Located just 90 minutes north of Chicago and an hour south of Milwaukee, Lake Geneva is an idyllic resort town in Wisconsin. It’s been a popular destination for many years, drawing visitors in with its rustic charm and scenic waterfront setting. They’ve got everything from spas to ski slopes, but no matter how you vacation, you’re sure to work up an appetite.
People are certainly passionate about where and what they eat here, as is evident by their impressive assortment of dining destinations. This hotspot is considered a mecca for finding the tastiest meals in the Midwest. It’s a diverse culinary scene, from upscale steak houses to low-key fish shops. Below are all the best restaurants in Lake Geneva to dig into.
1. Egg Harbor Cafe
Set just a half block from the beach, Egg Harbor Cafe is an adorable spot specializing in gourmet fares. They serve breakfast, lunch, and everyone’s favorite morning feast, brunch. It began with one little outpost in 1985 and has grown to have 20 locations across three states. Don’t worry, it won’t feel like a typical chain so much as a cozy cafe. It’s a warm and friendly country setting where the food feels all home cooked with love.
Unusual egg dishes, from frittatas to skillets to crepes, grace the eclectic menu here. The dishes vary from traditional, like Biscuits and Gravy, to more creative, such as the Smoked Salmon Benedict. The ingredients are all carefully sourced and organic. Premium fair trade coffee from small family farms and freshly squeezed juices pair perfectly with any order. There are plenty of gluten-free options as well.
- Address: 827 W Main St, Lake Geneva
2. The Next Door Pub
The Next Door Pub is considered to be the best pizzeria in Lake Geneva. It’s home to the original stone hearth-fired pies and has been proudly serving the hungry masses here since 1973. Everything is made from scratch, and the setting is relaxed and homey. Getting a cheesy slice from here has become a beloved tradition in the area.
They offer all the typical pub starters, like giant pretzels or a beer battered cheese curds. You can also build your own pasta bowl! Customize your dish by choosing the type of pasta, the sauce, the meat, and the topping for endlessly tasty combos. There’s a whole gluten-free menu as well. Try one of the more creative pies like the famous Wisconsin Mac and Cheese Pizza or the Cheeseburger in Paradise Pizza. The specialty bloody marys are to die for too.
- Address: 411 Interchange N, Lake Geneva
Oakfire is another pizza joint making artisan and authentic Italian cuisine. It’s set inside an old remodeled home that was built back in the 1890s. Many of the seats look out over Lake Geneva, so you can get dinner with a view that’s just as good. The pies are made in the traditional Neapolitan style. Each one is wood-fired at 1,000 degrees in imported Stefano Ferrara ovens.
Everything is made from scratch with locally sourced Italian ingredients. I recommend you get a cheesy start to the meal as well by ordering the Burrata or the Deep Fried Ravioli. Gluten-free crust is available for any pizza. Choose between a Pizza Rossa or a Pizza Bianca topped with the finest meats, cheeses, herbs, or veggies.
- Address: 831 Wrigley Dr, Lake Geneva
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4. Baker House Restaurant & Lounge
Baker House Restaurant and Lounge is a historic hotel and eatery in Lake Geneva. It was originally constructed in 1885 as a Victorian-style summer residence. It has since been preserved and converted into a mecca of vintage glamour and old-school decadence. Just entering the elaborate grounds of the mansion feels like an escape to the Gilded Age. The lakefront garden offers sweeping panoramas from every angle.
They offer dinner and Sunday brunch service, which comes at a set and reasonable price that includes unlimited mimosas. Every Friday, it’s jazz night. The staff dons 1920’s outfits, and there aren’t any additional cover charges. The menu is always changing, but if you get the chance, try the Fondue and always save some room for dessert.
- Address: 327 Wrigley Dr, Lake Geneva
5. Pier 290
If you are looking for one of the best restaurants in Lake Geneva with lakefront dining and live entertainment, head to Pier 290. On our last visit, we enjoyed the live music while and, of course, a tasty meal. It’s also a great place to grab a drink on their sandy beach. They have live music every day of the week in the summer and twice a day on the weekends.
The menu has a ton of great seafood options, we suggest the pan-fried walleye, but if you aren’t a fish lover, there are tons of other options too. Here are a few other menu items that we suggest: spinach artichoke dip to start, parmesan crusted chicken, and BBQ ribs,
They also offer brunch on the weekends, and we suggest making reservations online. If they are busy, check out these other Lake Geneva breakfast spots.
