Top 10 Stops for Deer Hunters

Shawano Country has a sizeable population of deer hunters and we can’t ignore that “the season” is upon us!

It’s that time of year when Wisconsin hunters plan life around heading out into the woods and bringing home a freezer full of venison.  For those not from this part of the country, let us tell you that deer hunting season has an almost holiday-like feel.  Days are taken off work, blaze orange gear is aired out from last year’s hunt, bags are packed, and a sizeable stockpile of beer and snacks are purchased and ready to bring along.

Charlie’s County Market
521 South Main Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 524-2523

Shawano’s grocery store of choice for the area’s best selection of beer and liquor, plus a nicely-curated selection of Wisconsin cheeses, a sugar-binge-worthy wall of candy, and a super-stocked meat department.  Run in and grab a case of Busch Light or a mix-your-sixer sixpack of microbrews – whatever’s your style, some bulk gummies, toilet paper, and you NEED those Doritos…now head to the cabin!

Stubborn Brothers Brewery
220 South Main Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 201-0859

Grab a growler, a few crowlers, or just stop in for a pint of one of Stubborn Brothers’ amazing brews.  Based on today’s offerings, we recommend Wild Child Honey Wheat, DC Cherry Tart, Shawano Club Pilsner, or Geisha IPA.  Frankly, they craft everything from porters to sours and fruity wheats; a lil’ something for every beer-drinking deer hunter.

The menu at Stubborn Brothers offers toasty-warm food that any woods-chilled hunter would crave: classic flatbread pizza with pepperoni and sausage, hearty beer cheese soup, big soft pub pretzels, steak nachos… you get the idea.

Twig’s Tattoos
528A South Main Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 201-0859

Been awhile since you got yourself some fresh ink?  Never gotten a tattoo before?  Why not get something to remember this season at Twig’s Tattoos in Shawano.  Our town is lucky to have such a professional, talented tattoo artist.  The work that comes out of Twig’s is simply outstanding, whether it’s a completely new design or a cover-up job.

Note: Generally, you’ll need to book ahead because appointments fill up fast – their work is THAT good!

Pingel Processing LLC
W9248 County Road A, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 851-8281

Pingel’s is located just outside of Red River and is a relatively new addition to the area meat market scene, but is really a re-introduction.  The Pingel family ran a beloved butcher shop in the city of Shawano for decades and now the next generation has taken on the business, with Dallas Pingel opening his own establishment and creating knock-out sausages (think Philly Cheesesteak Brats), gorgeous hand-trimmed steaks, and (we think you’ll appreciate this one) they handle wild game processing.

Wild game processing includes whole deer and whole bear, in season, and they also take scraps – plus, you are guaranteed to get your own meat back.  Pingel’s makes great sausage, so trust them to make you an awesome batch!

Please go check out this clean, new meat market and bring them that buck you bag!  Get yourself a fat ribeye for the grill while you’re there – you deserve it.

Pigeon River Brewing Company
1103 North Main Street #9182, Marion, WI 54950
Ph: (715) 256-7721

The little town of Marion has a hidden gem in the Pigeon River Brewing Company, so if you’re in that neck of the woods, stop in for a pint of “Buxom Lass” Scottish Ale or the self-explanatory “Hop Offer”, enjoyed in a jovial setting.

A full menu is offered and you can get yourself a meaty 1/3-pound Angus burger with that pint or select a prime rib sandwich, flatbread pizza, or choose from a variety of creative sandwiches, wraps, and appetizers.  Why not get another pint of that Buxom Lass before you go?

Mike’s Country Meats
800 County Road M, Tigerton, WI 54486
Ph: (715) 535-4741

The writer of this blog would like to stop right here and tell you something: as a self-proclaimed connoisseur of beef jerky, the jerky made at Mike’s is right on target.  None of that overly-squishy, greasy stuff comes from Mike’s; this jerky is firm, well-seasoned, and has just the right amount of chew.  Just as their website says, this may just be the #1 Jerky in Wisconsin.

Located in Tigerton but available at several local convenience stores (Arby’s 22 Shell in Shawano carries it), you can find bags of Mike’s mean Teriyaki, zesty Black Pepper, sweet and mellow Honey Barbeque, and screaming Carolina Reaper, to name a few.  This is a locally-made snack not to be missed.

Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats
1390 East Grand Avenue, Wittenberg, WI 54499
Ph: (715) 253-4059

Famous for their Applewood Smoked Bacon clear across the fifty states, this 3rd generation family-owned smokehouse in the village of Wittenberg is the real deal.  Make sure to get enough bacon for breakfasts at the cabin all week or you may find yourself making a second trip.

Of course you’ll want that Applewood Smoked Bacon, but if you want to change up your meals while you’re in the woods with the guys, get yourself some of their corned beef hash, smoky ham steaks, pancake mix and maple syrup, beef sticks, cheese curds, and anything your smoked meat lovin’ heart desires.

Twig’s Beverage
920 South Franklin Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 526-5031

Listen, we all know you’ll be having some beers, but what’s “as refreshing as a cup of coffee” in the morning?  You got it: SUNDROP.  Shawanoites (Shawanoans?) drink this sparkling stuff like it’s a cure-all.  For all we know, it might be.

Whether you’re on Team Can (so crisp!) or Team Glass Bottle (you can see the pulp!), this caffeinated citrus soda was really this first of its kind, classified as a “golden cola” way back when.  Made right here in Shawano, Wisconsin, you shouldn’t think of going out to deer camp without a case of those good old returnable glass bottles filled with the locals’ drink of choice.  Or get those crisp, cold cans…you decide!

Brother’s Market
N5858 Lake Drive, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 201-0755

Located at the “gate to The Mooseyards”, this souped-up C-store has everything a local – or a guest – could need.  With a variety of wine and beer at the ready, plus locally-sourced Wisconsin staples like fresh squeaky cheese curds, creamy fudge, smoked fish, and golden maple syrup.  They’ll have what you’re looking for, plus a few new favorites, we’re willing to bet.  Oh, and while you’re there, check out Brother’s Pub just across the street.  They’ve got a huge menu and friendly staff just waiting to make you an Old Fashioned or a stiff Windsor and Coke.

Brother’s has everything you need for the cabin, too: firewood, LP, ice – all the Northwoods staples!

Qualhiem’s True Value
1345 East Green Bay Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 526-6108

Real Talk: This place is part of the backbone of Shawano life.  Qualheim’s is an institution in this town.  Go there for pretty much anything.  You

know you’ll get to the cabin and find out you need to fix something.  Go there for buck calls and doe pee.  Go there for dog food.  Go there and rent pretty much anything, including a dunk tank (hey, it’s more fun than you think) or a live trap for the possum under your porch.  You get the idea.


Other Shawano Country Seasonal Info for Hunters & Friends:



Shawano Country’s Best Spots for Late Summer Outdoor Dining

Wisconsinites have always known how to make the most of the summer months, especially here “up north,” and this year we’re cherishing our time outside even more than usual, which is saying something.  Good news for everyone who wants to savor a bit more Wisconsin summer: Shawano Country has a TON of outdoor dining – with proper social distancing in place – that you can still take advantage of our gorgeous late summer warmth before winter creeps in.  …and if you prefer not to dine in the open air, there is both indoor seating and carry-out offered at the majority of our listed locations.  We’ve also included phone numbers so you can call and get that order in if you’re looking to carry out!

Here’s who made the Shawano Country Outdoor Dining List:

Bamboo Bar 
Lakefront seating on Shawano Lake’s South Shore.  Serving pizzas made in-house, burgers, and loads of other bar menu favorites…and you can enjoy your meal (and your cocktails) on tables that are as close to Shawano Lake as you can get without eating in your boat.  Speaking of boats, Bamboo has a dock and a boat launch, so park your boat and grab a burger!
W5884 Cedar Ct.
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 201-1158

Big City Gyros
Shawano’s only gyro joint!  Offering traditional lamb gyros, gyro burgers and salads, falafel, Italian beef sandwiches, and more – plus a full list of sides.   This newer addition to downtown Shawano has a handful of café tables outdoors, so get there early!
230 E. Green Bay St.
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 201-1141

Brothers’ Pub  
Enjoy their terrific food outside in their expanded outdoor seating area under a large tent, all just across the road from beautiful Shawano Lake.  With menu options like their big, beefy Steakhouse Wrap, Guinness cod sandwich, and seriously amazing fish tacos, plus appetizers like hand-rolled, homemade Mozzarella sticks, this lakeside spot has something for everyone on their sizeable menu.
N5867 County Rd HHH
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 524-5212

