The Burgers of Wisconsin
When one takes a trip to Wisconsin and consumes massive amounts of cheese, sausage and beer they probably think they completed the list for regional eats but they forgot a few things. As much a part of the Sconnie diet as those three items are-so happen to be burgers and custard. Anyone who's been to the state and other parts of the Midwest has most likely passed quite a few Culver's fast food outlets (started in Wisconsin) known for their butter burgers and custard. While Culver's is good and an alright choice if you need a quick bite off the highway-there are so many other spots in Wisconsin with a few locations here and there that take the burger/custard combo to another level. The leader of this pack has got to be Kopp's. Its been that way since 1950 when they first started making the Wisconsin treat.
In 'n Out wishes it could compete with Kopp's
Kopp's has three locations in and near Milwaukee and is always a to-do on my list when I visit. If the different style of futuristic architecture isn't pleasing enough on the eyes then the burgers and custard certainly will be. I'm not a big fan of desert and prefer Italian Ice and fruit based ones to ice cream and milk based but I do love me some frozen custard. Wisconsin is the land of custard and Kopp's is King according to most locals I've talked too. Why is it better than ice cream? well its typically made with eggs, cream, sugar and of course butter. Only in Wisconsin do they load the butter on any and everything and Kopp's is a testament to that tradition. While 99 out of 100 people that go into Kopp's get custard about 95 out of 100 also go for the food-the burgers to be exact.
Beef...its whats for dinner
Kopp's is one of the peoples of Milwaukee's favorite places to eat and because of this there has been times when I was in there and there were 300+ people waiting in the various lines inside. Its a real summertime destination as there is no dining area inside-just a large park like area outside where people sit down and eat. The parking lot is large and goes around the shack in a circle where you are greeted by 100's of cow statues and there is no drive thru. Its a park, get your food, eat and go process that's all part of the charm. I am always shocked by how smooth and on time they get the orders taken and made which is no small feat since it gets real packed and the burgers are made fresh to order.
fries are better than most so I usually order them
cheeseburger with 30's style toppings (pickles, mustard and Kopps fried onions)
The jumbo burgers, which are standard, need to be eaten with two hands at first and at $3.60 its about the same price as the Whopper and Big Mac and it couldn't be further apart in quality and taste than those two. While I find the beef at Kewpee's to still be the best tasting beef in state-the fresh meat here is still much better than most places. What makes Kopp's burgers a contender when it comes to best in Wisconsin-a state full of 5 star burger spots-is the bun and the toppings. Wisconsin just doesn't mess around when it comes to their burgers and they take every facet of them seriously. The buns at Fred's burger and Kopp's are the best I have ever had and take both of them to a higher level than they already were. The topping list at Kopp's is also just perfect. It includes ketchup, mustard, raw onions, fried onions, relish, lettuce, pickles, mayo, tomatoes, hot sauce, jalapenos, bleu cheese and salsa. Butter is standard on every burger...even plain. If that's not enough they also offer Wisconsin's own Nueske's bacon crisped to perfection.
cheeseburger with just about everything including the best bacon anywhere
Grasshopper Custard in a cup
-Grubbing in Milwaukee
Where the locals eat.
When you first glance at Koppa's it looks as though its just another independent grocery store. While it is an independent family owned joint, its not your normal corner store. Going on 25 years now the people of Milwaukee have made Koppa's and the fulbeli deli inside-one of the eating treasures in the area. Located right near the UW-Milwaukee campus in the East Side neighborhood it is a very popular spot with the college kids and everyone from the neighborhood.
What a neighborhood grocery store should be like
Koppa's is just like any other mom and pop grocery store as far as looks and shelved goods go but they shine in other spots. You can find fresh meat, nice fresh looking/tasting produce, some unique grocery items you wont find at many other spots, a great selection of beer and wine and one of the best deli's in any grocery store around. You will find humorous advertising slogans and on occasion, public posting of those who chose to write bad checks. Its really, one of the coolest little grocery spota I have ever been too anywhere. Its easy to see why this place is so popular with the UW students seeing as though they have everything a college student could want. Students get beer, groceries like cereal and chips, lunch, snacks and toiletries all in one quick stop.
Fluffernutter sammys and whoopie pies for the college kids
There's nothing that feels like a corporate grocery store here
Check out the display case of old time Wisconsin beer cans
On top of the really nice beer selection and fresh produce the real star of Koppa's is the deli aka The Fulbeli deli. The deli which is known for its out of this word sandwiches of which many are named after a planet or something in the solar system. One of the hardest decisions to make is what sandwich to get. The sandwich choices are endless and so are the ways they prepare them. You want a cold cut double decker? got 'em, subs? got 'em, Hodag breakfast sandwiches? got those too, Veggie delights, grilled specialties and signature sandwiches? check, check and check. The option of several breads is there and all sorts of condiments and fresh sliced deli meats make it a real Wisconsin gem.The only problem you'll have when visiting is what sandwich to get.
its not hype, Koppa's does it right
Koppa's has signature sandwiches like the Bread Favre which consists of shaved Cajun turkey breast, sharp cheddar, bacon, avocado, red onion, lettuce, tomato, mayo and dressing on a fresh baked roll. Pair that with Koppa’s seasoned fries and you’re good to go. Want an Elvis? you guessed it-it's a fried PB and banana sandwich. As if Koppa's wasn't unique enough in its own right-it gets even more so as you wait for your sandwich to be made. Directly across the aisle from the deli counter is an employee donated Atari system with over 50 games to play. So as your waiting for your handmade sandwich to be crafted just plop down into the lazy boy chairs and play some video games while you wait.
A rimpish-ham, turkey, tomato, onion, lettuce, mayo, bacon and secret sauce
Pinkowski-shaved pastrami, Swiss cheese, red onions & spicy mustard on marble rye
The Eastside neighborhood is so chill that I almost considered subletting a spot there this summer-just so I could have a place to chill in Milwaukee. Between the bars, food stops like Koppa's and the beautiful blonde's running around everywhere, there's not much more I could ask for. When someone asks my favorite Midwest city other than Chicago its an easy answer-Milwaukee. Its also one of my favorites cities in the country. Great eating, real boozing with a great bar scene and did I mention the hordes of gorgeous thick blonde females?
Kopp's Frozen Custard
5373 N Port Washington Rd
Milwaukee, WI 53217
Koppa's Farwell Foods
1940 N Farwell Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202-1410
Website w/Deli menu