Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Pablo Center at the Confluence

Where to go and what to do when you come for your pilonidal cyst surgery

Eau Claire has a lot to offer and is a city visited by many tourists throughout the year. The spring, summer and fall seasons are beautiful and the weather usually pleasant. Winter can be both beautiful and cold. Our local tourism website Visit Eau Claire has lots of info on things to do, as does the Volume One website. The downtown is in the midst of a major revitalization, especially involving the arts.

How To Get Here

By car to Eau Claire: Eau Claire, Wisconsin is right on Interstate 94, so it is easy to get here by car. We are just 90 miles east of Minneapolis, MN.

By Air to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport: MSP is a regional hub for Delta, so there are many direct flights here. You can either rent a car at the airport, or there is a shuttle service available from Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport to Eau Claire, WI.

By air directly to the local Chippewa Valley Regional Airport. Rental cars are available at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport as well. Eau Claire is only 5-10 minutes from the airport.

Uber and Lyft ride sharing services have expanded to Eau Claire, and can be used to get you around town. Transport from the Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport to Eau Claire costs between $100-200 by Uber, depending on the kind of Uber service used.

There is also a private car company called Green Fleet, that will take you from the MSP airport to your Eau Claire hotel in a Tesla. This can be in a private car, or a shared shuttle, with prices from about $99-250 depending on the type of service.


Where To Stay

Staybridge Suites: One of the newest hotels in the area, and the closest to the OakLeaf Surgical Hospital is Staybridge Suites, Eau Claire-Altoona. This is an all suite hotel with kitchens and free parking, which is perfect for short or long stays. It is the closest hotel to the OakLeaf Surgical Hospital, and is across from Woodman’s grocery store which is not only convenient but also has online shopping where they will either deliver, our you can come and pick-up. There are several restaurants in the same complex as the hotel.  The room rate includes a daily hot breakfast; and a Social Hour on Monday through Wednesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. which features light, hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine (Many of our patients have felt that this was enough to replace dinner).  There are also free laundry facilities at the hotel, a business center, and free WiFi. Staybridge Suites has had rave reviews from our patients. If you mention that you are having surgery at the OakLeaf Surgical Hospital there is a significant discount:

Studio Suite  $99.95 – $69.95
One Bedroom Suite  $119.95 – $89.95

The longer the stay, the better the rate!

Staybridge Hotel

The Grand Stay Suites , 5310 Prill Rd., Eau Claire, WI 54701, Phone: (715) 834-1700.

The Grand Stay has one and two bedroom suites with kitchens. It is close to Target and Walmart pharmacies and grocery stores, and it is close to Oakwood Mall, with many options for nearby restaurants and shopping. They offer discounts for OakLeaf Surgical Hospital Patients, so mention that you are having surgery. This is an excellent option if you are going to stay for a few days.

Holiday Inn Eau Claire South, 4751 Owen Ayres Court, Eau Claire, WI 54701. (715) 830-9889.

It is also close to Oakwood Mall, and has Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse on the first floor – the best steaks in town. They offer a 20% discount to OakLeaf patients.

The Hampton Inn, 12710 30th Avenue in Chippewa Falls, WI.

This is a new hotel, about 10 minutes from the hospital. They offer a 10% discount if you mention that you are a patient of Evergreen Surgical. 715.726.3000.

The Lismore Hotel and the Oxbow Hotel are downtown Eau Claire’s newest, “trendy”, renovated hotels. Both have upscale restaurants and bars. They do not have kitchenettes, but they place you close to restaurants, stores and beautiful parks.

Airbnb is another alternative that some of our patients have used with success, and this can be very economical, but we do not have a specific property to recommend.

There are certainly less expensive options as well, and other lodging options can be seen on the Visit Eau Claire Website, but we recommend the above because of their location and/or price.

Hotels that specifically offer discounts for OakLeaf Surgical Hospital patients and family can be seen on this webpage.  Click on “Overnight Accomodations for Visitors.” Mention that you are having surgery at the OakLeaf Surgical Hospital, when booking, for their discounts.

Recommendations from "Visit Eau Claire", our local tourism bureau

Things to do in Eau Claire:

Dr. Immerman’s specific recommendations and preferences are listed below, but there are many more options for places to eat and things to do. Take a look at “Visit Eau Claire’s” recommendations too!

Where to Eat: Dr Immerman's Recommendations

There are many, many restaurants in Eau Claire. Here are some favorites. You should be able to easily find their location and other info on the internet.

