We are so excited to have Tara Rushmer aka Curd Queen guest posting on Stateline Kids! She is a cheese curd connoisseur living in Madison, Wisconsin. She’s sharing her favorite spots to get cheese curds, many of which are only 60 minutes away from Rockford, IL. Follow Curd Queen on Instagram for all sorts of “cheesy” adventures.
As a born and “breaded” Wisconsinite, my love for curds runs deep. Most kids grow up wanting to be a doctor, teacher, or lawyer. I grew up wanting to be a cheese curd maker at JDs, a local fast food restaurant in Appleton, Wisconsin known for their curds. Ultimately, I realized I liked eating the curds more than making them and so my quest to find the best curds in Wisconsin began. Most of my friends know me as the Curd Queen and I have run an Instagram account of the same name since 2016, where I share my curding experiences! Check it out to see many of my curding highlights including: being named a Culver’s superfan, my birthday cheese curd crawl, a cheese curd parody video, dressing up as cheese curds for Halloween and more!
Since I am the Curd Queen and I have made it my life mission to try to find the best curds in Wisconsin, I happen to know a thing or two about cheese curds and what makes a good one. The breading, the freshness, the flavor, the presentation, the texture, the squeakiness of the curd, the dipping sauces – it all comes into play when deciding. So without further ado, here are my top picks of places that serve up the fried best cheese curds around Wisconsin, in alphabetical order.
Curd Queen’s Favorite Spots in Wisconsin for Cheese Curds
1. Avenue Club and Bubble Up Bar – Madison, WI – These curds are served with a housemade ranch and have a light, fluffy beer batter with ooey gooey Sassy Cow cheese inside that makes your mouth water! Also, they have an incredible happy hour where their appetizers are half off! YES!!
2. Curd Girl Food Cart – Madison, WI – You can typically find their food cart at the Madison Farmer’s Market and you can also book them for special events. They have the most perfect crispy batter with incredibly fresh, high-quality cheese and a choice of buttermilk ranch or sriracha aioli. Trust me, the Curd Girl knows what she’s doing!
3. Craftsman Table and Tap – Middleton, WI – These curds are served to you in a bucket so immediately off the bat my heart was captured! They have a fluffy, impossibly light batter and are just an all around well balanced cheese curd! They are beer-battered with New Belgium Shift lager and stuffed with curds from Carr Valley cheese. Lastly, they are served with their buttermilk ranch to dip these delicious golden nuggets into.
4. Dlux – Madison, WI – Dlux isn’t playing around – They have unique and delicious curds! What really sets them apart is the cracked black pepper and sea salt in the breading. They don’t have any shortage of cheese inside and are served with delicious buttermilk dressing. Even better, take a seat on their patio and enjoy a view of the Capitol while indulging in their cheese curds! Also, if you are looking for a good takeout cheese curd, they have been the best I’ve had so far!
5. Graze – Madison, WI – This is probably my overall favorite restaurant in Madison. Located right on the Capitol Square, the ambiance and food can’t be beat! Their cheese curds are light and less greasy than others because of their unique vodka batter. Graze is known for using local ingredients and focusing on farm-to-table. They source their cheddar curds from Hook’s in Mineral Point, WI and are served with a house-made ranch dressing.
6. Grizzly’s Wood-Fired Grill – Eau Claire, WI – They aren’t playing around here! Served in a cast-iron skillet, these cheese curds are absolutely MASSIVE and oooooozing with cheesy goodness!
7. Longtable Beer Cafe – Middleton, WI – You get double the cheesy goodness here because not only do they have cheese curds but also goat cheese puffs! Their light and super cheesy cheese curds are made with Clock Shadow Creamery cheddar curds and are hand-battered in Belgian-style for a yummy blend. Last but not least, they have an endless array of dipping sauces!!! They have a few that are always on the list and then they have creative additions added regularly as well. Try the beer cheese sauce for double cheesy goodness!!
8. Next Door Brewing Company – Madison, WI – These win the award for the best cheese curd pull! They switch things up by using Muenster cheese instead of the classic cheddar cheese for their curds so they have a high melting point that allows you to pull the cheese over 2 feet! They serve their cheesy curds with a creamy ranch dressing. Most of their menu items include beer as an ingredient including the batter of their cheese curds. These curds are oversized and they are delicious!!
9. The Old Fashioned – Madison, WI – These curds are just good “old fashioned” classic cheese curds! They are dense, super greasy & cheesy, and packed full of flavor! They are served with a Spanish paprika dipping sauce and buttermilk ranch. Only one word describes these cheese curds – indulgent!
10. PJ’s Sentry World – Stevens Point, WI – Served in a cone, these beer-battered curds aren’t to be missed! They are made with Ellsworth cheese curds (which is the cheese curd capitol of the world) and they are served with ranch. I promise they won’t disappoint!
11. Stone Arch Brewpub – Appleton, WI – Breaking the traditional mold, these curds are served up as cubes! They are hand-made in Chippewa Falls, WI with Stone Arch Scottish Ale & deep fried. Served with ranch and marinara.
12. The Tin Fox – Madison, WI – I’m just going to come right out and say it – THEY HAVE PANCAKE CHEESE CURDS!!! Run, don’t walk to get these because they are unique and they will change your life. It’s hard to describe what they even taste like but if I had to, I would say that they are sweet and reminiscent of funnel cake but with melty cheese!! These curds are battered with pancake batter and glazed with 100% pure maple syrup and served with a maple syrup dipping sauce. Honestly, I think this is what dreams are made of!
13. Tipsy Cow – Madison, WI – Not only do they have traditional cheese curds but they also have goat cheese curds! Can’t decide which one you want? Get a half order of each! Both are absolutely delicious and have a crispy, peppery beer batter and are served with ranch.
Places on my wishlist that I heard were inCURDible:
Despite being the curd queen, I haven’t fulfilled my quest of trying all the cheese curds in Wisconsin so if you feel like I’ve missed your favorite place for cheese curds, comment below or message me on Instagram. I’d love to add some more places to my wish list!
Thanks again to Curd Queen for the awesome list of places to get cheese curds in Wisconsin!