A Little Time and a Keyboard: Relishing Nibbles and Small Business Shopping in Janesville, Wisconsin

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Relishing Nibbles and Small Business Shopping in Janesville, Wisconsin

Relishing Nibbles and Small Business Shopping in Janesville, Wisconsin

Uncovering Local Eateries and Shops in Janesville, Wisconsin

**Disclosure: Thank you to Janesville  Area Convention &Visitors Bureau for hosting and accommodating my visit so I can bring this series to my audience. Opinions are 100% my own.

Janesville, Wisconsin offers a wealth of unique dining and shopping experiences. We make new discoveries on every visit! During our getaway, we blended together old favorites and new discoveries. Enjoy an adventure exploring some of our favorites in Janesville:

Whiskey Ranch Bar & Grill

Whiskey Ranch Bar & Grill truly amazed us. The eatery tempted us with an enormous menu full of burgers, salads, sandwiches, entrees and bar favorites. Tin Can Nachos sound pretty awesome for diners featuring nachos layered inside of tin can! The WR Fried Chicken Bowl seems like a decadent comfort food featuring a mashed potato bowl filled with fried chicken, fire-roasted corn, onion straws, chopped bacon, scallions, Cheddar Jack cheese and gravy. Interesting options!

Vibrant and delicious Chili 'N Lime Salmon Salad at Whiskey Ranch.
Vibrant and delicious Chili 'N Lime Salmon Salad at Whiskey Ranch.

With such a large menu, it was tough to zero in on meals. I chose the Chili 'N Lime Salmon Salad and could not have been happier! I have had chili and lime shrimp salads before but not salmon -- so I was intrigued. The salad was absolutely beautiful and delicious. 

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and Fries at Whiskey Ranch.
Crispy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and Fries at Whiskey Ranch.

My husband ordered the Crispy Buffalo Sandwich with fries. Another great dish! Just look at the size of that sandwich! Plus, the fries were yummy! (I did pilfer a few.) 

drafthouse for Brunch

On Sundays, drafthouse features a delightful brunch. First, I have to say that drafthouse's rosemary potatoes are INCREDIBLE. If you are a potato fan like me, don't miss them! I love the avocado toast at drafthouse because it is fresh and has nice balance between veggies and protein. Excellent choice on a day of exploring!

Vibrant avocado toast and rosemary potatoes at drafthouse.
Vibrant avocado toast and rosemary potatoes at drafthouse.

My husband ordered the drafthouse craft burger with a side of curly fries. The drafthouse craft burger features a smoked cherrywood bacon bourbon onion jam and smoked gouda definitely showing the eaterie's skills as a gastropub! Fantastic burger and yummy fries!

The drafthouse craft burger features a smoked cherrywood bacon bourbon onion jam and smoked gouda
The drafthouse craft burger features a smoked cherrywood bacon bourbon onion jam
and smoked gouda.

Sweet Indulgences at The Sugar Exchange

The Sugar Exchange represents a sweet new addition to downtown Janesville. An adorable little candy shop and soda fountain, The Sugar Exchange tempts with a range of sweet delights including the shop's own homemade truffles and fudge! Of course, I was perfectly wooed by a wall full of chocolate bars! Additionally, this is the spot to pick up a craft soda, sundae concoction, fudge or even a dipped apple. Looking for nostalgic candy? This is the spot for you, too!

On a sweet adventure at The Sugar Exchange!
On a sweet adventure at The Sugar Exchange!

The chocolate bars are pretty unique and come from all over. One of the bars I choose was crafted by Srsly in Texas! It had a lovely espresso flavor with a hint of spice. How can you not pop in and find a treat....or two.....or three?

Loved my Srsly Chocolate Bar from The Sugar Exchange!
Loved my Srsly Chocolate Bar from The Sugar Exchange!

We also tried some of The Sugar Exchange's famous truffles! We indulged in four of The Sugar Exchange's delectable bite-sized truffles -- all yummy! After my visit, I learned that The Sugar Exchange has fun Advent calendars featuring their truffles that you can order. Such a fantastic idea!

