We found Wisconsin’s best cheese curds across 7 categories

Source: Wisconsin Cheese

By Christina Lorey

October 12, 2023

Sunday is National Cheese Curd Day, and here in Wisconsin, where to find the state’s best curds is a hot debate. Fresh, flavored, or frozen? That question alone can divide families.

But first, let’s start with the facts: Wisconsin produces more cheese than any other state and more than most countries, too. In fact, if America’s Dairyland were its own country, it would rank fourth in the world in total cheese production.

When it comes to curds specifically, it takes 10 pounds of Wisconsin milk to make one pound of cheese. The easiest way to detect a high-quality curd is to take a bite and listen. The freshest curds squeak when the elastic protein strands rub against your enamel.

Tip: If you don’t finish your bag of curds within two days, pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and the squeak will likely return!

Nevertheless, we were on a quest to find Wisconsin’s best curds. We sifted through list after list of state, national, and global cheese contest winners to compile this list:

Best Flavored Curds: Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery (Ellsworth)
World Championship Cheese Contest Winner

Best Fried Curds: The Old Fashioned (Madison)
USA Today Best Curds Contest Winner

Best Fried Curds with 2-5 Locations: The Great Dane (Fitchburg, Madison, Wausau)
Travel Wisconsin ‘Crown the Curd’ Awards

Best Fried Curds with 5+ Locations: Culver’s
Travel Wisconsin ‘Crown the Curd’ Awards

Best Specialty Curds: Decatur Dairy Inc. (Broadhead)
World Championship Cheese Contest Winner

Best Curd Food Truck: Curd Girl (Madison)
USA Today Best Curds Contest Runner-Up

Best Curd Festival: Green County Cheese Days (Monroe)
Travel Wisconsin ‘Crown the Curd’ Awards

Awards are hard to dismiss, but some of the best recommendations still come from locals. Yelp compiled an all-time list of the best fried cheese curds in Wisconsin based on volume and rating score. The Top 20 includes breweries and dives from Oshkosh to West Allis.

LIST: Wisconsin’s best curds, according to Yelp


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.


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