Wondering where the best vegan eating is in Door County? From ice cream to farm to table dinners, this list has you eating vegan all over the peninsula!
I’m taking a break from recipes today, let’s talk vacation! A few weeks ago I had pretty much the BEST week ever, between spending a few days in Northern Wisconsin (Door County) and had some of my favorite people visit Milwaukee, it was one for the books and filled my heart in every way. My parents and I have been visiting Door County since I can remember, so we became pseudo experts in places to eat in the area. When we made the transition to more plant based eating, a lot of our favorites went out the window (fish boils AND cherry pie, nooo!), but we’ve found plenty of places to eat since then and haven’t seemed to have gone hungry on vacation since. I’m sure there are more places for vegan eating in Door County that we don’t even know about yet, but these are our tried and true favorites so far. Off we go!
- Blue Horse Beach Cafe– This cute little coffee shop became our go-to this year especially, after our favorite coffee shop was closed for a while. Between the dark roast, non-dairy smoothies and porch that looks right out onto the water, this place is one of those that you don’t ever want to leave. It seems to be an interesting mix of locals and vacationers who stop into the cafe, so if you eavesdrop enough you can probably get the scoop on the happenings in town or what is going on that weekend. I recommend a bagel and a large cup of whatever dark brew they have going that day.
- The White Gull Inn– This place has been a tried and true favorite for as long as I can remember! Even before changing our eating habits, we always went for a fish boil and cherry pie every single year, plus my dad and I take a yearly picture at the wall down by the water by this restaurant. Now, we are sure to go at least once for breakfast and sometimes another time for lunch, depending on how many more restaurants we have to check off of our list. I haven’t stayed in their rooms yet, but it has the best quaint inn/ B& B vibe that is perfect for Northern Wisconsin. For breakfast I recommend the oatmeal with cherries on top (because Wisconsin, DUH) and for lunch the roasted vegetable sandwich is always a sure bet.
- The Cookery– The Cookery has actually gone through some changes since we first started eating here, changing the menu and remodeling after a fire destroyed a good part of the restaurant. Now, the double patio and extensive menu keep us coming back year after year, especially since discovering their homemade ginger beer. I love their smashed chickpea sandwich, which is something you surprisingly don’t see very often on restaurant menus, but is such a nice change from the usual veggie burger/salad rotation when eating out. The applesauce is homemade too, so don’t forget to make sure you get it with your side!
- Grasse’s Grill- Another new to us place in the last few years, Grasse’s has proved to be one of those places that we end up visiting again and again. This year I tried the Farm Fresh Veggie Wrap (which was HUGE) and my dad had the tosadas for dinner (without cheese). The combo of the chickpea hummus and olive tapenade on my wrap was something that really took it up a notch, outside of just veggies in a wrap. Again, this is going on our ‘to eat at every year’ list.
- Wild Tomato Pizza– If you know anyone who has vacationed in Door County, they have probably eaten at Wild Tomato. Their original location always seems to be really busy so, thankfully, they opened up another location this year! I originally ate at Wild Tomato when I took a blogger trip up to Door Co. a few years ago and fell in love with the wood fired pizza and the place’s overall passion for good pizza. I 100% recommend doing a build your own with the original sauce and lots of veggies. They do offer vegan cheese, but for me, pizza sans fake cheese is much more my style. We actually ordered a pizza with half cheese on it for my mom (I sometimes still eat cheese too), so the waitress graciously asked if we had a cheese allergy, since we ordered the other half without cheese. As it turns out, if you do have some sort of allergy, they will switch pizza cutters to prevent cross contamination. It wasn’t necessary for us, but it was lovely to see then asking something so specific and catering to people who may need this done. Double win, the beer list is extensive and you can usually watch them tossing the pies and baking them from your seat.
- Wickman House– I saved the best for the almost last, because even since we started going to Wickman House a few years ago it’s become my hands down favorite place in Door County. The building used to serve as a lodge, B & B and now a restaurant. Between the wrap around porch, fairy light gazebo and gorgeous bar inside, this place feels like somewhere you could cozy up to all summer with a cold cocktail and friends in tow. Wickman House growns some of their own produce and also really embodies the local food movement, which has become increasingly popular in Wisconsin. This year I ordered a homemade falafel sandwich, complete with a really hearty chickpea patty and incredible green tomato jam. The french fries are killer and the salads are also winners, so do yourself a favor and make a few reservations at this place. In the past, we’ve gotten a really good dish of grain (farro/quinoa/rice) and roasted veggies with a miso lemon vinagrette. When we went this year, it was the day before my birthday and the staff was so kind, bringing out sparklers at the end of our meal and cheers-ing to my birthday when they brought out our cocktails. As far as cocktail recommendations go, get them all! But really, the Ruby Rita, Lemon Crush and Colwell Cooler are our favorites. Long story short: Just go here!
- Wilson’s Ice Cream-Last but not least, dessert! Wilson’s is a Door County institution and if you talk to almost anyone who has visited, they will always tell you about the ice cream and the wait that usually goes along with it. While Wilson’s doesn’t have vegan ice cream, they do always have lemon sorbet, so it’s worth the wait for the experience in itself. You can expect to pull a number and wait 5-10 minutes to be waited on, but take a look around at their old- soda fountain style interior and enjoy the moment.
This isn’t a fully comprehensive list to vegan eating in Door County at all, but if you have favorites, let me know! Now who is ready for another vacation? ME!