Sample the flavors of the Great River Road

Discover the flavors of America along the Great River Road, which follows the Mississippi River from Minnesota all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. From wineries nestled among scenic bluffs to classic Southern cooking, you’ll find something for every palate.

Scroll down to see some of our fans’ favorite flavors of the Great River Road.

You can also share your favorite flavors of the Great River Road* here or on Instagram with the hashtag #GRRFlavors (be sure to tag us @greatriverroad).

Enter to win $500 in the Flavors of the Great River Road Giveaway!

*Please submit only flavors recommendations along the Great River Road 

Flavor:

Bloedow Bakery

By: Visit Winona

Winona’s hometown bakery since 1924 featuring original recipes. Famous for doughnuts, rolls, breads. Try the maple long john, with or without bacon! Step inside and step back in time to handmade goodness.

http://www.bloedows.com/

Flavor:

Lovechild Restaurant

By: Explore La Crosse

Lovechild Restaurant in La Crosse is a 100-seat restaurant and bar offering uncomplicated food with intriguing ingredients and big flavors – locally sourced and seasonally driven. Lovechild is a modern mashup of influences and passions. It’a mix of accumulated wisdom, global forays and a very specific set of gifts and values.

http://lovechildrestaurant.com/

Flavor:

My favorite stop

By: Ben

One of my favorite breweries in Wisconsin is the Potosi Brewery. Great beer + they have a restaurant with decent food. The museum is also worth a visit. Some of the old advertising really took me back.

Flavor:

Ice Cream by the River

By: Karrie Johnson

We love The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor in La Crosse, Wisconsin! Delicious ice cream plus tons of old fashioned candy. Grab a cone and take the short walk down to Riverside Park. Find a spot on a park bench and watch the sunset. A perfect way to end the day.

Flavor:

PromiseLand Winery

By: PTK

Oh what a sweet and unique venue with some absolutely fantastic wines! Whether red or white, dry or sweet you can’t go wrong here! Loved tasting several different “flavors”, hearing the story of the winery, perusing the little shops inside and most of all meeting some awesome Iowans! 2 Favorites: Kid Sister and Reminisce !

PromiseLand Winery website

Flavor:

The Root Note

By: Explore La Crosse

The Root Note provides locally sourced, organic options to the La Crosse area. Known for their coffee, crepes, and entertainment stage, The Root Note offers a unique menu and atmosphere.

https://therootnotewi.com/

Flavor:

Fantastic service and food

By: Matt

Grace Meat + Three is a new restaurant in St.Louis. My wife and I decided to check it out and we’ll definitely be back. Loved the food, great pulled pork and they offer good deals/specials during the week. The staff was really friendly and the owner even checked in to see how the meal was.

Flavor:

Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery

By: Stockholm WI, Artfully Authentic

This place started as a charming apple orchard, and it still is… but its the cider that brings people from around the world. This is some serious hard cider. The Honeycrisp hard is a major favorite.. crisp, sweet and delish. But it can get very interesting with “Bitter Love”, “Scrumpy” & “Kingston Black” to name just a few of the cadre of delicious they offer. Lots of great wines and treats too!

www.maidenrockappleswinerycidery.com/

Flavor:

Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival

By: Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce

Ellsworth’s Cheese Curd Festival celebrates our town’s designation as the Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin! It’s our very own Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery that creates the tasty white morsels, which have earned worldwide acclaim.

Taking place on June 22 and June 23, it’s part food and beer festival, part music event. Several guided tasting experiences offer the opportunity to learn and engage with the crafters, cooks and makers of the festival’s starring foods: Cheese, craft beer, wine, hard ciders, real dairy ice-cream and authentic Sconnie BBQ. All with a heaping helping of music on the side.

Insider Tip: Wear your stretchy pants! You’ll want to take in the wide variety of creative cheese curd dishes, fresh hand-battered, deep-fried cheese curds and dipping sauces, and an exclusive top-secret dessert curd that rivals the mini donut!

