’Tis Dining Month, the tastiest time of year! This means we’re dishing up fun and fascinating food content throughout October. Dig in, Milwaukee!
The East Side is one of the most buzzing areas in Milwaukee. Home to an enormous selection of locally praised restaurants and bars, it is a great neighborhood to explore via your taste buds.
Bounded unofficially to the north by the UWM campus, the south by the Brady Street corridor, the east by Lake Michigan and the west by the Milwaukee River, the East Side offers an array of delectable and eclectic eats for everyone from humble college students to well-off professionals.
We present your guide to those great spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
1310 E. Brady St., (414) 272-2233
Specializing in authentic Greek food, especially gyros and chicken sandwiches, Apollo is a popular spot at lunch, dinner and through bar time.
1751 N Farwell Ave., (414) 897-7022
The word Ardent -- which means something characterized by warmth and passion -- is reflective of the ambiance and cuisine at this acclaimed restaurant where diners can enjoy upscale dishes in cozy, chef-driven quarters.
1609 E. North Ave., (414) 273-6688
Known as a home-away-from-home for Chinese-born college students, Asian Fusion serves up a menu of both traditional and modern takes on Chinese dishes from a variety of provinces.
1716 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 755-0099
Just off Brady Street, Balzac is a cozy, dimly lit wine bar serving creative New American small plates and a long list of wines.
Beans and Barley
1901 E. North Ave., (414) 278-7878
Beans and Barley has been an East Side favorite for years, with its specialty deli, market and restaurant beloved for healthy, eclectic and vegetarian options.
Betty's Burgers and Custard
1233 E Brady St., (414) 249-4972
A combo as classic as any -- burgers and custard -- are served up fresh at Betty's. The garlic fries are also a highlight of this Brady Street spot.
Blue Star Cafe
1619 N. Farwell Ave.
Treat yourself to simple, affordable, well-prepared Somali fare at this easy-to-miss eatery. Must-trys include sambusas, the lamb platter with rice, vegetable crepes and what might just be the best hummus in the city.
2608 N. Downer Ave., 414-963-6366
In addition to being one of the city's best beer bars (especially for lovers of Belgian brews), Cafe Hollander also serves up a menu of savory European-style pub fare, plus brunch every day of the week.
2621 N. Downer Ave., (414) 226-6749
Classic breakfast dishes are served up seven days a week along with brunch favorites.
Carini's La Conca d'Oro
3468 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 963-9623
Head to Carini's for Southern Italian food, particularly pizza and pasta, in a homey setting with a Mediterranean feel.
728 E Brady St., (414) 271-6000
This chic bi-level Middle Eastern restaurant features a large menu of dishes, a popular lunch buffet and a cocktail lounge with hookah and weekly belly dancers.
2232 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 287-9999
Using bread from nearby Peter Sciortino's Italian Bakery and offering dine-in or delivery options, Chubby's is Milwaukee's take on the Philly cheesesteak.
2211 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 273-3753
Serving strong brew, all-day breakfast and signature sandwiches, Colectivo has grown into much more than a coffee house, especially at the Prospect Avenue location, which offers patio seating and concerts in the "back room."
2238 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 763-9081
This trendy food hall offers variety at its best thanks to eight resident food vendors including Heaven’s Table BBQ, Frida (soup & sandwiches), Small Pie, Egg & Flour Pasta Bar, Scratch Scoop Shop, Beerline Cafe, Falafel Guys, and Raw Bar, plus a speak-easy style bar called Shanghai (enter through Black Cat Alley).
The Dogg Haus
1433 E. Brady St., (414) 727-1224
The counter-serve chain joint doles out specialty and build-your-own hot dogs with a variety of toppings, plus other items like cheese curds.
1307 E. Brady St., (414) 539-6826
Dorsia, located in the former home of Mimma's Cafe, is a modern Italian spot featuring house-made pasta, pizza and delightful brunch options in snazzy digs.
The Drive Thru
1801 E. North Ave., (414) 287-9900
This fun drive-up is a great spot to grab a quick coffee, breakfast sandwiches or fresh, hot mini donuts.
Emperor of China
1010 E. Brady St., (414) 271-8889
This longtime, casual Chinese eatery has a huge menu offering a variety of regional cuisines.
