Baraboo Restaurants Worth Visiting
Whenever I visit a new area, I look for a short list of worthwhile dining establishments to accent my stay, so I want to offer a few Baraboo restaurants worth frequenting. While I can't say the greater Devils Lake/Baraboo area is teeming with high-end restaurants, there are a few places you can count on for quality eats before/after climbing trips:
Baraboo AREa Breakfast Restaurants
Jen's Alpine Cafe just off the Square in downtown Baraboo is a sure bet for well-executed breakfast essentials in a well-preserved restaurant. You know you've found the right place when you see the local senior crowd already convened. Jen's has really cool handmade wooden booths which look (and feel) like church pews, but they are actually original construction from the 1930s. About $6 for eggs, hashbrowns, toast and coffee... you can't ask for more.
If you're coming to Devil Lake up State Route 12 from the Madison area, try the humble-yet-delicious Leystra's Venture Restaurant in Sauk City. These guys always have freshly baked pastries waiting, along with solid stick-to-your-ribs breakfasts at fair prices. It may not be sexy, but Leystra's is great and their location conveniently en route. Recommended.
Baraboo Area Dinner Restaurants
For dinner, you simply can't beat The Little Village Cafe in Baraboo, because it's consistently awesome. The ambience, the service, the menu... it's all good. This is the place to sit outside at dusk on a summer night, enjoying jerk chicken and a cold beer with friends on Baraboo's lovely town square. Or if you're rolling solo, you can sit at the 50's style soda fountain bar and chat it up with the servers while you dine. It can be difficult to get a seat on a busy Friday or Saturday night, especially during the summer, but if you're willing to wait, it's worth it. Cozy, sincere, and delicious.
Another of our favorite Baraboo restaurants is The Barn, known for its fantastic tavern food and exquisite beer list. You'll be hard-pressed to find another bartender who knows her beer better than Amber, and equally challenged to find a bar that rotates more draft beers through their regular line-up. A great place for dinner or a post-dinner drink before heading back to camp at the North Shore of Devil's Lake State Park, which is only minutes away.
Baraboo Area Ice Cream/Custard
The third meal worth mentioning sits atop a cone. My favorite place to get ice cream is the Merrimac Ferry landing, where you can get soft-serve while waiting for the ferry to come back across the river. Soft-serve may not be a first-class dairy delectable, but it sure hits the spot when stuck in a long ferry line. When I have less time on my hands for the trip home, I stop at either Dairy Queen or Culver's in Sauk City for ice cream or custard/respectively. My decision really depends on Culver's flavor of the day: if it involves caramel, then I'm in. Otherwise, it's a Blizzard at DQ baby.
Another notable dairy stop is the Blue Spoon Cafe in Prairie du Sac. Owned by Culver's, which is headquartered in Prairie du Sac on the banks of the Wisconsin River, the Blue Spoon is an interesting cross between a Culver's and a sit-down restaurant. The open kitchen, order-at-the-counter service and standard employee uniforms feel very "fast food," but the wine bar, gelato, and fairly nice ambiance (including a patio overlooking the river) all feel much more sophisticated than any fast food joint I've ever visited. Worth checking out.
Any place I've been missing? Recommendations on good food while staying at the Lake? Or maybe places you always stop in en route? Let us know!