Milwaukee is a principal municipality in Wisconsin on the western shore of Lake Michigan. It’s an exciting city for visitors and residents alike with various breweries and classic motorcycles. Indeed, about 600,000 people call Milwaukee home, so access to diverse and delicious restaurants is essential! Milwaukee has experienced a boom in the restaurant industry for the last few years, from new cafes to bars to eateries.
While best known for Wisconsin cheese curds and craft brews, Milwaukee has much more to offer the curious foodie. From a food truck park with various international cuisines to a food stall market with coffee and ice cream, the culinary scene in the city is expanding every day.
Whether you enjoy a traditional steakhouse or would like to sample authentic Ethiopian dishes, Milwaukee, has a restaurant perfect for your visit. Be sure to check out our comprehensive list of the forty-one best restaurants in Milwaukee.
1547 N Jackson St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Located in the Lower East Side, Sanford serves New American fare with a robust wine list. I recommend making Dinner reservations since the location is popular for date night or an intimate meal with friends.
Sandy D’Amato first opened the space in the 1980s but recently sold the eatery to Chef De Cuisine Justin Aprahamian, who has continued the quality dining tradition. The four-course tasting menu is about eighty-five dollars and is a delicious dining option.
I enjoyed the Seared Scottish Salmon with Radish and Marinated Cucumber, the Cucumber and Tomato Gazpacho with Basil Cream, the Fennel Dusted Beef Tenderloin with Yukon Potato Purée, and the Banana Butterscotch Toffee Tart with Banana Rum Ice Cream.
1751 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Ardent is an upscale restaurant located in Milwaukee’s Lower East Side. The kitchen presents innovative New American meals, including a chef’s tasting menu. The eatery is open from Wednesday to Saturday, and it is perfect for an intimate date night.
The menu is fresh and seasonal, so it changes slightly depending on the time of year. I enjoyed the Cornish Game Hen served with heirloom tomato, lemon, and thyme when I visited. The restaurant is offering private dining spaces for parties of eight or more.
125 E National Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Le Merenda is a colorful restaurant in the Harbor View neighborhood with an outdoor space and international menu. Le Merenda is an Italian term meaning “early snack,” and the menu is full of tasty treats. Notably, the restaurant has vegetarian options.
I started my meal with the Pistachio Salad with arugula, pistachios, gorgonzola, and pistachio vinaigrette. I also enjoyed the Risotto con Funghi, a River Valley Ranch mushroom risotto with an arugula gremolata.
Try the Tamarind Honey Collins cocktail with Vodka, Tamarind Honey Syrup, Lemon Juice, Jamaican # 2 Bitters, and Seltzer.
2414 S St Clair St, Milwaukee, WI 53207
Three Brothers has been serving the Bay View Community since 1956. It’s a casual restaurant across from Beulah Brinton Part. Milunka Radicevic, the founders’ granddaughter, presently operates the restaurant and offers Serbian cuisine with a full wine menu. Note that the restaurant is cash or check only.
You must order the stuffed grape leaves for an appetizer! I also loved the Serbian salad and the Stuffed Peppers with beef and rice. The apple or cherry strudel is delicious for dessert. Follow Three Brothers on social media for up-to-date menu additions or shifts in opening hours.
1872 N Commerce St, Milwaukee, WI 53212
Lakefront Brewery is in Brewer’s Hill along the Milwaukee River. It offers tasty bar food and a vast selection of beers, including gluten-free options. The brewery is open daily, with extended hours on the weekend. The interior has an exposed brick that creates a comfortable vibe.
The brewery has year-round beer and seasonal brews. I enjoyed the Hazy Rabbit IPA, the Marzen Oktoberfest, and the Breakfast Oatmeal Stout. Try the fried cheese curds served with garlic ranch! I also enjoyed the Beer-Braised Pot Roast, roast beef, and gravy over parsnip puree with macaroni and cheese. The Sausage Flight and the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich are excellent choices as well!
1101 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Braise Restaurant & Culinary School serves local and seasonal New American fare alongside regional beers and global wines. The restaurant, located in the Harbor View neighborhood, is only open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Make sure to plan ahead! In addition to dinner service, the restaurant offers cooking classes and space for private events. I enjoyed the Farro Risotto and the Grilled Chicken Mole when I visited Braise. The popcorn chicken confit is also delicious.
If you want seafood, try the seared Rainbow Trout. Splurge on white chocolate cranberry bread pudding or the pistachio cream puff for dessert.
