Back When Cafe

4.5
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630 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 630 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
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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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.

SB
SharonB
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great time! The special that night was outstanding.We will be back....hopefully soon!

JA
JoAnnM
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and cocktails were amazing! Warm, friendly staff and beautiful surroundings. They still has Christmas decorations up and I really appreciated that!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome as usual!

A
vipAustin
Louisville
5 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience2

You'll pay for every refill of your drink, but of course they don't tell you 0 OP] you notice on your bill!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful, quaint restaurant. Delicious food! Wonderful experience.

M
Melanie
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our innkeeper recommended this place and we were SO pleased. The ambience was great, our server was fantastic and the food was exceptional. We are from the Madison area and have high food standards. The food we had here was every bit as good as we'd find back home, if not better.

TJ
TimJ
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary and, though service was a bit slow, we enjoyed each other's company and the food and drink when it arrived.

SH
SueH
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Food & drinks were excellent but waited quite awhile for our food to arrive. Got our soup & salads after the main entree. Waitress was very apologetic. We’ll be back!

DD
DeeDee
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A nice place to dine in an interesting dining room (pictures, art displays). The service was very good as was the food. Parking is easy and shops are right there. You will enjoy it.

d
dk19
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Just a bit too dark for my personal liking. Otherwise great!

BD
BrookD
Columbus
7 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Love this place for anniversary and birthdays!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service were, and always are amazing!

P
Ptress
Milwaukee
15 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific n every way! Thank you!!!

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 630 OpenTable diners.

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