4 Must-Visit Spots in Door County, Wisconsin with Photographer Johnny Kompar

Jacinda PalomoSeptember 21, 2023
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Kohnny Kompar snaps his cone from Wilson’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor | Photo courtesy Johnny Kompar
Kohnny Kompar snaps his cone from Wilson’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor | Photo courtesy Johnny Kompar

Traveling is a passion for Johnny Kompar, a Phoenix photographer and contributor to PHOENIX magazine. His spirit of wanderlust leads him to new places to shoot anything and everything. Kompar’s most recent adventure with his partner was a concert in Chicago followed by a week in Wisconsin. Kompar loved “the weather, lake and food,” he says. “I highly recommend people visit Door County, Lambeau Field and Milwaukee – tons of breweries, custard and curds!” He shares his favorite spots in Door County, the boutique vacation community dubbed “the Cape Cod of the Midwest.”

Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant
One of the Door County peninsula’s most photographed spots is a quaint Swedish restaurant that provides customers with a one-of-a-kind dining experience via its grassy roof. “Of course we went to Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay, which has excellent Swedish pancakes and goats grazing on the roof,” Kompar says.

“The soft and golden light that radiates through the large windows during dinner service creates the perfect vibe for sipping on a chilled glass of one of their many female-made organic wine options,” Kompar says of this Ephraim restaurant. Locally sourced dishes include beet salads, braised beef short ribs and chicken confit. “The dishes felt so sophisticated, but not intimidating,” Kompar says. “The food tasted so fresh and full of flavor.”

Prince of Pierogi
Prince of Pierogi is “a great place for a little snack,” Kompar says. From pierogi to kielbasa, the restaurant offers plenty of Polish comfort food. “They have a wide variety of authentic homemade pierogies. We opted for the sauerkraut and mushroom and cheese and potato,” Kompar says. “Don’t forget to add toppings – caramelized onions and sour cream are my favorites.”

Wilson’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor
No day of indulgence is complete without dessert. Wilson’s is a Door County landmark. “When you enter, you’re engulfed in red and white striped awnings behind the counter, a jukebox, diner-style seating and a staff of kids working their summer jobs having a blast,” Kompar says. “I got the Chocolate Peanut Butter Explosion [ice cream] in a cone. After a couple obligatory photos of it, I tried not to cause a mess while eating before it melted.”