History buffs, art aficionados, and animal lovers, Museum Days is here for you! After a long day of exploring any of the 28 participating museums, you’re sure to work up an appetite. Here is our guide to where you should grab a bite based on the neighborhood the museum is in.
The Museums: Haggerty Museum of Art, Pabst Mansion
After spending time at the Pabst Mansion, treat yourself to an upscale meal, the way Frederick Pabst (founder of Pabst Brewing) would have. Make dinner reservations at the Five O'Clock Steakhouse, an old-school-style supper club that's been around since 1946.
Need to grab a bite before dinner time? Visit Daddy's Soul Food & Grille. This mom-and-pop restaurant is known for serving their family recipes of comfort food classics like ribs, meatloaf, fried chicken, and catfish. Their location on 27th St. is just a 4-minute drive from the Haggerty Museum of Art.
The Museums: America's Black Holocaust Museum
America's Black Holocaust Museum is the first of its kind in the United States. After (or before) learning about the history of Black people in America, spend some more time in Bronzeville supporting Black-owned restaurants. For dinner without the kids, try Garfield's 502 for good eats with live music or SKYBOX if a sports bar with great wings is more your speed. Take the whole family out for another tasty option of flavorful Jamaican food at Pepperpot.
The Museums: Charles Allis Art Museum, Jewish Museum Milwaukee, Selfie Hop - Selfie Museum, Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
While there are dozens of dining options on Milwaukee's East Side, here are just three unique restaurants that are minutes away from any of the nearby museums. The Lowlands Group restaurants are Milwaukee staples, and Cafe Hollander is their East Side location known for its Belgian beers and Euro-style fare. Pro tip: order the Moules Frites.
For good food that hails from lands even further than Europe, we recommend Maharaja. Not only does this Indian restaurant have delicious food and drinks, but their weekend lunch buffet also means you get to try a little bit of everything. Not visiting this weekend? Don't fret! Wednesday through Friday, Maharaja also serves a 5-course lunch special for a varied, flavorful meal.
We can't mention East Side restaurants without calling out The Diplomat. Chef-owner, Dane Baldwin, took home a James Beard Award for best chef in the Midwest. Once you visit his Brady Street restaurant, you'll soon learn why.
The Museums: Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Discovery World, Grohmann Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee War Memorial, Saint Kate - The Arts Hotel
The East Town museums are the most kid-friendly of the bunch, so our dining recommendations are the most kid-friendly as well. First, we have Ian’s, a counter-style pizza joint that the whole family will enjoy. No need to agree on the type of pizza since they sell by the slice. That means your picky eaters will be pleased with just cheese, while the more adventurous ones can try fun flavors like Ian's signature Smokey the Bandit.
Another East Town staple known for its handhelds is AJ Bombers. Visit their Water St restaurant for the four Bs - burgers, beer, booze, and bombs...of peanuts. There are peanuts everywhere. They are free and their shells are meant to be thrown on the floor.
If you're looking to have a top-secret good time, Safehouse is the place for you. This spy-themed restaurant is located "somewhere" in downtown Milwaukee. Hint: keep an eye out for a red door in an alley (just don’t tell anyone we sent you). The easiest way in is if you know the password. Those without the password can still get in, but only after completing a clearance test. I've said too much already - just know good food and tasty drinks await.
Menomonee River Valley
The Museums: Harley-Davidson Museum, The Warehouse Art Museum, Mitchell Park Domes
After you tour the Harley-Davison museum, take your tastebuds on a road trip and dine at MOTOR Bar and Restaurant. They have many options to choose from and rotating specials that are always delicious.
Not feeling burgers and barbeque. Ruyi at Potawatomi Casino Hotel is a Pan-Asian restaurant with cuisines from all over the continent. Enjoy authentic meals from Japan, Korea, China, and Thailand, all in one restaurant. The best part? Ruyi is less than five minutes from both Menomonee River Valley museums. Enjoy lunch minutes after those hunger pangs hit.
Special mention for the Mitchell Park Domes. While technically not in Menomonee River Valley, this Clarke Square neighborhood museum is right around the corner and you can get to either of these eateries in 4-7 minutes.
The Museums: Milwaukee County Historical Society, Milwaukee Public Museum, Photoverse Selfie Museum
If you're visiting the Photoverse Selfie Museum, then you're already at 3rd Street Market Hall, so might as well grab lunch! With 12 different restaurants, a bar, and a wine shop inside, there's no need to agree on just one place and everyone gets what they want! Reminder, the hall is cashless so don't leave your card at home.
Visiting the public museum and hoping for a bite a little closer? Gyro MKE is one block away. Enjoy Greek and Mediterranean classics at this quick-serve restaurant.
Turning Tables Tavern & Eatery is our recommendation if you're visiting the Milwaukee County Historical Society. The food already tastes great, but knowing this restaurant provides training to aspiring food entrepreneurs is a nice finishing touch.
Outside of Milwaukee
The Museums: Bucyrus Museum, Cedarburg Art Museum, IPAMA, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Lynden Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee County Zoo, Racine Art Museum, RAM's Wustum Museum of Fine Arts
Not all Museum Day partners are within city limits, but they are still easily accessible and worth a visit. Consider these restaurants when making your Museum Days itinerary.
If you're at the Bucyrus Museum, John Michael Kohler Art Center, and Milwaukee County Zoo, you're in luck! Each of these museums has eateries on-site, so if you want to go back to exploring after lunch, feel free!
After marveling at art in Cedarburg, Cream and Crepe Cafe is the place to go. This quaint cafe, known for its French and American fare, has that charming, historic vibe that is palpable throughout the Cedarburg community.
IPAMA is an institution that celebrates African-American music and art. So, it is only fitting to grab a bite at a marketplace just 6 minutes away and celebrates African-American artistry through food, beauty, and clothing. The Sherman Phoenix Marketplace has several vendors for your family to enjoy, from wings and bbq to spring rolls and desserts.
Right up the street from Lynden Sculpture Garden is Friendship Cafe & Bakery. A welcoming place for everyone, the food is Kosher, and 100% of proceeds support their mission of providing friendship and opportunities to children and adults with special needs. A meal that tastes good and makes you feel good is a win-win.
Kringle doesn't exactly qualify as a well-rounded meal, but when you're visiting Racine's museums, a stop at a kringle shop is a must. Wisconsin's official state pastry is available in several fillings and flavors including apple, pecan, cheesecake, chocolate, and many more. Racine is the kringle king of the United States, after all! Dessert is just as important as dinner! Learn more about kringle and where you can find the best of this tasty treat at the city's visitor's center - Real Racine.