More details: https://www.cheesecurdfestival.com/

Flavor:

Lost Island Wine

By: Explore La Crosse

Lost Island Wine & Skeleton Crew Brew is a small family owned winery and craft brewery in Onalaska, Wisconsin. They produce over 40 different flavors of wine and craft brews! You are invited to stop in and taste their creations, as there is truly something for everyone. Since the company opened its doors in 2012, every customer is treated like they were a part of the Island family. Stop in, have a little taste, grab a bottle, and GET LOST!

Flavor:

Onalaska Farmers Market

By: Explore La Crosse

Farm-fresh goodness awaits you at Onalaska area’s excellent farmers markets. Meet local growers and sample the area’s incredible diversity of fruits, vegetables, artisan cheese, honey, herbs, flowers, and an ever-changing array of other seasonal products.

When: Sundays, 8:00AM – 1:00PM
Season: First Sun. in June to last Sun. in October
Where: Festival Foods Onalaska, Crossing Meadows Shopping Center, 1260 Crossing Meadows Dr., Onalaska

Flavor:

The Crow

By: Explore La Crosse

The Crow is an American Gastropub And Bourbon Bar. Voted 2015’s Best New Restaurant in La Crosse, they earn their reputation through their commitment to excellent food, rare and unique spirits, quality craft beer and good ol’ Wisconsin hospitality.

Located downtown La Crosse, the restaurant features over a dozen different specialty and gourmet burgers that are made fresh to order, and the area’s largest bourbon selection and specialty bourbon cocktails. They have a large and rotating craft beer selection with some of Wisconsin’s finest.

www.theoldcrow.com

Flavor:

A local favorite: The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor

By: Anna

An authentic 1930s soda fountain and confectionery, The Pearl offers great homemade ice cream, sweets, and a full coffee bar. The fresh waffle cones are a must! Over 20 flavors of ice cream are available, so there’s something for everyone! I would definitely recommend the Snappin’ Turtle!

Flavor:

Pearl Street Brewery

By: Explore La Crosse

Brewing beers in La Crosse since 1999, Pearl Street Brewery is a La Crosse staple. Brewery tours are available on Fridays and Saturdays. Visit the Tasting Room for a craft beer “exbeerience” you will not find anywhere else! The Tasting Room is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 4-8pm. Friday 3-10pm. Saturday 12-7pm. They offer 16 beers on tap, sampler flights, growler fills and 6-packs to go, brewery tours and live music on the weekends.

Top annual beers include Downtown Brown, Linalool, Java Lava, and Me Myself & IPA. Seasonal favorites are: Smokin’ Hemp Porter, Dankenstein, 17UP Gose, Appleweizen, and Breakfast Beer. Look for their Barrel-Aged Series, Sour Gose Series, and Other Seasonal Limited Releases throughout the year.

Flavor:

The Comet Pub Burger

By: Anker Inn Smokehouse

1/3 lb beef patty with bacon, deep fried onion straws, A-1 sauce and 4 pepper mayo with your choice of cheese served on a toasted brioche or pretzel bun.
It’s been nominated for 2018’s best burger in WI.

Flavor:

HILLSIDE FISH HOUSE

By: Katherine Goodman

Pan-fried walleye is a favorite on the menu of the Hillside Fish House in Marshland WI, located on the Wisconsin Great River Road.

Built in 1855 and rebuilt in 1900, the Marshland House Railroad Junction Hotel owned by the Herek family traded goods with the local Winnebago tribe for walleye and other game. Today they still serve fresh walleye!

With only three owners in its history, the Hillside Fish House focuses on seafood but also offers steak and pasta. This Wisconsin supper club provides the obligatory relish tray, great cheese bread and Old-Fashion cocktails. Reservations are encouraged.

Flavor:

The Freight House Restaurant

By: Explore La Crosse

“La Crosse’s must visit.”

