Scroll Top

A Foodie Guide to Kenosha, WI

Disclosure: The Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau provided us with gift cards to enjoy some of the restaurants included below. However, all opinions are my own.

Biscuit chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries at Mike's Chicken & Donuts in Kenosha, Wisconsin

When you think of foodie destinations, Kenosha, Wisconsin may not automatically spring to mind. But not only is this lakefront community teeming with local history, it’s also home to some truly delicious food. From upscale eateries and Wisconsin favorites like fried cheese curds to cozy coffee shops and heavenly smelling bakeries, Kenosha has it all.

The next time you find yourself exploring this stretch of Lake Michigan’s waterfront, make time for a meal in Kenosha. Not sure where to eat? I’ve compiled a foodie guide to Kenosha restaurants and shops that visitors of all ages are sure to love.

The Buzz Cafe

Coffee at The Buzz Cafe in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Any day that starts with breakfast and coffee at The Buzz Cafe is sure to be a good one. We were so charmed by this delightfully cozy coffee shop during our time in Kenosha that we visited twice in less than 24 hours. The cafe offers a delicious assortment of breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and quiches as well as incredible coffee from the Metropolis Coffee Company in Chicago.

The best part? The Buzz Cafe is open until 9 pm most nights, and turns wine and craft beer bar later in the day. With more than 200 wines in stock and 20 beers on draft, the beautifully decorated space is the perfect place to unwind after a long day or catch up on some emails in the evening.

The Buzz Cafe, 5621 6th Avenue in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Elsie Mae’s Bakery and Cannery

Exterior of Elsie Mae's Bakery and Cannery in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Chalkboard wall at Elsie Mae's Bakery and Cannery in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Simply walking through the door of Elsie Mae’s Bakery and Cannery is a delight for the senses. And if you love a good homemade pie, this is an eatery you won’t want to miss. While it’s hard to choose for all of Elsie Mae’s freshly baked goodies, we opted to try to cookie dough and chocolate bourbon pecan pies. Both were incredible (as I’m now sure all of this bakery’s offerings are) and traveled exceptionally well as edible souvenirs of our visit.

Elsie Mae’s also cans more than 100 seasonal varieties of jam. We sampled a few delicious options when we visited their storefront, and I couldn’t resist buying the spiced apricot preserves to take home with me.

Elsie Mae’s Bakery and Cannery, 5819 6th Avenue in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Mini pies at Elsie Mae's Bakery and Cannery in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Mars Cheese Castle

Exterior of Mars Cheese Castle near Kenosha, Wisconsin

Castle and Wisconsin-shaped cheeses at Mars Cheese Castle near Kenosha, Wisconsin

If there are two things I truly love in this world, it’s beer and cheese. So the Mars Cheese Castle is essentially my version of paradise. Not only does this classically Wisconsin shop sell hundreds of different cheeses, but it’s also a fantastic place to discover Wisconsin beer. Sample your way through the Mars Cheese Castle showroom before buying some cheese curds (the squeakier, the better), summer sausage, and crunchy snacks for an impromptu picnic. And don’t forget to pick up a six-pack or two of New Glarus’ Spotted Cow!

Mars Cheese Castle, 2800 W. Frontage Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Sample cheese board at Mars Cheese Castle near Kenosha, Wisconsin

Mars Cheese Castle logo at Mars Cheese Castle near Kenosha, Wisconsin

Mike’s Donuts and Chicken

Biscuit chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries at Mike's Chicken & Donuts in Kenosha, Wisconsin

No foodie guide to Kenosha would be complete without a mention of Mike’s Donuts and Chicken. Technically, this restaurant is three establishments—Mike’s Donuts & Chicken, Mike’s Chicken & Donut Bar and Mike’s Sportsbook & Meat Bar—all under one roof. Along with adorable branding and colorful decor, Mike’s Donuts and Chicken serves up some seriously delicious food.

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, snack on a donut, dessert cocktail, or spiked milkshake. While this creative restaurant group offers donut varieties like maple bacon and Girl Scout cookie, even the plain glazed we tried was divine. Or if you’re feeling something more savory, I recommend the grilled chicken breast sandwich on a deliciously flaky biscuit. Can’t decide? Get the best of both Mike’s worlds by ordering your chicken wings with a sweet donut glaze.

Mike’s Donuts and Chicken, 701 56th Street in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Exterior of Mike's Donuts and Chicken in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Waterfront Warehouse

Interior wall and logo of Waterfront Warehouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Homemade tortellini with pesto at Waterfront Warehouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin

After a full day of exploring, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Waterfront Warehouse. Located just north of downtown along Lake Michigan, this energetic eatery is the perfect place to grab dinner or drinks with friends and family. During the warmer months, the restaurant also offers a large amount of patio seating.

