By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jun 22, 2023 at 12:01 PM Photography: Lori Fredrich

Festival City is hopping this summer! OnMilwaukee's Festival Guide is brought to you by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. Escape the heat and step inside! 

There are only ... no more days until the 55th opening day of Summerfest. That means it's time to loosen up your belt and make room for all the new foods that kick off festival season in Milwaukee.

While Summerfest favorites including the Saz's sampler platter, Wong’s Wok eggrolls and Sil’s mini doughnuts will have their place at this year’s music festival, guests also have 20-plus new food and beverage offerings to which they can look forward.

New bars & beverages

Two new bar areas have been announced for the grounds. First up is Keg & Cask, which will be located on the south end of the grounds. They will offer 12 tap brews from Terrapin, Hop Valley, and Leinenkugel’s.

Leinenkugel's Juicy PeachX

Guests can also look for craft cocktails including the Five Trail Sweet & Sour and Bourbon Rickey, utilizing Five Trail Whiskey and Barmen Bourbon.

Bourbon RickeyX

Keg & Cask is also one of three locations on the grounds where can also enjoy the exclusive Summerfest 55th Anniversary beer (while supplies last).

Festgoers can also belly up to the STARRY Bar with Pepsi, which will be located along the waterfront. The bar will serve up a variety of cocktails and mocktails.

Cocktail and mocktailX

In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to customize STARRY swag and visit the 360-degree content studio while sampling the new Pepsi lemon-lime flavored soda.

Starry Lemon LimeX

Additional new beverages during Summerfest’s 55th anniversary include zero-proof options including the Seedlip Prickly Pear Watermelon and Seedlip Passion Grapefruit, which will be served at the Summerfest Corkscrew.

Meanwhile, Topo Chico is offering new offerings including their Spirited Tequila Grapefruit and Topo Chico Spirited Vodka Lemon.

Topo Chico offeringsX

Central Standard Craft Distillery will be showcasing their Lemon Honey Bourbon Smash.

Central Standard Bourbon SmashX

Select Summerfest bar locations will also feature assorted Frito Lay products and Johnsonville Summer Sausage Snack Sticks.

New vendors and food items

A number of new vendors will make their debut at this year’s festival, including:

  • Chubby’s Wings (North Gate): wings, boneless wings, chicken tenders, crispy chicken sandwich, seasoned fries
  • Ian’s Pizza (North Gate): breadsticks, pizza by the slice and desserts including Puppy Chow and Churro Chow
  • Johnsonville Summerville (North Gate): assorted sausages, hot dogs, sausage sticks, Johnsonville Sausage sampler and Summerville nachos
  • Mac-A-Do’s (Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard): mac-n-cheese, chili mac, brat mac, jalapeno bacon mac, Swine mac, buffalo mac and The Mac-Cohen
  • Nashville North (Generac Power Stage): wings, boneless wings, chicken tenders, crispy chicken sandwich, seasoned fries

At the Amp

The American Family Amphitheater has added a number of new concessions for concert-goers. Among them are bacon cheese dogs, chili cheese dogs and loaded nachos. You'll also find chili cheese fries and bacon cheese fries.

Loaded friesX

Additional items include a Buffalo chicken sandwich (with fries) and Buffalo chicken tenders with fries.

Buffalo Chicken SandwichX

Prefer sweet heat? There's also a sweet Thai chili chicken sandwich (with fries) and sweet Thai chili chicken tenders with fries.

Sweet Thai Chili ChickenX

Snacks and sides

El Hefe Mexican Grill, located near the Generac Power Stage, will be kicking off their second year at Summerfest with their new Walking Nachos served up in a Doritos bag with all the fixin’s.

Walking NachosX

At the North Gate, Ian’s Pizza will be offering three-packs of breadsticks with ranch dipping sauce for snacking.

Johnsonville will be slinging sausages at the North Gate, along with their new Summerville Nachos.

Johnsonville Summerville NachosX

Lou Malnati’s isn’t new to the festival, but their Malnati Salad is making its first appearance in 2023 at their stand near the Miller Lite Oasis.

Malnati's saladX

The folks at Saz’s are also back with new offerings. This time it’s their Italian beef and giardiniera stuffed bites which will be available at the Miller Lite Oasis and BMO Pavilion.

Saz's Italian Beef BitesX

Sandwiches and entrees

Charcoal Grill and Rotisserie will be offering up the Oostburger – a double burger with both a Johnsonville brat patty and beef patty – at the Generac Power Stage.


Meanwhile, Cousins Subs will be tempting daring palates with their Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Cheese Steak at the Miller Lite Oasis.

Flamin' Hot Cheetos CheesesteakX

Ian’s Pizza will be near the North Gate serving up slices of cheese or pepperoni pizza along with slices of their famous mac & cheese and Smokey the Bandit (BBQ sauce, mozzarella, bbq chicken, bacon, ranch and cheddar) pizzas.

Ian's Smokey Bandit pizzaX

Also at the North Gate, Johnsonville Summerville will offer Summerville bratwurst along with a Johnsonville sausage sampler.

Johnsonville Sausage samplerX

Meanwhile, Mac-A-Do’s will be introducing their porkiest mac: Swine Mac at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard.

Swine MacX

Looking for something hot?  Head over to Nashville North at the Generac Power Stage and pick up their Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich.

Nashville Hot Chicken sandwichX

Speaking of chicken, Saz’s is also introducing a new sandwich: the “Stephanie” Fried Chicken Sandwich with bacon, cheddar and mayo, which will be available at the Miller Lite Oasis and BMO Pavilion stands.

Saz's Stephanie chicken sandwichX


Screaming for ice cream? Cedar Crest Ice Cream will be offering ice cream flights featuring guests’ choice of four flavors at their stand near the Northwestern Mutual Community Park and Miller Lite Oasis.

Cedar Crest ice cream flight signX

Cedar Crest will also be serving up ice cream nachos featuring "chips" made of waffle cone.

Cousins Subs has also introduced a brand new cherry-lime shake (to wash down their new flamin' hot cheesesteak, no doubt).

Cherry Lime ShakeX

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria will also be serving up their Chocolate Obsession featuring layers of thin brownie, fluffy mascarpone chocolate mousse, and chocolate ganache.  Chocoholics can get their fix at their stand near the Miller Lite Oasis.

Chocolate ObsessionX

Speaking of sweet, Ultimate Confections is also back with a doozie: frozen chocolate-covered cheesecake, available in plain, chocolate, Turtle or Peanut Butter Dream. Get yours at their location near the South Skyglider area.

Chocolate covered frozen cheesecakeX

For the full list of food and beverage options available during Summerfest, including vegan and vegetarian options, visit Fans can also find the locations of all their favorite food and beverages on the Official Summerfest App fueled by Pepsi.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

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.