Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.54mi
  2. Distance: 0.68mi
  3. Distance: 0.76mi
  4. Distance: 1.08mi
  1. Distance: 0.54mi
  2. Distance: 0.68mi
  3. Distance: 0.76mi
  4. Distance: 1.08mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.54mi
  2. Distance: 0.68mi
  3. Distance: 0.76mi
  4. Distance: 1.08mi
  1. Distance: 0.54mi
  2. Distance: 0.68mi
  3. Distance: 0.76mi
  4. Distance: 1.08mi

About Back When Cafe

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

606 N 3rd St
Wausau, WI 54403
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Italian, French

Hours of Operation:



Dinner:

Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm


Closed Sunday & Monday

Cross Street:
McClellan St.

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(715) 848-5668

Website:
http://www.backwhencafe.com/

Catering:
Check us out on facebook or contact Jolene for all your catering needs!

Executive Chef:
Jolene Lucci

Private Party Facilities:
Private and semi private rooms available, please contact us for details.

Private Party Contact:
Jolene Lucci: (715) 848-5668

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wine

Back When Cafe Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.4

Noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Good for Anniversaries (22)
Good for a Date (22)
Special Occasion (22)
See All
Creative Cuisine (20)
Local Ingredients (17)
Quiet Conversation (17)
Neighborhood Gem (17)
Good for Birthdays (15)
Cozy (15)
Notable Wine List (15)
Good for Groups (13)
Pre/post Theatre (12)
Romantic (12)
Handcrafted Cocktails (11)
Authentic (10)
Worth the Drive (10)
Business Meals (9)
Fit for Foodies (9)
Fun (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Comfort Food (8)
Healthy (8)
Great for Outdoor Dining (8)
Good Vegetarian Options (8)
Organic (7)
People Watching (6)
Casual (5)
Seasonal (5)
Disabled Access (4)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Hot Spot (3)
Paleo Friendly (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Great Beer (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Tapas (2)
Happy Hour (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Vegan (1)
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389 reviews
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 (Kansas City)·Dined on January 10, 2018

What a Wausau find! The food was fresh and delicious. The wine list was extensive enough to please most tastes. We had the Stags Leap Artemis and it wasn’t overpriced. The Delightful staff made our evening one to remember.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Romantic, Local Ingredients, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 6, 2018

Service was good and quick. Food was overpriced for the quality and quantity. Since it was so expensive we thought the food would be fresh or made from scratch, but was obviously not. There was a hairball inside one of our cloth napkins and every beer we tried to order off the beer list, turns out you don't actually have that beer. The waitress even said the beer list was very outdated. Really? Pretty disappointed with the overall experience. After we left we went up the street and had another (better) dinner at another place.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on January 1, 2018

This was our second visit and will be back. We were there for NYE dinner. Our reservation was at 8:30. Had appetizer, meal, desert and bottle of wine. They were out of our 2 first bottle choices, and were out of my first choice of entree. But what we had was delicious. My wife had Lobster Ravioli and I had Pesto stuffed Salmon.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 29, 2017

It was great good! Unfortunately, my husband had to ask 3 times for his second glass of wine, and 4 times for a second cheese spread (to 2 different servers). They were busy, but wasn’t too busy, so not sure if that was just the the holidays. The food though, excellent!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 29, 2017

Great food as always but very poor waiter this time.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service1
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Good... Probably one of the best appetizers we have had in some time, parmesan/scallops... Mixed bag when it came to the main, their meatball/marinara - tasteless...but the gnocchi was very good

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 27, 2017

Wonderful meal, great service, cozy spot by the fireplace!

Tags: Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Cozy, Romantic, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Seasonal, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 24, 2017

The service and the food were excellent. I was a little disappointed that we were charged for refills on soda. If that is their policy i dont have a problem with it but to offer a refill without letting us know there is a charge is a little disappointing.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 22, 2017

Delightful evening for our anniversary.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 20, 2017

Our waitress was able to split our bill with certain items we ordered between 2 of us and other items between 3 of us. She was great at not rushing us through our meal allowing us time to enjoy each other’s company. She checked on us several times during the course of the evening. It made the evening delightful. The food was delicious from appetizers to dessert. The atmosphere was relaxing.