During our visit, we were especially impressed by the restaurant’s decor and welcoming staff as well as the variety of delicious options its menu offered. I enjoyed one of Waterfront Warehouse’s seasonal pasta specials, a delicious handmade tortellini topped with pesto and shrimp. My mom ordered the equally delicious California Club flatbread. If you’re looking to get your fried cheese curd fix, this is definitely the place!

Waterfront Warehouse, 3322 Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Share Your Thoughts

I would love to hear from you! Which restaurants would you add to your personal foodie guide to Kenosha, WI?

A huge thank you to the Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for introducing us to some of the most delicious parts of Kenosha, WI!

Six Kenosha, WI eateries foodies are sure to love

Related Posts

Comments (20)

I might need to make a special trip just for the cheese castle 🙂

I could spend days there! It’s probably a good thing I don’t live closer. 🙂

I can not WAIT to discover more of Kenosha food treats on my next visit!

Yes! I’m sure there’s tons we didn’t even have time to try. I can’t wait to go back and discover even more!

There are a couple restaurants that I would like to add to the list. 1. Big Star love the burgers and prices don’t break the budget located on Washington street close to Sheridan road. And last but not least Captain Mike’s (down by lake Michigan) cheese curds are the best along with their burgers.

Those sound like fantastic additions! I love a good burger. There are so many incredible places to eat in Kenosha that I knew I would be missing a few gems. Thanks so much for reading!

I 100% agree~ Kenosha rocks in the food department!

Right!? I can’t wait to go back soon to try even more places. Thanks for reading, Sara!

Love Kenosha – we’ve been going there for years. Also love the Spot Drive In, Bristol 45 Diner, the Brat Stop and House of Gerhard. And have been to the Taste of Wisconsin fest on the lakefront a couple times — love it! 🙂 Kenosha is one of our family’s favorite places for a weekend getaway.

I couldn’t agree more! Kenosha rocks. Thanks so much for the other recommendations! Taste of Wisconsin sounds like a must-attend event. I’m going to have to look into that!

Another “must” is Mangia, right on Sheridan Road in the downtown area. Super cool wine bar, and lovely sit down section, too. Absolutely amazing food, wine and cocktails and a fabulous staff!!!!

Thanks so much for the recommendation, Paige! That sounds fantastic. I’ll absolutely check out Mangia the next time I’m in town.

Next time you are here, you should really try out Twisted Cuisine and Sazzy B! Both adorble places and Sazzy B has great jazz night.

We peeked into Sazzy B on our visit to the Buzz Cafe and it looked awesome. I’ve also heard amazing things about Twisted Cuisine. So much good food, so little time! Thanks for reading & for the recommendations, Heather!

Ron’s Place- famous for their 5×5 burgers and endless choices of Long Island iced teas! Tenuta’s- grab and Italian sausage hit off the grill and fill up on food in the deli and beer, wine and alcohol. Renzo’s for an amazing pizza turnover and famous Renzo’s fries. Jack andrea’s- beautiful gift shop with a great scarf inside… old fashioned soda/ice cream fountain, light lunches- great chicken salad Samson croissant. We moved 3 years ago and I miss the food soooo much! Enjoy! So many more I could list!

Yum! Thank you so much for all of the recommendations, Maureen! We have a friend who speaks very highly of Tenuta’s so it’s definitely on our list for next time. I had no idea Kenosha was home to such an incredible selection of food.

Those pies look absolutely delightful! Mars Cheese Castle also looks like a paradise to me. Boy, not a good idea to be reading this on an empty stomach!

Right!? I feel fairly confident I could live in the Mars Cheese Castle and live a happy rest of my life. I promise the pies are as good as they look. Thanks so much for reading!

You missed Kenosha’s truly unique trait: being one of the most “Italian” city in the state. Others pointed out places like cozy Renzo’s and delicious Tenuta’s. Then there are the Italian-American Club (also a restaurant), Infusino’s and great bakeries like Paielli’s and recently re-opened Cardinali’s. Check the annual street procession and feast of Out Lady of Mount Carmel for amazing folklore and food vendors. As a NYer of Italian descent I sure don’t miss much of my Atlantic Italo-American culture.

I also like Big Matt’s BBQ. Yes he is just a food truck right now but always has something going on. I follow him on Facebook and he always let’s you know where he is. The best baby back ribs I ever had and the pulled pork has my mouth watering just thinking about it.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.