02 (Foot-bridge over the Chippewa River, in Eau Claire, Phoenix Park.)


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 that many tourists visit throughout the year. The spring, summer and fall seasons are beautiful and the weather usually pleasant. Winter can be both beautiful and cold. Here is a recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune Travel Section about Eau Claire.

How to get here

By Car: Eau Claire 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: Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport 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.

Alternatively, you can fly  directly to the local Chippewa Valley Regional Airport by connecting through Chicago (United Airlines). Rental cars are available at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport as well. Eau Claire is only 5-10 minutes from the airport.

If you come here, and do not have a car – you need to know about Delivery Fix. They provide airport shuttle service, can run errands, and pick up groceries and prescriptions – and deliver take out food. Sample costs are:

  • Standard Ride services: $7.00 flat rate fee + $1.00 per mile (local)
  • Errands: $10.00
  • Grocery Shopping: $14.95 + tax (up to $60 in groceries)
  • Take-out Food: Featured restaurant: $5.95+tax, Non-featured restaurant: $7.95+tax

Also, starting in March 2017 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 about $150 from Delivery Fix, and between $100-200 by Uber, depending on the kind of Uber service used.

Where to Stay

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 that is perfect for longer stays. It is across from a grocery store which is convenient, but is not next to much other shopping, stores or restaurants.

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, and although they are nice hotels, they may not be the best for recuperating patients.

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 are:

The Grand Stay Suites, 5310 Prill Rd., 715-834-1700.
Country Inn and Suites, 3614 Gateway Drive, 715-832-7289.
Metropolis, 2402 Larch Ave, 715-514-2340.
Days Inn, 2305 Craig Rd, 715-834-3193.
Econolodge of Eau Claire, 4608 Royal Dr, 715-833-8818.
Hampton Inn Eau Claire, 2622 Craig Rd, 715-833-0003 ($69/night for OakLeaf patients or Sacred Heart Hospital patients).

Mention that you are having surgery at the OakLeaf Surgical Hospital for their discounts.

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 lobbys.

Unique to Eau Claire:

Mona Lisa’s – Italian inspired, but with some of the best seafood and beef tenderloin in town.
The Informalist – in the Lismore Hotel in downtown Eau Claire, a more upscale restaurant with gourmet “comfort food”.
The Nucleus – Breakfast and lunch, closed Monday and Tuesday.
Grand Avenue Coffee House – coffee house with salads and sandwiches.
Bijou Cafe – A very small restaurant with upscale dining. Nice for a celebration. Reservations recommended.
Acoustic Cafe – Sandwiches, soups, salads, bakery items, coffee and ice cream.
Tokyo – Teppanaki dining; healthy, delicious and fun.
Ninja Japanese House – sushi and Chinese.
Bug Eyed Betty’s – great burgers and pizza.
Yankee Jack’s Public House – great sandwiches, big delicious salads, and rotisserie chicken. Good takeout.
The Classic Garage – burgers and fries in an old time malt shop/service station atmosphere.
The Livery – Imaginative sandwiches and entrees in a bar setting.
Nelson’s Cheese Factory – the best take-out sandwiches, and a great store for local cheese and other treats. Ice cream cones too.

Asian

Ninja Japanese House – very good sushi, Chinese and Japanese food. The sushi rolls are great for takeout, and a good deal at lunch (some contain raw fish, but others are all cooked).
Tokyo – Teppanaki dining, where they prepare your food on the grill in front of you. Healthy and delicious.
Fuji – sushi and teppanaki.
Hmong Noodle Wrap – Noodle wraps (egg rolls) and stir fry.
Mahli Thai-Asian Cuisine – in neighboring Chippewa Falls. Fabulous food, worth the 15 minute drive.

Mediterranean

The Water Street Deli – Kabobs, gyros, salads, hummus, falafel and dips.
The Olympic Flame- The best gyros and french fries around. The decor is unexciting, but the food is great – so feel free to take out- although the fries are best eaten right out of the fryer…

Italian

Mona Lisa’s – On Historic Water Street. Excellent pasta, pizza, and seafood and steak entrees, nice wine list. Highly recommended. Try the Italian Mobster Pizza.
Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse – Can be expensive, but excellent food. The best steaks in town. Also, surprisingly good for lunch: try the reasonably priced Ruben sandwich or salads.
Sammy’s Pizza – really good, crisp, thin crust pizza.
Olive Garden – Sit down dinner in a chain restaurant, near the mall, but good food.

Mexican

Manny’s Cocina – seafood with a Mexican flair. Unique and excellent.
Cancun (two locations in Eau Claire) – excellent Mexican food, fast service; lighting fast takeout.

American Food

The Livery – Imaginative sandwiches and entrees in a bar setting.
The Local Lounge – Possibly the best burger in town, amazing chili, steaks, and seafood. Real Wisconsin atmosphere.
Grizzly’s – Excellent rotisserie chicken, ribs, burgers, sandwiches. Highly recommended.
Randy’s Family Restaurant – Diner style comfort food, great pies.
Altoona Family Restaurant – Diner style, home cooked food.
Culver’s – A Wisconsin fast-food tradition, burgers, fries, sandwiches, and soft serve ice cream. Rotating “Flavor Of The Day” soft serve.
Bug Eyed Betty’s – great burgers and pizza.
The Classic Garage – burgers and fries in an old time malt shop/service station atmosphere, good for takeout.
Acoustic Cafe – Sandwiches, soups, salads, bakery items, coffee and ice cream.

Best Take Out Options

First of all, it should be mentioned that there is a service in Eau Claire called Delivery Fix. They will bring food from any restaurant, deliver groceries, pick up prescriptions, run errands, shuttle to and from airport, and give rides. If you are staying here in a hotel, and don’t have a rental car, they can be very helpful. Prices are very reasonable. Cost: Featured restaurant: $5.95+tax, Non-featured restaurant: $7.95+tax.  (715) 835-5853 or email info@deliveryfix.com. You can order food directly from their website.

Cancun (two locations in Eau Claire) -lighting fast Mexican takeout.
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– The best gyros and french fries around.
The Water Street Deli – Kabobs, gyros, salads, hummus, falafel and dips.
Ninja Japanese House – very good sushi, Chinese and Japanese food. The sushi rolls are great for takeout. The “Stop Roll” is the best!
Sammy’s Pizza – really good, crisp, thin crust pizza.
Red Robin – great burgers.
Erbert and Gerbert’s Subs – several locations.
Nelson’s Cheese Factory – 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.
Yankee Jack’s Public House – great sandwiches, big delicious salads, and rotisserie chicken. Good takeout. Large portions. Desserts too.

Nelson's Cheese Factory

Photo: Nelson’s Cheese Factory

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)
Duncan Creek Wine Bar – In downtown Chippewa Falls. A nice place for a quiet dinner. You don’t have to drink wine. About a 20 min drive. Closed Sunday and Monday.
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.

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