Milwaukee Eats

Welcome to the biggest list of restaurants in Milwaukee that I’ve ever written! This is by far not a comprehensive list of places to eat in Milwaukee (there are always new ones popping up) and some don’t have super obvious vegan options, but almost all places will work with you! I do have to admit that I sometimes eat cheese occasionally, hence some of the notes on cheese based dishes. Milwaukee has been an inspiring and surprisingly robust food city, popping up with high-quality places that fill heart and belly alike, so I know I’ll keep adding to this list!

If you see anything I missed or are curious about any of the places listed here, feel free to reach out! Use the contact form at the top or shoot me an e-mail at [email protected] Happy eating!

  • Wolf Peach– amazing brunch, dinner is good too but definitely go for brunch! When it’s nice outside they have a patio that has an awesome view of the skyline. Reservations aren’t totally needed, but if you go  on a Sunday they are usually pretty busy. Their wood fired pizzas are a must have, they have a few brunch ones that are always awesome. Bloody Marys are boozy and the garnish is awesome too.
  • Odd Duck– I’ve only been here once, but it’s a really good small plates place! You for sure need reservations, but I know you can eat at the bar if they are busy. A lot of veggie heavy plates here, but always really good and filling.
  • Goodkind- Been here a few times and it’s always REALLY good. Small place with a changing menu, cocktails are always spot on and reservations are for sure needed, especially on the weekends.
  • Lazy Susan- Again, great place that has small plates and entrees, their seasonal old fashioneds are incredible (I had a thyme/honey one once) and I’ve always had really great meals here. Menu changes everyday. Also, woman owned restaurant and she’s a bad ass chef.
  • Stella Van Buren– This is a new one! My husband and I ate here on a summer night and it was perfect! It’s located downtown and has a wonderful view of the Third Wardd/Downtown area. I would highly recommend the brussels sprouts, homemade pasta and fried doughnuts for dessert. The cocktails are also outstanding, I can’t wait to go back for another! Both of mine had tequila, but I would say the Italian Paloma was the standout drink. Make a reservation, order a glass of wine, and ask for Jordan (she was our server and was incredible).
  • Zaffiro’s Pizza– Great old school pizza spot on the East Side, been there forever and owned by an Italian family. The veggie pizza is awesome and their pasta is great too. There is parking in a lot behind the restaurant (I think), but parking on Farwell isn’t usually terrible.
  • Thai-namite– Some people don’t love this place, but I think it’s some of the best noodles/sushi in Milwaukee. Patio outside is nice in the summer, especially since it’s right on Brady Street. AJ likes the Brady St. Roll and I like the Pad See Ew (might have totally spelled that wrong)
  • Café Lulu– Always a good spot for falafel and their house made chips are my favorite. They have a blue cheese dressing that comes on the side and I always get that. They also have a really good brunch too! Parking can be hard to find, but there’s always something within a few blocks.
  • All Purpose– A little nicer spot that has small plates and some nicer entrees, their gruyere mashed potatoes are amazing! Reservations probably recommended, but we’ve walked in without them with no problem. They have a great wine list too (not that I’m a wine expert)
  • The Noble– This was the one Morgan was talking about, again one of the best places I’ve been to in Milwaukee. Their old fashioned is top notch and the menu changes everyday with 4-5 options, plus a few appetizers that they have all the time. The trio of dips is really good and anything vegetarian has always been great. They don’t take reservations, but the wait isn’t ever that long and you can always grab a drink at the bar.
  • Palamino– More of a casual bar place, Southern food (fried chicken, cornbread, etc.) and some of the best pie in Milwaukee. During the summer months they have an amazing peach cream pie and the cheese curds are worth getting. All the cocktails I’ve ever had there are delicious.
  • Vanguard– Sausage/bar food, but elevated. They have all kinds of sausages/hot dogs and a few kinds of poutine and sides. Seating is communal style, long table style and the wait isn’t usually that long. They have cocktails on tap too, the old fashioned is solid.
  • Hue– Only been here once, but some of the best Vietnemese food I’ve ever had. I honestly can’t remember what I ate, but their Friday Fish fry is supposed to be really good.
