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In Dining

Maxie's won the readers' choice as best restaurant in the city of Milwaukee.

Milwaukee's best dining, 2012


For the sixth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2012."

Your votes are in, Milwaukee, and you have selected the winners of OnMilwaukee's Best Dining 2012. We're announcing the results of this readers' poll, including our editors' pick, in a series of articles that run all October long during Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com.

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 2012 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 2013? Let us know by posting a Talkback below and we'll put it on the big board for next year.

Milwaukee's Best Restaurant: Maxie's Southern Comfort
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: La Merenda
With so many exceptional dining options in the city it's undeniably tough to narrow down the very best, but the majority of voters picked Maxie's Southern Comfort, 6732 W. Fairview Ave., as this year's top restaurant, beating out last year's winner, Sanford. Maxie's menu is loaded with southern favorites, from gumbo to blackened catfish creole to pulled pork sandwiches. There's also a nice selection of vegetarian options including a vegetarian jambalaya and a portobello po'boy sandwich.

The OnMilwaukee.com editors are big fans of Maxie's, too, but decided to go with La Merenda, 125 E. National Ave., as their pick this year.

Best Restaurant, Northern Suburbs: The Cheesecake Factory
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Three Lions

The Cheesecake Factory in Glendale, 5799 N. Bayshore Drive, is known for its massive menu of more than 200 menu items and its generous portions. Hence the name, it's also quite famous for its cheesecake offerings. The OnMilwaukee.com editors picked Three Lions, 4515 N. Oakland Ave., for its consistently good British fare such as fish and chips, bangers and mash and shepherd's pie.

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" – swept the competition as Milwaukee's best restaurant in the southern suburbs, winning the 2-year-old title once more for 2012. 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. 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: Le Reve
Over the years, Eddie Martini's, 8612 W. Watertown Plank Road, 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. Here at OnMilwaukee.com, we're also big fans of Tosa's quintessential French bistro, Le Reve.

And now, the rest of the 2012 winners:

Best New Restaurant: Odd Duck
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Odd Duck

Best Steak: Five O' Clock Steakhouse
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Five O' Clock Steakhouse

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

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

Best Brunch: Blue's Egg
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Cafe Benelux

Best Burger: Sobelman's
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Oscar's Pub & Grill

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

Best View: Harbor House
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Milwaukee Sail Loft

Best Patio: Horny Goat Brewing Company
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Barnacle Bud's

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: Peggy Magister (Crazy Water)

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

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

Best Frozen Custard/Ice Cream/Frozen Treats: Kopp's Frozen Custard
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Leon's

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

Best Deli: Glorioso's
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: El Rey's Taco Loco

Best Desserts: Honeypie
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Le Reve

Best Frozen Yogurt: Yo Mama!
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Yo Mama!

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

Best Late-Night Drunk Eats: Oakland Gyros
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Oakland Gyros

Best Local Fast Food: Kopp'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: Crazy Water

Best Wine List: Balzac
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Dream Dance Steak

Best Barbecue: Smoke Shack
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Speed Queen

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

Best Milwaukee Food Product: Usinger's sausage
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: El Rey chips

Best Sandwiches: Cafe Lulu
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Melthouse Bistro

Best Street Food/Food Truck: Streetza Pizza
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: The Fast Foodie

Best Vegetarian Cuisine: Beans & Barley
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Riverwest Co-op

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

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

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

Best Chinese: Emperor of China
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Lucky Liu's

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

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

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: Riviera Maya

Best Middle Eastern: Casablanca
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice:
Aladdin - Taste of the East / PitaWorks

Best Asian Fusion, Vietnamese and Korean: Umami Moto
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Seoul

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

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