Back When Cafe

4.5
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643 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
A charming cafe serving farm to table style cuisine, with inventive twists on classic dishes. Located in historic downtown Wausau since 1991.

Sustainable, regional cooking at its best in a causal yet elegant environment with full bar and multiple wines by the glass. Open for Dinner
What 643 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SD
StDa
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We had the tuna and veal; it was very, very good! The wait staff was short handed so we weren’t able to get a second glass of wine but we really enjoyed sitting outside and being able to get out during the pandemic restrictions.

PK
PaulK
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The service and outside seating made it possible for our family get together with my parents who live in the area. Covid has made it tough to get together however the outside separated seating made it possible. The service was very good and the food was generally liked by everyone.

JB
JuliB
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food and service as always. Erin and Emily took wonderful care of us!

TD
TheresaD
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful restaurant and the food was spectacular! I can’t wait to go back!!!

MT
MaryT
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

VERY NICE PLACE TO ENJOY A QUITE DINNER. LOVE OUTSIDE SEATING.

SERVICE IS VERY GOOD AND THE FOOD IS VERY GOOD. SAVE ROOM FOR DESERT! AWSOME CARROT CAKE

LG
LGdiner
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved all our fish dishes (Friday Fish Fry and Chilean Sea Bass) and the cocktails were so good too. Great service. Very clean and clearly taking Covid precautions. Our 2 daughters loved their pasta too.

LD
LoriD
Anchorage
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent as usual. Love the varied menu—not the typical ho-hum menu by any means. Server made great recommendations on the app and drinks. Our new favorite place to go!

JK
JoshK
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Ordered the steak Med. rare came Med well was also 35% gristle. Got the pasta as my side and was brought polenta. Every thing tasted good but when you pay a premium price these simple mistakes should not be made.

JG
JayG
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A little pricey but well worth it. Carrot cake was the best!!

MM
MagicalMange
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food & service! Love that they wore their PPE - showed respect & care for their customers!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a wonderful night! Had a table outside on a beautiful evening with lots of physical distancing. Our server was magnificent and the food and drink superb! Thanks, Back When!

LG
LisaG
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Hidden gem. Visit from Illinois and so impressed with the atmosphere and tasty meals.

LA
LarryA
1 review
Dined on June 24, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The Chilean sea bass was excellent, very nicely prepared. The beef tenderloin steak was not aged, had a large blob of fat on it, would not recommend.

TH
TinaH
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Reservation was 7:15, we finally got seated about 35 minutes later. Told to stand in bar which was full and where we stood to the side was the pathway to the kitchen so staff kept going in front of us, by us, etc. At one point, a waitress carrying a tray of glasses actually brushed one of our guests on the chin with the tray and didn't even notice. We had chocolate martinis which weren't special, not even a chocolate syrup drizzle in the glass, nothing on the rim or shaved chocolate atop it, and they were $16 each! Way too high for central Wisconsin. Food prices have gone up since we were last there 2 years ago? And the quality of the food seemed to have gone down since then as well. We will skip any future visits back to the restaurant. It used to be a favorite of ours. Two years ago when we came we were put upstairs and the service and the food was not good. We thought that visit a fluke as we have enjoyed many a good dining experience prior. But between this one and the one last, we're not impressed. Especially for the prices of the meals.

SM
SteveM
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

A very nice evening out. Wait staff seemed to be spread pretty thin for the prices.

JW
JWeaver
Richmond
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our 2nd visit to The Back When Cafe. Amazing!!! Everything we have ordered is delicious! I look forward to our next visit, which would be much sooner if we didn’t live 2 hours away. It is worth the drive!

RP
vipRichP6912
Milwaukee
22 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Nice local restaurant that serves delicious food. All food is fresh and tasty. Highly recommend. We were celebrating my daughters residency and this is her favorite Wausau restaurant.

LS
LisaS
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I so love going there one of my favorite, love the food and the people. Can’t wait to go back great place ❤️

NH
NatashaH
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our second anniversary dinner and was amazing as the first. Kelsey our waitress was amazing as always

TC
TomC
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as always👍///////////////////////////)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) b b b b b b b b b b

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful drinks, wine list, service and food!
Always an awesome evening!

RN
RhondaN
Orlando
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience4

So the food was good but the waitress never told us that our entree only had one left until right before our other food came out. My husband and I ended up splitting an entry so we didn’t have to wait another hour. Nothing was offered to compensate us and the waitress was so unprofessional. She never smiled and our drinks took forever.

P
Partyoffive
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience4

Unfriendly server. Took 1 hour and 45 minutes for our entrees to arrive. No apology offered. Food mediocre.

MW
MarlonW
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

It was a nice enjoyable dinner. It was quiet and clean and interesting.
I thought it was a bit pricey for what you got.
The wine list was long but mostly dry... not enough sweeter selections.
Probably will return at least one more time for a broader experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was delicious

MJ
MarkJ
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Back when Cafe is our favorite place to eat it never disappoints! Service, food, atmosphere all great!

DL
DanL
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We made reservations before a musical for 6 1.5 hours before and had plenty of time. Everything went very well from the service to the menu to cleanliness of the restaurant. Our server was polite and attentive. We all were very impressed be and will be back.

AM
AmandaM
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience3

We had a 5:45 reservation on a Tuesday night. Others without reservations were seated before us. We were seated late. We waited an additional 20 minutes for someone to come to our table. We made it clear that we had to leave by 7:10 for the ballet. The wine came quickly. The food came at 7:09. We poured our food ( steaming hot) into to go containers, paid the bill (full price!), and put our food in the car in order to make it to the ballet in time.
I’ve been having a particularly rough time lately. A night out with my husband was a small thing I was looking forward to. This was awful.

DA
vipDanAder
Tucson
11 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The veal in Brandy mushroom sauce was tender, delicious, and perfect. Great wine list too.

OT
OpenTable Diner
St. Louis
3 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience2

One of the city’s nicer restaurants. I enjoy eating here and will continue to, but wish more attention was paid to service standards and aesthetics.

NH
NatashaH
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was our first time there. Definitely going to make it a date night ritual

JD
JeffD
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

always a must stop for us when in the area, we use this place to entertain clients. we like the upbeat service, great options, specials and unique fare. not always the cheapest...must try this place

AM
AmandaM
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Never got our entrees.

MJ
MarkJ
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We all had a good time! Service and food were great!

BG
BruceG
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Will try to accommodate special requests. Food always amazing.

JL
JL87
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a once to twice a year restaurant. The meals are great but the food and drinks are very pricey.

AS
AmyS
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The only complaint was we had to wait 30 minutes when we had a reservation.

J
James
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Food was average. Service was very poor. It took almost one hour to get food, and didn’t even serve everyone at the table (4) at the same time. Finished eating the entree and waited about 20 minutes without seeing the server. Ended up leaving and having desert at the hotel.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great variety of appetizers, smaller entres and main dishes. The maple glazed brussel sprouts were superb. Our main dishes; Pasta with jumbo shrimp a little under seasoned and not freshly made pasta and the salmon was good, but not outstanding, meaning not melt in your mouth salmon. Decent size dinner salad with good quality greens. Family friendly atmosphere. Very nice bar and wine selection. We drove 2.5 hrs to eat here. Will stop back when we are in the area.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience2

spaghettios<your food<every other pasta dish i’ve ever had.

it’s better than spaghettios.. so i guess you got that going for ya.

seriously: everything lacked any flavor. and was overpriced.

FAQs

Back When Cafe offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (715) 848-5668.

Back When Cafe is rated 4.5 stars by 643 OpenTable diners.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.