- 1 Liechty Drive, Williams Bay
Simple is more than just a local cafe. It’s also a market and bakery where everything is made fresh and sourced from local farmers right in Lake Geneva’s backyard. It’s a space for the community by the community where every bite feels both conscious and intentional. They serve a delicious breakfast with plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes.
The Seasonal Harvest Frittata and the Turkey Brussel Sprout Hash are some of my favorite ways to start the day, along with a Colectivo coffee, of course. After 11:00 am, lunch is available. There are a few fusion sandwiches that are super fun and flavorful, like the Kimchi Rueben. They also offer daily muffin and danish flavors, a weekly artisan bread, and a different pastry special each month, like savory scones, that are easy to grab on the go or enjoy in the brightly colored space.
- Address: 525 Broad St, Lake Geneva
7. Popeye’s on Lake Geneva
Not to be confused with the fast food chain, Popeye’s is a legendary outpost in Lake Geneva. They’ve been a staple for great food here since 1972. It’s widely considered a Midwestern icon and a must-visit both for its breathtaking vistas and impressive cuisine.
As far as lakefront dining goes, this family-owned operation is one of the best around. It’s a rotisserie restaurant serving freshly fire-roasted chicken that’s tender and packed with a smoky flavor.
Island-inspired cocktails and ice-cold beers are on deck to complete the vacation vibe. You can even order their original fried cheese curds by the pound! Try the Pulled Chicken Sandwich or the Ultimate Sampler to see what the cuisine is all about here.
- Address: 811 Wrigley Dr, Lake Geneva
8. Mars Resort Restaurant & Bar
Mars Resort Restaurant and Bar is a classic Wisconsin supper club. They’re open seven days a week and offer some of the most spectacular waterfront views from their large picturesque patio. The best part, the bar opens early and closes late on the weekends.
They often host live local music, which adds to the lively atmosphere. Though it’s undergone a few name changes, it’s the same beach resort eatery that’s been beloved since its opening in 1923.
Their claim to fame is serving the best barbecue ribs around. They’re also known for having a fish fry every Wednesday and Sunday with wild-caught cod, walleye, lake perch, and bluegill. I recommend going for dinner so that you can watch the stunning sunset from here. The Old Fashioned is their signature cocktail, though there are a few draft beers and wines to enjoy as well.
- Address: W4098 S Shore Dr, Lake Geneva
9. Tuscan Tavern & Grill
Tuscan Tavern and Grill serves up top-quality steaks and fresh seafood dishes. It’s a great place to go if you have any dietary restrictions, as they are super accommodating, and there’s even an entirely gluten-free menu.
It’s a warm and rustic atmosphere that feels refined and is full of old-school charm. From the bar, there’s an amazing array of beverages, from fine wines to specialty cocktails.
Whether you order something from the land or from the sea, it’s all artfully prepared with care. They are open for lunch and dinner service and offer gourmet pizzas and pasta as well. Go for the Pan Seared Scallops or the Beef Tenderloin Filet. It’s best to make a reservation in advance here.
- Address: 430 Broad St, Lake Geneva
10. Geneva ChopHouse
For the finest cuts of steak and the most extensive wine list around, head to Geneva Chophouse. It’s part of the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, so it can be a great way to really relax and treat yourself to some therapeutic treatments before chowing down here. This upscale space also has outdoor seating under a covered pergola with beautiful panoramas of the natural surroundings.
You’ll find a lot of the classic fine dining dishes here, like wagyu tartar and fresh oysters. The Seafood Tower is a thing of beauty and well worth the price tag too. The steaks are all hand-selected, custom seasoned, and seared to perfection on an open hearth grill. You can even deck out your choice of prime cuts with fancy toppings like foie gras, chimichurri, or sauteed shrimp.
- Address: 7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva
11. Joni’s Diner
Joni’s Diner is a legendary staple for dining out in Lake Geneva. They serve classic American comfort fare that is super affordable. They’re also said to have the absolute best breakfast in town, and it’s easy to see why.
The L-shaped building was first constructed in 1954, and it still possesses that vintage old-timer atmosphere that makes diners so fun today. You can grab a swivel stool at the counter or cozy up in one of their booths.
They’ve got sweet options that come fresh off the griddle, along with more savory specialties like the Homemade Corned Beef Hash or the Garden Pesto Omelet. There are lunch dishes later in the day as well, mostly burgers and sandwiches. Do yourself a favor and order some poutine on the side when here.
- Address: 111 S Wells St, Lake Geneva