Scrumptious truffle from The Sugar Exchange.
Scrumptious truffle from The Sugar Exchange.

Treats and Shopping at the Bodacious Shops of Block 42

Adjacent to The Sugar Exchange, wanderers will find the Bodacious Shops of Block 42. The collection of experiences presented by the Bodacious Shops have long been a favorite of ours. So Chopped is an absolutely fantastic spot for salads, wraps, flatbreads and more. When we visit, we often create our own salads with everything assembled and "chopped" in front of us. The Bodacious Olive is a wonderful spot to pick up a gift whether it be a special vinegar or oil or even seasonings or kitchen gadgets.

Lovely patio at the Bodacious Shops.

Bodacious Brew is a must-visit on every trip to Janesville. We LOVE to pop in for loose leaf tea or a specialty coffee. On this visit, we enjoyed iced tea crafted from Bodacious Brew's loose leaf tea selections. We also grabbed locally crafted Gray's Cream Soda. We discovered that Bodacious Brew carries local honey and maple syrup -- so we picked up Wisconsin maple syrup to bring home! Bodacious Brew also features bakery items, breakfast and lunch selections and more. Plus, the patio along the Rock River is incredible!

Iced tea and Gray's Cream Soda from the Bodacious Brew.

A Sweet Ending at 808 Cheesecake

Capping off our foodie discoveries in Janesville, we just had to nibble on a divine cheesecake from 808 Cheesecake. Truth be told, we had eyed 808 Cheesecake on a previous Janesville visit and knew that it had to be on our itinerary for a future visit. Our weekend getaway provided us with the perfect time to visit!

Stopping for Kona Coffee Cheesecake at 808 Cheesecake in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Stopping for Kona Coffee Cheesecake at 808 Cheesecake!

808 Cheesecake actually started off in Hawaii! We are so fortunate they have brought their award-winning, island-inspired cheesecakes to Janesville! In addition to large cheesecakes, 808 Cheesecake has smaller, personal-sized cheesecakes. While we did peruse the selection of delectable cheesecakes, we quickly honed in on the Kona Coffee Cheesecake. We purchased a personal-sized Kona Coffee Cheesecake to split. Absolutely scrumptious! No wonder that the Kona Coffee Cheesecake is one of the award winners! Yum!

Shopping at 608 Vintage

During our previous visit to Janesville, I learned that 608 Vintage would be opening in a lovely historic building in downtown Janesville. I was very excited to see a new business coming to this beautiful Second Empire Building. Our recent visit afforded us time to explore the new addition to Janesville.

A wonderland of vintage and locally crafted finds at 608 Vintage in Janesville, Wisconsin.
A wonderland of vintage and locally crafted finds at 608 Vintage.

608 Vintage molds an incredible wonderland of vintage item vendors as well as local makers. If you are looking for a unique item for your home or for a gift, this is the place! Exploring 608 Vintage treats guests to a maze full of discoveries. We found so many interesting items and brought a lovely, handpainted sunflower canvas home.

Love that 608 Vintage has found its home in a historic Janesville building.
Love that 608 Vintage has found its home in a historic Janesville building.


Small Business Love in Janesville

Janesville provides such a fabulous location for exploring small businesses. On each visit, we enjoy exploring some old favorite local businesses while uncovering new ones! With the addition of murals throughout the city and the beauty of the Rock River, ambling around Janesville in and out of shops creates such a warm and fun experience.  We love strolling through downtown Janesville just relaxing and exploring!

Other Small Businesses to Explore:

  • Raven's Wish Art Gallery invites visitors to peruse a range of art from regional and national artists.
  • Adorn Janesville entices with a collection of accessories, art, home and garden items and more that are ethically sourced.
  • The Glass Garden purveys glass art and also holds a variety of glass art classes.


Relishing Nibbles and Small Business Shopping in Janesville, Wisconsin


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