Milwaukee is a city with a vibrant food scene, offering a wide range of dining experiences. From casual pub grub to upscale fine dining, there is something for every palate and budget.
As a local, I have had the opportunity to explore many of Milwaukee's best restaurants and can confidently say that the city has some of the best food in the Midwest.
One of the things that makes Milwaukee's restaurant scene stand out is the diversity of cuisines available. Whether you are in the mood for Italian, Mexican, Asian, or something else entirely, you are sure to find a restaurant that fits the bill.
Many of the city's restaurants also incorporate locally sourced ingredients, highlighting the region's agricultural bounty.
Milwaukee's restaurants are also known for their creativity and innovation. Chefs in the city are constantly experimenting with new flavors and techniques, resulting in exciting and unexpected culinary experiences.
Whether you are a foodie or just looking for a great meal, Milwaukee's restaurants are sure to impress. So, without further ado, let's take a closer look at some of the best restaurants in the city.
1. Story Hill BKC
Story Hill BKC offers a great experience for foodies looking for a unique dining experience. With a menu of small plates perfect for sharing, guests can savor a variety of flavors.
The staff is knowledgeable and attentive, making recommendations for wine pairings and offering excellent service.
The atmosphere is cozy and comfortable, perfect for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner. The food is delicious, and the homemade rolls are a must-try.
The restaurant also offers a curated selection of craft beers, wines, and cocktails. With a limited but delicious brunch menu, this restaurant is worth a visit.
2. Swingin' Door Exchange
Swingin' Door Exchange is an intimate saloon-style bar and grill that serves up American comfort food and cocktails.
The cozy ambiance is reminiscent of an old-school saloon with rustic tables and wood paneling. The menu features finger-friendly appetizers, sandwiches, soups, wraps, and standard bar fare.
The kitchen prepares meals fairly quickly and the staff are friendly and attentive. The outdoor seating area is covered in case of rain.
Swingin' Door Exchange is a popular spot for locals, so expect a wait during peak hours.
3. Odd Duck
Odd Duck is a quirky New American restaurant that offers an ever-changing menu of small plates and creative cocktails.
The food is delicious, and the service is exemplary. The cozy setting is perfect for a romantic night out or a celebration with friends.
While the prices are on the higher end, the quality of the food and service make it worth the splurge.
Make sure to make a reservation in advance, as this place is popular and fills up quickly.
4. La Merenda
La Merenda is a tapas restaurant that offers globally-inspired small plates. The menu is filled with a huge variety of delicious options that are perfect for sharing.
The portions are bigger than you would expect from tapas, and the food is of great quality. The staff is very friendly and attentive to the customers' needs.
The patio seating is perfect for enjoying the atmosphere. The drinks menu is passable, but the food itself is the star of the show.
The indoor ambiance might not be the best, but the food is definitely worth the visit. La Merenda is a great experience for those who enjoy trying new flavors and cuisines.
5. The Capital Grille
The Capital Grille is an upscale steakhouse chain that's perfect for fine dining, chophouse, and seafood lovers. The refined setting and clubby look make for a great atmosphere.
The menu offers classic American fare with a great selection of entrees, including steak, seafood, beef, pork, and lamb. The appetizers are a must-try, and the table-sized sides are perfect for sharing.
The service is attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable. The wine list is extensive, and the staff can help you choose the perfect pairing.
The prices are on the higher side, but the quality of the food and service make it worth it. If you're looking for a special occasion restaurant, The Capital Grille is the place to go.
6. Rodizio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse Milwaukee
Rodizio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse Milwaukee offers an outstanding dining experience with a variety of skewered meats carved tableside and a delicious salad bar.
The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure that every guest's needs are met.
The atmosphere is warm and cozy, making it the perfect setting for a relaxing sit-down meal.
The restaurant is a must-try for anyone looking for an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse experience.
Carnevor is a sleek and upscale steakhouse that serves classic fare and an extensive wine list.
The restaurant has a dark and contemporary setting that sets a unique and enjoyable atmosphere.
The quality of the food and experience matches the high prices, making it a great place for special occasions.
The staff is attentive and the service is outstanding. Highly recommended for steak lovers looking for a unique and upscale dining experience.
8. Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro
Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro offers a classic French dining experience with a stunning lakefront view.
The menu includes a price fixe 4 course option with plenty of delicious choices. The service is professional and friendly, and the atmosphere is sophisticated yet welcoming.
The restaurant is spacious, well-decorated, and perfect for special occasions. The food is excellent, and the cocktails and wine list are impressive.
If you're looking for an upscale dining experience with high-quality food and service, Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro is definitely worth a visit.
Morel is a rustic-chic restaurant that offers a daily changing menu of New American plates. The warm ambiance and friendly staff make for a welcoming atmosphere.