The Freight House Restaurant is La Crosse’s premier steak and seafood restaurant, known for it’s fabulous staff, great food, and beautiful atmosphere! They offer live entertainment Friday through Saturday and three private banquet rooms.

http://www.freighthouserestaurant.com/

Flavor:

Incredible atmosphere

By: Meghan B

The Sample Room is a super cool eatery in historic Minneapolis. It’s perfect place to get a taste of locally produced food in the form of delicious, new-American cuisine while enjoying the ambience of the old brick building. The menu offers familiar dishes with a modern twist and a dash of local flavor. Order anything on the menu – you really can’t go wrong!

Flavor:

Piggy’s Restaurant & Blues Lounge

By: Explore La Crosse

Piggy’s Restaurant and Blues Lounge is nationally famous for BBQ baby back ribs, the America’s Cut Pork Chop, hickory-smoked prime rib and exclusively cut and aged USDA Prime steaks. A hardwood smoker on property is always stoked with hickory and Minnesota applewood from the surrounding hills and bluffs. Prime Rib, Pork Back Ribs, Pork Chops, Swordfish and Chicken are a few of the menu entrees that are smoked to perfection. Recently, Piggy’s was recognized by Wine Spectator magazine for its extensive wine cellar. It is a must!

http://www.piggys.com/

Flavor:

The Roadhouse

By: kathy meyer

nestled along the bluffs on the Mississippi River near Desoto Wisconsin, The Great River Roadhouse resataurant has the most delicious homemade pizzas !

Flavor:

Pizza On The Farm

By: Katherine Goodman

In the Midwest, we fully take advantage of our summer season because sometimes the winters can just feel long. Come and relax at Suncrest Gardens Farm in Yeager Valley and experience their farm while enjoying Pizza On The Farm on Friday and Saturday evenings.

During the summer, Suncrest Gardens regularly hosts pizza nights on the farm. Live music is scheduled to play several Friday evenings, weather permitting, in their outdoor setting.

The casual on-farm dining experience offers a menu featuring wood-fired pizzas (the crowd favorite) and other seasonal creations such as farm burgers, gyros, grilled kabobs, and featured vegetarian dishes. Choose from a variety of appetizers, side dishes, and desserts to satisfy your appetite during your evening at the farm.

A majority of ingredients come from their farm fields. Naturally raised vegetables, meats, and fruits are staples of their on-farm restaurant. The farmers that sow the seeds and tend the animals utilize the harvest to inspire the menu and prepare simple, wholesome food.

Visit with friends, check out the farm animals, simply slow down and enjoy life at a slower pace. The farm is a family friendly place where kids can explore the playground, spill some food, and run around while out to eat. Play a yard game, enjoy some live music, and experience the splendor of eating out on the farm.

Flavor:

Amazing Thai food on the Great River Road!

By: Marie L

Brooklyn Park, MN, just north of the Twin Cities, is known for being a cultural hub for delicious food you typically wouldn’t find in area. Lemongrass Thai is just a mile from the river. Randomly in a strip mall but food is amazing!

Flavor:

The Tomato Place

By: Jim H Sherman III

Best BLT in the country…
A unique dining experience. A wide range menu of
American food. A great produce stand and a freezer full of fruit smoothies (select one and its blended for you). It should be a stop on your trip along the Mississippi River and Great River Road or when your in the Vicksburg, MS area.

Web site: thetomatoplace.com

3229 Hwy 61 South, Vicksburg, MS 30180

Flavor:

Fountain City Brewing Company — Monarch Public House

By: Katherine Goodman

Looking for a local brew? Check out the Beer Flight tasting from the Fountain City Brewing Company. Resurrected from 5 pre-prohibition recipes that were brewed by Fountain Brew from 1856 to 1965 in Fountain City WI, currently brewed in Wisconsin.

You can only find these beers at the legendary Monarch Tavern (Monarch Public House) in Fountain City, the oldest continually operating server in the state. Make sure you don’t miss the original ornate, hand-tooled oak back bar and matching front bar with carved posts and an intact brass-trimmed wooden top rail. The bar remained open during Prohibition as a soda parlor before it started serving alcohol again in 1933.

