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11 Of The BEST Restaurants in Janesville WI

I recently visited several restaurants in Janesville WI as part of a stay hosted by the Janesville Convention and Visitors Bureau. We had amazing food, and I can’t wait to share my favorite recommendations.

I grew up traveling between Minneapolis and Chicago, and Janesville was always a stop for us. However, we never got much off the highway, and that was a mistake.

Janesville has so many things going for it from outdoor activities and things to do to fabulous restaurants. The area that includes Milton and Edgerton, which are right next to Janesville and have plenty to explore there, too.

But let’s focus on the Janesville restaurants.

Whether you’re looking for a quick breakfast spot or fun and unique desserts or a delicious dinner, I’ve got you covered.

Many restaurants in Janesville offer vegan options and gluten free options, but always check the menus in advance.

It’s so easy to go to your favorite chain restaurant, but one of the beauties about travel is getting to try the local favorites. So do yourself a favor and try some of these “best of” restaurants in Janesville WI.

(Yes, I do include one chain, but there is a very good reason for that.)

Lark

60 South Main Street, Janesville, WI – 608-563-1801

Lark has absolutely delicious food with a seasonally inspired menu offering that changes regularly. They are open for dinner only, Tuesday through Saturday, and it’s a great choice for a grown up meal.

They have a somewhat small menu, but even with limited options, it’s hard to choose from their unique options. They also offer a three course prix fixe menu with options you cannot get elsewhere on the menu.

Lark offers appetizers, main courses, and desserts that are sure to please your palate. When we visited, they offered everything from an artisanal cheese board to Indian butter chicken wings and hot chicken to potato gnocchi with gorgonzola and roasted tomatoes.

Whether you have a traditional meat and potatoes appetite or are vegan, you are sure to find the perfect meal. And yes, Lark does offer both gluten free and vegan options.

Steak over potato wedges on a white plate.

The desserts were super fun, with both a mock apple pie and a chocolate eclair cake that remind me of childhood favorites, but dressed up special. The simple ingredients (no, a mock apple pie does not have any apples, but it sure tastes like it does) get dressed up vanilla cream instead of whipped nondairy topping and Valrhona cocoa to deepen the chocolate, for example.

Chocolate eclair cake on a white plate.

And of course, I can’t forget the cocktails! They create craft cocktails with unique ingredients that taste heavenly, along with a selection of wine and beer. 

I had quite the tasty mezcal based cocktail, and there are fruity, herby, and more cocktails. If you can’t decide, the friendly waitstaff are happy to help you make a choice.

You have a choice of both indoor and outdoor seating, pending weather. Lark also offers takeout.

Bodacious Cafe

119 North Main Street, Janesville, WI – 608-563-5566

The Bodacious Cafe is a fun eclectic cafe that is perfect for breakfast and lunch. It’s part of the Bodacious Shops that includes a fascinating olive oil store and kitchen gifts store that connect to the cafe.

No surprise, they create amazing hand crafted coffees, in addition to teas. Depending on whether you prefer your beverage cold or hot, they have different offerings as they suggest that iced teas be made from their cold brew tea to avoid it tasting watered down.

The food has a wide-ranging menu that includes healthier options like grain bowls and smoothies, as well as a variety of salads, paninis, wraps, quiche, flatbreads, and more. Bodacious Cafe also has a kids’ menu that includes grilled cheese, quesadilla, and a caesar salad at lunch and scrambled eggs or French toast sticks at breakfast.

Grilled wrap on a plate with potato chips.

I enjoyed a southwest salad, and I was surprised by how large it was. Just the salad filled me up completely. Those who enjoyed wraps and paninis raved about them, as well.

The cafe also has seating both inside and out back on the patio where you can watch the river, which makes a lovely and peaceful way to enjoy your meal.

Sugar Exchange

119 North Main Street, Janesville, WI – 608-737-9338

Next door to Bodacious Cafe is the Sugar Exchange. Pro tip: do not eat before you visit Sugar Exchange.

This adorable and very instagrammable store sells a variety of candy, but also has and makes amazing desserts. And yes, they make their own fudge with a variety of tempting flavors.

Their ice cream is the star of the shop for me. While they provide the traditional sundaes and milkshakes with their specialty ice cream, we enjoyed ice cream nachos that are just as tasty as it sounds.

Picture a loaded ice cream sundae with your favorite flavors plus a variety of candy bits and whipped cream and hot toppings with pieces of waffle cone as the nacho chips. Yup, you’re going to order it now, aren’t you?

Ice cream nachos on a marble table.

We also tried the s’mores charcuterie board which wasn’t listed on the menu but is available. We ordered the small. This is definitely one to enjoy with a crew.

It was almost impossible to choose what chocolate variety to pair with what special cracker once we roasted our own marshmallows over the provided sterno. I do recommend Nutella with the strawberry jam on a traditional graham cracker, however.

Smores charcuterie plate with all the fixings.

Sugar Exchange also offers seating both inside the shop and outside by the river to enjoy your treats. If you order the s’mores charcuterie board, you do need to enjoy it outside.