  • Lakefront Brewery– If you haven’t been on the tour yet, GO! I think it’s the best in the city and have been on it probably 7 times. They serve food on the weekends and their Friday night fish fry is the BEST (complete with polka band). We always take visitors here and they love it. Also, best cheese curds ever, hands down and the soft pretzels is the best. The wait on a Friday night seems long, but it’s worth it.
  • Glorioso’s– This is more of a takeout place, but their pizzas and sandwiches are cheap and delicious. The store itself is my personal heaven (cheese, olives, and booze) and they have a few seats inside if you want to eat there.
  • Cempazuchi– Great, authentic Mexican. The mole is house made and they have a different one everyday, plus the nachos are huge and awesome. Margaritas are also really delicious. The owner travels to Mexico for a month every year to do research for new dishes.
  • Blue’s Egg– one of the BEST brunches in Milwaukee. Get there early or be prepared to wait a long time, but totally worth it. The stuffed hash browns are my personal favorite and they make a mean bloody mary.
  • Story Hill BKC– Owned by the same people who own Blue’s Egg, but it’s more of a cocktail/dinner type place. I’ve only eaten here once, but the house made rolls are fluffy and perfect and their happy hour specials are spot on. I honestly can’t remember what I’ve had to drink here, but it’s always good.
  • County Clare– More of a bar, but they have good hearty food too. Mashed potatoes, sandwiches, etc. are all good, they have a separate vegetarian menu if you ask for it.
  • Milwaukee Ale House– Mainly their happy hour is a great deal. I think appetizers are $5 (cheese curds, pretzels, etc.), but I’m not 100% sure about this anymore. Still, good place to sit on the patio on the river and have a few drinks/apps.
  • Honeypie– owned by the same people who own Palamino, but this one is more sandwiches/American food. Pies are top notch and their veggie sandwich is really good.
  • Morel- One of the best restaurants we’ve been to in Milwaukee. We went here for our wedding anniversary and it was beyond what we expected. Their specialty is mushrooms and they do them right. Wine list is great, AJ had a ham biscuit as an appetizer and swore it was one of the best things ever, I had a pumpkin soup that was amazing. Entrees are a good size, I had a noodle thing with veggies and it was super filling, AJ had a sausage/meat thing that he drooled about for days.
  • Crazy Water– another gem in Walker’s Point. Super small, but really fun, especially if you can sit near the front, which is where the kitchen is (basically in the window) and see the chefs cook. I had a kale salad here that made me not hate kale anymore and I think maybe a dessert that was really good.
  • Beans and Barley– super casual place on the East Side, brunch is the best here. I just ate there this past weekend and did have lunch, fajitas, which were really good. There’s a grocery store attached too.
  • Café Corazon– More Mexican food! They have two locations now, one in Riverwest and one in Bayview. The Bayview one is much bigger and less of a wait, Riverwest is always busy and has a wait. Basically everything is always good, pretty much tex/mex basics.
  • Braise– This one is really good, the chef is a cool guy and James Beard award winner (If that’s your thing). Again, can’t remember what I’ve had here, but it’s a small portions place, but they are all good quality. They also have cooking classes here and they are a good deal since you get a cocktail/appetizer with it too. They have small plates/appetizers that rotate daily and if you go eat at the bar during happy hour they are a bit cheaper.  The building actually used to be a bowling alley, so the bar and long tables are pieces of the alleys that they saved.
  • Engine Company No. 3– Only been here once, but really good! Global cuisine with different ingredients that you don’t normally see. For sure get a reservation here, it’s really popular. This is where Obama ate when he came to Milwaukee last year and brunch is their specialty. This is the sister restaurant to La Merenda, so you know it’s good.
  • Balzac– wine bar on the East Side, they have good food too! This place does get a little too hipster for me sometimes, but the mac and cheese is good and patio is solid when it’s warm outside.
  • La Masa– Empanada restaurant that is right next to Balzac. Go for the 3 empanadas with the salad/slaw they serve, it’s delicious. Cocktails on tap and solid wine list. They get busy in the summer and have good happy hour deals too.
