Culturally diverse and artistically inclined, Milwaukee is home to a thriving population of incredible restaurants ranging from chic, fusion cuisine-focused bistros to elegant fine dining establishments to cheap bohemian college cafes. No matter what dish calls to your taste buds, you can find a restaurant that serves it here. The only common theme the majority of these restaurants share is the time honored tradition of the Friday night fish fry. Hailing from the days where the Catholic no-meat-on-Fridays rule was still widely practiced, the act of eating fried fish on a Friday is one of defining cultural quirks of not only Milwaukee, but also the whole state of Wisconsin. The other favorite staple of a Milwaukeeans diet is frozen custard, a most delectable treat that's impossible not to love.
Carnevor is one of the top restaurants in the Milwaukee area, featuring premium aged beef, thick chops and seafood. Carnevor is highly critically acclaimed by Milwaukee publications, and the restaurant has gained a national reputation for its state-of-the-art interior design. Carnevor also boasts of one of the more comprehensive wine lists in all of Milwaukee.
Umami Moto is an innovative Milwaukee restaurant that blends the best culinary traditions of the East and the West to create a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience. With creative menus, exotic cocktails (including an incredible list of imported sake that is sure to make even the most well-suited sake connoisseur's mouth water), Umami Moto is a restaurant one won't easily forget. Nightlife enthusiasts will love the restaurants location, interior and social scene. The décor is a blend of the traditional Japanese aesthetic that favors open space, minimalist patters and a simplified color scheme, all in an effort to highlight the unique menu and to make attendees feel relaxed immediately upon entering, giving new meaning to the term Comfort Food.
Distil is a wine bar, a cheese stop, a culinary treasure and meat-lovers' dream. It houses a wide array of each (international wiles and Wisconsin cheese; deliciously cured meats and experimental meals), and will surely be one of the most unique dining experiences that one can have in the greater Milwaukee area. The Distil aesthetic is unique enough to grab attention, mixing apothecary chic with a more prohibition/rustic tinge. Visitors are sure to adore the mixed menu (headed by cooks willing to experiment), and the unique drinks. Come for the ambiance; stay for everything else.
Graffito's is a unique Italian restaurant that puts fresh ingredients at the top of its to-do list. The restaurant is noted for what it calls "scratch italian cooking," which essentially promises guests that everything—from the breads and buns to the pasta itself and even the mozzarella—is made fresh, in-house, and only with locally sourced ingredients. The difference is undeniable, and has been a large contributor to the restaurant's ranking as Carol Depotlla's Top 30 Restaurants. It's promise—"tutto cucinato al momento"—is taken more than seriously. And the restaurant manages to perfectly blend the unique expectations of today's foodies, with the classic elements of traditional italian recipes. The design of the restaurant celebrates and maintains the urban architecture of the surrounding Historic Third Ward, while also celebrating the classic Italian aesthetic—all in one roof. And with a killer view overlooking the water, and a wine list equally worth celebrating, Ryan Braun's Graffito is making sure that guests never look elsewhere for fine dining of the fresh and traditional variety.
Contemporary American. With design elements straight out of a metropolitan American restaurant, Bacchus is one of the more elegant dining experiences available in Milwaukee. Bacchus is located in Milwaukee's historic Cudahy Tower and features sweeping views of Lake Michigan and contemporary American cuisine made with the finest seasonal, local ingredients.
Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro
3133 E. Newberry Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53221
French. Frequently referred to as Milwaukee's most romantic restaurant, Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro, set in Milwaukee's historic Lake Park, features great views of Lake Michigan. Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro is also considered the finest French restaurant in Milwaukee, featuring regional French preparations of local ingredients.
424 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Comfort Food. Set in Milwaukee's Pfister Hotel, Café Pfister features a terrace overlooking Jefferson Street. This restaurant in Milwaukee serves contemporary American comfort food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Café Pfister boasts of one of the best burgers in all of Milwaukee, and the restaurant also serves an extensive list of specialty cocktails and wine.
Capital Grille - Milwaukee
310 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203
American, Steak, Seafood. The Milwaukee location of the Capital Grille high-end steak house restaurant brand is found in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. Milwaukee restaurant goers can expect the finest from the Capital Grille. They age their beef on site, and fly in the freshest seafood from around the world. The Capital Grille of Milwaukee also offers numerous private and group dining options.
931 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
American, Steak, Seafood. Coast Restaurant of Milwaukee is set within a uniquely modern, elegant dining space that includes the sleek Wave Bar. Coast serves stylish and light preparations of fresh local and global seafood catches. Coast Restaurant of Milwaukee also features an extensive list of specialty cocktails, and the restaurant invites Milwaukee restaurant goers to one of its "custom menu nights" when guests direct the preparation of their own multiple course meals.
316 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
French. This Milwaukee restaurant institution is located in the historic Landmark Building, and features a laid-back approach to the traditional French bistro. Coquette Café prides itself on a blend of French techniques and contemporary American comfort food. The bar at Croquette Cafe features a fine selection of French wine and ales.
Devon Seafood Grill - Milwaukee
5715 N. Bayshore Dr., #0-115, Glendale, WI 53217
Seafood, American. Devon Seafood Grill imports the finest seafood from the world's oceans to Milwaukee daily, and prepares dishes with an emphasis on lighter, elegant presentations of ingredients. Devon Seafood Grill also features one of Milwaukee's more extensive raw bars and a popular weekend seafood brunch.
2308 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53233
Contemporary American. Set inside the recently over-hauled Ambassador Hotel of Milwaukee, Envoy is a newer restaurant in the Milwaukee dining scene, first opening its doors to coincide with the re-opening of the hotel in 2005. Since then, Envoy has garnered quite a bit of attention in the Milwaukee press with its art deco setting and its contemporary American cuisine.
Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub
222 E. Erie St., Ste. 100, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Contemporary American, Seafood, Wild Game. Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub is an eclectic and hugely popular Milwaukee restaurant that features a contemporary American menu highlighting fresh-caught fish directly from partner fishermen in several American port cities, as well as seasonal local game. Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub also features a popular bar, which boasts its own casual bar menu and a fine selection of craft beers and cocktails.
Il Mito Enoteca
6913 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Italian. The second Il Mito location in the Milwaukee area is a bit more laid back than the first. Il Mito Enoteca is more of a wine bar, "enoteca" translating from Italian roughly to "wine bar." Il Mito Enoteca features a broad collection of regional Italian wines, and serves them paired with more rustic, simple Italian foods such as cured meats and artisanal cheeses.
139 E. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Contemporary American. Set within the InterContinental Milwaukee Hotel, Kil@wat is one of the more trendy Milwaukee restaurants. Popular with downtown theatre goers and Milwaukee restaurant aficionados, Kil@wat serves an eclectic fusion menu with full entrees and tapas-style plates.
Maggiano's - Milwaukee
2500 N. Mayfair Rd., Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Italian, American. The Milwaukee location of the popular Maggiano's Little Italy national Italian restaurant chain is located in the Mayfair Mall of nearby Wauwatosa. The cuisine at Maggiano's Little Italy is Southern Italian served family style, with large portions to be shared among three to five people. Maggiano's Little Italy of Milwaukee also features numerous private dining and banquet options.
Mason Street Grill
425 E. Mason St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
American. Since opening its doors inside Milwaukee's Pfister Hotel in December of 2006, the Mason Street Grill has earned a reputation as a restaurant offering classic American cuisine, featuring the finest wood-fired steaks, chops and seafood in addition to a bevy of American comfort food staples. The Mason Street Grill boasts of one of Milwaukee's finest burgers.
633 North Fifth St., Milwaukee WI 53203
Steakhouse. The Milwaukee Chophouse is a classic high-end American steakhouse offering aged prime beef, chops and fresh seasonal seafood. This critically acclaimed chophouse in Milwaukee also features a rotisserie and a popular barbequed rib dish. Milwaukee restaurant critics speak very highly of the Milwaukee Chophouse, and the restaurant has won a laundry list of awards since opening in 2001.
Mitchell's Fish Market - Brookfield
275 N. Moorland Rd., Brookfield, WI 53005
Seafood, Steak. The Milwaukee location of the Mitchell's Fish Market national brand of high-end seafood restaurants is located in the bustling Brookfield Square Mall of Milwaukee. Mitchell's Fish Market prides itself on a menu that changes twice daily, depending on the species of fresh seafood flown in, also daily, from all over the globe. Mitchell's Fish Market of Milwaukee features a full service bar with an extensive list of specialty cocktails.
Mr. B's - A Bartolotta Steakhouse
17700 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield, WI 53045
Steak, Seafood. A creation of the venerable Bartolatta restaurant group of Milwaukee, Mr. B's Steakhouse is a classic American steakhouse with Italian flavors in addition to the fine steaks, chops and seafood. Mr. B's of Milwaukee prepares its steaks in an 1100-degree oven, ensuring the finest flavor combinations and a uniquely caramelized and buttery crust.
North Shore Bistro
8649 N. Port Washington Rd., Fox Point, WI 53217
Contemporary American. The North Shore Bistro of Milwaukee features an extensive menu, traversing the globe to inspire its contemporary American preparations of seasonal, local ingredients. Milwaukee's North Shore Bistro also offers a wide selection of vegetarian dishes and lighter preparations, in addition to eclectic gourmet sandwiches.
Ristorante Bartolotta - Wauwatosa
7616 W. State St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Italian. Milwaukee restaurateur extraordinaire Joe Bartolotta lends his name to this classic Italian restaurant, featuring cuisine from the central and northern regions of Italy. Called one of the finest Italian restaurants in the Milwaukee area, Ristorante Bartolotta is quite popular in the Milwaukee restaurant scene, often frequented by many of Milwaukee's most prominent citizens.
229 South Pier Dr., Sheboygan, WI 53081
Seafood, Steak. Seabird, from the Weissgerber restaurant group, resides along the shores of Lake Michigan, one of Milwaukee's more scenic locales. Offering seasonal lakeside patio dining, Seabird serves steaks, chops and seafood. In addition to the contemporary American cuisine, Seabird features one Milwaukee's most accomplished wine lists, earning the Wine Spectator "Award of Excellence."
1030 E. Juneau, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Contemporary American. The Knick is one of Milwaukee's more popular restaurants, offering everything from comfort food on a casual late-night bar menu to fine steaks and seafood. The Knick holds the distinction of serving Milwaukee's most comprehensive list of vodkas, with over 60 global varieties. The Knick, true to form, also earns accolades for its specialty cocktails.
249 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
American, Comfort Food. Recently voted Milwaukee's "best new restaurant," Water Buffalo holds down an enviable location on Milwaukee's Third Ward riverfront. Water Buffalo serves contemporary American cuisine: everything from salads and sandwiches to regionally inspired entrees. Water Buffalo's bar is also one of Milwaukee's more popular late-night destinations.
2720 N. Grandview Blvd., Waukesha, WI 53188
German, American. Complete with an outdoor "biergarten," Weissberger's Gasthaus is a Milwaukee institution, serving classic German food and beer for more than 30 years. Weissberger's Gasthaus of Milwaukee not only makes their own wursts on site, but they also brew their own traditional German beer recipes in-house.