1806 E. North Ave., (414) 239-8677
Enjoy fresh modern poke bowls -- including the Mango Tango and vegan Zen Bowl -- at this locally-owned fast casual poke spot.
1813 E Kenilworth Pl., (414) 763-4525
Build-your-own or signature poke bowls are not the only mouthwatering items available at Fusion Poke. They also have ramen, sushi and Korean wings.
Good City Brewing
2108 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 539-4343
This craft brewery has upped the game for its genre with a chef-driven menu of snacks, sandwiches and globally inspired dishes. During the summer months, you can take it all in on their rooftop patio.
Hacienda Beer Co.
2018 E. North Ave., (414) 296-7200
This tasting room and restaurant operated by the folks from Door County Brewing offers guests a bright, beautiful environment to enjoy a long list of creative craft brews and a menu of snacks and sandwiches
Henry's on Belleview
2523 E. Belleview Pl., (414) 332-2772
A neighborhood fixture for three decades, Henry's is a bar that serves burgers, sandwiches, salads, fish fry and weekend brunch.
Hi Hat Lounge/Garage
1701 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 225-9330
A stylish split-level lounge that features craft cocktails and gourmet American fare, including brunch, plus live music.
Hooligan's Super Bar
2017 E. North Ave., (414) 273-5230
One of the most popular destinations for the North Avenue pub crowd, Hooligan's has been at its prime corner spot since 1936, serving up a strong selection of burgers, sandwiches and other bar eats.
2428 N. Murray Ave., (414) 906-8888
This casual Chinese restaurant provides the standard favorites including a popular hot pot offering. But if you're feeling adventurous, you should ask for the secret Chinese menu.
Izzy Hops Swig & Nosh
2311 N. Murray Ave., (414) 249-4489
Scour through their appetizing menu while enjoying their cozy patio while you still can. Wednesday’s “Build a burger” deal and a menu perfect for any time of day will have you coming back regardless of the temperatures.
Jack's American Pub
1323 E. Brady St.,(414) 763-2830
Jack's is a popular watering hole with sidewalk seating that serves pizza and bar fare such as appetizers, burgers and wings.
Judy’s on North
2207 E. North Ave., (414) 291-0645
Looking for solid, affordable Mexican fare? Head to Judy's where the service is friendly and late-night dining is the norm.
Kawa Ramen & Sushi
2321 N. Murray Ave., (414) 249-5750
Head to Kawa for their traditional Japanese ramen; but stay for the excellent sushi. Kawa also offers a variety of Japanese dishes, all in clean modern digs.
La Masa Empanada Bar
1300 E. Brady St., (414) 885-1866
Head to La Masa for scratch, oven-baked empanadas in flavors that range from ham & cheese to banana nutella. You can also enjoy sandwiches, salads and a great brunch on weekends.
Lake Park Bistro
3133 E. Newberry Blvd., (414) 962-6300
Located in the midst of Lake Park, this Bartolotta-run restaurant offers French cuisine with a picturesque view of Lake Michigan.
2961 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 332-6360
Lisa's Fine Foods does pizza first and foremost, but also offers quality pastas and sandwiches in a cozy second-floor space.
1701 N Humboldt Ave., (414) 837-4534
Creatively crafted mac and cheeses -- including a Giannis-inspired "Greek Freak" option -- are cooked to perfection in a wood oven.
2214 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 271-7424
A cherished favorite of the East Side, Ma Fischer's has been giving hungry Milwaukeeans the comfort food they want – breakfast, lunch or dinner – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for more than 60 years.
2045 E. North Ave., (414) 616-1299
Fast casual chicken spot specializing in tenders, wings and sandwiches. It's locally owned and new to the East Side in 2020.
1550 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 276-2550
If you are craving Indian food, Maharaja is an East Side option. In addition to cuisine from both northern and southern India, they have an Indian beer list to give you the full experience.
1932 N. Kenilworth Pl. (414) 226-5160
You can't help but have fun at this 1980s themed bar where Korean fried chicken wings are the specialty of the house. Don't miss the full menu of Korean-inspired street foods, including Korean fried cauliflower that's just as good as the wings.
