By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Aug 20, 2010 at 9:24 AM

What are Milwaukee's highest Zagat rated restaurants? Thanks to Marcus Restaurants, whose Mason Street Grill and Kil@wat are among the 36 area places that are Zagat rated, I received access to the full list and will share it with you here.

Even though online restaurant reviews are everywhere on sites like to Yelp and Open Table, Zagat's reviews have a certain luster to them. The company has been around for 29 years, and has earned respect. The restaurants are rated on diners' experiences with food, service, cost and atmosphere.

I selected the food category and ranked the Milwaukee eateries using the site's tools. For the record, there are 113 area total restaurants listed (87 when you search for "Milwaukee"), but only some are rated and the search tool wasn't always giving me similar results so I may have missed a few places.  

The top score in the food category is 30. No Milwaukee-area restaurant got a perfect food score, but five received 28 or 29. Here's the entire list.


Eddie Martini's (29)
Sanford (29)
Lake Park Bistro (28)
Osteria del Mondo (28)
La Merenda (27)
Coquette Café (26)
River Lane Inn (26)
Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub (26)
The Capital Grille (25)
Five O'Clock Steakhouse (25)
Karl Ratzsch's (25)
Crazy Water (25)
Bacchus (25)
Carnevor (24)
Mimma's Café (24)
Three Brothers (24)
Umami Moto (24)
Smyth (24)
Original Pancake House (24)
Mo's: A Place for Steaks (23)
Elsa's (23)
Maxie's Southern Comfort (23)
Mason Street Grill (23)
Cempazuchi (23)
Nanakusa (23)
Milwaukee Chophouse (22)
Zarletti (22)
Kil@wat (21)
The Knick (21)
Cubanitas (20)
Five Guys (20)
Palms Bistro and Bar (20)
Pasta Tree (20)
Edwardo's Natural Pizza (20)

Top décor went to Lake Park Bistro (28). Service was best at Sanford (29). And, Sanford also had the highest cost at $74. Cost reflects the surveyors' estimate of the price of dinner with one drink and tip.

So, there you have it. If you want full access to Zagat, you gotta pay for it. But, as Zagat Survey gears up to launch Zagat Exclusives, its Groupon-type deep discount program at Zagat-Rated restaurants in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, I thought it was the perfect time to share the Milwaukee results.

No matter where your favorite is. Get out and eat at all of our great restaurants, Milwaukee!

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.