FOUNTAIN CITY BREWING CO BEERS ON TAP
Original Recipe Fountain Brew Gold Lager
Crystal Springs Nitro Stout
John Robert Porter
Harrington’s Irish Red Ale
Prairie Moon Red Lager
Eagle Valley Harvest Gold

Flavor:

Pickerman’s Soups & Sandwiches

By: Explore La Crosse

Pickerman’s Soups & Sandwiches is located in downtown La Crosse. Their signature bread is baked fresh every day from a secret family recipe. They use the finest meats, savory cheeses and fresh, crunchy vegetables to create their sandwiches. They also have a wide selection of delicious soups. Offering gourmet soups, unique salads and oven-fresh cookies, its the superior taste found only at Pickerman’s. Beer and wine also available.

http://www.lacrossepickermans.com

Flavor:

DaBeet’s Bistro

By: Deb Hueser

Made from scratch, Farm-to-table French Italian cuisine in Historic Downtown Muscatine! Every dish is savory. Just when I almost make it eating my way through the menu (I try to go as often as possible!), there is a special that is just as fabulous as everything else!

www.dabeetsbistro.com

Flavor:

Danzinger Vineyard

By: Katherine Goodman

Danzinger Vineyard is perched atop the Alma Bluff in Buffalo County and offers award winning wines with a million dollar view overlooking the historic town of Alma, Wisconsin and the Mississippi River. Enjoy their tasting room, enclosed banquet room, outdoor patio or pavilion. Live music offered most Saturdays.

Named Wisconsin Winery of the Year in 2013, Danzinger Vineyard’s “vine to bottle” wines are made from their own grapes grown over 18 acres. They make their own wine on site and their estate-bottled wines have won numerous awards. Grapes used are Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, Frontenac Blanc, St Pepin, La Crescent, La Crosse, Brianna, St. Croix and Marquette. Fruit wines are also a favorite!

As a member of the Great River Road Wine Trail, Danzinger Vineyards participates in three wine trail events during the year: Spring Fling-New Wine Release Party in April, June Bloom Wine & Food Event in June and Holiday Harvest Wine & Food Festival in November.

Flavor:

Three Sister’s Margarita- Acapulco Bar-Grill

By: Jenna K

Have mercy! The perfect ending to a loooong Monday, meeting day, no less. Acapulco offers a bevy of authentic Mexican cuisine. Their salsa packs a punch and pairs perfectly with their Margarita menu. I had a chalupa but ate it before I thought to take a photo. Mmmmm! Satisfaction!

www.facebook.com/AcapulcoPDC/

Flavor:

Stockholm Pie & General Store. Best. Pie. Ever

By: Stockholm WI. Artfully Authentic

When USA Today says it’s legendary and a gourmet magazine said its one of the best things they ate… it might be worth a visit. But its more than the pie.. the awesome lunch menu is stellar… so much made from scratch and local here its all kinda like grandma made it kinda stuff. The whole experience is like stepping back into grandma’s house. Comfort, real and handmade. Then there is the General Store! Adorable and packed with fun, chocolate and nostalgia. A major don’t-miss in charming Stockholm.

Flavor:

Kate’s Pizza Amore

By: Explore La Crosse

Chef Kate Gerrard and her culinary team bring the classic taste of Italy to the heart of historic downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin. Start with a fantastic selection of antipasto and salads, then finish with one of our classic entrées or unique pizzas. Choose from Kate’s crafted pizza menu or create your own from a variety of our freshest ingredients. The pizza is delicious and gluten free pizza crust (and gluten free beer!) is available. Kate’s Pizza Amore features a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits. Kate’s Pizza Amore is the perfect place for happy hour, a date, or that special dinner!

Flavor:

Beignets

By: Shaina W

Touristy but worth it!! Waited for 40 minutes in the rain for beignets and coffee. 10/10 would do it again.

Flavor:

Shogun Sushi & Hibachi

By: Explore La Crosse

Shogun is an authentic Japanese steakhouse in Onalaska, WI! Open for brunch on weekends, and always offering great selections including sushi, sashimi, and hibachi menus!

