Jan 25, 2023

Northwoods nostalgia at River’s Edge Pub & Grub, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

In a town that caters to tourists as much as Wisconsin Dells, Wis., sometimes it’s not easy to find the places the locals go when they want to dine out.  Fortunately, on our most recent trip to the Dells, Punky and I followed the Lake Delton shoreline from our resort to a place with a charming exterior that also happened to be one of the most popular hangouts for Wisconsin Dells residents.

Welcome to the River’s Edge Pub & Grub. 

Located on County Highway A just a couple miles south of downtown Wisconsin Dells, the River’s Edge Pub & Grub rests where Lake Delton meets the Wisconsin River, so the name is actually quite accurate. 

It’s also coincidentally next door to the River’s Edge Resort, which is apparently popular with vacationers who enjoy fishing and other water activities.  After all, the resort has a bait shop right across from the pub’s rear entrance.  

And that’s where Punky and I entered the River’s Edge Pub & Grub from.  We had thought about dining outside, but the chill in the air and approaching sunset led us to seek out the bar area.   

Once we were inside, it became pretty obvious to me why so many Wisconsin residents would feel at home here.  River’s Edge bills itself as a rustic family dining experience, and the log cabin interior … long, winding tree trunks serve as the main beams of the ceiling … and wall décor provides plenty of Northwoods nostalgia.  

The bar room especially won us over.  After all, who wouldn’t want an old fashioned or two in these surroundings?   

But the bar’s biggest draw, quite literally, is the huge tree in the center of it all.  As fate would have it, the two barstools closest to the tree were open when we arrived, so we naturally took them.  Yes, the view was slightly obscured, but why quibble? 

If the tree is too rustic for your tastes, River’s Edge Pub & Grub has additional dining rooms on both sides of the bar.  One is apparently a big hit with the kids because of its giant aquarium.  If it swims in Wisconsin waters, you’ll probably find it in the pub’s 4,000-gallon tank.  And the other wildlife on display surrounding the aquarium just shows you taxidermy is a thriving business in these parts.   

The aquarium isn’t the only place where you’ll find quality freshwater fish at River’s Edge Pub & Grub.  Some of the best local catches are on the restaurant’s supper club-style menu and being served up every night, along with other standard pub fare. 

I, of course, couldn’t resist going for the broasted cod with an add-on order of grilled scallops (Punky suggested I indulge myself).  The meal was made complete with the requisite baked potato, cole slaw and rye bread. 

Meat eaters won’t go hungry at River’s Edge, though.  There are also plenty of classic steak cuts on the menu (prime rib was the nightly special when we were there), and it wouldn’t be a Wisconsin pub without broasted chicken being served.  

Between the food, drink and cozy atmosphere, we left River’s Edge Pub & Grub full and happy.  And Punky happily chatted up a few locals who make River’s Edge their regular gathering place on weekends. 

If you’re looking for a taste of real-life Wisconsin while you’re visiting the Dells, look south of town to the River’s Edge Pub & Grub.

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