  • Elsa’s on the Park– This place seems fancy when you walk in (they have a lot of odd uplighting and the bathroom kind of trips me out), but the grilled cheese/burgers are great and the roasted broccoli on the appetizer menu is hands down, the best.
  • Easy Tyger– Again, been here once, but it was good. I had a pasta dish that was delicious, they home make a lot of the pastas and have a rotating menu. They are meat heavy so it wasn’t great for me, but everyone else I went with really liked what they had.
  • Anodyne Bayview– This one is technically a coffee shop, but they also have a wood fired pizza oven and make amazing pizzas at night too. I’ve had a couple kinds of veggie/cheese pizzas and they are fast, delicious, and pretty inexpensive for what you get.
  • Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge- Obviously a bar, but a cool 40’s style lounge that doesn’t have a drink menu. Tell them what you like to drink and they will make something, it’s always bound to be good.
  • Roman Coin- Personal favorite dive bar. AJ and I usually go here on the weekends to grab a quick drink and meet friends.  Super casual (I wear leggings here on the regular, judge me if you want) and they let people bring dogs in. Highlight of one of my times here was seeing a dog birthday party, complete with hats for the dogs and a cake. They don’t serve food, but Thainamite will deliver over there and Glorioso’s is easy to grab a pizza from. Their old fashioneds are really good (don’t let them make it with blood orange, it’s not as good)
  • Fink’s- one of the best old fashioneds in Milwaukee. This place is owned by the Bel Air people and gets busy when Bel Air is busy. They have fun pinball machines and board games too. Happy hour deals are solid, staff is sometimes hipster-y, but overall really good.
  • Le Reve– Food is good, desserts are better. I basically go here to eat for the desserts, but their fries are really delicious too. They have a good selection of rose wine too, if you’re basic like me.
  • Beerline Café– All vegetarian café on the East Side that has rotating dinner specials and really good brunch. I’ve had veggie tacos, crepes, and mac and cheese that are all really good. The staff has been kind of cranky the last few times I’ve been, but otherwise really good food.
  • Company Brewing– Another one I’ve only been to once for brunch, but again, really good. They have a bit of a different menu, I had a savory chickpea pancake that was good and their dinner menu looks good too.
  • DanDan– One of the best new restaurants in Milwaukee from last year. Portions are big and always really really good, I always get the General Tso’s cauliflower and people I’ve been with love the noodle dishes. The chef here used to be at Wolf Peach.
  • Guanajuato– Kind of a hole in the wall Mexican place in Bayview, really good food. It’s small, so you’re probably going to wait, but it’s worth it. Basic Mexican fare with lots of food and good service.
  • Iron Horse Hotel– this is more for the bar, I’ve never eaten here! They have a patio that is great in the summer, comfy couches and really good Moscow mules/drink specials.
  • Purple Door Ice Cream– Always good, the sundaes are big and they home make the waffle cones. Rotating ice cream flavors that range from regular to out of the ordinary.
  • Press Waffles– this one is a food truck/stand, but they are the best waffles ever. They are brioche style (thicker, sweeter) and come with toppings like nutella, fruit, etc. They are usually at farmer’s markets and sometimes at Central Standard distillery in Walker’s Point.
  • Rocket Baby Bakery– Bakeries, always and forever. They also have good sandwiches and breakfast pastries, plus the macaroon selection is amazing. My dream life is to buy my bread from them every week, but I’m too lazy for that.
  • Good City Brewing– They brew their own beers and have a really good food selection too. I’ve had the grilled cheese and the curry fries are amazing, honestly don’t remember much about the beers but they were good.
  • Gypsy Taco– a food truck that is parked in back of Boone and Crockett in Bayview. They always have a few kinds of tacos and chips/salsa, etc. The queso is really good and I’ve had the veggie tacos, plus I’ve heard the Dr. Pepper pork tacos are delicious. They actually just had a fire and are closed for now, but expecting to re-open in the spring.
  • Ethiopian Cottage– We just ate here a few weeks ago and at first I wasn’t sure about it, but it was SO good. Beware, there is no silverware and they serve everything altogether on a big platter, but it’s so delicious. We got a spicy lentil dish and a potato/carrot dish too. The honey wine is sweet and doesn’t taste boozy, but pairs well with the spice/veggies.