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OnMilwaukee.com readers chose Sanford as the city's best restaurant in the 2011 OnMilwaukee.com Dining Month survey.

Milwaukee's best dining, 2011


Another Dining Month at OnMilwaukee.com has come to an end and we hope you enjoyed it.

Of course, Dining Month wouldn't be a success without your participation. After all, it's you, Milwaukee, who casts your ballots to pick the winners of our annual "Best of Milwaukee Dining" poll. And this year, thousands of votes were recorded.

Here's a recap of the 2011 winners, along with the choices of the OnMilwaukee.com editorial staff.

And remember, this is your poll; did we miss a category this year or do you have a suggestion for 2012? Let us know by posting a Talkback below and we'll put it on the big board for next year.

Milwaukee's Best Restaurant: Sanford
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Crazy Water
From a less-than-flashy location on the corner of a mostly residential block at 1547 N. Jackson St., world-class chef/owner Sanford D'Amato created a culinary landmark out of what had been the family's corner grocery. The menu at Sanford changes with the seasons, and it's made up of the best ingredients, creating a pricey, special-occasion dining choice that was the clear choice among OnMilwaukee readers for the best in the city. This is a serious dining choice for serious diners, and it's a salute to the sophistication of the Milwaukee dining crowd that it has made an upscale restaurant like Sanford its top pick.

Best Restaurant, Northern Suburbs: Harry's Bar & Grill
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: North Star American Bistro
Harry's Bar and Grill, 3549 N. Oakland Ave., is the epicenter of NStars restaurant group. Located north of The Knick and south of North Shore Bistro (now NSB), Harry's is the most casual of the three and radiates neighborhood restaurant and upscale sports bar with a menu that can be simply classified as "better than bar food." We've loved Harry's for many years (try their awesome turkey burger), so we're not surprised OnMilwaukee.com readers made this Shorewood staple their top pick.

Best Restaurant, Southern Suburbs: Organ Piper Music Palace
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Organ Piper Music Palace
Organ Piper Music Palace – often referred to as "Organ Piper Pizza" – takes the brand new title for Milwaukee's best restaurant in the Southern Suburbs. Organ Piper is a unique, kitschy combination of pizza and live organ music. Every night of the week, with the exception of Mondays, a talented organ player sits down at the massive Wurlitzer and plays recognizable songs, both old and new. Plus, they take requests. The best part is that it's not all gimmick: the pizza is actually very good, too. Plus, Organ Piper offers adult beverages along with a menu of non-pizza items.

Best Restaurant, Western Suburbs: Eddie Martini's
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Blue's Egg
Over the years, Eddie Martini's, 8612 W. Watertown Plank Rd., has garnered recognition in Gourmet magazine and is a DiRoNa (Distinguished Restaurants of North America) award recipients. Eddie Martini's cuisine is simplicity defined. Just about every item on the menu is simply and expertly prepared with flawless results. Service is prompt and professional, attentive without being invasive, and the timing here is flawless, making a dining experience at Eddie Martini's one to be treasured. The restaurant's longevity, dedication to high-quality cuisine and reasonable prices make this a place to try if you haven't yet, and one to return to if it has been a while since your last visit.

And now, the rest of the 2011 winners:

Best New Restaurant: Cafe Benelux
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Ryan Braun's Graffito

Best Steak: Five O'Clock Club
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Eddie Martini's

Best Bar Food: Cafe Hollander
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Palomino

Best Breakfast: Blue's Egg
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Blue's Egg

Best Brunch: Comet Cafe
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Wicked Hop

Best Burger: Sobelman's
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Oscar's on Pierce

Best Cheap Eats: Conejito's
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Conejito's

Best View: Harbor House
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Screaming Tuna

Best Patio: Horny Goat Brewing Company
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: The Yard at Iron Horse Hotel

Best Appetizers/Small Plate Dining: La Merenda
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: La Merenda

Best Chef: Adam Siegel (Bacchus/Lake Park Bistro)
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Adam Siegel

Best Seafood: Harbor House
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Harbor House

Best Coffee Shop/Cafe: Alterra
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Stone Creek

Best Frozen Treats: Kopp's Frozen Custard
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Kopp's

Best Comfort Food: Maxie's Southern Comfort
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Maxie's Southern Comfort

Best Deli: Glorioso Brothers
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Glorioso's

Best Fish Fry: Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Kegel's Inn

Best Pizza: Zaffiro's
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Calderone Club

Best Hidden Gem: Barnacle Bud's
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Triskele's

Best Desserts: Honeypie
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Coquette Cafe

Best Beer List: Cafe Hollander
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Erv's Mug

Best Hot Dogs/Sausages: Dogg Haus
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Dogg Haus

Best Late Night Eats: Oakland Gyros
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: George Webb

Best Local Fast Food: Culver's
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Real Chili

Best Lunch Buffet: Maharaja
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Mayura

Best Romantic Restaurant: Lake Park Bistro
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Bacchus

Best Wine List: Balzac
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Bacchus

Best Ribs: Speed Queen
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Speed Queen

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant: Organ Piper Music Palace
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden

Best Market: Milwaukee Public Market
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Milwaukee Public Market

Best Sandwiches: Cafe Lulu
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Nessun Dorma

Best Street Food/Food Truck: Streetza
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Tiger Bite

Best Vegetarian Cuisine: Beans & Barley
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: The National

Best Festival or Event Food: Wisconsin State Fair
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Wisconsin State Fair

Best Wings: Buffalo Wild Wings
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Club Garibaldi

Best Chain Restaurant: P.F. Chang's China Bistro
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Capital Grille

Best Chinese: Emperor of China
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Yen Ching

Best French: Lake Park Bistro
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Pastiche

Best Greek: Oakland Gyros
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Ouzo

Best Indian: Maharaja
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Cafe India

Best Italian: Ristorante Bartolotta
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Ristorante Bartolotta

Best Japanese: Izumi's
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Izumi's

Best Mexican: Botanas
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Cempazuchi

Best Middle Eastern: Tulip
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Casablanca

Best Other Asian: Unami Moto
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Hue

Best Thai: The King & I
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Thai Barbecue

Talkbacks

deeze | April 12, 2012 at 2:48 p.m. (report)

For the sake of integrity, please stop allowing BW3's to even be a possible choice for wings. That's like saying the Riverside High School cafeteria has the best burgers. If you want good wings, go to the Knick. Make sure you tell them that you want them "Stein Style."

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theTobleRone | Feb. 28, 2012 at 4:21 p.m. (report)

It would be nice to see some credit go out to the original recipe for the best wings in Milwaukee. Points East Pub created the recipe for the wings that Club Garibaldi has become so successful at serving. Plus, I have to give some love to some of my favorite Milwaukee bartenders Erica, Heather and Bill at Points!!

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sandstorm | Nov. 2, 2011 at 2:47 p.m. (report)

it's a stupid story, ultimately not worth sharing. plenty of other posters here have some wonderfully funny theories though! they also have nice suggestions for where i can stick my computer.

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kmantgab | Nov. 2, 2011 at 12:20 p.m. (report)

Sandstorm, was not aware of the Club Garibaldi Wings. And as far as hearing yourself eat, just a figure of speach. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to try Club Garibaldi. Thanks again. P.S., How did the name "Sandstorm" come about ?. If ya don't mind...

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sandstorm | Nov. 2, 2011 at 9:52 a.m. (report)

kman, you realize the editors chose Club Garibaldi for best wings right? and why would anyone want to "hear themselves eat"?

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