We tried Wisconsin’s best booyah (& 6 more great spots to grab a bowl!)

Credit: The Culinary Hill

By Christina Lorey

October 24, 2023

Don’t call it soup—it’s booyah, a comforting dish lovingly labeled “Northeastern Wisconsin’s best-kept secret.”

“Booyah” got its name when people kept mispronouncing the word “bouillon” or broth.

Legend has it, booyah started in Belgium and was brought to Wisconsin in the 1800s as a way for farmers to use up leftovers from their fall produce. It only has three key ingredients: chicken, vegetables, and broth.

TRY IT AT HOME: Recipe for Traditional Wisconsin Booyah

While its name and ingredient list are short, booyah is a process to prepare. It takes up to 12 hours for the ingredients to simmer together in a tall, wood-fired kettle, and an additional hour for the stew to sit before serving.

Door County, and especially the Green Bay area, are booyah hot spots. The stew is so ingrained in local culture, the city renamed its college baseball team the “Green Bay Booyah.”

While many restaurants boast that they have “the best,” we traveled to the place most frequently recommended to us, The Booyah Shed in Green Bay, just off the corner of Lombardi and Ashland Avenue, a stone’s throw from Lambeau.

Our review? It’s worth the trip! Here’s what UpNorthNews contributor Kevin Revolinski had to say:

“The red building may be small, but it’s hardly a shed. In 2012, owner/cook Dan Nitka started with his ‘mobile unit,’ a long red shed on wheels hooked up behind a truck. He and his team served booyah at the farmers market and other events. Their current record is 90 gallons in 90 minutes. With the success, they were soon able to open a brick-and-mortar location, and finally moved to the current address in 2018.

If booyah’s not your thing, there is no shortage of other great items on this menu. Burgers are actually their number one seller, pulled pork is a close second, and tacos are number three. 90% of the menu is housemade. The curds are fresh from Renard’s in Door County. The gravy for the poutine is actually thickened booyah broth and it’s amazing.

Having booyah at The Booyah Shed is listed in the book 100 Things to Do in Wisconsin Before You Die. And a quick tip: If no one’s at the counter when you walk in, squeeze the rubber chicken!”

LIST: 6 more great spots to grab a bowl of booyah

We tried Wisconsin’s best booyah (& 6 more great spots to grab a bowl!)

Credit: The Booyah Shed

Author

  • 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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