For a city of its size, Milwaukee can more than hold its own when it comes to outstanding cuisine. From elegant restaurants to little holes in the wall, you'd be hard-pressed to run out of dining options in Brew City. And for the most romantic dining escapes, check out these gems that are perfect for a romantic night out.
1751 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 897-7022
The intimate space blends the earthy with the contemporary, reflecting Ardent’s approach to cuisine. The mood evokes both comfort and casual which complements the simplicity of the ingredients and accommodates intimate conversation.
179 W. Wisconsin Ave., Pewaukee, (262) 691-0200
Whether you're in the moods for cocktails and shared plates or deliciously comforting entrees and a bottle of wine, you'll find it at Artisan 179. The cozy dining room offers the ambiance of a fireplace along with lovely views of Pewaukee Lake.
925 E. Wells St., (414) 765-1166
The newly renovated Bacchus provides a sleek, stylish dining experience just inside the historic Cudahy Tower. On the menu, you'll find creative, yet accessible fare at its most exquisite with an emphasis on seafood, handmade pastas and meats, along with an amazing, award-winning wine list.
1716 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 755-0099
This Brady Street restaurant specializes in tapas and an impressive selection of wine in a dimly lit, comfortable and intimate environment. The mood here is mellow, and the staff is friendly and extremely helpful should you or your date have any questions about the lengthy wine list.
459 E. Pleasant St., (414) 323-7372
Birch is comfy and classy with an ever-changing hyper-local, seasonal menu which focuses on simple, local ingredients made on a live fire. There is a semi-private dining available for a more intimate experience.
1101 S. 2nd St., (414) 212-8843
Braise, a perennial favorite for those looking for delicious fare created from fresh, local ingredients. The ever-rotating menu is often globally inspired, with plenty of options for sharing or enjoying solo. Bring that special someone for dinner and savor a truly passionate meal.
801 N. Cass St., (414) 277-1111
Buckley's is one of the most charming spots near Downtown Milwaukee. The food is top notch, the atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the neighborhood is perfect for an after-dinner stroll.
6030 W North Ave., (414) 312-8968
If you're looking for a meaningful experience with your special someone, Ca'Lucchenzo serves it up in spades, from its intimate mood lighting to its menu of "Lady and the Tramp"-worthy pasta dishes.
808 E. Center St., (414) 455-3751
This small, intimate Italian restaurant, located in the heart of Riverwest, is perfect for couples looking for an evening of well-made pasta, deliciously simple desserts and maybe a sip of amaro to finish. It's quaint and cozy and it seems there's always something new to try on their menu.
Dream Dance Steakhouse (Temporarily closed; reopening soon.)
1721 W. Canal St., (414) 847-7883
Located in Potawatomi Bingo Casino, the recently reimagined Dream Dance Steak delivers contemporary romantic dining with inventive appetizers, top quality steaks and seafood options and luscious desserts. Always rated among the city's top restaurants, both its atmosphere and menu make it worthy of another special night out.
8612 W. Watertown Plank Rd., Wauwatosa, (414) 771-6680
This 1940s-style steakhouse with a modern flair has been one of the city's most popular restaurants for years. And there's reason for that. After all, great food, wine and the sounds of Sinatra are a winning combination.
550 N. Harbor Dr., (414) 395-4900
Seafood is an aphrodisiac and the attentive service, delicious seafood and one of the most stunning view in Milwaukee only enhance the effect.
125 E. National Ave., (414) 389-0125
It doesn't get much more romantic than sharing food. The tapas-style menu at La Merenda lets you do just that, offering a long list of international tapas for you and your sweetie to split. Tasty wines and fruit-filled sangria are also available.
Lake Park Bistro
3133 E. Newberry Blvd., (414) 962-6300
Transplant the Bartolotta family magic to the Lake Park Pavilion and you've got the recipe for a memorable evening. After all, the French are famous for delicious cuisine that's bound to incite a few loving glances. The dramatic views of Lake Michigan don't hurt, either.
430 S. 2nd St., (414) 897-0747
There's an earthy beauty in the simplicity of the decor at Morel. It belies the kitchen's dedication to well constructed dishes that rely on the freshness of local ingredients to make them shine. The menu changes frequently, making it all the more lovely for a repeat visit.
Movida at Hotel Madrid
600 S. 6th St., (414) 488-9146
Enjoy Spanish cuisine in a romantic setting, indoors or outdoors in a lush, private patio (weather permitting, of course). Tapas, paella and noodles dishes are just some of the available entrees.
2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 763-5881
Still one of the city's favorite destination restaurants, Bay View's Odd Duck offers a stellar menu of globally inspired plates, many of which change daily. It's the perfect place to explore new flavors while sharing the experience with someone you love.
The Pasta Tree
1503 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 276-8867
This is a romantic restaurant where it's pretty hard not to get cozy. Closely placed tables and settings make The Pasta Tree a pure pleasure. Homemade pasta and more than 30 sauces make it a spot where you'll always find something delicious to enjoy.
1547 N. Jackson St., (414) 276-9608
Many consider Sanford the best restaurant in the state of Wisconsin. If you're serious about food and wine, it's a mandatory must-try. Go all out and order the chef's tasting menu. Your significant other will love you even more for it.
2499 N. Bartlett Ave., (414) 964-8377
The cozy dining room seats 30 and the flicker of dozens of candles, pomegranate walls and a large backyard patio make it a great spot to dine during any season.
Third Coast Provisions
724 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 323-7434
There aren't many contemporary restaurants that boast the elegance found at Third Coast Provisions. The dining room is beautifully designed and the sumptuous seafood menu is filled with indulgences like rich lobster potholes, surf and turf and fresh oysters served on the half-shell.
Triskele's (Temporarily carry-out only)
1801 S. 3rd St., (414) 837-5950
If you're looking for cozy and casual, look no further than Triskele's. This Walker's Point-area hidden gem is an intimate dinner destination worth finding. Its menu is cozy, too, featuring a small – but varied – selection of seasonal meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes perfect for pairing and sharing.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.