It's time for Dining Month, presented by Deer District and its spooky Halloween-themed alter ego, Fear District. Throughout the month of October, we'll be serving up fun and fascinating content about all things food. The signature dish, however, is our 2019 Best of Dining poll, who's winners we will dish out all month long. Get hungry, Milwaukee!
These days, dining options are as plentiful as fashion boutiques and galleries in the Historic Third Ward. From the fun and casual Milwaukee Ale House to the upscale of Hinterland, there are myriad options to please your palate in Milwaukee’s arts and fashion district.
Bavette la Boucherie
330 E Menomonee St., (414) 273-3375
While still preserving the traditional butcher shop concept, Bavette la Boucherie has evolved into a full service restaurant that serves lunch and dinner daily. Along with serving up high quality meat, charcuterie boards, artisan jams, craft beers, and cocktails are also on the menu.
189 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 273-5620
Perched at the corner of Milwaukee and Chicago Streets, Bella is a great morning, noon or late night stop. Featured lunch items include made-from-scratch soups that change daily. It's also got salads, quiche and more. Bella brews Colectivo coffee, pour Rishi tea and serves wonderful desserts for your post-theater, spa or shopping pleasure.
Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequileria
249 N. Water St. (414) 431-1133
Cheers to Milwaukee’s first tequileria and to the adventurous menu of global street food here at the breezy and young spirited Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequileria.
346 N. Broadway, (414) 501-2500
Café Benelux features rooftop seating and a European-style market, in addition to its café, restaurant and bar options. Inspired by the Benelux region, the café features regional fare like mussels, pannenkoeken and frites, along with a wide selection of Belgian style brews. Stop in for breakfast, lunch, dinner or brunch on the weekend. It also features a grab 'n' go menu featuring muffins, fruit, sandwiches and more.
Café La Scala
631 E. Chicago St., (414) 223-2185
Café La Scala (formerly the Italian Community Center Ristorante) is a public restaurant inside the semi-private ICC that serves great food – Italian and non-Italian – in a casual, friendly atmosphere. Stop in for dinner or grab a pizza or panini at lunch.
222 E. Erie St., (414) 885-2611
Locally grown and seasonal ingredients are elevated to spice up this authentic Korean Cuisine while staying close to its traditional flavors. Best known for their Ssam menu which includes dinner and a show as you get to witness the sizzling and searing of their delicious Korean BBQ.
320 E. Menomonee St., (414) 763-8548
Club Charlies serves pretty good bar food in a city that’s known for its pub fare. From chicken fingers and mozzarella sticks to burgers and steaks, Charlies offers a little bit of something for everyone. Vegetarian options include a variety of sandwiches and pasta options. Check out the web site for great weekly specials like 1/2 price bottles of wine and 50-cent wings after 5 p.m. on Thursdays.
170 S. 1st St., (414) 765-9873
223 E. St. Paul Ave., (414) 220-8330
Colectivo is a Milwaukee staple. While it offers a limited food menu, what it does have is tasty and bakery delivered fresh from the Bay View bakery. Choose from soups, sandwiches, burritos and daily quiche specials. Of course, the real star at Colectivo is the coffee. With the exception of the lakefront location, there's arguably no better Colectivo location than the intimate one in the Third Ward.
360 E. Erie St., (414) 488-8036
The menu at dandan, which was inspired by countless visits to Chinese restaurants over the course of two lifetimes, pays homage to those memories of childhood and a beloved cuisine with which both chefs love. There's also a hefty dose of creative license thrown into the mix, meaning you'll find both modern interpretations of classic dishes as well as globally influenced offerings inspired by Chinese-American fare.
316 N. Milwaukee St. (414) 269-9908
Fauntleroy is a cozy, classic french bistro with a 70s rock and roll flare, with innovative french dishes.
Gouda’s Italian Deli
218 N. Water St., (414) 221-6565
Specializing in carefully crafted Italian food, Gouda’s stand as a testament to how Italian food should be done. The storefront doubles as a restaurant and an old-style Italian deli – you can stop in to get light groceries and deli meats or sit down for a meal made using family recipes. Try the daily specials for take-out and delivery service.
Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts
316 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 308-1616
A good donut shop is hard to beat. Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts can kick off your morning with Hawthorne coffee and a huge selection of doughy confections. It has gluten-free options, vegan options, cake doughnuts, yeast doughnuts, fritters and holes, sour cream old-fashioned doughnuts and more in a wide variety of flavors. Grab a box for the office and see what an work-routine breakfast could taste like.
