The tranquil town of Janesville, WI is a bastion of breathtaking beauty. If you are hungry, the town is home to over 100 restaurants that can satisfy your palate.
Head to the charming downtown historic district and find casual dining and food trucks with a pretty diverse selection of fare. If you want to sample local wine or craft beer and ale, there are plenty of breweries and wineries to choose from. Janesville, WI is a picturesque town with great art and a few dinner theaters.
There is nothing more exhilarating than chowing down on great food while being entertained by local talent. Many of the restaurants have patios and balconies. This gives you the opportunity to gaze at the town’s natural beauty, including the world-renowned botanical gardens.
During the summertime, you can walk the streets and enjoy some pretty eclectic music choices. Food trucks have long lines of hungry tourists and locals who can’t wait to dig into delicious American, Turkish, Italian, Asian, and Middle Eastern foods and more.
1. Mexico En La Sangre
$$ | 608-563-0227 | WEBSITE
If you want great and authentic Mexican food, this is the place to go. The staff is great and everything is plated beautifully. It’s a small restaurant but it comes highly recommended.
Try out menu favorites like tacos with handmade corn tortillas, deep-fried flautas, or chicken quesadillas with green sauce. You can dine in or carry out. People flock to this restaurant for good reason. The portions are large, so you will definitely get your fill.
2. Bessie’s Diner
$ | 608-743-9830 | WEBSITE
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Get a great breakfast and lunch experience at Bessie’s Diner. Situated a short distance from the regional airport, Bessie’s offers the delicious comfort food you grew up with as a child. The place is very friendly and open year-round. Eat your waffles and drink your coffee as planes take off and land.
Bessie’s has mouth-watering pancakes, and even breakfast burritos made with fresh Pico and chorizo. You can also get some pretty wicked drinks, like the First Class Mimosa and Bessie’s Bloody Mary.
$ | 608-554-3712 | WEBSITE
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This is no run-of-the-mill burger joint. Culver’s has a full menu of tasty chicken sandwiches, seafood, soups, salads, and ice cream. You can dine in or carry out.
If you’re driving, your bag will undoubtedly be empty when you arrive home. They are that good. Feel free to try one of their signature classics, like the beef pot roast sandwich or the grilled Reuben. If you want to go meatless, the Harvest veggie burger is a blast.
4. Luke’s Deli
$ | 608-756-1123 | WEBSITE
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Luke opened his restaurant in 2007. He has been in business for over 15 years. Luke’s doesn’t offer any flair or flash, just great food that is fresh and flavorful.
Diners can sit outside on the patio and enjoy delicious turkey sandwiches, and the soup of the day. Try out one of Luke’s “Top 15” menu items, which includes an assortment of gyro, burgers, and wraps. Luke also caters if you have a party or a corporate gathering.
5. The Italian House
$ | 608-754-2226 | WEBSITE
This family-owned restaurant offers the best in authentic Italian cuisine. The Italian House has deep roots in the community. They have many repeat customers who have been coming since the opening in 1987.
The Italian House serves sandwiches, pasta, chicken, seafood, and more. Customers rave about the mostaccioli with meat sauce. The Fettuccine seafood Alfredo is also a great choice. The owner, Edmund, is a delight and his staff serves with a smile.
6. Citrus Cafe
$ | 608-754-9006 | WEBSITE
Once you walk into Citrus Cafe, you will understand why they won the “Best Local Breakfast” award. Hot coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, and omelets to die for.
The menu has a full selection of delicious pancakes, waffles, French toast, and more. Everything is made fresh and quick. Citrus Cafe is open for your convenience. Please check their website or call for accurate hours of operation.
7. Sammy’s Hilltop
$ | 608-755-1317 | WEBSITE
Locally owned Sammy’s Hilltop is back and better than ever. The food and drink are great. The burgers are huge and come with a large portion of fries. Try Sammy’s Italian beef, coconut shrimp, or the delicious beer cheese.
At Sammy’s, you can dine in or take out. They also have a patio if you care to dine outside. They are open late during the week and even later on the weekends if you want to grab a late snack.
8. Lisa’s Pizzeria
$$ | 608-756-1117 | WEBSITE
Lisa’s is a small restaurant that packs a big punch. She really knows how to make pizza. Try regular pizza or Sicilian. The dough is made fresh to order.
You can also get an assortment of beers on tap. The crowd loves Lisa’s Pizzeria because it’s no-nonsense. Just good food. The prices are also pretty reasonable. The staff is prompt and friendly. You can dine in or carry out. They have a lot of orders, so you may have to wait.
9. Hailey’s Sweets & Treats
$ | 608-774-4620 | WEBSITE
The owner, Hailey Smith, has honed her baking skills since she was 16 years old. She now owns an award-winning bakery that offers cupcakes, cakes, bites, bars, and more that are aesthetically pleasing as they are delicious.
If you have an upcoming party or wedding, you should give her a call. Her offerings are the bomb and she has the receipts to back them up. Go to her gallery to see samples of her work.
10. Sandee’s Thai Fusion
$ | 608-563-2147 | WEBSITE
Sandee’s Thai Fusion puts a new spin on authentic Thai food that anyone would enjoy. Her professional staff of chefs uses only the freshest ingredients when they whip up signature dishes like volcano duck & shrimp, seafood savory ginger, and soups.
The restaurant ambiance is very inviting and lively. Sandee lets you know in advance that wait times can range up to 30 minutes. I can be longer on busy days. You can call in advance if you want to pick up your order.
11. Cozy Inn Chinese Restaurant
$$ | 608-752-4597 | WEBSITE
This award-winning restaurant is one of the oldest in the city. While the menu may have changed over the years, the authenticity and quality have not. The sweet and sour chicken and egg rolls are very tasty.
The shrimp lo Mein is a crowd favorite. Cozy Inn Chinese Restaurant also offers beef chicken and seafood dishes. The prices are reasonable and the portions plentiful. Be sure to check out the daily lunch specials.
12. Jim’s Pizzeria
$ | 608-754-8266 | WEBSITE
Eat your pizza in a fun and entertaining environment at Jim’s Pizzeria. This popular spot is known for its signature taco pizza plus much more. Stop by to see what makes this restaurant so special.
The menu has many other delicious offerings, like the calzone, cheeseburger pizza, cheese bread, and chicken wings. One thing you can count on when you go to Jim’s is fast and tasty food. Dine in or carry out.
13. El Jardin Restaurant
$ | 608-741-8917 | WEBSITE
This restaurant is off the beaten path. But when you find it, you will be impressed. Established in 1975, this place serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner favorites.
Indulge your hunger for nachos, quesadillas, chips and dips, and more. The restaurant also caters for events and special celebrations. The place is lively and always jumping with music and entertainment. Leave it to the staff to make your celebration a big hit.
Janesville, WI is known for its beauty and art. But the culinary scene is also an important part of the city’s growth. You can find the best restaurants in Janesville that serve delicious fare.
If you happen to visit the area, head downtown. You will find dozens of restaurants ready to serve you with a smile.
Hayden has been a digital director for years. He has five years of experience editing and writing about food, restaurant, and recipe review content. At Birch Restaurant, he’s in charge of scouting, showing up unannounced in different restaurants, and writing a thorough food guide!