Dining blind spots: What Milwaukee neighborhoods still need
For the seventh straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi. 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 2013."
Even though Milwaukee has an abundance of revered restaurants and is known for its diverse food offerings, most neighborhoods still have culinary blind spots and lack one kind of eatery or another.
Food blogger and contributing OnMilwaukee.com writer Lori Fredrich points out that the issue is two-fold. A neighborhood might lack a particular type of restaurant, but might not be able to support it even if they got one.
"Some places seem to need things, but can't support them when they have them. For example, Downtown could use a great breakfast spot, but they never last when they come in," says Fredrich.
As always, Milwaukee has a lot to offer but still has plenty of room for growth, too. With that in mind, the OnMilwaukee.com editors put their heads together and came up with a breakdown of some Milwaukee neighborhoods and what types of restaurants they still need.
Feel free to contribute your thoughts on what's missing where via the Talkback feature.
Bay View has a lot of great places to eat from Odd Duck to Vietnamese restaurant, Hue. However, some residents, like OnMilwaukee.com publisher Andy Tarnoff, would like to see a Thai place. Perhaps in the former Hector's On Delaware space?
Brookfield / Waukesha
Most residents of the western suburbs report there are plenty of dining options in their neck of the woods. Occasionally, some express interest in more independent restaurants as opposed to chains.
According to longtime Downtown resident and OnMilwaukee.com president Jeff Sherman, Downtown would benefit from a City Market or a Corner Bakery-type place. "A Colectivo would also make a nice addition to the cafe mix that already includes Stone Creek," says Sherman.
Sherman also believes Milwaukee's East Side really needs a Walker's Point "'foodie'" type place."
It's proximity to the North Shore and Downtown make it a perfect spot for a more higher end, yet casual place like a La Merenda," says Sherman. "On the opposite end of the spectrum, a national chain would work here, too. Something big like a Hooter's, ESPN Zone, etc."
The North Side could benefit from more family-owned and independent restaurants – like Mr. Perkin's Family Restaurant and Speed Queen – as opposed to fast food chains.
Shorewood, filled with young families, would benefit from more casual family-friendly destinations, including a pizzeria or even a Chancery-type place with a nice bar. It could also benefit from an Indian food restaurant and even though Culver's offers custard, the village could probably support another ice cream or custard place, especially now that 31 Flavors is gone. And hey, Camp Bar: ever consider serving food?
The Riverwest restaurant scene has improved over the years with the addition of places like Nessun Dorma, Cafe Corazon, Riverwest Filling Stattion and Centro Cafe, but it could definitely handle at least one more place that's both affordable and high quality. Stonefly does a great brunch, but Riverwest could also benefit from another breakfast restaurant or diner as well as an ice cream shop.
Even though Walker's Point is just a short drive away and filled with Mexican eateries, the Third Ward would be a great location for a Latin cantina or taqueria. Also, an all-vegetarian / vegan restaurant might be a good fit, too. Maybe one more Italian place now that Third Ward Caffe is closed – perhaps on the east end of the neighborhood since Rustico has it covered to the west.
Near West Side / Wauwatosa
Like most Milwaukee neighborhoods, Tosa and the near west side are bustling with diners, but according to resident and OnMilwaukee.com Social media editor, Carolynn Buser, the area could support more seafood options.
"Le Reve has some, but that is about it for seafood itself," says Buser.
The neighborhood is a major restaurant destination already, but it could use an all-night diner as well as a grocery store.
What about the south side, Cudahy, Oak Creek (a lot of promising development areas), South Milwaukee, Franklin? Or does everyone think that the Milwaukee area only exists north of Oklahoma Ave.?
Apparently Ms. Snyder has never been to Shorewood and has no contacts familiar with the area. This is glaringly apparent as: A) Shorewood has no less than 5 pizzerias including Vedo's, Upper Crust, Falbo Bros., Al Calderone Club and Runaway Meatball. (No more, please!) B) There are plenty of casual family-friendly destinations including the aforementioned PLUS City Market, Benji's, Culver's, Hubbard Park Lodge, North Star Bistro, Harry's, Oak Crest Tavern, Nana Asian Fusion, Bakers Square, etc. In fact, nearly all Shorewood dining establishments are family friendly. C) The village has a Yo Mama! frozen yogurt shop for an alternative to Culver's. D) Camp Bar DOES SERVE FOOD - pizza, sandwiches, wings, various appetizers, etc. No, they don't prepare it on site but just text your order from the Camp Bar menu and it is delivered to your table promptly. I see misinformation sprinkled throughout this article. Why report on the dining "blind spots" of Milwaukee neighborhoods if you don't know anything about them and don't even bother to do a quick check on Yelp or Urbanspoon? VERY poor "reporting."
As for an all veg/vegan place in the 3rd Ward - does Verduras not count?
This is lazy reporting. How about interviewing people who AREN'T fellow employees?
When I lived on the east side I always wished there was a Taco Hell close by for those drunk late night cravings.
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