best restaurants milwaukee up close view of hand holding beer glass with more beers in background

10 Best Restaurants in Milwaukee

Just a hop, skip and jump from historic Madison, Wisconsin, lies a hidden gem city brimming with some of the most delectable dishes, exciting cuisines, creative cocktails, and too-pretty-to-eat desserts: Milwaukee. Aside from incredible eats at some of the best restaurants in Milwaukee, this long-standing lakeside city also offers:

  • Bike-friendly streets 🚲
  • Walkable sidewalks 🚶🏻‍♂️
  • Beautiful natural scenery 🌳
  • Lakefront views 🏖
  • Historic neighborhoods 🏘
  • Impressive architecture 🌆
  • Accessible public transportation 🚎
  • Easy and affordable parking 🚗

With tons of neighborhoods to shop, explore, and eat in, Milwaukee, WI, is the perfect place for any adventurous foodie to satisfy their cravings.

best restaurants milwaukee panoramic view of historic riverwalk in downtown milwaukee wisconsin

10 Best Restaurants Milwaukee, WI, Has to Offer

Whether you’re on a budget or need to find vegan-friendly bites, there’s something for everyone in Milwaukee, WI. From food truck festivals on the shores of Lake Michigan to a romantic dinner date at the top of the Kimpton or hitting the cobblestone streets of the Historic Third Ward for brunch with the besties, here are some of Milwaukee’s top dining destinations to try out next time you’re in town:

1.) Bartolotto’s Lake Park Bistro

First is a classic French-inspired bistro from Head Chef and French food specialist Steven O’Neil. Between ever-enticing hors d’oeuvres, an all-French wine list, and decadent main dishes, this classic restaurant serves gourmet food that will transport you straight to the Champs-Élysées or banks of the River Seine. Plus, the sweeping lakefront views in the sophisticated dining room alone make eating at this fantastic restaurant in MKE a must.

  • Address & Neighborhood: 3133 E Newberry Blvd – Upper East Side/Lake Park
  • Google Rating: 4.7
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Don’t-Miss Dishes & Drinks: Duck foie gras, mussels, mousse de Chocolat

best restaurants milwaukee nighttime view of milwaukee skyline wisconsin with lake michigan in forefront

2.) Odd Duck

This popular pick features a globally-inspired dinner menu where you can find everything from quesabirria and mushroom polenta to beet pickled eggs and chef-selected charcuterie boards, all concocted using locally-sourced ingredients. Whether you need gluten-free options and vegetarian dishes to choose from, or you’re ready to dive right into rabbit sausage gnocchi and seafood stew, there’s something for everyone at Odd Duck. Want to try a new seasonal dish or share some small plates on their quaint patio just off National Ave.? Come early or make a reservation since only a few tables are available at their new location.

  • Address & Neighborhood: 939 S. 2nd St. – Walker’s Point
  • Google Rating: 4.7
  • Price Range: $$
  • Don’t-Miss Dishes & Drinks: Duck confit croquettes (of course), seafood stew, the #83

3.) Harbor House

This upscale restaurant in the Barlotta family is great for date night, featuring a lakeside patio, private dining, and fresh lobster delivered daily. Join Head Chef John Korycki on his journey to New England with swordfish, clam chowder, or their unmatched Maine-style lobster roll. (Disclaimer: Not to be confused with the LGBTQ-friendly leather kink bar on nearby Greenfield Ave., although Harbor Room has some great food and drink specials, too!)

  • Address & Neighborhood: 550 N. Harbor Dr. – East Side’s Lake Park
  • Google Rating: 4.6
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Don’t-Miss Dishes & Drinks: Crab cakes, shrimp clam pot, extensive wine pairings

4.) Five O’Clock Steakhouse

If you’re seeking the best steakhouse in Milwaukee, don’t skip over this one. With a classic, cozy supper club atmosphere and impressive dinner specials every night, your belly with be thanking you after a filet mignon and martini at Five O’Clock.

  • Address & Neighborhood: 2416 W. State St. – West Town
  • Google Rating: 4.6
  • Price Range: $$
  • Don’t-Miss Dishes & Drinks: Bacon-wrapped filets, 5 O’Clock Porterhouse cut, and baked French onion soup

best restaurants milwaukee rainy out of focus view of historic third ward entrance sign in milwaukee wisconsin

5.) Tre Rivali

You can’t visit Milwaukee without hitting the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, where Tre Rivali offers handmade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and classic cocktails of all kinds. With outdoor seating and an event space, you can have a quick business lunch or bring the whole family for a private engagement party at this popular Third Ward spot.