Cozy Inn Chinese Restaurant

214 West Milwaukee Street, Janesville, WI – 608-754-9826

We took a walking tour of Janesville one afternoon, and our guide talked extensively about the Cozy Inn Chinese Restaurant, which was the first Chinese restaurant in Wisconsin – open since 1922 – and the second oldest in the United States.

A fascinating bit of history, the restaurant was founded by a survivor of the Titanic sinking. Although it has new owners, it has operated continuously and still gets rave reviews in Janesville.

I asked several people through my stay about their favorite restaurants, and Cozy Inn continually got mentioned for a great option at both lunch and dinner. The easy takeout options got mentioned a lot, too.

Cozy Inn serves traditional Cantonese fare, like Hunan chicken, egg foo young, chow mein, etc. Each person I spoke with raved about the egg rolls, so be sure to order those when you visit.

The one caveat I will share is that Cozy Inn is located on the second floor with a steep, narrow staircase to access it. It is not handicapped accessible, so be aware if you have any mobility limitations in your group.

Fredrick’s Supper Club

118 Merchant Row, Milton, WI – 608-868-2966

I love a good Wisconsin supper club. It’s a tradition that brings me to my childhood with my first steak house experience and always terrific food.

Like all good supper clubs, Fredrick’s – located in nearby Milton – is somewhat dark and wood paneled inside with hearty comfort food on the menu.

Pro tip: Order the cheese curds as soon as you sit down. Our table got the last order of the night, and it was still relatively early in the evening.

Plate of cheese curds with ranch dip in a bowl.

The menu offers pasta and seafood, as well as a burger and chicken dishes, but I always order a steak when I go to a supper club. Fredrick’s offers prime rib nightly, unlike most that have it just weekends, along with four other cuts of beef in a variety of sizes to fit your appetite.

Personally, I always advocate for getting the steak “dressed” with a topping or sauce. I cannot recommend the Jack Daniel’s sauce here enough.

Center cut steak on a place with loaded potatoes.

However, you can also add on prawns, crab legs, or shrimp in addition to a topping to really round out your meal. I had plenty without that, however.

And like a traditional supper club, Fredrick’s has an “early bird” menu from 4 to 6pm Sunday to Thursday for those with a slightly smaller appetite (and a seafood happy hour during the same hours, which is well worth the early dinner). They also have the classic Fish Fry Friday with six different kinds of fish, not the typical perch only offering. 

The restaurant is busy seven nights a week. While there were tables available when we left on a Wednesday evening, the restaurant was nearly full even then.

The Fulton Store

9413 North County Road H, Edgerton, WI – 608-884-0131

The Fulton Store is one of those throwback places that you simply can’t find often anymore. It’s absolutely adorable inside this little restaurant in Edgerton.

They open bright and early at 6am for breakfast Tuesday to Sunday, staying open until 7pm during the week and closing at 2:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. There are definitely regulars, and this is absolutely a local’s hangout.

This used to be a general store back in the day, and it was purchased in 2019 by a new owner who pays homage to the history of the store. In addition to your meals, you can also purchase convenience store items and take home casseroles, pizzas, and cinnamon rolls.

Two cinnamon rolls on plates with mugs of coffee.

We enjoyed breakfast here, and like most of the classic diners, we were served tasty food with an incredibly full plate. You will not leave here hungry.

My eggs over home fries were just as I needed them to be, and everyone else enjoyed their meals from biscuits and gravy (only on weekends) to the giant cinnamon rolls that came in three different flavors to spam and eggs. This is stick to your ribs food that is sure to start your day off right.

White plate with two eggs and home potatoes.

The service comes with a smile, and our waitress was a retired grandma who enjoyed bantering with our group and her enjoyment working there shows.

Campbell Boys

115 North Henry Street, Edgerton, WI

With so much to do outdoors in Janesville, sometimes you want to get your meal to go. When we went kayaking, we had a picnic lunch picked up from Campbell Boys in Edgerton that was absolutely perfect for our excursion, just as it would be for biking, exploring the botanic gardens, and more.

While Campbell Boys is most known for their candle making, they now also serve soups and sandwiches, and they do a great job with the Boar’s Head meats and fresh bread. With a variety of offerings from traditional roast beef, turkey, and veggie, the sandwiches are plenty filling.

Roast beef sandwich with chips and water behind it.

I was only able to eat half mine, and yes, I also saved my chips for later. They package them in cute little boxes, which makes it easy to transport them and keep the condiments and cutlery inside and accessible.

For a simple and delicious lunch, this is a perfect option to pick up to take with you as you are out and about in Janesville.

Mocha Moment

1121 Center Avenue, Janesville, WI – 608-295-7085

Before I headed out of town, I had to stop at Mocha Moment, as this was another place multiple people I met raved over. They were not wrong.

This adorable coffee house and bakery is open Monday to Friday 5am to 7pm and Saturday from 5am to 5pm. 