Flavor:

The Mint

By: Explore La Crosse

The Mint in La Crosse is a neighborhood craft bar & eatery providing locally sourced, consciously prepared food & craft cocktails. They use the bounty of their backyard paired with multicultural culinary expertise to provide customers with a consistent rotation of delectable dishes.

https://themintwi.com/

Flavor:

Fayze’s Restaurant and Bakery

By: Explore La Crosse

Fayze’s is a local tradition!

Located right in the heart of historic downtown La Crosse, Fayze’s has created a tradition of mouthwatering recipes and flavors to suit any style. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Fayze’s Restaurant and Bakery. Experience the comfortable, casual atmosphere while catching up with friends or dining with family. Order your favorite cocktails from the full service bar.

Before you leave, check out homemade bakery treats and a variety of sourdough breads, along with their signature Talame buns!

http://www.fayzes.com/

Flavor:

Bodega Brew Pub

By: Explore La Crosse

Bodega Brew Pub was named the Best Bar in La Crosse County in 2018 and also won awards for its expansive bottled beer and tap selection. With 400 bottled beers and 20 taps, Bodega is a place to visit again and again!

https://bodegabrewpublax.com/

Flavor:

The Charmant Hotel

By: Explore La Crosse

The Charmant Hotel marks the transformation of an 1898-built Candy Factory into a culturally relevant and locally inspired hub of activity for visitors and locals alike. The property is the first independent luxury hotel in the area, and includes a restaurant with ample outdoor seating, a lounge, and a rooftop bar.

Enjoy coffee in The Parlour, handmade chocolate from the Sweets Bar, and rustic French cuisine in the restaurant!

Flavor:

Broasted Chicken

By: Katherine Goodman

Broasted chicken is a local Wisconsin favorite. Broasting is a method of cooking chicken using a pressure fryer. The technique was invented in the early 1950s by L. A. M. Phelan of Beloit, Wisconsin.

This chicken is delicious! It tastes like fried chicken, but there is no grease and it’s so tender and juicy! Broasted chicken is made using special equipment that combines deep-fat frying and pressure cooking. The chicken is marinated, covered with a special coating and cooked in the broaster. Deep-fat frying produces a crispy coating on the chicken, while the high pressure holds in the moisture and juices without allowing the fat to penetrate.

The Alma Hotel, Restaurant & Bar in Alma WI serves broasted chicken as part of their evening menu and on special every Thursday. The Waumandee House in Waumandee WI serves all-you-care-to-eat broasted chicken buffet with the fixings on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month. Including sweet corn when it’s in season.

Flavor:

Southern Europe along the Mississippi

By: Kim B.

Villa Bellezza Winery and Vineyards is a gem in Pepin, WI. Award-winning wines, authentic country Italian food, classical Mediterranean style architecture, surrounded by the vineyards and views of the river valley–I felt as though I was in another world! Flavor… This place has it all!

Flavor:

Sammy’s Pizza

By: Jonnie Daly

Started in Hibbing MN in the 50s Sammy’s is an all star favorite of ours and multitudes of visitors to our beautiful state. One of the first places the kids want to go when they come home. We frequent the one in Grand Rapids MN the most.
The Crew and the Italian sausage and mushroom are two of our best picks.

https://sammyspizzagrandrapids.com/

Flavor:

La Crosse’s Cameron Park Farmers Market

By: Explore La Crosse

La Crosse’s only farmer-run market and the region’s only high-end sustainable agriculture and arts market serving the community with local meats, vegetables, fruits, cheeses, breads, crafts, and more. Also music, art, and drama performers. New vendors are always welcome to join, as are local businesses, and community supporters.When: Fridays, 4:00PM – dusk; Saturdays 8AM – 1PM

Season: First Fri. in May to last Fri. in October; Second Sat. in May to last Sat. in October
Where: Cameron Park, downtown La Crosse
More information: (608) 433-6708
http://www.cameronparkmarket.org/

Flavor:

Cafe House on the River

By: Dana

The Crane & Pelican Cafe is so unique. It’s located in an old house right on the river and offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience. If you have the chance to check it out, make sure you have a camera ready because you’ll want to get some pictures of this beautiful location!!