2335 N. Murray Ave., (414) 550-8226
Open late and serving authentic Mexican food with attitude from its tiny storefront off North Avenue, Mr. Senor's is a favorite of college kids and the late-night bar crowd.
2498 N. Bartlett Ave. (414) 763-4811
This hidden gem is tucked away in the residential area just off of Oakland Avenue, but it's worth seeking out for its Southern-inspired New American plates and tasty craft cocktails.
The Pasta Tree
1503 N Farwell Ave., (414) 276-8867
Head to this cozy restaurant for locally-inspired Italian dishes and housemade pasta in a cozy dining room long considered one of Milwaukee's most romantic restaurants.
1234 E. Brady St., (414) 312-7457
Get your poutine fix with specials every Monday, or make Pete's your Friday fish fry spot. Either way, you won't be dissapointed with the delicious -- and large -- menu.
2597 N. Downer Ave., (414) 272-1745
This pizzeria has been treasured East Side staple for decades thanks to its delicious pizza, Italian inspired entrees and extensive California wine list. Be sure to pay a visit on Mondays for their Milwaukee-style deep dish.
1827 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 289-9993
An area favorite, Pizza Shuttle serves a huge menu of pizza, other Italian eats, lots of American items and beer in a casual setting with late-night hours, a jukebox and photo booth.
Red Light Ramen
1749 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 837-5107
Enjoy ramen, inventive snacks and boozie slushies at this hyped-up ramen joint which started as a late-night-only staple.
Red Lion Pub
1850 N. Water St., (414) 431-9009
Looking for an authentic U.K. pub feel with a menu featuring British favorites like Shepard’s pie and fish 'n’ chips? You'll find it here, along with nice selection of British brews and spirits.
Rice N Roll Bistro
1952 N. Farwell Ave. (414) 220-9944
Enjoy delicious Thai dishes and creative, expertly prepared sushi at this trendy spot known for surprising and delighting customers with their beautifully presented affordable cuisine.
1327 E. Brady St., (414) 988-4629
A fresh addition to the East Side, Saint Bibiana offers up classic items like fantastic burgers, along with a plethora of creative choices.
2613 E. Hampshire St., (414) 964-2611
Enjoy Sicilian staples -- including pizza and pasta -- at this art-filled neighborhood Italian restaurant just off the UWM campus.
Sip & Purr Cat Cafe2021 E. Ivanhoe Pl., (414) 585-0707
How about a glass of wine with a feline? You can certainly enjoy that at this cat-lover's destination which features a cat lounge where customers can interact with a variety of adoptable cats, along with a cafe that serves up a variety of fare from savory burritos to sweet treats, including gluten-free options.
2921 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 967-1000
The Middle Eastern restaurant is known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes and using high quality fresh ingredients.
2101 N Prospect Ave., (414) 885-0404
Enjoy globally inspired plant-based cuisine, natural wines and low abv cocktails at this cozy spot while enjoying a playlist of eclectic tunes from the owner's extensive vinyl collection.
2499 N. Bartlett Ave., (414) 964-8377
Upscale casual fare and craft brews are the name of the game here. This neighborhood spot also offers an extensive gluten-free menu and elegant dining on their quaint patio.
The Truck Stop
707 E. Brady St., (414) 837-4194
New in 2020, the street food inspired restaurant is owned by operators of the popular food trucks Pig Tailz and Roll MKE. Don't miss their daily specials!
2235 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 272-1775
Long known for providing Milwaukee with a uniquely German experience, Von Trier is the spot to find German brews, cocktails and more in a beautiful Bavarian-inspired space. They also offer up a great fish fry.
1239 E. Brady St.
A fresh arrival to Brady Street, enjoy a Berlin inspired dining menu along with a biergarten atmosphere right here in Milwaukee. Menu offerings are locally sourced from Usingers, while plenty of German beer choices are also available.
1724 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 289-8776
Among Milwaukee's favorite spots for thin-crust pizza and other Italian dishes, Zaffiro's has been serving hungry patrons since 1954.
714 E. Brady St., (414) 226-9999
This modest locally-owned pizza joint features housemade pies along with a large, varied menu that includes wings, ribs and subs.