Dining in Appleton, Wisconsin

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Jeff Lindsay's guide to eating out in Appleton and the Fox Cities.

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Dining in the COVID Era in Appleton, Wisconsin

After being away for several years in Shanghai, China, I was nervous about returning to Appleton in early 2020. How could I live without the endless inexpensive restaurants, so many just a short walk from where I lived or worked? How could I endure without all the Asian specialities I had become so fond of? But I've been amazed at how much I love being back in this small town with great people, boundless nature and beauty, and a lot of great food after all.

But COVID has complicated all that! Many restaurants have closed or only offer take out. I'll share my thoughts on take out, but I'll start by sharing where you can eat a great meal and do it in a real restaurant with fresh, piping hot foot that hasn't sat in a bag for 30 minutes before it shows up.

*** Little Siam - Thai food *** Bowl 91?

I've divided this page into two main sections: (1) Sit Down - a few of the places that I think deserve special attention, and (2) Take Out/Delivery Only.

Sit Down Dining in the Fox Valley

Here I discuss places in the Fox Cities that, as of 2020, provide a sit-down venue for dining. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

Pickup or Delivery Only: More Good Dining in Spite of COVID/a>

Some Other Places You Still Might Like

These are some restaurants that might not appeal to me personally (or ones that I just haven't had the time or incentive to try), but may be worth considering. The Menasha Grille on Main Street in downtown Menasha offers some Cajun cuisine. I went there for there lunch buffet at the end of 2005. It was OK, but I found the flavors to be timid. I understand they do a better job for dinner, but haven't tried it yet.

I tried the Golden Corral on Richmond Ave. in Appleton in 2010 for my first time. You can get a lot of calories for your money there--reasonable prices, lots of food--but it was unappetizing and disappointing on several levels. Don't think I can recommend it at this time.

Another place that was "OK but disappointing" was Michiel's in Menasha, although I highly recommend Michiel's banquet hall in Appleton as a place for receptions.

For those who prefer to cook their own food, Woodman's is the biggest store around. I like it for its great produce, huge selections, and exciting ethnic specialties (they even have yerba mate, the popular South American beverage). Visitors often are surprised to see the name of another popular chain, Piggly Wiggly. If you say it fast and keep a straight face, no one will trouble you. Copps, Festival Foods, and Pick 'N Save are also popular.

For spices, Penzeys near the Fox River Mall is hard to beat. Incredible selection, low prices.

In addition, there are many pubs and bars all over Appleton that also serve a variety of foods, though I personally avoid bars.

Of course, there are many more great places to ward off hunger. For a quick treat, many people like Manderfield's Bakery. For those with a flare for Asian specialties, Appleton has several oriental grocery stores (catering primarily to the Hmong community). So many choices - so little time to eat!

Finally, feel free to let us know you're opinions. Here's an example from one person in 2009:

Outback has the best steak filets and the house salad with tangy tomato French dressing is great. Good Company's French dip sandwich is very good. Paradise Island has great smoothies and the excellent 1918 root beer. They have a 20oz frosted size. This root beer is only available on tap and is brewed in the Twin Cities. I have only been to the one on Ballard. The other location is in the Mall.

Yeah, that sounds good. Like Appleton and the Fox Cities in general. A great place with a lot of good food, if you know where to look.

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Last Updated: Dec. 24, 2017
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