Milwaukee has been called a segregated city, and although this might be a true statement, the city still has its share of drinking and dining establishments that welcome people from a variety of races. Plus, Brew City also boasts a plethora of bars and eateries that welcome a diverse age range of customers, too.
"At first, I found Milwaukee very segregated," says Angie Moore, who moved from Chicago three years ago. "But then I made a point to find places that were more diverse and there were more than I thought. The thing is, in Milwaukee, you might have to scout out these places, but they are around."
Here's a list of some of Milwaukee's most diverse bars and restaurants. Feel free to add more via the Talkback feature.
Cafe El Sol
1028 S. 9th St., (414) 384-3100
Cafe El Sol, located in the ground level of the United Community Center (UCC) building, offers both Mexican and Puerto Rican food. The diversity of the menu – along with the high quality of the food – attracts an equally-diverse clientele, both racially and socio-economically. Try the Latin-style fish fry every Friday night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. It offers a broiled or fried fish along with a rotating selection of Latin sides and live music.
2205 E. Capitol Dr., (414) 962-0100
The range of age in diners at the City Market is notable. From seniors to the stroller bound, City Market has food and an atmosphere that appeals to people throughout their various life stages. the City Market has two other locations in Wauwatosa.
If you're in the double-clocked diner, you can guarantee that you'll have nothing or everything in common with the guy next to you at the counter. Cheap food, bottomless cups of coffee and an extremely casual environment make it easy for anyone to stop in and blend in for breakfast, lunch, dinner or late-night eats. The French toast, the chili and the fries are Webb specialties.
1634 W. North Ave., (414) 562-1272
When a Jewish delicatessen opens in an urban neighborhood, the customer basewill undoubtedly include a broad mix of people. Such is the case with Jake's, a successful deli that opened in 1955 and serves some of the city's most tantalizing pastrami, corned beef, Polish sausage, matzo ball soup and more.
The Mad Planet
533 E. Center St., (414) 263-4555
The Mad Planet's "anything goes" vibe makes it a comfortable place for people of many different races, ages and fashions to drink in the dark and shake it on the dance floor. This is also why The Mad Planet is one of the best places in Milwaukee to people watch. Friday night '80s Nights are a great time to go and get in on the madness.
4919 W. North Ave., (414) 871-5050
If you know Milwaukee, you know that North Avenue connects very different scoio-economic worlds. McBob's straddles these two worlds and does it with grace and acceptance. The casual Irish-themed pub is comfortable for anyone and serves up a great fish fry (on both Wednesday and Fridays), corned beef, steak, salads and burgers.
2867 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 963-1393
Quick, consistently good food – along with massive portions – keep all kinds of people coming back again and again. Because of its large menu and affordable prices, Oakland Gyros is a college student and family favorite. The staff is really top notch, too.
1230 N. Van Buren St., (414) 272-2522
Victor's, a nightclub and a restaurant, just might be Milwaukee's most diverse establishment. People of all ages from many different races hang out at Victor's to eat steaks or seafood, dance and meet people. The Tuesday night build-your-own burrito buffet is a good deal for $4, as is Monday's all-you-can-eat spaghetti for $7.95. They also have drink specials every night of the week.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.