cheese, there are several other options. Each kids’ meal comes with a side of fries, fruit or applesauce.
Otto’s is a more casual dining option that also has both indoor and outdoor dining options. We enjoyed breakfast here and it did not disappoint. I ordered The Farmhouse, which gave me the basics of eggs, bacon, seasoned potatoes and toast. The portions were hearty and there was nothing basic about the taste.
I also tried their classic Eggs Benedict, which was also delicious. If you want to try a German classic egg casserole, order the hoppel poppel, which is as much fun to eat as it is to say.
Otto’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have a kid’s menu with similar offerings as Concourse, plus a breakfast menu as well.
The Elk Room and Osthoff Lake Deck
I wish I had taken the opportunity to visit The Elk Room, if for nothing else than what I heard is a spectacular view of Elkhart Lake from their patio. You can enjoy your coffee, cocktail or meal either outside or indoors, or sit at the bar for your favorite game or other sports event.
The Lake Deck was not yet open for the season when I visited, but offers outdoor dining right on the lakeshore overlooking The Osthoff’s private beach.
Elkhart Lake Restaurants at Siebken’s Resort
Location: 284 S Lake St, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020
Siebken’s Resort is under new ownership and is in the process of rebranding their former Main Dining Room as P.A.M.’s restaurant. They were just about to open for the season when we visited and in the process of training kitchen and wait staff.
P.A.M.’s (former Main Dining Room)
P.A.M.’s is only open for dinner on the weekends, but their new chef has prepared a gourmet menu that would fit well in a five-star restaurant in a big city. I enjoyed their grilled salmon with a side of roasted broccolini (minus the Calabrian chili). The food was delicious, but to be honest, I had to look up some of the words on their menu. I wasn’t familiar with Marcona almonds or saba (it’s a fermented grape reduction, btw).
Among our group, the smashed pea and mint bruschetta was a popular small plate option, as was the Spanish octopus.
There is a small kids’ menu at P.A.M.’s with the options either of chicken, buttered pasta or grilled broccolini.
TravelingMom Tip: This is the only restaurant in Elkhart Lake that offers screened-in dining outdoors, along with their indoor dining room. We visited early in the season, but I can imagine that the screened in patio will be in high demand come hotter (and buggier) weather.
I had the chance to tour the Stop-Inn Tavern at Siebken’s Resort, but we didn’t eat there. The atmosphere is a complete homage to Elkhart Lake’s history of auto racing and I’m told that this is a popular stop for folks on the racing circuit who come through town.
Enjoy a drink at their bar, or order from the limited menu. The Stop-Inn doesn’t have their own kitchen, but run food items over from P.A.M.’s just next door. They do provide both indoor and outdoor seating, plus live music every Wednesday evening during the summer months.
This cute little gelato shop wasn’t yet open for the season when I visited, but they offer soft drinks, coffee and some limited food items as well as locally-made gelato. Sissy’s is a walk-up option but you can sit outdoors to enjoy your treat on Siebken’s patio or take it to go. They are open Thursdays through Sundays from 11am to 9pm.
Elkhart Lake Restaurants at the Shore Club
Location: 276 Victorian Village Dr, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020
The Shore Club (formerly Victorian Village) is the third resort located on Elkhart Lake. They have an expansive lawn to enjoy, as well as a private beach.
The Cottonwood Social
Cottonwood Social is the closest restaurant to the lake, with wonderful views from their indoor seating as well as their outdoor patio. They also provide a fireplace along with cushy seating so you can relax and enjoy a beverage, even on cooler or rainy days.
It rained on our visit, so we ate indoors for both breakfast and dinner. The food here is simple but hearty – and delicious. We tried a variety of selections and even though I felt like I couldn’t manage another bite, I just couldn’t stop eating.
Their appetizers (called Socialbles) were a huge hit, especially the Sheboygan beer cheese dip, which comes with the largest soft pretzel I’ve ever seen. My kids would have gone nuts just over that! The chilled seafood platter was also delicious, but note that the offerings on this one can change depending on what’s fresh that day.
The hearth-baked pizza was amazing. I’m not usually a fan of many toppings, but their “Social Gathering” provided a great mix of both meats and veggies. They do have a children’s menu with Uncrustables, chicken fingers or hot dogs. Kid’s meals come with juice or milk and side of fries or fresh fruit.
The popular drink here is the Old Fashioned, with four different types on the drink menu. They also offer wine, mixed drinks and draft beers. And remind you to please drink, “Wisconsinbly”.
