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  • Nikki

Best Places to Eat in Downtown Prairie du Chien

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

For the relatively small size of the town, Prairie du Chien truly has an amazing number of great options when it comes to dining - at any time of day! Having grown up in the area, I definitely have my favorites, and having a place just one block from downtown, I love the convenience of walking to grab a sandwich, sitting down for dinner or grabbing a slice - and walking back to the Cottage.

The Blackhawk

The Blackhawk is my personal favorite when it comes to eating out in Prairie du Chien. Even if it wasn't just one block away from the Corner Cottage, it would still be my go to! The ambiance exudes a classic, supper club vibe, with an eclectic mix of vintage beer signs and sports memorabilia on display. Tuck into an upholstered U-shaped booth for a glass of wine and hand battered onion rings. The bar features a huge oval seating area, a giant (free) shuffleboard table and talented bartenders. The menu offers a large selection of dinner options, including steak, seafood, tons of appetizers and of course - a Friday fish fry! On Thursdays they serve all you can eat wings and on the weekend, there is almost always live music. In the summer, enjoy food and live music on their large patio. Check their Facebook page for upcoming live music performances and food specials. Ask for Becky as your server, she'll steer you right!

Muddy Waters Pizza

This pizza is the BOMB!!! If you love fresh, homemade pizza with incredible sauce and crust, look no further! The restaurant is open Thursday & Friday nights and Saturday day and night for dine in or carry out services. The inside of Muddy Waters has a rustic feel with vintage newspaper wallpaper, a big rustic bar with a nice beer selection, good music playing and a view of pizzas being created in the kitchen. They have several specialty, fur-trapper themed pizzas or you can build your own to your liking. Bonus - if you're downtown enjoying music at one of the many bars and are feeling hungry, call them and a Muddy Waters staffer will walk a pizza over to you! :) My favorite pizza is the Oktoberfest! See their menu on their Facebook page.

Simply Cafe

Do not skip this place on your next visit! Simply Cafe gives you the feeling of discovering a true gem with big city vibes but in a small town. The menu features a great mix of carefully selected soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and bowls - and rocks a full coffee bar. Every detail has been thought of, from the streamlined ordering and pickup process, quaint seating scattered throughout & easy-to-read menu displays, to the perky music and high end dishes. If they are serving the French Onion Soup when you stop by - GET IT! Also - the portions are very generous, so feel confident in selecting a "pick two", you won't go away hungry. View their menu here

Fort Mulligans

Three words. GET. THE. CURDS.
Seriously, do it!!! They are served with marinara as shown, but I order mine with an extra side of ranch (chef's kiss!). The breading is light and the curds are stuffed with white melty cheese, the perfect combo of crunch and GOOEYNESS! Mulligan's has a large menu with lots of choices for both lunch and dinner - something for everyone. The shrimp tacos are great, cajun Chicken Penne is another solid choice and they serve a great Bloody Mary. If you are lucky enough to be there on a day when they're serving Tuna Melts - get one! The interior has a lot of seating, a large wrap around bar and features rustic decor with historic memorabilia from the area. Check out their menu here.

Backwater Grill

This is a GREAT seasonal place to go for lunch or dinner, especially when the weather is good. As the name suggests, the restaurant is situated alongside the backwaters of the Mississippi River. The restaurant, which also holds a very large bar, features roll-up doors, galvanized metal accents and access to a giant wrap around deck. Seat yourself inside or out and pick from a nice selection of fancied up bar food like flatbread pizzas, soft pretzels, wings, burgers and even ribs! The Backwater Grill has dart machines to play while you wait for your food and live music every Saturday night in season. They also serve a lot of themed, specialty cocktails. It's a very popular spot, so if you want to eat there on a Saturday night, you might want to go early to get a table!

Pete's Hamburger Stand

I can't very well talk about downtown PdC eating without including Pete's. While you technically can't sit in for a meal, you don't need to. My kids wander down to grab burgers at this iconic staple, and gobble them up before they even get back to the cottage (1 block walk)! Pete's has been slinging burgers since 1909 and has become so well known for their water-cooked patties, you'll most likely have to wait in line no matter the time of day. Get them plain or with fried onions and grainy mustard, chips and a drink. Simple menu!


Rowdy's proudly displays a large banner proclaiming itself as having the "2nd best burger in town", which while hilarious, is also true! The standard menu consists of burgers, sandwiches, house made fries and specials - try the smoked pork!! The burgers are inexpensive and GOOD. They also sell their homemade french fry seasoning and Bloody Mary pickles! The inside of the restaurant is very much a bar, with gambling machines and food served on paper plates. They also offer take-out service by stopping in or calling ahead. View their menu on their Facebook page.

Stay at the Corner Cottage

Corner Cottage Vacation Rental in Prairie du Chien

After a full day of golf at one (or more) of the many options in Prairie du Chien, head back to the Corner Cottage Vacation Rental, conveniently located just one block from Prairie's downtown River District. This mid-century modern, four bedroom home comfortably sleeps nine guests and features a private patio with plenty of off-street parking for your vehicles and boat.


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