2352 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207
Odd Duck is a peculiar and ever-changing eatery near the Baran Park community, focusing on New American fare and creative cocktails. Odd Duck was opened in 2012 by Ross Bachhuber and Melissa Buchholz to express their culinary creativity.
When I visited Odd Duck, I enjoyed the Albacore Tuna Crudo with Leche de Tigre, Sweet Potato, Heirloom Corn, Pickled Red Onion, and Cilantro–it is also gluten-free! Another excellent gluten-free and vegan option is the Black Pepper Tempura Oyster Mushrooms, Tofu, Scallion, Shiso Leaf, Brined Green Peppercorn, and Fresh Herbs.
315 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Amilinda serves Spanish and Portuguese cuisine in a comfortable and modern setting. The restaurant is near the Historic Third Ward and is open for dinner from Thursday to Saturday. Gregory León is the executive chef and owner. He has lived in Venezuela and California and has created beautiful fusion dishes from his lived experience.
I enjoyed the cream of potato soup as an appetizer. I enjoyed the Skirt Steak with Berbere Spiced Fries and Arugula for my entree. I would also recommend the Pork Alentejana, a Braised Pork Shoulder with Manila Clams and Roasted Carrots. Guests should make a reservation online.
5373 N Port Washington Rd, Glendale, WI 53217
Kopp’s Frozen Custard is a Milwaukee institution located just off Interstate 43. You’ll know it when you see it, thanks to the line of cow sculptures outside. As you can guess by the cows and the name, the menu includes various frozen custards and jumbo burgers. The restaurant is open daily, beginning at 10:30 am.
The double cheeseburger is a delicious classic. I would also recommend the grilled chicken sandwich and the onion rings. When it comes to custard, my favorite flavors were butterscotch and blueberry. Also, try the peanut butter, pineapple, or banana custard flavors. You can add pecans or cashews to the top of your scoop.
839 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI 53204
La Dama Mexican Kitchen & Bar is a woman-owned restaurant in the Harbor View neighborhood, serving delicious food. The establishment’s logo is a woman with a distinctive Dia de Los Muertos face painting, showing you’ll get a taste of authentic Mexican food at this restaurant. I enjoyed the Pancita tacos with pork belly, black garlic puree, arbol and peanut salsa, apple watercress, and pickled onion.
I would also recommend the Chilitios Rellenos, a battered stuffed jalapeno with duck confit, wild mushrooms, chipotle tomato fondue sauce, and crema. Try the Wild Hibiscus cocktail with tequila, Cointreau, hibiscus syrup, lime, and orange juice.
1041 N Old World 3rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53203
Mader’s Restaurant is a traditional establishment that has been operational since 1902. It offers classic German cuisine alongside Bavarian decor, and the waitstaff even wears traditional German attire to set the vibe! Its unique exterior looks like you are walking down a street in Hamburg, even though it’s along the Milwaukee River’s shores near Pere Marquette Park.
For a starter, try the Reuben Rolls and the Potato Pancakes. The Pork Shank is Mader’s Most Famous Dish, a skinless shank with apple demi-glaze, red potatoes, and sauerkraut. The Schnitzel is also incredible; it is a breaded pork cutlet served with sauerkraut, spätzle, and lemon. Don’t forget to try the German potato salad and the Goulash!
7616 W State St, Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993 is a winsome tavern serving a seasonal menu of innovative Italian cuisine. The restaurant is near Harwood Avenue and W. State Street, right near the Menomonee River. It offers a cozy Italian dining experience with a special outdoor courtyard called La Terraza.
Executive Chef Juan Urbieta serves delicious dishes like Coniglio All’arneis, a rabbit leg braised in Roero-Arneis wine and a Novara-style risotto with salami, pancetta, borlotti beans, savoy cabbage, and grana. Explore the wine list and sample the panna cotta, which was my favorite.
5100 W Bluemound Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53208
Story Hill BKC is a casual eatery serving seasonal dishes with weekend brunch and a full bar. You can stop by the restaurant, right in front of Mitchell Boulevard Park, during the day or for an extended happy hour.
The space’s interior is trendy reclaimed wood, and the seating is cozy and inviting. I enjoyed the Crêpe Monsieur with hickory-smoked ham, alpine cheese, housemade pickles, dijonnaise, and chives for lunch. For dinner, I would recommend Beef Short Rib Gnocchi with tomato braised beef short rib, housemade potato gnocchi, and balsamic braised red cabbage.