Hudson Business Lounge
310 E. Buffalo St., (414) 220-9460
The Hudson is a co-working space/office space for working folks with non-traditional office situations. However, the espresso lounge/wine bar connected to the facility is open to the public and offers coffee, beer, wine, assorted baked goods and breakfast items. For those seeking a bite to eat after work, there are plenty of options including a variety of flatbreads, light bites, cheese plates and desserts. The lounge is open until 10 p.m. on weekends.
207 E. Buffalo St., first floor, (414) 271-7788
Jing's serves authentic, homemade dishes available for carry out, delivery, catering and dine in. It's open Tuesday-Friday at 11:30 a.m. for a lunch buffet.
408 E. Chicago St., (414) 220-1155
If you’re a lover of sushi and Asian fare, Kanpai is one to try. You’ll find a menu chock-full of Asian specialties, including Japchae, Bulgogi and Bibimbop, as well as artful and creative sushi, rolls and sashimi options. Open for lunch and dinner.
221 N. Water St., (414) 269-8829
Lucky Ginger is an Asian fusion restaurant with a riverfront view. The menu draws on a medley of Asian cultures featuring lad nah noodles and Korean short ribs. Check out the daily lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
240 E. Pittsburg Ave., (414) 645-0240
This contemporary hotspot is serving up New American comfort food with a quirky twist. Merriment social also wants to bring it back to the basics and focus on company and a place to gather.
Milwaukee Ale House
233 N. Water St., (414) 276-2337
Craft brews, live music, great bar food and one of the city's best patios make the Ale House a favorite stop. Louie's Demise, Pull Chain Pale Ale, Sheepshead Stout ... ale's what will cure ya at the Milwaukee Ale House. Trivia night is Wednesday and late nights on Thursday rock with serious karaoke.
Milwaukee Public Market
400 N. Water St., (414) 336-1111
While the market isn't meant to be a suburban mall food court, it's full of wonderful dining options such as Aladdin, Thai-Namite, The Green Kitchen, St. Paul Fish Company and Margarita Paradise. Shop, eat, drink and sample.
Milwaukee Sail Loft
649 E Erie St., (414) 223-0100
Located in the former Riptide location, Milwaukee Sail Loft offers seafood dining with an emphasis on fresh. Aside from the masses of seafood, Milwaukee Sail Loft has a build-a-burger option that's customizable down to three different kinds of meat or a black bean patty.
221 N. Broadway, (414) 308-1600
Onesto focuses on cultivating an upscale atmosphere with fine Italian cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. For an appetizer, try the mussels cooked in a savory white wine and tomato base. Follow that with the roasted short ribs and cap the meal with a glass of Tuscan wine. There’s a reason why the restaurant name means "honest" in Italian.
St. Paul Fish Company
400 N. Water St., (414) 220-8383
St. Paul Fish Company is located in the Public Market and is a great spot to get a variety of seafood, with a menu including everything from shrimp to tuna salad sandwiches to Schlitz battered cod fish fry.
106 W. Seeboth St., (414) 763-1637
Enjoy this Asian fusion bistro with fresh sushi, seafood, and steak, with a great view of the river!
332 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 431-1119
Barbecue is taken seriously here. Offering only hormone and antibiotic-free meats, dry-rubbed and slow-smoked, you can pick your own sauces. They also have delectable vegetarian options for those who want meat-free, like the roasted portobello sandwich or barbecued seitan. And the desserts will make your mouth water: gooey bacon bourbon brownies, seasonal fruit crumble and purple door whiskey ice cream, just to name a few.
Riverfront Pizzeria Bar and Grill
509 E. Erie St., (414) 277-1800
In a city full of many fine pizza options, Milwaukee's Third Ward has found, thanks to Greendale's Ricardo's Pizza (the owners of Riverfront Pizzeria), another great pizza and a new, cozy family-style restaurant that's sure to please for years to come.
200 N. Broadway
A relative newcomer to the area, Tre Rivali is located just inside the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, offering up a comfortable, but slightly upscale vibe. The menu includes Mediterranean-inspired fare in both small and large plate format.
The Wicked Hop
345 N. Broadway, (414) 223-0345
Miles and Andy O'Neil's space inside one of the Third Ward's oldest buildings has what they describe as "an Old World feel." Architects Vetter Denk and contractor Shawn Wardall preserved the look but added contemporary tweaks like a cool loft dining space, flat screens and the Jackalope Lounge live music space just to the south. Hop's food is bar standard with an upscale twist. Wash your food down with a tap of Father Damien's Belgian Wit from Harbor City or one of their award-winning Bloody Marys. It's oh so good.