Milwaukee's best cheese curd is a highly contested debate. Allow us, the staff of Milwaukee Magazine, to offend you by stating our controversial opinions on the matter.
Black Sheep‘s pancake-battered cheese curds come with a maple syrup dipping sauce, because eating cheese curds for breakfast is sooooo Wisconsin. The combination of sweet and salty makes you want more, and more, and more.
– Katie Williams, Circulation Manager
When friends visit from out of town, I often bring them to Lakefront Brewery. After we take the tour and fill our commemorative pint glasses with whatever’s on tap at the bar, we usually order some fried cheese curds too. And, maybe it’s because I’m always a little tipsy when I eat them, but I’m convinced that they’re way better than your standard pub or brewery fare – crispy on the outside, warm and satisfyingly string-y on the inside.
– Lindsey Anderson, Culture Editor
I like the pure curd gluttony they serve up at Bass Bay Brewhouse in Muskego. Just the deep-fried curds on their own, with buttermilk ranch dipping sauce, are great. But they have a pulled ham poutine that, along with melty cheese curds, comes topped with a fried egg. And their Wisconsin burger has a beef patty, Usinger’s brat, Muenster cheese, caramelized onions and curds on a pretzel bun. That is a meal followed by a nap!
– Ann Christenson, Dining Critic
I will knowingly burn my entire mouth every single time to chow down on the gooey morsels from Fuel Café the moment the skillet hits that dark wood table. If you want ranch – REALLY want ranch, and let’s be honest ladies, who doesn’t? – speak up. You’ll need at least two ramekins if you want enough to cover your curd (and most of your fingertips) in the sauce. These Clock Shadow Creamery curds are beer battered with Oddball by Mobocraft. So, it’s only natural to wash it down with another Mobcraft beer of choice.
– Brock Kaplan, Senior Designer
I went to Pizza Man once for a half-priced wine special and ended up ordering the cheese curds, which I swore were the best fried morsels I’d ever experienced. My judgment – in ordering and in praising – may have been compromised by the wine. In fact, the wine plays a large role in this story because Pizza Man doesn’t even appear to sell cheese curds (anymore?) so this may have been an extended Milwaukee-themed fantasy sequence. But if you ever catch them on the menu (again?) I urge you wash them down with a bottle of vino.
– Karisa Langlo, Digital Editor
The ideal fresh curd is spongy, salty and squeaky, with a little wet film (I think that’s whey?), and served at room temperature. It can only be improved by breading (light beer batter) and deep-frying to viscous, slightly greasy perfection. My favorite fried curds are made at Next Door Brewing in Madison (sorry, Milwaukee).
– Chris Drosner, Executive Editor
Camino. More like Cami-yaasss. These curds should be served with a “you will not be hungry after” guarantee. This husky half-pound portion of warm Clock Shadow Creamery’s very own is served in a bar basket. I may not be a fan of Vladmir Putin, but when Camino hands you Russian dressing for dipping I can forget about the 2016 election for a tiny blissful second.
– Brock Kaplan, Senior Designer