Milwaukee's Culinary Scene
From locally-made products to restaurants featuring farm-to-fork, slow food or small plates, Milwaukee’s culinary scene brings a delicious blend of flavors to the table. Here’s just a “taste” of what you’ll find!
Begin your culinary journey on a Milwaukee Food & City Tour through Milwaukee’s historic neighborhoods. Compare and contrast Bloody Marys in the Historic Third Ward or visit the one-of-a kind Glorioso’s Italian Market and bakery on bohemian Brady Street.
The Milwaukee Public Market has been ranked by Frommer’s as one of America’s Best Public Markets, featuring 20 specialty food vendors. The focus is on Wisconsin, including artisan cheeses, chocolates and bakery, but you’ll also find world fare, from Indian dishes to sushi rolls and burritos.
See for yourself why Wisconsin is called “The Dairy State” and tour Clock Shadow Creamery, one of the only urban creameries in the country. You’ll learn about cheese-making and sample fresh cheeses, like cheese curds. In the same Walker’s Point neighborhood, stop at Purple Door Ice Cream for unique, hand-crafted ice cream flavors such as strawberry sour cream, goat cheese, bacon, green tea and whiskey.
Chocolate connoisseurs are spoiled for choice in Milwaukee. Treat yourself to pairings of hand-crafted chocolate with champagne, wine and beer at Indulgence Chocolatiers’ chocolate bar in Walker’s Point or to chocolate in all forms including drinks, dips and toppings at Red Elephant Chocolate in the Third Ward. At Kopp’s Frozen Custard’s three locations, you’ll find gourmet flavors of this Milwaukee specialty such as banana walnut chocolate chunk and chocolate thunder.
In 1989, the D’Amato family grocery store was transformed into Sanford Restaurant by chef and previous owner Sandy D’Amato, a former James Beard Best Chef Midwest. D’Amato’s successor, Chef de Cuisine Justin Aprahamian, also a multiple James Beard Award nominee, bought the restaurant and remains committed to serving food made with products at their peak of flavor.
Take in a picturesque view of Lake Michigan and authentic French cuisine at Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro. Chef Adam Siegel, James Beard Best Chef Midwest 2008, uses the freshest ingredients and adheres to traditional French cooking styles to create memorable dishes in a French bistro setting. Other Bartolotta restaurants downtown include Bacchus, The Rumpus Room — A Bartolotta Gastropub and lakeside Harbor House.
Chef Matt Baier provides creative inspiration at the award-winning Dream Dance Steak in Potawatomi Bingo Casino. The restaurant offers a variety of delicious steaks and succulent seafood, along with a selection of more than 600 retail-priced wines to perfectly pair with your meal. Other top restaurants at the casino are Wild Earth Cucina Italiana, RuYi and the popular all-you-can-eat stop, The Buffet.
Milwaukee’s German heritage is alive and well at the landmarks Mader’s Restaurant and Karl Ratzsch’s, offering discriminating diners the best in authentic German dishes like sauerbraten, wiener schnitzel and rouladen.
Cafe Benelux is a place to gather with friends for a great meal any time of the day. The cafe’s “Bierbook” consists of more than 40 pages of Belgian and craft beers and menu items include favorite Belgian dishes Pannenkoeken and frites.
“The place” to go for visiting celebrities, athletes and VIPs, the SURG group’s Carnevor serves prime cuts, including a weekly Kobe steak special. Many ingredients are sourced locally from Hidden Creek, the restaurant’s nearby farm. Other restaurants in this group include neighboring Umami Moto and Distil as well as newcomer Hom with locations in Glendale and Brookfield.