My husband and I had a blast on our recent trip to Door County in eastern Wisconsin. This vacation gem is really a whole collection of little towns (with adorable names like Baileys Harbor, Fish Creek, and Egg Harbor) along the shores of Lake Michigan, each with their own unique charms.
The natural beauty of the county is a draw for many tourists, but this area is also chocked full of tiny antique stores, artisan shops (think cherry wine, specialty cheeses, fine chocolate, handmade soap), art galleries…
And delicious restaurants.
These were a few of my favorites 🙂
Julie’s Park Cafe
So, this colorful little place is actually attached to their newly remodeled hotel on the edge of Fish Creek, just a five minute walk from Peninsula State Park. Whether you’re looking to stop in for a cheery breakfast, quick lunch, or just a coffee, Julies is a good choice. The staff is super friendly and the menu is pretty extensive, so there’s something for everyone. The cinnamon bun french toast was a particular favorite 🙂
And don’t forget to get one of their mouthwatering chocolate cherry cookies on your way out. A perfect snack to go along with morning coffee!
Blue Horse Beach Cafe
Another great choice for breakfast or lunch, The Blue Horse Cafe was probably my favorite stop in Fish Creek. As the name suggests, the restaurant is located right across from the beach with a great view of the harbor from their enclosed sun porch. The lighting is perfect for any writers or artists out there looking for a place to let their creative selves shine.
This spot is open early, but also closes by 5 PM, so plan accordingly if you want to stop in for a visit. It tends to get a little busy during the brunch rush, but it’s worth the wait.
On our visit, I just couldn’t get enough of their coffee and gorgeous earthenware coffee mugs (which they also have available for sale). Look at all that whipped cream!
Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grille
This pizza joint just looks so fun and quirky! Sadly, we did not get a chance to eat here during our stay, but it was recommended by multiple friends for their phenomenal wood-fired pizzas. Check them out at one of their two convenient locations, in Fish Creek and Sister Bay.
This cute little European gastropup is a bit of a hole in the wall, but the food is great and the drink list is extensive. It’s located in Sister Bay (actually in the same building as Wild Tomato).
Although the food menu is limited, each item is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, including items like creme brulee french toast, lavender bread, and curried tempura artichoke hearts. We tried their gluten-free fish fry– since Friday Night Fish Fry is a Wisconsin tradition– and we were not disappointed!
Don’t forget to check out their collection of beers from all around the world. Or, if you’re not a beer drinker, go for one of their hot cider concoctions.
Harbor Fish Market and Grille
Door County is most known for their yearly cherry crop. If you take a visit, you’ll notice everything from cherry wine and cherry cookies, to cherry soaps and cherry flavored coffee.
Harbor Fish Market and Grille had the most amazing cherry stuffed french toast in the world. Heaped with cream cheese and local tart cherries… my mouth is water just thinking about it. Stop by if you have a chance to swing through Baileys Harbor.
Sturgeon Bay is sort of like the entrance/exit to the Door County area. We just passed through, but managed to find this spunky little downtown coffee shop with its own outdoor garden area.
They have all of your typical espresso drinks, but also have a fun selection of smoothies with names like Monkey Business and Door County Orchard. Plus, they have plenty of sandwiches, soups, bakery items, and salads to keep the breakfast and lunch crowds happy 🙂