Photo by Ashley Camper
The Granary on Washington Island, Door County, Wisconsin
The Granary on Washington Island
As a food writer, a big piece of my travel budget is dedicated to eating. So if I’m going to haul the family off to somewhere for a bit of quality time, the food has to be good. And one of my favorite places that never seems to disappoint when it comes to a well-fed escape is Door County.
Foodists have long loved the peninsula for its classic experiences, from fish boils to Swedish restaurants. But it doesn’t take much to realize that there is a constantly evolving food scene in Door County that will keep any gastro-tripper returning year after year.
Any food lover should be sure to book time for the Wisconsin Cheese Masters shop in Egg Harbor, where you can sample more than 600 varieties of cheese, most unavailable in any other part of the country.
Some of the most notable food experiences in Door County can only be found by ferry, with a trip to Washington Island, where Death’s Door Spirits harvests juniper berries for its boutique gin during a raucous festival each year. A must-stop on the island is Nelsen’s Hall, home of the Bitters Club. Membership is easy: simply down a full shot of bitters (aka The Cure) and you will receive a membership card and be considered a full-fledged islander. Follow that up with a stop at KK Fiske for a fish boil with fresh-caught “lawyers” (we know it as eelpout) and a nightcap at The Granary, the island’s recently restored pub whose specialty cocktails are made with Death’s Door Spirits and a healthy shot of local pride.
To fortify oneself for the drive home, I like to stop at the farm-friendly Wild Tomato Pizza in Fish Creek, though my favorite way to keep Door County in my heart (and kitchen) for the rest of the year is to make a quick stop at Koepsel’s Market to stock up on ’Sconnie jams, pickles, sauerkraut, and even cherry BBQ sauce. When our pantry runs out, we know it’s time to head back.
Head east in search of food. All of our picks (plus a pit stop!) plotted for your Door County adventure.