Food+Drink Staff Notes

WHO’S HUNGRY? Celebrating the Return of Our Eat Scene Dining Guide

after a three-year hiatus, Eat Scene and Night Out are hitting the streets

Tom Giffey |

That sound you hear, after three long years, is the dinner bell. Inside the latest (June 16) print issue of Volume One – unless someone has already grabbed it! – is our “annual” Eat Scene dining guide. The “annual” is in quotation marks because, while it was published every year for more than a decade, Eat Scene went on hiatus for a few years during the pandemic. (Although, for the record, it’s always available online, too.) You undoubtedly know that the pandemic, the shutdowns, and the accompanying disruptions to labor markets and supply chains hit restaurants and bars particularly hard. 

Fortunately, two years later, the Chippewa Valley’s dining and drinking scene has bounced back. While we lost some favorite establishments, new ones have risen to take their place, bringing us a host of interesting options for when dinnertime (or lunchtime, or breakfast time) rolls around!

If you’ve never seen it before, here’s a brief guide to our guide: Inside Eat Scene, you’ll find listings, organized by city, of every restaurant in the Chippewa Valley (Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, Altoona, and a few spots between and beyond). The listings provide a sense of each place’s menu and vibe, plus information on whether they serve alcohol, offer reservations, or were winners in our Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll, etc. There are also lists of places that serve food late at night, offer Friday fish fries, and much more. 

On the flip side (literally), is our Night Out handbook, which lists all the local watering holes and what they provide, from tap beer to craft cocktails and summer sports leagues. 

After a three-year hiatus, updating all this information was a huge undertaking, and our spring interns, Carlee Shimek and Thomas DeLapp, deserve a special shout-out for working the phones. Thanks also to the hard-working restaurant and tavern owners, managers, and employees who took the time to answer our questions while also trying to take care of their customers. The project also wouldn’t be possible without our advertisers and sponsors, particularly Visit Eau Claire.

Despite our best efforts (we’re only human, after all!), it’s possible that we missed your favorite bar or restaurant. If we did, please drop us a line at so we can fix things right away online and in next year’s print guide. Until then, bon appétit!