By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jul 27, 2017 at 10:02 AM

Thanks to many dedicated people and businesses, Downtown is the heart of Milwaukee and the entire state of Wisconsin. This week, OnMilwaukee presents Milwaukee Downtown Week, sponsored, aptly, by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. For seven days, we will share stories, videos and photography profiling some of the neighborhood's best offerings and celebrating those who make it so great. Milwaukee Downtown Employee Appreciation Week, by the way, runs July 31-Aug. 4, 2017.

The Soup House
324 E. Michigan St.
(414) 277-SOUP (7687)
souphousemke.com

Type of food: Soup! At least six varieties available daily.
Prices: $6-$8 for a bowl of soup and side of bread.
Vegetarian friendly? Yes. In fact, you’ll find a variety of soups, including at least one option for those seeking vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free fare.
Hours: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ask me what I’d love to eat for lunch during the months between October and April, and soup is likely to be pretty high on my list. I love the ritual of holing up with a steaming bowl of soup and some great bread and warming my soul from the inside out. And typically, a bowl of soup – even the delicious housemade variety – won’t break the bank.

And, although my desire for warming bowls of comforting fare tends to wane during the summer months, the folks at the Soup House have turned me into a summer soup lover with their summer selection of chilled soups. Take for instance, the chilled cucumber soup I ate this week, which was not only creamy and flavorful, but redolent with fresh flavors from cucumbers, dill, carrots and a hint of red onion.

Add to that all the colorful quirkiness of the Soup House dining room, which is filled with a lovely collection of mismatched tables and chairs, art, random curiosities, myriad plants and plenty of smiling faces … and I’m a pretty happy lunch-goer.

It’s an added bonus that the soup is also budget friendly. An 8-ounce bowl of soup, hot or chilled, comes with your choice of cornbread or a slice of French bread for $6. So, with my $7 budget, I had just enough left for a can of apricot LaCroix. Hungrier lunch-goers could upgrade to a 12-ounce bowl of soup ($7), and grab a glass of water from the self-serve station in the dining area.

Whether you’re looking for a warming bowl of comfort or a cooling fresh lunch, The Soup House is always a great bet.

Pro tip: The Soup House is a busy spot. Get there early or they could well be out of your favorite soup. A neat trick: call ahead (before 11 a.m.) and you can reserve your carry-out order for a later lunch.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.