Bavette La Boucherie
217 N Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202, United States
Bavette La Boucherie used to be a butcher shop in the Historic Third Ward District near the Milwaukee Public Market, and now it’s a full-service restaurant as well! They’re known for serving up the most delectable sandwiches and meats from around the world, sustainably sourced and undeniably delicious.
The shop also has outdoor seating, and the interior is modern and welcoming. One aspect that I enjoyed on my trip to Milwaukee was sitting in the restaurant and watching the cooks hard at work preparing all the dishes. My favorite meal was the Corned Beef Tongue Reuben, but the Smoked Trout and Deviled Eggs weren’t far behind!
1011 E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Glorioso’s Italian Market offers dining and indoor shopping. It is open daily and has been operational for more than seventy years. The market is in the Lower East Side, and the building is 10,000 square feet! The market has a deli, offers catering, and serves from the bakery.
When I visited the market, I tried the Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich. I would also recommend the thin crust pizza pies; the classic cheese with mushrooms and pepperoni is my favorite. Try the cannoli or the Chocolate Peanut Butter Thunder Cake from the bakery. The bakery list is extensive, and the bakery does accept orders for special occasions!
3536 W Fond Du Lac Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53216
Sherman Phoenix is off W. Fond Du Lac Avenue near the Sherman Park neighborhood. This black and female-owned establishment began as a way to help rebuild the community after social unrest in 2018. Come enjoy delicious food while supporting the local community! The building hosts tenants or food stalls, so many different culinary options are available.
Visit Rise & Grind for a cup of coffee, Purple Door Ice Cream for hand-crafted ice cream, Buffalo Boss for wings, or Spice and Slice for pizza. Sherman Phoenix is a fun place to go for both lunch and an afternoon snack.
3801 W Vliet St, Milwaukee, WI 53208
Near Washington Park, Triciclo Peru is a woman-owned establishment open daily. The location serves empanadas and Peruvian foods. The interior is trendy and comfortable with a large exposed brick wall and a dropped ceiling with dark and decorative tiles.
Try the Pan con Chicharron, which is fried pork belly and caramelized sweet potato, topped with pickled red onion, spicy rocoto mayo, and cilantro microgreens on a ciabatta roll. I also enjoyed the Corn & Cheese Empanada with sweet corn, cilantro, mozzarella, white cheddar, and a cilantro sauce.
718 N Milwaukee St, Milwaukee, WI 53202, United States
Carnevor is hands down one of the best steakhouses in Milwaukee. You can almost always find it on a “Best Of” list for one of their signature dry-aged wagyu steaks, excellent service, or succulent seafood dishes. Carnevor is near Cathedral Square Park, featuring contemporary decor and upscale vibes.
The service is fast, and the staff is very personable and attentive. Aside from the steaks, my favorite dishes were the Lobster Bisque and Roasted Bone Marrow, with their delicious Chocolate Dream Cake for dessert. I highly recommend you stop by if you’re ever in the city.
Lake Park Bistro
3133 E Newberry Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53211, United States
Lake Park Bistro is inside Lake Park, offering a lovely view of Lake Michigan. It’s one of the best restaurants in Milwaukee because of the service alone. This beautiful setting is the perfect place to settle down to enjoy the quaint ambiance of this eatery that offers French fare as well as some traditional comfort foods, an extensive wine selection, and more.
They also host special events frequently, so you’ll want to call to ensure available seats. I always enjoy going to Lake Park Bistro, especially in the spring when the weather is nice and I can take in the scenery while I dine. My favorite dishes are the juicy duck breast, the filet mignon, and their gnocchi, which has the perfect texture and a dreamy sauce.
720 N Plankinton Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203
Mo’s…A Place for Steaks is a creatively named fine-dining restaurant serving premium steaks, seafood, and wine in sophisticated surroundings. The restaurant is located in Westown and is open between Monday and Saturday at 5:00 pm. The dimly lit interior establishes an intimate vibe perfect for a date night.
Start with the Bacon Wrapped Seared Sea Scallops or the Bruschetta. Then, I would recommend trying the New York Strip Loin or the Wagyu Filet. The side dish options are extensive and include White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, Sautéed Mushrooms, and The Bauman–Mo’s Signature Double Baked Potato. Many menu items are gluten-free.
838 N Old World 3rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53203
San Giorgio Pizzeria Napoletana is a rustic eatery with an open kitchen, so guests can watch the wood-fired cook tasty Neapolitan pizza. The pizzeria is open in Westown and offers an inviting ambiance. The space’s focal point is the blue-tiled oven, and the table settings match the deep blue color scheme.