  • Address & Neighborhood: 200 N. Broadway – Third Ward
  • Google Rating: 4.4
  • Price Range: $$
  • Don’t-Miss Dishes & Drinks: Wood roasted mushroom pizza, the Isabella

6.) Sweet Diner

If brunch is more your speed, Sweet Diner is definitely the place to be in MKE. With an extensive cocktail list (plus coffee, bloody’s, and mimosas, of course) and breakfast dishes to die for, you’ll be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth here. You can’t skip out on the creme brulee french toast, chicken and biscuits, or mouth-watering caramel apple pancakes. Just don’t forget to snap a pic before your plate’s empty.

  • Address & Neighborhood: 239 E. Chicago St. – Third Ward
  • Google Rating: 4.5
  • Price Range: $$
  • Don’t-Miss Dishes & Drinks: Ham Hash skillet bowls, eggs Benedict, Breakfast in Manhattan

7.) Damascus Gate Restaurant

For the best middle eastern food in Milwaukee, Damascus is definitely number one. The budget-friendly menu includes amazing food and desserts inspired by traditional dishes in Syria and other areas of the Middle East. At their prices, you can pretty much try everything, so don’t be afraid to dive in!

  • Address & Neighborhood: 807 W. Historic Mitchell St.
  • Google Rating: 4.7
  • Price Range: $
  • Don’t-Miss Dishes & Drinks: Falafel sandwich, “Damascus Tour” platter, Muhallaya

8.) San Giorgio Pizzeria

Move over Little Italy in Chicago or New York; Pizza-lovers can rejoice because San Giorgio offers some of the most authentic Neopolitan-style pizza on this side of the Atlantic. Don’t forget to top off your meal of Caprese salad and Margherita pizza with a scoop of gelato too!

  • Address & Neighborhood: 838 N. Old World 3rd St. – Westown
  • Google Rating: 4.7
  • Price Range: $
  • Don’t-Miss Dishes & Drinks: Noce e gorgonzola, Calabrese pizza, pomodoro e burrata

9.) Zócalo Food Park

From fried cheese curds or a grilled cheese sandwich to more sophisticated offerings, you have plenty of options at this food truck park. The location features outdoor seating and a brick-and-mortar tavern, so you can go with a group of friends, your kids, or a first date. No matter what kind of food you like or how picky your children are, there’s no way anyone’s going hungry here.

  • Address & Neighborhood: 636 S. 6th St. – Walker’s Point
  • Fan Favorite Food Trucks: Ruby’s Bagels, Modern Maki, Mazorca Tacos, Hot Box Pizza MKE, Scratch Ice Cream

10.) Milwaukee Public Market

Last but not least is the perpetually packed Public Market just off St. Paul Ave., but we promise it’s worth it. Reminiscent of the famous Pike Place Market in Seattle (Starbucks, anyone?), this popular tourist attraction is packed with some seriously tasty food and gourmet treats. With a rotating schedule of cooking classes led by renowned local chefs, and several great restaurants, wine bars, and Instagram-worthy brunch spots like Café Benelux to choose from, it’s the best way to get all of the goodies you want at once!

  • Address & Neighborhood: 400 N. Water St. – Third Ward
  • Inside Eats: The Draft Patio, St. Paul Fish Company, Thai-Namite, The Green Kitchen, Margarita Paradise, Aladdin’s, On the Bus (plant-based), Pat’s Rib Place (not-so-plant-based)
  • Other Offerings: Coffee roastery, spices, gifts and apparel, candy, wine shop, bakery, fresh cheeses, fish, seafood, and meats

Lake Michigan, Let’s Eat!

From the Third Ward in downtown Milwaukee to the Riverwalk District on Erie St., it’s easy to find quality food and fun or romantic atmospheres at any of these Milwaukee restaurants.

Whether you’re in the area to talk with DuraShield about a new roof installation, or you need to escape to a cozy dining room while storm damage repairs are made on your home, there are plenty of places to tantalize your palette across town.

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