What’s your favorite part about vacation? Do you look forward to eating fantastic food? Do you love learning about local traditions and culture? If you answered yes, then you need to experience a Door County fish boil! These unique community events bring everyone together for an evening full of fresh food, lively music, and good company.
If you’re searching for more things to do and places to see in the area, request access to our free Door County Vacation Guide! It’s full of insider tips and recommendations for the best activities, events, and places to eat in Door County.
What Is a Door County Fish Boil?
A fish boil is a traditional Scandinavian technique for cooking large amounts of fish. A stainless-steel pot is placed over an open fire and filled with locally caught whitefish steaks. The fish is commonly seasoned with salt, potatoes, onions, and melted butter.
Throughout the cooking process, the fish oils slowly rise to the surface. Before the master boiler pulls the pot off, they throw fuel onto the fire, causing the flames to engulf the fish and the water to boil over. A delicious and unforgettable meal follows this picture-worthy moment.
Here in Door County, traditional fish boils have been an integral part of our culture for over 70 years. Each restaurant uses fresh-caught Lake Michigan whitefish and adds its own style and quirks to enhance the simplicity of the meal.
5 of the Best Places for a Door County Fish Boil
1. Old Post Office
Fish Boils occur on evenings Monday through Saturday (plus Sunday evenings on holiday weekends).
The Old Post Office Fish Boil takes place in a restored post office that served the Ephraim community in the early 1900s. In addition to deliciously prepared whitefish steaks, you’ll be able to choose from a buffet of red potatoes, rye bread, and fresh-baked Door County cherry pie. The venue also provides stunning waterfront views and indoor dining room seating. Please make sure to make your reservations in advance!
2. The Viking Grill and Lounge
Address: 12029 WI-42, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
Fish Boils occur on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The Viking Grill is more than just the site of the original outdoor Door County fish boil. Dan Peterson is also one of the only local boilers to honor the Scandinavian cooking process of this treasured event. The restaurant is open seven days a week for all meals and serves up delicious casual American fare.
3. White Gull Inn
Fish boils occur each Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening from May to October and then on Friday evenings during the remainder of the year.
Throughout the year, the White Gull Inn hosts an unforgettable Door County fish boil experience. You can watch the process on the restaurant’s patio and see precisely how the master boiler creates your magnificent meal. Inside the dining room, the fish and potatoes are served with lemon, coleslaw, melted butter, and homemade bread. They also offer baked chicken for those that don’t prefer fish.
4. Pelletier’s Restaurant & Fish Boil
Address: 4199 Main Street, Fish Creek, WI 54212
Fish boils occur nightly.
Pelletier’s holds a remarkable fish boil every night, running from May through October. In addition to the traditional savory whitefish, they serve an assortment of chicken, BBQ ribs, cherry pie, and plenty of other tasty options. Make sure you reserve a spot in advance!
5. Rowleys Bay Restaurant and Fish Boil
Address: 1041 County Road ZZ, Rowleys Bay, WI 54210
Fish boils occur every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evening (the restaurant is closed during winter months).
Rowleys Bay is happy to offer the only all-you-can-eat fish boil buffet in Door County. This cozy eatery also serves brunch and features the area’s largest soup, salad, and bakery bar. You’ll love the sparkling water views here!
Book Your Stay at The Ashbrooke Hotel
After a day of exploring the many traditions and memorable places in Door County, head back to your luxurious room at The Ashbrooke Hotel. Our signature accommodations feature the best amenities for the perfect stay. Whether you’re on a romantic retreat with your significant other or escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life, our central location gives you access to all of the great attractions, dining, and natural beauty of Door County.