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In Dining

The dining scene is Wauwatosa has exploded over the past few years, creating a wide variety of new options for hungry Tosans. (PHOTO: Lori Fredrich)

Wauwatosa dining guide



Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Oct. 15, 2016 at 10:56 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.


For the 10th straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2016."

Wauwatosa's dining scene has evolved dramatically over the recent years, exploding with new options from the string of North Avenue eateries on the east to the new options at the Mayfair Collection on the west and right down in the heart of the Village itself.

Here is an updated account of what this near-western suburb brings to the dining table. While this list doesn't cover every last eatery, it includes the newcomers as well as several perennial favorites.

ABV Social
11200 W. Burleigh St., (414) 837-6290
abvsocial.com
One of a quartet of Bartolotta restaurants at the Mayfair Collection shopping and residential center, ABV Social is an open, vibrant eatery focused on beer, bar food and sports. There's a game room and, in season, outdoor seating, too.

Alioto's
3041 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 476-6900
aliotos.net

This family-owned American / Italian restaurant has been in its Wauwatosa location for 50 years. The Friday night fish fry is popular, but the entrée selections give it the feel of a chophouse.

BelAir Cantina
6817 W. North Ave., (414) 988-8533
belaircantina.com
With a large bar and a welcoming fountain patio – to say nothing of $2 tacos on Tuesdays and Thursdays – this BelAir location proved popular from the day it opened. The vibe is great, but they don't take reservations, so on $2 nights and weekends, you might plan to have a margarita at the bar while you wait for your table.

Cafe Bavaria
7700 Harwood Ave., (414) 271-7700
cafebavaria.com
A sister restaurant to Cafe Hollander, with which is shares some of its riverside patio, Cafe Bavaria has a German theme, natch, including pretzels, schnitzel, spatzle, sausages and more, served alongside some top-notch German beer. Brunch is served on weekends from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cafe Grace
11200 W. Burleigh St., (414) 837-6310
cafegracemke.com
This is Bartolotta's upscale French eatery at the Mayfair Collection. With a vibe straight outta Marais, and a menu to match, Cafe Grace is the perfect location for a special night out on Tosa's ouest side.

Colectivo Coffee
9125 W. North Ave., (414) 259-9383
6745 W. Wells St., (414) 453-4800

colectivocofee.com
If you're an Alterra fan, the menu here is familiar, with the usual assortment of coffee, tea and juices, alongside bakery items, salads and sandwiches and wraps. The Wells Street location has a fire pit that's popular all year 'round.

Cosmos Cafe
7203 W. North Ave., (414) 257-2005
cosmoscafewauwatosa.com
Located on the site of the former Barrie's Frozen Custard – a Tosa landmark for a couple generations – Cosmos offers great Greek food, fish fry, burgers and more – to enjoy in the small dining room or for carry-out.

Balistreri's Italian Restaurant
812 N. 68th St., (414) 475-1414

balistreris.com
Balistreri's is a local legend and its 'Tosa location is family-friendly with great, thin-crust pizza, cheese bread or spaghetti and meatballs. The other, larger location is just around the corner on 65th Street and Bluemound Road.

Cafe Hollander
7677 W. State St., (414) 475-6771
cafehollander.com
This Tosa outpost of the local Hollander chain opens early seven days a week for breakfast and Sunday brunch and is open late as a bar, too. Enjoy your meal in the dining room or outdoors (in season) along the river. Expect a wide selection of European beers. And kids will like watching the trains go by.

Chancery
7615 W. State St., (414) 453-2300

thechancery.com
This Milwaukee chain is known as a "family pub," dishing up mainly American-style entrees that please the kiddies as well as their parents.

Chinese Pagoda
7200 W. North Ave., (414) 774-8400

The Chinese Pagoda and 'Tosa go way back. It's a small, quaint restaurant with reasonable prices and although some dishes cater to American tastes there is plenty for those who love Chinese and Chinese-American food.

City Market
8700 W. Watertown Plank Rd., (414) 479-0479

thecitymarketcafe.com
The café is attached to the Wisconsin Athletic Club and right on the County Grounds near Froedtert and Children's Hospitals and is a great place for breakfast or lunch, with a variety of coffee drinks to accompany bakery items, build-your-own sandwiches, soups and salads.

Colonel Hart's
7342 W. State St., (414) 476-3070
colonelharts.com

Treat yourself to a wide selection bar food – appetizers, pizzas, sandwiches, burgers and Friday fish fry – while catching the game on one of 10 plasma screen TVs. Wings are just 35 cents each on Thursdays.