And, here is a link to VolumeOne, Eau Claire’s definitive guide to where to eat and what to do. You can also pick up a hard-copy in the lobby of the OakLeaf Surgical Hospital, or most hotel and restaurant lobbies.

Best Take Out Options

If you want food delivered to your hotel, Eau Claire has Bite Squad, EatStreet and DoorDash.

An exciting new option in Eau Claire is the Hy-Vee grocery store which has many options for takeout food from their multiple in-store take-out restaurants including sushi, deli, Italian and burger options. They also have many ready-to-pick-up-and-cook or reheat options. They also have a very convenient pharmacy, so you can shop while waiting for your prescription.

Mona Lisa’s – this is a great restaurant for pasta, seafood, and beef entrees. They also have the best pizza in town and one of the best burgers. Take-out ordering is online. Closed Sun-Tues.

Cancun (two locations in Eau Claire) – lighting fast Mexican takeout.

Casa Margarita – great Mexican food.

Culver’s – A Wisconsin fast-food tradition, burgers, fries, sandwiches, and soft serve ice cream. Rotating “Flavor Of The Day” soft serve.

The Olympic Flame– A Greek restaurant with the best gyros and french fries around. They also have spinach cheese pie, falafel, and baklava.

Erbert and Gerbert’s Subs – several locations.

Eau Claire Cheese and Deli – the best take-out sandwiches, and a great store for local cheese and other treats. Ice cream cones too. This is where the locals go for a great take-out sandwich.

Panera Bread – near Oakwood Mall, great for sandwiches, soup, salads, and baked goods.

Court N’ House Bar and Grill – this is the bar where the locals go for their burgers.

Silly Serrano – Delicious and imaginative, casual, Mexican food.


Restaurants Unique to Eau Claire:

Mona Lisa’s – Italian inspired: great pasta, but with some of the best seafood, beef, and pizza in town.

The Nucleus – Breakfast and lunch, closed Monday and Tuesday. It is connected to Racy D’Lene’s Coffee Lounge and arguably has the best breakfasts in town. Has take-out also. Here are some tips from the Visit Eau Claire website about the Nucleus.

Court N’ House Bar and Grill – this is where the locals go for their burgers and Friday fish fry.

Grand Avenue Cafe – coffee house with salads and sandwiches. Here’s their Facebook page.

Acoustic Cafe – Sandwiches, soups, salads, bakery items, coffee and ice cream.

Valley Burger – great grass fed burgers and Wisconsin cocktails.

Tokyo – Teppanaki dining; healthy, delicious and fun. Locally owned.

The Livery – Imaginative sandwiches and entrees in a bar setting.

The Lakely – in the new Oxbow Hotel serving farm-to-table, Midwest comfort food.

Eau Claire Cheese and Deli – the best take-out sandwiches, and a great store for local cheese and other treats. Ice cream cones too.

The Coffee Grounds – this restaurant and store has great coffee, baked goods, salads and sandwiches. There is also a huge shop full of wines, coffee, gifts, gourmet items, and unique Wisconsin treats.

Shift Cyclery – coffee, snacks, and a bicycle repair shop all in one. Great coffee in a trendy atmosphere.



Muang Thai– this is a small strip-mall restaurant that you might just pass by without noticing, but it has excellent food. Although it is considered Thai, it is not as blazingly spicy as most Thai restaurants, and also has the best sushi and stir fry in town. Closed Thanksgiving to New Years.
Fuji Sushi and Steakhouse– sushi and teppanaki.
Tokyo – teppanaki and tempura, locally owned.
Hmong Noodle Wrap – Noodle wraps (egg rolls), stir fry, fried rice. All excellent.
Thai Orchid – In the downtown area. They have great curries and stir fries. Make sure you ask for it “mild” unless you like it really hot!

Muang Thai, Spring Rolls
Muang Thai, Spring Rolls


The Olympic Flame– The best gyros and french fries, also Greek spinach cheese pie and Greek Salads and other Greek specialty items.


Mona Lisa’s – The best restaurant in Eau Claire, on Historic Water Street. Excellent pasta, pizza, and seafood and steak entrees, nice wine list. Highly recommended. The best pizza in town, and it is made without wheat flour.
Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse – It is in the Holiday Inn, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying it. It has the best steaks in town. Also, surprisingly good for lunch: try the reasonably priced Reuben Sandwich (best Ruben in town) or salads.