Tiki Bar & Lounge
Yes, there is a Tiki bar in Elkhart Lake! Their new menu offers light fare such as salads, sandwiches and more. The Tiki Bar also has free live music over the weekends and plenty of beautiful views of the lake. They’re open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day and weekends through September.
Lake Street Cafe
Location: 21 S Lake St, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020
Along with the resort restaurants, there are several other options in town. One of these is the Lake Street Cafe, which offers both a more formal style dining room as well as a cozy lounge with local touches. Or if the weather is nice, you can eat outside in their large side yard as we did.
We were provided with a tasting menu of items that the restaurant is considering adding to their regular menu. I’m told that the salad we tried, with baby red and yellow beets, baby carrots, arugula and brown butter dressing will definitely be added. The dishes we tried included a risotto and pan-seared lamb chop. I would be happy ordering either of those if added to the menu in the future.
Although we didn’t try their wood fired pizzas, they look delicious. The Lake Street Cafe’s children’s menu has a variety of kids’ classics like peanut butter and jelly, hot dogs and cheese pizza. And yes, my picky eaters would be totally happy with those. The kid’s menu items come with choice of chips, fruit, fries or veggies.
Quit Qui Oc
Location: 500 Quit Qui Oc Ln, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020
Although the Quit Qui Oc is a golf club, their restaurant is also open to the public for lunch daily. They are also open for a Friday Fish Fry dinner, Rib Night once a month and a Sunday brunch. The bar is open daily as well.
You enjoy their excellent food either in their dining room inside, or weather permitting, you can dine on their outdoor patio and enjoy views of the golf course. Their menu offers a variety of American favorites such as their Weez Burger and BLT. The Twisted Turkey Club is a popular choice, as is the mixed appetizer basket. One thing to note with the basket is that the items definitely are ‘mixed’, and not separated on the plate. I enjoyed their Stacked Turkey sandwich and fries.
The Quit Qui Oc name pays homage to the area’s Native American roots and is pronounced “Quit Key-Oc”. The golf course has 27 holes along with driving ranges and practice putting greens. They also offer lessons, so it’s a fun activity for the whole family. The restaurant’s kid’s menu offers the basics – hot dogs, grilled cheese and chicken options, with an expanded offering for their Friday Fish Fry.
Route 67 Saloon
Location: 191 Lincoln Street, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020
Located on Highway 67 just outside of downtown Elkhart Lake, the Route 67 Saloon reflects the area’s history of racing and automobiles. The sports bar is open every night and the kitchen offers lunch (Wed-Sun only) and dinner (every day). You can eat indoors or outside on their large patio.
We ordered their hot pretzels as a starter, and they were absolutely delicious. The pretzels come with both cheese and mustard sauces for dipping. Another popular choice is the cheese curds, pretty much a given on any Wisconsin menu. Others in our group enjoyed the pulled pork nachos, which looked yummy as well.
For lunch, I had their pulled pork sandwich, which was one of the best I’ve ever had. Their burgers are a popular choice as well. Many of their menu items are vegan and/or gluten free. The Route 67 Saloon does have a kid’s menu with grilled cheese, chicken tenders and buttered noodles.
Off The Rail Cafe and SwitchGear Brewing Co.
Location: 44 Gottfried St, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020
Off The Rail and the Switchgear Brewery occupy opposite ends of the historic Feed Mill in downtown Elkhart Lake. I did not have the opportunity to visit the brewery on my trip, but several others in our group did and they enjoyed the local brews.
I did stop into Off The Rail on my last morning in town. This cafe and coffee shop is open for breakfast and lunch and provides quick menu items, homemade baked goods, coffees, teas, wine and beer. They offer indoor and outdoor seating and had a steady stream of customers as I sat and enjoyed my bagel and cookie.
The cafe’s decor is quirky and fun and the food was excellent. I’m not a coffee drinker, but judging by the number of folks ordering coffee drinks, it’s definitely a popular choice.
Gessert’s Ice Cream
Location: 99 S Lake St, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020
Gessert’s was only open limited hours when I visited Elkhart Lake (just before the start of the regular summer season). Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to try out their hand dipped ice cream and other sweet treats, but I look forward to checking them out on a return trip someday.
Along with ice cream, this family-owned restaurant (open since 1922!) offers handmade fudge and other candies.
Other Elkhart Lake Restaurants:
- The Paddock Club, located at 61 S Lake St.
- Throwback Supper Club, located at 91 S Lincoln St.
- All Season’s Family Restaurant, located at 510 E Rhine St.
- Three Guys and a Grill, located at W7039 Co Rd S R.
For more information about Elkhart Lake, check out their website or call 1-877-355-4278.