Season's eatings! The weather may be getting colder, but Dining Month on OnMilwaukee is just cooking up, dishing out your winning picks in this year's Best of Dining poll. Dining Month is brought to you by Fein Brothers, your premier food service equipment and supply dealer in Wisconsin since 1929. Congratulations to all of the winners, and happy eating for all those who voted!
The best bar food category may only be two years old, but it's already become one of the most hotly contested competitions in our contest. The Wicked Hop scored the win in its inaugural run, but the title will already move to its second champion in as many years, as the beloved Bay View sausage slinger The Vanguard captured the crown in 2017.
It wasn't an easy win for the tasty tubed meat meeting place; only 35 votes separated Vanguard from the silver medalist McBob's, and the final five – rounded out by editors' pick Swingin' Door Exchange, last year's champ Wicked Hop and Drink Wisconsinbly Pub – all finished within 100 votes of one another.
However, it's definitely a deserving winner, as the sausage restaurant serves up some mouthwatering meats in some crazy combos, including the Bunkhouse – a bacon-wrapped cheddarwurst topped with fried jalapeños, guacamole, cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce – and the Gypsy Mitch, a tasty tribute to the Gypsy Taco truck just down the street at Boone & Crockett.
No matter which sausage you select, though, The Vanguard offers a worthy way to satisfy your hunger and soak up some suds.
3. Swingin' Door Exchange
4. The Wicked Hop
5. Drink Wisconsinbly Pub
OnMilwaukee editors' pick: Swingin' Door Exchange
Lori Fredrich's pick: Company Brewing
After losing its chef, Company Brewing went through a rough patch earlier this year, and the menu suffered a bit. But, I do believe the Riverwest brewery is back on track with a great menu of delicious fare that’s beyond worthy of its bar environment. Take for instance the mushroom walnut pate, which is a great snack with one of the tap cocktails. It also has excellent smashed butter burgers (with imaginative weekly specials) and tasty beer-braised mussels and frites. Don’t miss the malted pots de creme at the end of the meal.