Cancun (two locations in Eau Claire) – excellent Mexican food, fast service; lighting fast takeout. Check out their new location on Hastings Way.
Silly Serrano – Delicious and imaginative, casual, Mexican food. All meats used are antibiotic and hormone free, and locally sourced when possible. Salsas are made fresh, and meats marinated in house.  Eat in or Take Out.
Casa Margarita – this is kind of out of the way, and not a place you would find, but has fantastic Mexican food.
Manny’s Cocina – seafood with a Mexican flair. Unique and excellent, but more expensive than the others.
Juanita’s Mexican Restaurant – Now in a new location next to the Staybridge Hotel. A long-time Eau Claire favorite for Mexican cuisine now in an expanded location.

Casa Margarita

American Food

The Livery – Imaginative sandwiches and entrees in a bar setting.

Court N’ House Bar and Grill – this is where the locals go for their burgers.

Grizzly’s – Excellent rotisserie chicken, ribs, burgers, sandwiches. Highly recommended. This is where to go for ribs.

Culver’s – A Wisconsin fast-food tradition, burgers, fries, sandwiches, and soft serve ice cream. Rotating “Flavor Of The Day” soft serve.

Acoustic Cafe – Sandwiches, soups, salads, bakery items, coffee and ice cream.

Cowboy Jack’s – this is very close to the Staybridge hotel, which is a favorite of our patients. They have a varied menu and very nice outdoor seating in the summer.

Houligan’s Steak and Seafood Pub – a local favorite for steaks, burgers and seafood.

Ice Cream

Ramone’s – Eau Claire’s newest ice cream parlor, and IMHO the best ice cream around. Great home-made waffle cones.

Olson’s Ice Cream – salads and sandwiches also. Excellent Colectivo Coffee (roasted in Milwaukee) as well as locally made ice cream.

Culvers- soft serve ice cream and a great “flavor of the day”. Three locations in Eau Claire.

Casey’s Creamery – ice cream, popcorn and treats.

Ramone's Ice Cream
Ramone's Ice Cream

Interested in going for a drive?

(If you’d like to do some driving to pass the time and find some dinner, here are some suggestions worth the effort)

Cafe Duchess– this is in Thorpe, WI home of the award winning Marieke Gouda. The cheese making facility has a store and a wonderful restaurant. This is a nice outing, and worth the trip. Some of the best cheese in Wisconsin. It will take a 35 minute scenic drive to get there from Eau Claire.

Harbor View Cafe – This is about an hour and 10 min South-West of Eau Claire on Lake Pepin, which is a wide area of the Mississippi River. It is a beautiful drive during a sunny day. Excellent food. Ten minutes farther is the small town of Stockholm, which has some nice boutiques, gift shops, furniture stores, a bakery and a restaurant. Harbor View Café is Open Mid-March through the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

High Shores Supper Club – supper clubs are a Wisconsin tradition; hard to define, but definitely unique. This one is the best around the Eau Claire area. Reservations can be hard to get, but if you show up early, like 4:00 they can usually squeeze you in, especially on the patio.


We know you didn’t come her to shop, but if you are looking for Wisconsin themed mementos of your trip here, stop at:
The Local Store where you will find all kinds of fabulous items with Eau Claire, Midwest and Wisconsin themes. If you are impressed with Eau Claire, you should stop here for a souvenir, or Wisconsin cheese or other midwest treats.
The Coffee Grounds  has a huge shop full of wines, coffee, gifts, meats, soups, gourmet items, and unique Wisconsin treats.
Marieke Gouda in Thorpe, WI if you want to pick up some of the best cheese in the country, stop here. Tours of the cheese-making facility as well. Or, they recently opened a store in Eau Claire right next to Crumbl Cookies.
Leine’s Lodge in Chippewa Falls. No trip to the Chippewa Valley is complete without a trip to the Leinenkugel Brewing Company’s store which has beer tasting, and all kinds of Leinenkugel Beer apparel and souvenirs.
Downtown Farmer’s Market: This have been a favorite of our patients during the summer months.

Also, for a general shopping outing:
Mall of America in Bloomington, MN – this is about an hour and a half from Eau Claire, but is an enormous indoor shopping mall. There is plenty of free parking, but on busy days it can take quite a while to find a space. A little know fact is that valet parking is only $12 and brings you the closest to the mall if you want to minimize walking.
Woodbury Lakes Mall – this is an outdoor mall with 50+ stores an hour and 15 min from Eau Claire in Woodbury, MN, an easy driver right off Interstate 94.


















Marieke Gouda Store and Restaurant
Marieke Gouda Store and Restaurant, Thorp, WI
Haymarket Plaza, Downtown Eau Claire
Haymarket Plaza, Downtown Eau Claire