Ask anyone in Waupaca where you should stop for breakfast or lunch, and Little Fat Gretchen’s will likely be among their top recommendations. This bustling eatery, located at the center of activity in downtown Waupaca at 108 S. Main St., combines a classic café atmosphere with a modern sense of panache.
The story behind Little Fat Gretchen’s is shared on the menus and painted on the interior wall. As a child, owner Gretchen Halverson was tormented by classmates who found a library book with the eponymous title. A kind teacher stashed it away and later gave it as a gift to Gretchen, telling her to “have faith in yourself, and follow your dreams.”
She did, opening the restaurant in 2012. Little Fat Gretchen’s, designed with authentic mid-century vintage décor, is a strong supporter of the local arts, with walls full of work by artists including painter Doris Weed. It’s also a venue for live music including
Waupaca’s annual Irish Wake, featuring a round-robin of local musicians. But it’s really the food that brings people in. Little Fat Gretchen’s features a full menu of “Old Favorites,” such as two eggs with hash browns and toast, steel-cut oatmeal and omelets.
With those as well as classic appetizers like Wisconsin Breaded Cheese Curds, fresh pies and bakery items, favorite burgers, sandwiches, salads and wraps on the menu, you won’t leave hungry. If the tables are full, grab a seat at the counter (with a good view of the pies).
— Nikki Kallio