Tags: Organic, Disabled Access, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, People Watching, Afternoon Coffee, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Casual, Fun, Gluten Free Options, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 17, 2017

The Salmon, Harvest Pasta and salads were outstanding! Casually elegant atmosphere with excellent service with friendly and professional staff. We were given a small cake (with chocolate ganache and a candle) in honor of my wife's birthday. It was delicious!
We met Joy, the original owner & founder, and she was delightful.

Tags: Healthy, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 15, 2017

Book club holiday dinner enjoyed the privacy of upstairs dining room We were waited on promptly and pleasantly by Sean. Delicious food, lovely presentation. Always a delightful experience!

Tags: Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 14, 2017

Like a fine dine in New York City but without the wait or attitude

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Great Beer, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options, Tapas, Cozy, Sunday Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Disabled Access, Quick Bite, Kid-friendly, Bar Seating, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 9, 2017

First rate service and food. Even honored our table request.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 7, 2017

Fantastic local restaurant! You can never no wrong at the Back When!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Always a great date night spot. Great service and great food

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 29, 2017

Outstanding food and atmosphere. Thank you to Daniel for his exemplary service and attention given to us!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Fun, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Excellent, creative food-- quite unique! Fun and pleasant ambience.

Tags: Fun, Creative Cuisine, Gluten Free Options, Paleo Friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Would go there again-tomorrow! We had a fabulous time.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Cozy, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Fun, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Comfort Food, Notable Wine List, Handcrafted Cocktails, Organic, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 10, 2017

I travel all over the USA for business and this is a gem. I often take clients to dinner and always want them to have a good experience. This was my first trip to Wasau and I was told about this but was also told I’d need reservations. I though “It must be good”. That’s an understatement, from the unbelievable menu, to great service and a wine list that was also exceptional this place is one I won’t soon forget. Two things I know for sure, I will visit Wasau again on business and I’ll make reservations at Back When Cafe as soon as I book my flight. If you’re anywhere close out this place on you list, you won’t be disappointed.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 7, 2017

Our dining experience at The Back When Cafe was outstanding!! We were celebrating my birthday and on our way to a concert at the Grand Theater. Our waiter was very personable and assisted us with our entree decisions, which turned out to be delicious!! We will definitely return ASAP. I just wish they were open for lunch!!!!

Tags: Good for a Date, Seasonal, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Back When is our favorite restaurant when you want fine food and quiet atmosphere. I never feel rushed and service has always been good.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Cozy, Organic, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 1, 2017

We enjoy big family celebrations at this fine Dining & atmosphere restaurant. The interesting menu items are
delicious. Children are treated very well.

Tags: Authentic, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Paleo Friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot, Bar Seating, Great Beer, Good for Groups, Casual, Healthy, Great for Lunch, Fun, People Watching, Cozy, Kid-friendly, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 24, 2017

Although I have been to Back When on prior occasions, this visit was the best of all.... Food was excellent (menu variety was AMAZING), service was great, and the atmosphere charming. So appreciated our waitress asking if we were attending the show at the Grand that evening and making sure that we would make it there on time.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Good for Anniversaries, People Watching, Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Bar Seating, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 22, 2017

A true find in Wausau. We love this place for its beautiful decor and wonderful food.

Tags: Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 21, 2017

A wonderful place for great food & ambiance. We make an hour trek several times a year to enjoy the great food!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 21, 2017

I dined here with four other people for a birthday. Several things were a problem. First of all, for the price , the service was lack luster. Several times we were handed our plates from overhead and the plates were announced instead of set in front of the diner. The scallops were great , the rest was fine. We had a bad table right by the back waiter area and had some water spill on my purse, some silverware go on the floor and some dishes break right by us. This won’t be my first pick the next time I am in Wausau

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
·Dined on October 20, 2017

The food was exceptional, as always, and the service attentive. I love Back When.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 19, 2017

I have had many opportunities and special occasions,to dine at The Back When Cafe, I have never been disappointed. The moment you walk in the door, Jeff is there to greet you, and make one of his many awesome concoctions , or perhaps your usual.....the wonderful wait staff, that take your order, present it, yummy desserts and coffee, Back When Cafe, is the real deal...