While they do offer a drive through, take the time to enjoy the ambiance of this cute cafe with a kitschy but fun inside filled with coffee themed everything in the cozy cabin-like atmosphere. They also have an outside deck that is a serene place to enjoy your morning pick me up, as well.

In addition to fabulous hand crafted coffees – with both oat and almond milk available – they also serve smoothies, frappes, sodas, lemonade, and more at prices less than your typical big coffee chain.

While they have nondairy and vegan options for drinks, that is harder when it comes to the food. They do not have gluten free items outside fruit, and their food all has dairy, as well, from what I could see aside from a single scone.

That said, I enjoyed a muffin to go with my spiced chai latte that was definitely homemade and quite tasty. I also picked up a brownie to share with my family later, and it was fabulous, as well.

One note: Mocha Moment oddly does not have a phone on site, so you are unable to call them if you have a question.

Citrus Cafe

208 South Main Street, Janesville, WI – 608-754-9006

My biggest regret is that I did not have time to experience the Citrus Cafe on my trip, but I have this one bookmarked for my next visit, as this was another restaurant people spoke highly of when I asked their favorite place to eat.

They are open daily from 6am to 3pm for breakfast (which they serve all day) and lunch. It’s classic diner food with an enormous breakfast menu, but they do it up in style.

For example, they offer a grilled salmon BLT that I’m pretty sure I need to order when I visit. The same holds true with their rotisserie gyro panini, biscuit and gravy omelette (yes, stuffed with a buttermilk biscuit and monterey jack cheese before being covered with sausage gravy), seven kinds of benedict, and turtle pancakes that do in fact have caramel and chocolate sauce in addition to pecans – just to give you a small taste.

Everyone raves about their terrific food. Maybe it’s because they squeeze their own orange juice, grind their own coffee daily, and get their bacon from a local butcher?

They do get very busy, so head their at off hours or be prepared to wait a bit for a table. They do take reservations, which is my preferred option.

My favorite part is that this is one of the few breakfast places I’ve seen that offers an early bird menu. For breakfast from 6am to 9am, they have ten menu items available at an early bird price. How can you not love that?

Northleaf Winery

232 South Janesville Street, Milton, WI – 608-580-0575

The Northleaf Winery is located in nearby Milton, and it is one of three wineries in the area. While they do not grow their own grapes, they do make all their wine onsite.

And wow do they have a lot of wine options. We visited the winery tasting room, where I strongly suggest you get reservations, as the place was nearly packed when we left on a late afternoon weekday.

Family owned, the Nordlofs are hands on owners, with the daughter Jaime our server for the day in the winery tasting room. With 36 wines, many award winning, you are sure to find one to enjoy.

Additionally, they offer a chocolate and wine pairing that we enjoyed. Five house made chocolates get paired with five different wines (you have two options with each chocolate to please your personal palate), which makes it fun, and yes, I found amazing and unique wine I wanted to just keep drinking.

Chocolate and wine flight in front of a window.

They also offer light winery “bites” so you can sit and enjoy more of a tapas like meal, as well. Or you can head to the taproom where they have a bistro with a larger menu.

Friday nights, they have live music, and Tuesday nights are trivia nights, which makes for an even more fun atmosphere. If you plan to go, definitely make a reservation, as the seating is significantly limited and they have a large number of regulars (who make their reservations).

A&W Restaurant

936 Conde Street, Janesville, WI – 608-754-0097

This is my only chain restaurant on the list, but it is Wisconsin classic comfort food that I adore. There are many restaurant locations around, but definitely head to the A&W restaurant in Janesville.

(They also have locations in Edgerton, Jefferson, and Windsor.)

My son is a root beer connoisseur. He has a rating system for root beers and has tried more than I can count, yet A&W remains near the top of his options.

You can’t visit A&W without getting a root beer or root beer float, and it has all the flavors of childhood you remember.

This quick service restaurant has classic burgers, hot dogs, and chicken just like you remember. I always have to order the cheese curds (pretty much anywhere I go), but they have really good fries and onion rings, as well.

They offer soft serve ice cream treats for dessert, from the root beer float I already mentioned to shakes, sundaes, and more.

When you’ve had a busy day and want a fast meal that reminds you of home, A&W is a perfect stop.

What are your favorite Janesville WI restaurants?

Collage of 8 meals with text 11 amazing restaurants in Janesville.

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  1. Laura says:

    Ever tried Tony and Maria’s in Janesville? πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•

  2. Shelly Petts says:

    I love most of Janesville’s restaurants as well. I heard Whiskey Ranch is a good place to eat and drink. Cozy Inn deep fries thier egg rolls in peanut oil. That makes them delicious! The trail system, parks and Rotary Garden are great places to burn those calories afterwards! Love Janesville!

    • Michelle says:

      I visited the Rotary Gardens, as well, and it was beautiful. I could have spent all day there. There are so many things to do there – that’s next up on tap to create an article around the fun things I found there πŸ™‚

  3. Jeff Fairclough says:

    Next time you’re in town you absolutely must try Italian House! A staple of Janesville since 1987. Edmund, the owner, is a fantastic person who has been serving Janesville’s favorites since day one.

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