The food is superb, with a great selection of high-end dishes that are worth every penny. The chef-cooked menu accommodates allergies, and 90% of the products used are local.
The appetizers are especially noteworthy and should not be skipped. The drinks at the bar are diverse and pair well with the food.
The desserts are also a perfect ending to the meal. Morel is a must-visit restaurant for those looking for a top-notch dining experience.
Sanford is a top-rated fine dining restaurant that serves creative and upscale New American cuisine.
The restaurant offers a chef's tasting menu paired with carefully selected wines. The staff is attentive and friendly, providing warm hospitality to all guests.
The space is chic and elegant, making it a perfect place for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.
The dishes are inventive and delicious, and the wine list is fairly priced. Sanford is a must-visit for anyone looking for an exceptional dining experience.
11. Triciclo Peru
Triciclo Peru is a cozy restaurant that offers delicious Peruvian street food.
The exposed-brick walls and hip vibe make for a trendy atmosphere.
The empanadas and salads are a must-try, and the cocktails are top-notch. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the dishes.
If you're looking for a unique dining experience, Triciclo Peru is worth a visit.
12. The Original
The Original is a neighborhood gem serving up upscale American cuisine with a focus on craft cocktails.
The vintage dining room and bar exude charm and character, setting the stage for an unforgettable dining experience.
The menu features creatively prepared dishes that are expertly seasoned and beautifully presented. The attentive and friendly staff add to the welcoming atmosphere.
The Original is a must-visit for those seeking a refined yet casual dining experience with exceptional food and drink.
13. Buckley's Restaurant & Bar
Buckley's Restaurant & Bar offers an inventive menu and competent wine list.
The food is delicious and the service is top-notch. The interior is beautiful and intimate, with high ceilings and dim lighting.
The bar is well-stocked with plenty of choices. The restaurant also takes COVID-19 precautions seriously.
Although the menu is limited, the dishes are done really well. It's a great spot to visit for a special occasion or a romantic night out.
14. Tua Pasta Milwaukee
Tua Pasta Milwaukee is a must-visit for pasta lovers.
The restaurant offers a build-your-own pasta menu with fresh ingredients and homemade noodles.
The staff is friendly and helpful, and the dining room has a beautiful riverside seating area.
The gelato is a must-try and not too sweet. The restaurant's location is a little hard to find but worth the effort.
15. Three Brothers
Three Brothers is a hidden gem that serves up authentic Serbian cuisine in a vintage storefront setting.
The menu is large and intriguing, with dishes such as burek, goulash, and stuffed peppers.
The service is attentive and the atmosphere is cozy, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing evening out.
Be aware that some items take a bit longer to prepare, but the wait is well worth it for the delicious, made-to-order meals. Make sure to bring cash, as credit cards are not accepted.
16. Five O'Clock Steakhouse
Five O'Clock Steakhouse is a classic supper club-style restaurant that has been serving delicious upscale steakhouse fare since 1946.
The cozy and casual atmosphere is perfect for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner. The menu is simple but offers plenty of great options, including juicy ribeye steaks and mouth-watering lobster mac and cheese.
The service is exceptional, and the staff is attentive to every detail. Prices may be on the higher side, but the quality of the food and the dining experience is well worth it.
Five O'Clock Steakhouse is a must-visit place for anyone who loves great food and excellent service.
17. Alem Ethiopian Village
Alem Ethiopian Village offers delicious and authentic Ethiopian cuisine. Their lunch buffet is affordable and offers plenty of vegetarian options.
The restaurant also accommodates food allergies and has 100% teff for gluten intolerant customers.
The atmosphere is well-decorated and ethnically themed, making it perfect for an intimate dinner. The service is prompt and friendly, and the portions are satisfying.
They also have a good selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes. If you're looking for traditional Ethiopian fare, Alem Ethiopian Village is definitely worth a visit.
18. Damascus Gate Restaurant
Damascus Gate Restaurant offers authentic Syrian cuisine in a casual atmosphere.
The food is flavorful and delicious, with generous portions and affordable prices. The staff is warm and welcoming, providing quick and friendly service.
The restaurant also offers catering services for special events. The mission of the restaurant to help refugees from Syria adds to the overall positive experience.
It's a great option for those looking to try Middle Eastern food or cater for a party.
Cavas is a small Spanish/Latin restaurant that serves delicious food and drinks. Despite its limited menu, the quality of the dishes is outstanding.
The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, with only a few tables and some bar chairs. Reservations are recommended.
The service is friendly and attentive, making guests feel right at home. The restaurant is family-owned and operated, adding to its charm.
Live music is occasionally featured, creating a lively and enjoyable atmosphere. Cavas is highly recommended for anyone looking for a unique and tasty dining experience.