Since summer 2017, locals and visitors to Waupaca’s historic downtown have reveled in the modern, rustic décor of the Sulten Belly restaurant, located through a quiet doorway at 220 S. Main St. between the Rosa Theater and Simpson’s Restaurant.
With a corrugated metal pig and a painted definition of the word “sulten” on the wall — it’s Danish for “hunger,” a nod to chef Eric Vestergaard’s Danish-born father — lunch-goers get the idea that something tasty is about to happen.
“It’s a really nice atmosphere,” says Terri Schulz, president of the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce, who will sometimes host small meetings at the restaurant, which is open Tuesday through Saturday, or meet someone there for coffee. “I think the food is fabulous, and I think it’s nice they use local providers.”
The eatery’s signature crispy pork belly makes an appearance in several dishes, including the popular Wisco Belt, also made with provolone, fried egg and roasted garlic mayo ($12). It also offers salads, including the Roasted Pear salad with a medley of greens, Wisconsin goat cheese, pickled red onion with candied walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette ($10.50), available with crispy pork belly for an extra $3.
Vestergaard, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Amanda, smokes most of the restaurant’s meats and creates offerings from scratch. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible, including all of the summer produce, supplied by about a dozen local farms.