Flavor:

Vino Over The Valley

By: Katherine Goodman

GREAT FOOD! Vino Over The Valley is an al fresco Italian eatery offering great appetizers, huge salads, gourmet pizzas and pasta. The local hickory smoked trout plate was delicious! Pasta dishes are fabulous with homemade marinara sauce. Check out their Sunday Buffet featuring several of their menu entrées, salads, fresh seasonal veggies and the Chef’s Special of the day!

GREAT VIEW! Located on Wisconsin State Highway 95 between Fountain City and Arcadia, the main attractions are the backroad drive and the view overlooking Doelle Valley when you arrive. From the Ridge there’s a breathtaking view of the peaks and valleys of what is arguably one of the most beautiful areas in the state of Wisconsin, Buffalo County, in the heart of the Driftless Area.

GREAT WINE! Of course a glass of wine is in order to go along with the Great Food and the Great View. The extensive wine list ranges from local/private label to American to International.

GREAT VIEW! Located on Wisconsin State Highway 95 between Fountain City and Arcadia, the main attraction is the view overlooking Doelle Valley. From the Ridge there’s a breathtaking view of the peaks and valleys of what is arguably one of the most beautiful areas in the state of Wisconsin, Buffalo County, in the heart of the Driftless Area.

OPEN Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Sunday afternoons, May through September. Weather permitting there will be additional weekends in October. Enjoy live music by local musicians on some weekends.

Flavor:

The Delta Hot Tamale Festival

By: Valerie F. Rankin

The Delta Hot Tamale Festival began in 2012 in Greenville, MS by 3 women, Valerie Rankin, Anne Martin Vetrano and Betty Lynn Cameron, known now as “The 3 Hot Ta’Mamas.” It is run by The Greater Greenville Foundation now. The festival has grown every year and last year over 20,000 people attended from all over the U.S. There is a cooking (hot tamales) contest. Greenville is now “The Hot Tamale Capital of the World”! The festival is held this year on October 20, 2018. Anne Martin wrote a book about Hot Tamales and Valerie Rankin bottled 2 hot sauces called “3 Hot Ta’Mamas.

Flavor:

Red Pines Bar & Grill

By: Explore La Crosse

Nestled on the shores of picturesque Lake Onalaska, the Red Pines Bar & Grill is a destination location. A casual restaurant delivering high quality pub fare, they are known for a cozy, rustic atmosphere, hand-prepared walleye, lake perch, in-house smoked ribs, half-pound burgers and brisket as well as delicious homemade pizzas, soups, sides, dressings and sauces. People come from far and wide for the Shrimp & Fish Fry on Friday nights. They provide the perfect atmosphere for a delicious meal with a full menu, daily specials and fully stocked bar that includes a wide selection of craft beers.

Come for live music on Saturday nights and enjoy two-for-one Bloody Marys and breakfast options every Saturday and Sunday 11-2. They have a beautiful view with outdoor patio seating available during the warmer months of the year as well as a sand volleyball court and a giant block game enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

http://www.redpinesbarandgrill.com/

Flavor:

The Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern

By: Explore La Crosse

The Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern offers supreme product and hospitality, they have become a favorite of locals and a travel destination all in the same. Their menus highlight seasonal American cuisine that includes USDA Prime beef and fresh day-boat seafood. With a focus on the freshest foods of each season, their culinary team allows the ingredients to speak for themselves. Every detail is appreciated in everything they do – enjoy the results of hard work and high standards.

The Tavern enjoys live entertainment weekly with a historic, prohibition era, antique bar. Features a tavern-only menu of appetizers and light fare.

Enjoy the patio on the banks of the Mississippi River, whether meeting friends for a drink, or for a full meal experience. The Patio is La Crosse’s best riverfront hot spot.

www.thewaterfrontlacrosse.com