By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Oct 08, 2012 at 5:01 AM

For the sixth straight year, October is Dining Month on, 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

It's another landslide victory for La Merenda, named by readers as the Best Appetizer/Small Plate for 2012, pulling ahead of its nearest competition, Maxie's Southern Comfort, by nearly 20%.

La Merenda is Italian for "snack." It's an appropriate name, because small plates is all they do here. Tapas from around the world are the specialty. Whether it's a goat cheese salad from Morocco, ceviche from Costa Rica, empanadas from Colombia or French trout almondine, you can find it all at La Merenda. And they have a full-service bar to complement their global delicacies. 

Located at 125 E. National Ave. since 2007, La Merenda has been's reigning appetizer champion since 2009.'s editors had to agree with the readership and chose La Merenda as their Editor's Pick for Best Appetizers/Small Plates, based on the atmosphere, international flair and high quality of the food. editors' choice: La Merenda


2. Maxie's Southern Comfort
3. The Rumpus Room
4. Balzac
5. Swig
6. Elsa's on the Park
7. Hinterland
8. Cafe Centraal
9. Water Buffalo
10. Palomino
11. Trinity Three Irish Pubs
12. Bosley on Brady
13. Von Trier
14. Nessun Dorma
15. España