I enjoyed the Leanne Jean with roasted bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, and fresh basil. I would also recommend the Calabrese pizza with mozzarella, spicy Soppersata, Caciocavallo Cheese, Parmiggiano, and red pepper flake. The restaurant also has a full rotisserie menu if anyone is not in the mood for pizza.
219 E Michigan St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Nestled between Eastown and the Historic Third Ward, the Swingin’ Door Exchange is a comfortable bar and restaurant with saloon-style decor. The kitchen serves comfort food, and the bar offers classic cocktails and beer. The saloon is open Tuesday through Saturday, beginning at 11:00 am. Check out the chalkboard to daily menu and drink items!
I had fun during my visit to the Swingin’ Door Exchange. I would recommend trying the Maple Mustard-Glazed Pork Chop Sandwich with maple mustard, caramelized brussels sprouts, Swiss cheese, and applewood bacon with a side of homemade chips. Tuesdays are for tacos, and Friday is Fish Fry day! Top it off with a Good Island IPA or a Guinness.
310 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203
Located in Westown by the Wisconsin center, The Capital Grille is a national restaurant that serves traditional steakhouse fare. It is perfect for a celebratory evening. The restaurant requires a smart dress code, with jackets for men and business for women.
I enjoyed the Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers appetizer and the lobster bisque to begin my meal. For an entree, I would recommend ordering a steak–it’s what the Grille is known for. I enjoyed the fourteen-ounce Dry Aged NY Strip au Poivre with Courvoisier Cream. The restaurant has other entree options, like the Pan-Seared Sea Bass with Miso Butter.
317 N 76th St, Milwaukee, WI 53213
If you’re in the Wellauer Park neighborhood, stop by Blue’s Egg to enjoy American breakfast favorites, lunch options, or to-go pastries. Make sure you come early since the restaurant closes at 2:00 pm. You can enjoy some great brunch in the indoor or outdoor seating, taking in the fun, art deco vibe. My favorite breakfast dishes are buttermilk pancakes and Goat Cheese Hash Browns with paprika aioli.
One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is Blue’s Classic Benedict with poached eggs, pulled ham, housemade English muffin, and hollandaise. Try the Triple Berry Spinach salad for lunch; it has berries, arugula, baby spinach, avocado, cucumber, fried shallots, goat cheese, and caramel candied pecans.
2416 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53233
The Five O’Clock Steakhouse is a supper club that offers an upscale steakhouse experience in a wood-accented space. The restaurant has been open since 1946 and is only a couple of blocks from the Milwaukee Academy of Science.
The Alley Cat Lounge within the Five O’Clock Steakhouse offers free live music, classic cocktails, and a 1940’s retro-lounge atmosphere. I recommend the Bacon Wrapped Filets Medallions with Blue Cheese Topping and a Parmesan Cream Sauce. Also, try the eight-ounce Filet Mignon with buttered mushrooms.
For a smaller plate option, I enjoyed the Thai Buffalo Shrimp and the Fried Calamari. The classic cocktail menu includes my favorite drink, the Sazerac with Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Simple Syrup, Great Lakes Absinthe, and Peychaud’s Bitters.
550 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Harbor House is an upscale restaurant headed by Executive Chef John Korycki. Thanks to its ideal location along the shore of Lake Michigan, diners enjoy beautiful skyline views.
The kitchen serves steak and seafood dishes, and the bar offers a lengthy wine list. Try the Maryland Style Crab Cake with Remoulade. I’d also recommend the Bay of Funday Salmon for an entree.
Another fantastic option is the Black Angus Ribeye with a Brandy Peppercorn sauce. On a summer day, you cannot beat the Maine-Style Lobster Roll with chilled lobster and Old Bay mayonnaise on a Toasted Brioche Bun.
St. Paul Fish Company
Milwaukee Public Market, 400 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202, United States
The St. Paul Fish Company is inside the Milwaukee Public Market, and I can say there may not be a better place in the city to go for the freshest, crispiest, flakiest fish. It’s so good! It’s a great hangout spot to grab lunch or dinner, and you’re guaranteed fresh seafood that you can tell was just prepared.
The servers make sure to get your order right, and they offer to make recommendations on the specials available for the day. I absolutely loved the oyster platter, lobster claw Bloody Mary, fried Walleye and fries, and more.
815 E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
The Diplomat is a sociable eatery on the lower East Side that offers American classics with a contemporary twist and creative cocktails. Chef Dane Baldwin operates The Diplomat opening the restaurant from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm between Wednesday and Saturday.