Crab ‘n Jack’s  
Wisconsin supper club overlooking the scenic Wolf River at Gilmore’s Mistake rapids
which is also worth checking out videos of, on YouTube, if you’re into kayaking.  Here you’ll find dandy Old Fashioneds, in true Wisconsin style, and a variety of menu options ranging from French Dip sandwiches (we hear they’re awesome) to meal-sized salads, hearty steaks, and pan-fried walleye.
N2580 WI-55
White Lake, WI  54491
(715) 882-8611

With an always-craveable custard Flavor of the Day (you can even order PINTS via drive-through) and their North Atlantic Cod sandwiches – not to mention their perfect ButterBurgers, super-satisfying crinkle-cut fries, and those Lemon Ice Coolers – this Wisconsin fast casual staple has outdoor seating, so you can stop and get yourself a treat to enjoy in the open air.
1220 E. Green Bay St.
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 526-2002

Glas Coffeehouse  
Enjoy your favorite caffeinated beverage crafted by cheerful baristas, have a tasty pastry, or savor a meal on the patio, with a view of the Wolf River.  You’ll be looking out at a charming view of Sunset Island but what all locals know, affectionately, as “Monkey Island”.  A dock is also available for watercrafts, so if you’re out on the lake or the Wolf River above Shawano dam and you want a skillfully-made latte, you can stop in by boat!
511 N. Main St.
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 851-4527

The Golden Cone 
This local custard shop has expanded their outdoor seating and is ready for you to come and try one of their Custom Cookie Custard Sandwiches (say that three times, fast).  We like ours made with chocolate chip cookies, stuffed with Peanut Butter Paradise custard, and then rolled in Nut Crunch, but trust us, if that’s not your thing, you’ve got LOADS of options!  They’ve got shaved ice, smoothies, sundaes, and tons of other sweet, frozen choices.  Located next door to Papa Murphy’s.
1063 E. Green Bay St.
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 851-6919

Hungry Bear Family Café & Catering  
Dine on the patio in the heart of downtown Bonduel, a small village just s a few minutes east of Shawano.  This place has EVERYTHING.  If you can think of your diner favorite, it’s on their menu.  Want biscuits & gravy?  Yep.  Loaded nachos?  Got it.  Pancakes?  OF course.  Breakfast skillets galore?  Check.  Rueben burgers?  Absolutely. Grilled tuna sandwiches?  Why not.  Perfect for family dining, because literally everyone will find something that they love at Bonduel’s Hungry Bear.
120 W. Green Bay St.
Bonduel, WI  54107
(715) 758-2727

The Launching Pad
Go visit local favorite bartender/owner Chad Kary, and his terrific bar staff at Shawano’s “border bar” between town and the lake.  They’ll mix you a perfect drink or pour you a brew from the tap.  The kitchen will prepare your burger perfectly (our pick is a Bacon Cheddar Cheese Burger with the works) and you’ll want to pair it with any side that gives you an excuse to dip into their homemade Ranch dressing (order extra Ranch), which the author believes to be the finest ranch dressing in the state of Wisconsin, which is saying something.  Yes, they have outdoor seating and an outdoor bar, plus weeknight menu specials that locals adore.
221 Airport Rd.
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 524-4098

The Lighthouse
A local lake favorite, this bar is as inland-nautical as Shawano gets.  They’ve got nice slips for you to park your boat and one of the area’s best outdoor dining areas for watching the water – and the people.  Stop here to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this bar and grill’s outdoor patio seating on the Wolf River Channel, just off Shawano Lake’s southwest corner.   Hit them up for Friday Fish Fry, too!
Gumaer Rd. (at the end)
Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 526-5600

Luigi’s Pizza & Pasta 
Pizza on the piazza?  Luigi’s fits the bill… join the Badalamente family and their friendly staff for pizza, pasta, and amazing desserts (we promise) on the piazza/patio.  If you were to ask any given Shawano-ite where they want to order from tonight, they will likely tell you, “Luigi’s”.  Anything you order, here, will make you happy.  The pizza is shockingly good, the desserts are homemade, the pasta is rich and filling (Killer Meat Sauce Alert), the specials are creative and well-prepared, and the cheese steak sandwiches are the real deal.  Oh, and if you love wings, theirs will NOT disappoint.
607 S. Main St.
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 524-4791

