Lighter Fare and Lighthouses

4/24/2019 - Taylor Thomas

Foodie, Lake Michigan, Shopping
Lighter Fare and Lighthouses in Kenosha, WI
Lighter Fare and Lighthouses in Kenosha, WI
Lighter Fare and Lighthouses in Kenosha, WI
Lighter Fare and Lighthouses in Kenosha, WI

“I’m thankful I don’t have to hunt for food, because I don’t even know where sandwiches live.” –Hill Aireus Lee Fuhnee

I love this sarcastic quote, but I can definitely tell you where some great wraps and sandwiches “live” if you are visiting the Kenosha Area. No hunting necessary!  I’ll lead you to the kill.  Maybe that didn’t sound right… but foods that are a little less weighed down are great when you want to go out adventuring. And by adventuring, I mean things like exploring lighthouses! Here we go…

In my quest for lighter fare, now that spring has sprung, my first stop was at The Buzz Café in the ever-refreshing downtown district.  I love this place. A real mix of people - Individuals working on laptops, couples meeting for lunch, groups studying, or writers waiting for inspiration to strike. There’s also a real mix of seating – barstools at a counter, couches in the back, table sharing, bar-height and low-top tables, so truly something for everyone.  You order at the counter and then take your number to your chosen spot. What to order? This café has a full menu of drink options along with delicious paninis, wraps, soups, and salads.  They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with choices that will certainly satisfy the hard-to-please palette.   The first time I went with a friend and ordered a saliva-dripping-ooh-so-chocolatey hot chocolate (messy but beautiful), with an “Adulting is Hard” panini and a “Basic Panini.” Adulting is Hard panini had peanut butter, bacon, brie, grape jelly, and arugula on everything bread.  5 stars – repeat 5 stars.  The Basic Panini had Everroast chicken, Vermont cheddar, bacon, avocado spread, and black pepper aioli on Telera bread. 5 stars – repeat 5 stars.  I don’t think you can go wrong with their variety of choices.  I loved listening to the people making coffee while we waited and enjoyed the jazz music playing subtly in the background.  It was a very mellow atmosphere, great mood lighting, and the old brick walls created such a nice ambiance.  

My second stop later in the week was with my little family to Jack’s Café located at Jack Andrea in uptown.  This cute little café takes up about a quarter of the unique gift shop, which opened in 1911. The booths are cozy, as are the old fashioned tables and chairs. You can opt to sit at their vintage soda fountain counter, too.  They have delicious home-made soups, salads, sandwiches, coffee, breakfast offerings, and ice cream treats.   There are plenty of vegan and gluten free options coming from this kitchen. I chose the Jack’s Combo from their menu.  You can choose salad or soup plus a sandwich.  My chicken salad sandwich on sourdough with chicken noodle soup hit the spot.  Also try the Santa Monica Avocado Toast – you won’t be disappointed! The Kid’s menu was a great price point to my delight (under $5!).  My daughters chose to get a Neapolitan shake that easily split into two full glasses for each of them and toasted cheddar cheese sandwiches.  They were delicious and finished every last bite.  You can also order a lunch to go or grab something from the ready-to-go cooler - as they call it, “Nosh & Nourish.” Perfect for a picnic!

Both of these venues offer seasonal outdoor seating, which is a bonus when you need a healthy dose of vitamin D via the sunshine. After you get your belly nourished but not overly full, the real adventure begins. You simply must climb the Southport Lighthouse, which is located on the grounds of the Southport Light Station Museum.  The museum consists of the 1866 Southport lighthouse and the 1867 Lighthouse Keeper's residence.  According to the Kenosha History Center website, “The Kenosha History Center undertook restoration of the Keeper's residence in order to preserve the history of local light keepers and Kenosha's fishing and shipping heritage.” I have climbed this lighthouse – all 72 steps to the top. There is a modest $10 fee, and if you’re not afraid of heights and don’t mind a spiraling staircase, the views from the top are worth every penny. (The 2019 season opens May 2.)

Just steps east of the Southport Lighthouse is the North Pier Lighthouse. This is Kenosha’s iconic, working-lighthouse which also doubles as an art studio. While you cannot go inside the North Pier Lighthouse on a regular basis, you can walk down the pier to snap photos and enjoy the fresh perspective of our city. It’s a rare treat to have two lighthouses in one community.

Check out some other venues for great eats and exploration on our website. Whether you have guests visiting or looking to explore someplace new, Kenosha has some great options. Enjoy lighter fare and explore our lighthouses for a fun-filled day. 

Community Blog Team 2018

Taylor Thomas

Community Blogger

Kenosha transplant. Semi-OCD, free spirit with fluctuating energy levels. Experienced traveler & tour guide. Enjoys being a tourist in her own town. Lover of Lake Michigan and historical character!