By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer Published Nov 10, 2018 at 11:01 AM

Over 16,000 Milwaukeeans took a ride on the city’s newest public transit option, The Hop, during its inaugural weekend in service. Those who did experienced – not only a monumental step forward for Downtown – but also the beginnings of a new way of navigating our fine city. 

I've been thinking a lot lately about how The Hop will change how I approach my days as an employee based in Downtown. In the process, I've been studying the route and looking at all of the places along the streetcar's path.

The first phase of The Hop features a route that connects The Historic Third Ward (at Milwaukee Public Market) with the Lower East Side, with 18 stations sprawled throughout Downtown. It also provides access to over 50 cafes, restaurants and bars, each located within a block or two of a streetcar station.

Among them are coffee stops like Stone Creek Factory (just steps away from the Intermodal station), amazing dinner destinations like Amilinda, Buckley's, Sanford and Third Coast Provisions, and bars and pubs like BluPoints East, This is It, Plum Lounge, The Outsider and SportClub.  That's just naming a few.

Since The Hop runs daily (for free!) from the early morning hours to at least 10 p.m. (midnight most days), it presents a new world of possibilities for anyone who’d like to "hop" from place to place to run errands, meet friends for lunch or even to drink at various bars with friends on a Sunday afternoon. A big bonus is that you avoid the hassle of parking and re-parking your car!

During the week, The Hop also makes it easy for Downtown, East Side and Third Ward employees to make their way to any number of spots over the lunch hour, for happy hour, or for dinner any day of the week.

Take the Milwaukee Streetcar tour

Of course, the smart folks at Milwaukee Food & City Tours realized this immediately, launching a brand new Milwaukee Street Car tour, which offers natives and tourists alike the opportunity to glean fascinating facts about the Cream City while tasting delicious dishes along the way. If you’re not familiar with how The Hop works, it’s also an enjoyable, purposeful way to get to know the route and explore the destinations along the way.

"Like all of our tours, this is really a different way of getting to know and see Milwaukee," says Theresa Nemetz of Milwaukee Food & City Tours. "The Streetcar is really well positioned in terms of showcasing a variety of historical places, including The Grain Exchange, the Loyalty Building, Cathedral Square and St. John’s Cathedral. And there are so many untapped bars and restaurant on the route that deserve to be discovered. We’re really able to cover so much more territory and give people a real taste of the city."

Nemetz says that, like so many of their tours, the stops will vary from tour to tour, but stops will always include Milwaukee Public Market and dessert at Classy Girl Cupcakes.

Cost for the tour is $60 per person (plus $3.50 ticketing fee) for a 2.5-3 hour tour. The tour is seafood-free and a vegetarian option is available. For more information, or to schedule a private tour, call (414) 255-0534. To order tickets, visit milwaukeefoodtours.com.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer

Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.

Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon. 

Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.