Order up a classic dining experience

There’s no dining experience more classic that a Wisconsin supper club. Time stands still in these lively roadside establishments that serve up delicious food in a cozy atmosphere. Many have a history as rich as the desserts—these establishments began appearing in the 1920s, and many hold stories of gangsters, moonshine and lumber barons. Hungry for more? Here are three best bets for historic Wisconsin supper clubs.

Where to go: Marshfield

Where to eat: Vintage House

In this charming central Wisconsin community, there’s a restaurant that used to be a favorite of gangsters like Al Capone and John Dillinger. The gangsters, moonshine and molls are long gone, but people are still making evening runs to the Vintage. Located on the south side of Marshfield, this classic restaurant offers a full dinner menu. Steak lovers should order the Vintage New York Steak—it’s a well-aged, center-cut steak that’s grilled to perfection and topped with sautéed mushrooms.

Where to go: Boulder Junction

Where to eat: The Guide’s Inn

There are two words that explain why food lovers flock to The Guide’s Inn, located in beautiful Boulder Junction: Jimmy Dean. With a personality that matches his vibrant flavors, Jimmy has been serving up exceptional dishes at The Guide’s Inn since 1984. The restaurant has an even longer history—in the 1920s, there was a building on site that stored the moonshine that fueled early lumberjacks. Northwoods vacationers today are more likely to enjoy something that goes down a little easier, like a hand-muddled old fashioned. It’s the perfect accompaniment to Jimmy’s pan-fried walleye.

Where to go: Sayner-Star Lake

Where to eat: Hintz’s North Star Lodge

Travel back to another era in a beautiful lodge that dates back to 1894. The lodge was once a home and retreat for railroad and lumber company officials and guests. Owner Bill Hintz is a talented chef who serves up excellent stuffed walleye, roasted duck and black angus ribeye. The restaurant has photos and other antique touches that will take you back to the earliest days of Northwoods vacations. Enjoy the same beautiful sunset views of Star Lake that drew people here a century ago.

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