Retro Dining


Milwaukee is a city that honors its history, so it should come as no surprise that classic favorites like diners, supper clubs, and cocktail lounges are still thriving alongside the innovative restaurants that make up the city's new-school dining scene. If you're looking to party like it's 1938 or just want a killer #ThrowbackThursday post, don't miss these retro-fab dining and drinking establishments while you're in town.

Founded in 1942, Miss Katie’s Diner is a 1950s throwback serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a full cocktail menu. Start off your flashback day with their famous corned beef hash for breakfast.

Recognized by the James Beard Foundation with the American Classic award in 2002, Three Brothers has been a beloved neighborhood jewel since the 1950s. Still family owned and operated, this low-key Serbian restaurant is a true taste of the old world.

It’s no surprise that two long-time Bavarian favorites are still in business in a city that remains so strongly connected to its German heritage. Known as “America’s most famous German restaurant,” Mader’s has been serving both locals and visiting celebrities since 1902. Opened in 1924, Kegel’s Inn is famous for authentic German classics and an irresistible Friday Night Fish Fry. Make sure to admire the beautiful traditional German paintings that fill the restaurant.

From the relish tray to frosty ice cream drinks, the supper club is a Wisconsin institution that locals have loved since the 1930s. Get a taste of the classic supper club experience at Five O’Clock Steakhouse, serving up supper club staples like the relish tray, fresh salads prepared tableside and, of course, premium steaks since 1946. Travel & Leisure described this steakhouse as a “classic supper club setting with a Mad Men vibe.”

Joey Gerard’s is a new restaurant with nostalgic feel. This Hollywood-style supper club brings traditional favorites to modern families, including an impressive menu of ice cream drinks.

If cocktails sound more tempting, don’t miss Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, a local gem open since 1938. A semifinalist for the James Beard Awards’ “Best Bar Program” (2013), Bryant’s repertoire includes over 450 specialty and classic cocktails, but you won’t see any menus in this stylish, intimate lounge. Instead, let one of the knowledgeable bartenders on staff use your preferences and tastes to guide you to the perfect drink. 

Pink Squirrel

Pink Squirrel

This creamy retro cocktail was first concocted at Bryant's Cocktail Lounge.