When I visited The Diplomat, I enjoyed the Chicken Leg Confit with corn grits and the Smoked Eggplant Hushpuppies with lemon aioli. The Mushroom Risotto is a delicious vegetarian dish; it is even better with a side of sourdough bread. Be sure to order the Peanut Butter Pie for dessert!
741 N Milwaukee St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Zarletti is in the East Town community by the Milwaukee City Hall. The interior is filled with warm wood and window panes that separate tables and create an intimate yet comfortable setting. The restaurant serves Italian dishes and wine from a well-cultivated list.
I would recommend the Panzanella or Caprese salad for a starter. Try the Pasta alla Bolognese with rigatoni and the Pasta Carbonara. Also, the menu creates gluten-free pasta! For dessert, try the tiramisu and the cannoli. The glass of Chanti, a red wine, is perfect with many of the pasta dishes.
424 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Mason Street Grill is in the East Town neighborhood. It is a classic restaurant and lounge situated in the historic Pfister Hotel. The eatery is known for traditional steakhouse fare and live jazz music. The interior is full of dark brown leather armchairs and booths, a beautiful outdoor patio, and an extensive wine room.
Begin your meal with the Lamb Meatballs with Mint Pesto and Tzatziki Sauce. I also enjoyed the Shrimp & Grits with Goat Cheese, Stone Ground Grits, and Andouille. Be sure to review the steak menu. I would recommend the New York strip with Béarnaise sauce. Add White Cheddar and Smoked Gouda Macaroni & Cheese as a family-style side dish.
200 N Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202, United States
Have a hankering for Mediterranean cuisine? Just down the street from the Skylight Music Theatre, you’ll find Tre Rivali—a fantastic eating establishment. With a mix of modern and vintage decor, this inviting eatery is just the place to have a great time with friends and family.
Hopefully, you can drop by on a sunny day and enjoy the spectacular patio and the overall ambiance as you chow down on delectable brunch. The staff is helpful and eager to suggest delicious food items such as baked brioche toast, eggs Benedict, avocado toast, and my personal favorite, the omelet and potatoes.
Speed Queen Bar-B-Q
1130 W Walnut St, Milwaukee, WI 53205, United States
About a block away from Unity Gospel House of Prayer is Speed Queen BBQ—a rustic and welcoming spot. Bring the family here when you want some succulent barbeque without the hassle of feeling like you have to dress to impress. Drop by this easy-going eatery to enjoy the epitome of comfort food.
Sometimes soul food is the only answer, and Speed Queen BBQ serves up some of the tastiest soul food in town. The mouth-watering pan of rib tips was delicious, especially when you use their yummy mesquite sauce. You must try the brisket or their roast beef with baked beans, collard greens, and their cheesy macaroni!
430 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Morel has a rustic yet stylish vibe. The kitchen offers an ever-changing menu of seasonal New American plates, creative cocktails, and craft beer. Morel is located in the Harbor View neighborhood and is open between Tuesday and Saturday.
My favorite meal at Morel was the Pork Shoulder, served with a 5-Year Cheddar Knackwurst, Bacon, Parsnip, Sweet Potato, Celery Root, Carrot, and Mustard Pork Jus. I would also recommend the House Smoked Ham Biscuit with House Smoked Ham, Biscuit, and Honey Butter. Don’t skip out on the Cookie Sandwich with your choice of Bourbon or Candy Cane Ice Cream!
1233 E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202, United States
Located directly in the heart of the Lower East Side is Twisted Plants—a 100 percent vegan/plant-based restaurant. The establishment has a modern appeal and is very much cozy. The space is limited, so you don’t want to have a massive party in tow; however, you can always grab a nice spread and go!
If you want a break from the ordinary salad, this place will spruce things up for you. The food is delicious, and the service is top-notch. If you’re ever in this neck of the woods, stop in and try their vegan chicken wings, the How High with Tots, and more!
Wioletta’s Polish Market
3955 S Howell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207, United States
If you’re having trouble finding Wioletta’s Polish Market, it’s just a few miles from the Milwaukee Public Library. If you’re craving authentic Polish goods, this is undoubtedly the place to be. The store is clean, organized, and well-managed—you can even grab some delicious food that’s already prepared.
Wioletta’s Polish Market is packed with Polish gifts, and depending on your need, they can supply the entire gamut of Polish food items if necessary. Drop by and grab some stuffed cabbage rolls, braunschweiger & garlic ham, and more!