If you know me (even slightly), you know I am a dessert FIEND. From ice cream, to cookies, to donuts, fudge, pastries…. you name it. If I found a genie in a bottle, my one and only wish would be that desserts would not make me gain weight (can I get an “AMEN”?). Trying new restaurants are fun, but 100x better when they serve desserts! I’d love to introduce you to some of the top dessert restaurants in southeastern Wisconsin. They’re all easy to get to from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and even in locations that are perfect day trips from Milwaukee.
Oh, and did I mention they are locally owned?
Mike’s Donuts & Chicken – Kenosha
As the name suggests, this snack stop, is much more than just snacks! Mike’s Donuts & Chicken serve lunch/dinner, alcoholic beverages, and donuts (duh!). Their donuts are phenomenal and truly so creative. They’re are made fresh everyday, and they switch out their “donut menu” every week. Of course, the top favorites do make an appearance quite often.
From specialty donuts (above) to candy bar donuts (below), all of the ones I’ve tried have been delectable and heavenly.
If donuts aren’t your thing, no worries! You can get a fun milkshake(with the ability to add alcohol or espresso) or one of their many specialty drinks: the ever so popular mimosa, jelly donut martini, and more. Mike’s Donuts and Chicken also has fantastic lunch and dinner options, so you’re welcome to stay and eat, or grab and dash!
Tip from a Local: Pretty much all of Mike’s restaurants are popular with the locals here. You can’t go wrong with any of them, this specific one is simply my favorite!
Divino Gelato Café – Racine
Maybe I’m slightly biased because I worked here during my college days, but Divino Gelato Café is one of my favorite places to snag a snack (and a coffee). The owners learned to make authentic gelato in Italy, which is such a treat to have in the United States! Visitors that have been to Italy always state that Divino Gelato is exactly like Italian gelato. Clearly, the owners were fantastic gelato-making students. Their Racine location has a lovely, calming atmosphere, with a beautiful design on the inside. The building itself has had so much history in Racine over the past decades.
Not only does this lovely café serve gelato, but biscotti, macarons, muffins, soups, sandwiches, and espresso beverages are also on the menu! It’s a great lunch stop as well as a snack stop. There are currently 4 locations: Racine, Waukesha, Brookfield, and Mayfair.
O & H Danish Bakery – Racine
Racine, Wisconsin has been nicknamed the “Kringle Capital of the World.” When Racine was founded, it was settled mostly by the Danish. The Olesen Family originally opened the bakery in 1949, and they currently have 5 locations in Racine and Oak Creek. Kringle has become such a huge part of Racine that whomever moves out gets transported back to their childhood when they see the familiar O & H logo on a Kringle shaped package.
What is Kringle now? It’s an oval shaped pastry with filling and icing on top. O & H has a variety of flavors from pecan (the most popular) to cherry, almond, apple, turtle, cream cheese, raspberry, and more! They even offer specialty flavors around the holidays, as well as a “churro” and “brandy old-fashioned” flavored Kringle. (The brandy old-fashioned is a popular Wisconsin cocktail made by muddling sugars & bitters, adding brandy and twist of citrus rind).
Kringles aren’t really a “special time of year” pastry. They are an “any time of year” dessert! They’re served at parties, bbqs, meetings, and even munched on during a casual Sunday afternoon. I have fond memories myself of my family getting a kringle every week, and eating it all within a half hour… Oops.
It’s truly a must when visiting this area of Wisconsin.
Myrtle Mae’s Sugar Emporium – Kenosha
Admit it.. the name just peaks interest! “Sugar Emporium” sounds like it’ll be the queen of dessert restaurants. Myrtle Mae’s offers ice cream (with a scoop of egg-free cookie dough…see below). They also have a WALL of children’s candies with bags for you to fill [not limited to just children], fancy handmade chocolates, and a large variety of fun/interesting soda flavors. Plus, the decor is fun and adorable, and they played Disney music (major plus in my book!).
Kopp’s Custard – Milwaukee Area
If you come to Wisconsin, please do yourself a favor and buy some frozen custard! Kopp’s Custard has three different locations: Greenfield, Brookfield, and Glendale. They have a featured shake and sundae of the month, a flavor of the day, and specialty sundaes. Vanilla and chocolate are available if you prefer simplicity. (Though my preference… the more sugary stuff on top the better!) This lovely Wisconsin dessert restaurant has quite an extensive list of shake/malt flavors (marshmallow shake anyone?), available in regular and thick.
Kopp’s is not only a hot spot for desserts in Milwaukee, but it’s also a favorite for burgers and other diner food.
Tip from a Local: Kopp’s is extremely popular on the weekends and in the evenings. I’d recommend going at lunchtime/mid-afternoon if you’d like to avoid large crowds. It can get a bit hectic, but that’s to be expected with a top local favorite.
Frozone – Milwaukee
Everybody has seen this dessert pop up all over social media the last few years. I’m happy to say Milwaukee, WI offers rolled ice cream! Frozone is a brand new dessert restaurant on Brady Street as of June 2017. They offer 6 main flavors and a flavor of the month. It’s really so cool to watch them make it (all while wondering how easy it really is??). They have a multitude of toppings from fruits, sauces, and candies, with which you can get as much or as little as you want.
P.S. Can you tell frozen desserts are my favorite?
Red Elephant Chocolate – Milwaukee
Located in Historic Third Ward Milwaukee, Red Elephant Chocolate has delicious (and pretty!) handcrafted truffles. They offer truffles, chocolate bars, caramels, meltaways. One of their specialties is a collection featuring the World’s Rarest Chocolate, which comes from South America. I personally have not tried the World’s Rarest Chocolate, but that just gives me another excuse to go back!
Tip from a Local: If you are visiting Wisconsin, but only to Madison…it’s your lucky day! Red Elephant Chocolate does have a location in our capital city.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by any of these Wisconsin restaurants. Dessert is just my favorite meal of the day, and if it weren’t for the fact that family history has type 2 Diabetes, and I do care for my arteries and overall health, I’d eat dessert for every meal. I do love these dessert shops and wanted to showcase the fabulous treats we have in Wisconsin!
Which of these would you most like to visit?