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Bar Seating, Organic, Good for Anniversaries, Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, People Watching, Healthy, Quiet Conversation, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion, Fun, Comfort Food, Cozy, Seasonal, Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 13, 2017

We always try to have dinner at the Back When Cafe whenever we are visiting Wausau from Chicago. The food is always delicious and creative, the cocktails excellent, the wait staff knowledgeable, the wine list excellent (and red wine is not served at 74 degrees!). This time we caught it on a Friday night before a big concert at the theater on the square, so it was really busy, but still wonderful. A slight delay on the cocktails was explained and handled nicely by our waiter, who was awesome. Another fabulous experience.

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 13, 2017

lovely place. crab cakes app was a bit more cake than crab and garnish was overelaborate but tasty regardless. recommend the bolognese pasta. friendly, attentive service ...

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 12, 2017

The restaurant was very busy due to a show at the Grand Theater so it was crowded and loud with service slowed by the rush.
We decided to try the zucchini pasta with tomato basil sauce plus a grilled chicken breast. The sauce was obviously freshly made and delicious but the "pasta" (it was spiraled fresh zucchini) serving was more side dish size than entre portion. There was not enough to eat.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good Vegetarian Options, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 12, 2017

Love this place. Pam is our waitress. We love her. Food is outstanding. This is our favorite place in Wausau.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Healthy, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Montreal)·Dined on October 7, 2017

Great food and neat atmosphere. I am not a big fan of team table service because it can result in slow service or forgotten items. Back when uses this concept and it took some time for us to be noticed when we were first seated and overall service could've been a little more prompt. Otherwise the food was perfectly prepared and the evening was enjoyable.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value3

 
·Dined on October 6, 2017

We always have dinner here when we come to Wausau for the Birds in Art show at the museum. Food is guaranteed excellent, both in preparation and choices. Wine choices very good. Service is also excellent, friendly and competent with no attitude.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Organic, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 1, 2017

Disappointing. I stopped in Wausau to visit an old friend and we went to dinner here. The ambiance of the place is comfortable. It was a good place to have a conversation. The wait staff is excellent. They were attentive without being intrusive. The food, however, was disappointing, especially for a place that obviously aspires to be a five star restaurant. The lobster bisque was thin and lacked any depth of flavor. The roast salmon with horseradish vinergrette was equally disappointing. The salmon was cooked well, but the sauce was bland. I expected a bit of sharpness from a horseradish sauce, but this lacked any noticeable sharpness or kick from the sauce. It was essentially a generic sauce with nothing unique about it.

Tags: Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (London)·Dined on September 16, 2017

We took my mom out for a special dinner to the Back When Cafe, and were very pleased with the experience. They found my mom a pillow for her chair and went above and beyond in service. The food was also great, and well presented--I was pleased to find a restaurant of this caliber in Wausau!

Tags: Special Occasion, Healthy, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 16, 2017

LOVE the outdoor dining and hope it continues into the cooler Fall weather. Food & servive was great as usual and the evening was great people-watching from an outside table.

Tags: Seasonal, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Organic, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on September 16, 2017

Back When is a great place for a special occasion or a quiet dinner for two. There is seating options both inside and out, and their patio area is a true delight! The food is spectacular! A favorite is the Butternut Squash Ravioli!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Organic, Local Ingredients, Healthy, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Tasting Menu, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 16, 2017

We had our 30th wedding anniversary there and it was delicious. We got there early for our reservation and got our dinner early, the dinner was delicious!

Tags: Romantic, Healthy, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining, Gluten Free Options, People Watching, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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