Cranky Al's
6913 W. North Ave., (414) 258-5282
crankyals.com
Cranky Al's is a West Side favorite for donuts and coffee in the morning and for pizza in the evenings. Rather than a traditional slice, pizza lovers can order the personal 10-in. pizza with any variety of toppings.

Eddie Martini's
8612 Watertown Plank Rd., (414) 771-6680

eddiemartinis.com
This is where fine dining meets old-school supper club. The breadth of experience and expertise at Eddie Martini's easily makes it perfect for everything from a business meeting to an intimate date night for two.

Firefly Urban Bar & Grill
7754 Harwood Ave., (414) 431-1444

firefly-grill.com
Firefly's menu features appetizers, sandwiches and entrees from its wood-burning grill and smoker, as well as microburgers, fondue and crunch salad. Don't miss out on the s'mores for dessert, which you get to make at table with a cute little personal grill.

Genghis Khan Mongolian BBQ
725 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 774-5540

Genghis Khan offers an elaborate buffet laden with various thinly sliced meats, freshly cut vegetables, more than 10 kinds of sauces and natural spices to create your own exotic meal.

George Webb
6108 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 453-2392
12201 W. North Ave., (414) 774-4377
georgewebb.com
George Webb, a Milwaukee-area institution, likely needs no explanation here. Open 24 hours a day, you can grab a booth or belly up to the counter and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner anytime of day.

Gilles Frozen Custard Drive In
7515 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 453-4875

gillesfrozencustard.com
Milwaukee's oldest custard stand offers hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries, onion rings and, of course, some of the city's best frozen treats for dessert.

Ginza Japanese Restaurant
2727 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 771-3333
ginzawauwatosa.com
Don't let the strip mall location fool you, Ginza is a great place to grab sushi or other Japanese dishes, like teriyaki, tempura, miso soup and other specialties. Smart folks grab a soft shell crab appetizer and the delectable Wauwatosa roll (when in Rome!) and smile all the way home.

Habanero's Mexican Kitchen
869 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 607-9025

habanerosmilwaukee.com
Featuring an impressive array of authentic dishes served in a lively, welcoming atmosphere, this locally-owned restaurant provides a strong alternative for foodies who don't want to head to the South Side for their Mexican food fix. Be sure to take advantage of the fresh table-side guac.

Hector's
7118 W. State St., (414) 258-5600
hectors.com

This 'Tosa Village favorite is small and comfortable with an extensive menu that can please the meat eater and the vegetarian. Please don't forget to order a margarita.

Hue
6519 W. North Ave., (414) 585-0577
huerestaurants.com
This is the second location for Hue Vietnamese Restaurant, the first of which is located in Bay View. Delicious noodle dishes, pho and other Vietnamese specialties made from fresh ingredients are served in a simple, elegant – but casual – dining room. Warning, don't park in the lot to the west of you'll get ticketed. But don't worry, there's plenty of street parking out front.

Il Mito Enoteca
6913 W. North Ave., (414) 443-1414

ilmito.com
Il Mito serves fabulous northern Italian dishes along with a mix of Mediterranean and South American-styled entrees. Adjacent to the restaurant is Chef Michael Feker's School of Culinary Magic.

INNovation
10499 W. Innovation Dr., (414) 259-0793
crowneplazamilwaukee.com/dining.php
Located in the Crowne Plaza West, this restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, in a nice dining room and on a patio with a fireplace. There's a fish fry on Fridays and brunch on Sundays, too.

Irie Zulu
7237 W. North Ave., (414) 326-9251
iriezulu.com
A mix of African and Caribbean food results in one of the best new restaurants anywhere in the area. The small dining room is augmented by a little bar and a few sidewalk tables, too.

Jimmy's Island Grill & Iguana Bar
2303 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 837-2121
jimmysislandgrill.com
Family friendly dining across from Mayfair Mall, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in an island-themed atmosphere. Seafood, salads and sandwiches rule the menu, which also includes a variety of steaks, ribs and chicken. Enjoy the Tiki-ish patio when the weather cooperates.

John's Sandwich Shop
8913 W. North Ave., (414) 257-9347

johnssandwichshop.com
A Tosa institution since 1963, John's serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and some very tasty burgers and malts. Enjoy the counter seating or the shop's summer patio.

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