Maple Hills Golf Course & Restaurant 
Wittenberg’s 9-hole 36 par golf course is a slice of rural beauty, with scenic bridges and views of the area’s rolling landscape.  Dining is available each day from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm and features specials like Saturday’s Prime Rib & Steak Night, Thursday Night Wings, and, of course, a Friday Night Fish Fry.
N6621 Cardinal Ln.
Wittenberg, WI  54499
(715) 253-2448

Pigeon River Brewing Co.
Located in Marion, Wisconsin, about 30 minutes to the southwest of Shawano, this small-town brewery was awarded “Fastest Growing Small Craft Brewery” by the Brewers Association in 2019.  Owned by Nathan Knaack, who hails from the area, this brewery has beer you must try (Wet Willy Oatmeal Stout, Buxom Lass Scottish Ale) and a solid menu.  Think shrimp tacos, whiskey BBQ chicken wraps, and fried Dupont cheese curds (Dupont Cheese is practically right next door, so you KNOW they’re ultra-fresh).
1103 N Main St.
Marion, WI 54950
(715) 256-7721

Shawano’s Café 
A newer Shawano dining spot, Shawano’s Café currently offers outdoor seating in addition to traditional indoor seating and they’re just (and when we say “just”, we mean literally 1-2 minutes) outside of Shawano, south on Highway 22, right next to Boarders. Check them out for daily specials, which they have a great variety of, killer pancakes, chicken stirfry, glorious French toast, and classic Sunday baked chicken, plus a looooooong list of other menu items.
W7389 River Bend Rd.
Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 201-1122

Stubborn Brothers Brewery
Two brothers.  A meticulously restored 1900’s vaudeville theater.  A labor of love.  A lot of great beer coming your way.  In an era when we sometimes choose to cast the old away rather than care for it, Stubborn Brothers Aaron and Erik Gilling took time to burnish, paint, reveal, and restore this treasure of a building… and then they created fantastic signature brews and a menu with enough comfort foods to make any rural Wisconsinite smile (Beer Mac and Cheese! Soft Pub Pretzels!) and enough innovative dishes to keep any visiting urbanites entertained (Vegan Kohlrabi Salad, Brie-Tomato-Bacon-Basil Croissants).  This theater-turned-brewery is fast becoming downtown Shawano’s structural heart.
220 S. Main St.
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 201-0859

The Sugar Bowl 
Know what Shawano loves, besides Sun Drop soda?  Ice cream.  Lots and lots of ice cream.   The Sugar Bowl has ice cream, beer, wine, snacks, AND Sun Drop, so what’s not to like?  Housed in what was once a bowling alley, this Main Street spot has loads of vintage character and several cute, colorful outdoor tables to the south of the building, just ready to sit at and enjoy watching downtown Shawano stroll by… and have a big bowl of Cookies & Cream ice cream, or whatever flavor is calling to you!
136 S. Main St.
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 201-1116

The Thunderbird Club  
A restaurant, mini-casino, and convenience store, The Thunderbird Club is located on Berry Lake and has daily dining specials like Sunday’s Cajun chicken sandwich with fries, Saturday’s brats and burgers, and Tuesday’s steak sandwiches.  Hang out on the patio and order up that Friday Night Fish Fry!
W106 County VV
Keshena, WI  54135
(715) 799-6541

The Torch Lite (Anello’s Torch Lite) 
A Shawano dining tradition with everything you expect from a classic Wisconsin supper club, albeit one that’s listed as an Italian restaurant.  If you’re not from around here, know that supper clubs showcase the soul of Wisconsin dining and that means there will be:

  • Charming waitstaff
  • Perfectly-executed Old Fashioneds
  • A supper club-style salad bar, with important items like cold green peas, hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, and hot bacon dressing.  Oh, and those tiny fried toasts with cheese spread, because you cannot have a proper supper club salad bar without these items.  😊
  • Masterfully-cooked prime rib in a variety of weights to choose from… served with au jus, of course
  • Unforgettable twice-baked potatoes
  • Scallops in beurre blanc that will make you wish you placed a double order
  • Another round of Old Fashioneds

Several years back, the original building burned to the ground.  The owners could have just called it quits, but they chose to rise from the ashes and built a brand-new Torch Lite.  Visit and bask in true “Midwestern nice” supper club hospitality…a Shawano tradition.
1276 E. Green Bay St.
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 526-5680