BBQ Restaurants in Wisconsin

Select Local Merchants

In 2012, Man v. Food called in Jeremy Wheeler, one of their most trusted competitors, to take on Red Rock Saloon's Unforgiven challenge. As he sidled up to the table, a gravity-defying meal towered before him: atop a pound of French fries sat a fried chicken breast buried between two half-pound bacon cheeseburgers. Encircling the meaty monolith were six ghost-chili chicken wings—and he only had 23 minutes to eat it all. Though it took him until the very last second, Jeremy defeated the meal, becoming only the second person in Red Rock's history to do so.

It’s fitting that Red Rock would dream up a challenge most patrons can’t win—the restaurant is named after a real-life rodeo bull that famously bucked more than 300 riders. When patrons aren’t lining up to ride the mechanical version of Red Rock or listening to live rock and country music, they’re crowding around tables to order from a menu that boasts 2012 Chili Bowl champion Texas red chili. Like Oprah’s address book, the rest of the menu reads like a scrapbook of American pop culture: seasoned chicken crowns the James Dean salad, molasses barbecue sauce sweetens KC Jones wings, and pineapple and jalapeños pile atop a Will Kane pulled-pork sandwich.

1227 N Water St
Milwaukee,
WI
US

A University of Wisconsin institution, freshly renovated Wando’s tantalizes taste buds with a menu of meaty burgers and savory sandwiches. In between bites, draft beers, cocktails, and the watering hole's signature fishbowls wet whistles, and PBR table-toppers make refilling glasses as convenient as hiding behind the keg. The sports-centric bar solidifies its allegiance to the University of Wisconsin with red-and-white décor and by showering UW students with free bacon and unlimited oxygen on Tuesday nights.

602 University Ave
Madison,
WI
US

All year round, Nelson Field Laser Tag's battle zones join forces to send warriors into simulated combat. A field peppered with camo forts and towers at the Green Bay location scintillates during winter months as groups of up to 16 players use the scopes on heavy-duty, military-grade laser guns to pick off opponents and point out mustard stains on a teammate's pants. Meanwhile, unfolding across outdoor combat arenas, paintball and airsoft squads dip, dash, and dive behind natural and manmade barriers. Seven woodball fields camouflage matches amid troves of trees, and on an urban combat field, shooters utilize 19 buildings and one rogue hot-dog cart as shelter. Upon striking a truce, friends can reconvene at Nelson Field's onsite sports bars.

Though Nelson Field Laser Tag sometimes features a discounted price online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.

606 Lime Kiln Rd
Green Bay,
WI
US

2603 W College Ave
Appleton,
WI
US

The cooks at Jansen's Bar and Restaurant toil over grills and fryers to fill a menu strewn with seared treats and golden-battered fare in a cheery barroom setting. Servers sling appetizers such as cheese curds ($4.99) to guests, and homespun meals of fried haddock and chips accouter themselves elegantly with toast, tartar sauce, and sliced doilies ($7.99). The juicy steak-tenderloin sandwich ($10.99) leads a brigade of burgers and sandwiches, cheered on by the grill's waves of aromatic fanfare. The weekly Friday fish fry wraps baby pike in crisp cloaks ($7.99–$11.99) and keeps guests forging their way back to the dining room. Bartenders ferry brews to cheery patrons against a backdrop of wood paneling bedecked with neon beers signs, stuffed trophy fish, and autographed headshots of famous burgers.

344 Bowen St
Oshkosh,
WI
US

When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in 1941, the menu offered beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, drinks, and that’s all. By focusing on perfecting the flavors of a few dishes, Travis was able to increase quality, and, ultimately, customers. Patrons were so enamored of the food that the restaurant eventually expanded into a nationwide franchise, allowing Americans all over to wear badges made of barbecue sauce. Over the past 70 years, Dickey’s has been passed on to Travis’s sons, but not much else has changed—the quality meats are still seasoned and smoked on site, and except for the addition of spicy cheddar sausage in 2011, the menu remains the same. Regional meats ensure that the most succulent Texas-style chopped beef brisket, old-recipe polish sausage, and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs make it to tabletops. Sides such as mac 'n' cheese and green beans with bacon continue to enhance feasts with an extra punch of homestyle tastiness. Each meal comes complete with complimentary ice cream, soft rolls, and dill pickles.

311 E Clairemont Ave
Eau Claire,
WI
US