By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Sep 30, 2020 at 11:01 AM

For those of you who enjoy eating and drinking in our fair city, it's almost time to celebrate.

For the fourteenth straight year, October will be Dining Month at OnMilwaukee, which means it’s time to pay homage to our City’s burgeoning culinary landscape. 

And celebrate, we shall. But this year, we’ll be going about things a bit differently. We will continue to highlight the bounty of the dining landscape. And we will do so through amped-up dining coverage that includes useful local restaurant guides, dining hacks, restaurant profiles, Take-out Thursday features and more. You can also watch our OnMilwaukee social platforms for the launch of a brand new dining challenge that supports local restaurants and rewards diners with fun local prizes.

However, we’ve made the landmark decision to forego our annual dining poll, which invites our readers to choose their favorite restaurants, dishes and more in over 50 tasty categories. 

Why we’re foregoing our annual dining poll

As you know, recent months have posed unprecedented challenges for local restaurants, which have been forced to modify their operations for the health and safety of both employees and customers. It’s not hyperbole to suggest that 2020 is likely to be remembered as one of the most difficult years in restaurant history.

As restaurants struggle to survive, it seems tone deaf to pit them against one another, even in friendly survey-style competition. 

And while voting in a dining poll might seem like a welcome distraction from the other things going on in the world, it doesn’t change things for the chefs and service industry personnel who are working every day to simply survive  another week, to support their families and keep the lights on at their places of employment.

My challenge to you

Our world might feel different these days. But it’s more important than ever to support the restaurants that make our city a great place to live and eat.

As you read through our Dining Month content, I hope it inspires you to explore our dining scene and support our local restaurants. Order carry-out or curbside pick-up. Venture somewhere different and try something new. Explore the offerings in a less familiar neighborhood. Trust our talented chefs to make you food that will blow away your expectations.

As you do, remember that your patronage is valuable. It ensures that local restaurants can remain open for business and continue to do what they do best: nourishing the community with delicious food.  So be kind, tip well and enjoy!

If all goes well, you will have eaten countless delicious meals and – in turn – assisted in helping our dining landscape to recover from the challenges posed by COVID-19. Even better, when October 2021 arrives, we can totally kick ass at this "Best of Milwaukee Dining" poll business once again.

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.