By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jun 03, 2024 at 10:01 AM

It’s as important as ever to support the amazing collection of local restaurants that we have in our beautiful city. And there’s no better way to do so than committing to patronize them throughout the year. To guide you on your journey, I’ve composed a list of 52 amazing restaurants. Try just one of these every week and you’ll have visited them all by the end of 2024.  View the full list OR download an abbreviated printable PDF file for your fridge or wallet.

1547 N. Jackson St., (414) 276-9608
New American

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If you've never been to Sanford, consider this to be your invitation to experience one of Milwaukee's best.

In an age where the newest, shiniest restaurants tend to attract the most attention, it's a pleasure to acknowledge the beautifully patinaed gems which seem to get better over time.

Among them is Sanford, a fine dining restaurant that (quite literally) helped to put Milwaukee on the national dining map. Even 35 years later, its menu of globally inspired seasonal New American fare is still relevant and (more importantly) delicious. Equally as important, the restaurant’s hospitality has remained as cordial as ever, ensuring that the guest experience is excellent from start to finish. You won't find the impeccable service that's become a signature at Sanford at many other places.

As far as the food is concerned, Sanford offers a choice of a four-course menu ($95) or seven-course surprise tasting menu ($125, available Tuesday through Friday only). Dishes change regularly, but you can peek at the sample menu on their website to get a gist of what you might find.

Ultimately, it’s a selection of nicely balanced dishes – composed of fresh, often locally sourced, seasonal ingredients – that simultaneously reflect refinement in technique and playfulness in their flavor combinations. 

Pro tip: Guests tend to dress up at Sanford, insinuating there’s a dress code; but like most modern spots, there isn’t. Go as you feel comfortable; they won’t turn you away.

Recommended: The surprise tasting menu; it’s an unparalleled experience.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.