James Beard

Milwaukeeans have always known that our restaurants have something special, but you don’t have to take locals’ word for it – just ask the James Beard Foundation! You’ll get a taste of some of Milwaukee’s best when you visit these restaurants recognized by the Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee for the James Beard Foundation Awards.

  1. Ardent

    Fine Dining


    Ardent was named a semifinalist for the Nation’s Best New Restaurant Award 2014 after being open only 4 months, and chef Justin Carlisle is a multi-year finalist for Best Chef: Midwest. One of Milwaukee’s favorite fine dining establishments, Ardent offers intimate fine dining inspired by the cooking traditions of the Great Lakes.

    1751 N. Farwell Avenue
    Milwaukee, WI • 53202
    (414) 897-7022
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  2. One of the best French restaurants in the Midwest and a local stop for preeminent names like Thomas Keller and Jacques Pepin; Executive Chef Adam Siegel won Best Chef: Midwest in 2008. Located in a historic pavilion on a scenic bluff with stunning views of Lake Michigan, Lake Park Bistro offers authentic, rustic French cuisine. Experience the bustling bistro at lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch throughout the year; the annual Black Truffle dinner is a special event not to be missed by foodies.

    3133 E. Newberry Boulevard
    Milwaukee, WI • 53211
    (414) 962-6300
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  3. Bavette La Boucherie

    Café, Deli & Market

    Bavette La Boucherie

    This artisan restaurant and butcher shop features sustainably-raised meats that are butchered and prepared on-site. Chef-owner Karen Bell is a four-time semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest.

    217 N. Broadway
    Milwaukee, WI • 53202
    (414) 273-3375
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  4. Braise

    Farm to Table


    Milwaukee’s first community supported restaurant, Braise’s locally sourced ingredients come from more than 40 Wisconsin farms, and the menu changes daily based on what seasonal items they receive from farmers. Chef and owner David Swanson is a multi-year semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest.

    1101 S 2nd St
    Milwaukee, WI • 53204
    (414) 212-8843
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  5. Bryant's Cocktail Lounge

    Retro Cocktail Lounge

    Bryant's Cocktail Lounge

    America’s first free-standing cocktail lounge, originating in 1939 with a menu of over 450 specialty and classic cocktails. Despite their extensive offerings, there is no menu here – let one of their knowledgeable bartenders guide you to the perfect cocktail. Bryant’s was a 2013 and 2019 Semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program.

    1579 S. 9th Street
    Milwaukee, WI • 53204
    (414) 383-2620
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  6. DanDan



    Best Chef Midwest nominee Dan Van Rite paired with another local Dan, Chef Dan Jacobs, to open this playful homage to American-Chinese cuisine.

    360 E Erie St
    Milwaukee, WI • 53202
    (414) 488-8036
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    This comfortable neighborhood restaurant serves approachable, shareable American cuisine. A 2019 semifinalist, Chef Dane Baldwin won the James Beard Award for best chef in the Midwest in 2022.

    815 E. Brady Street
    Milwaukee, WI • 53202
    (414) 800-5816
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  8. EsterEv

    Intimate Gourmet Dining


    Named in honor of the chef's great-grandmothers, this restaurant-within-a-restaurant offers a special ten-course menu served family style, with a single seating on Friday and Saturday nights. Chefs Dan Van Rite and Dan Jacobs are 2019 Semifinalists for Best Chef: Midwest.

    360 E. Erie St.
    Milwaukee, WI • 53202
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  9. Sanford Restaurant

    Fine Dining

    Sanford Restaurant

    Original chef & owner Sandy D’Amato was one of 12 chefs personally chosen to cook for Julia Child’s 80th Birthday and the first Milwaukee chef to win Best Chef: Midwest (1996). Current chef and owner, Chef Justin Aprahamian, won the title in 2014. Enjoy a unique dining experience at this highly-regarded restaurant, with a four-course “exploration menu” or put your tastebuds in the chef’s hands with a seven-course “surprise tasting menu.”

    1547 N. Jackson Street
    Milwaukee, WI • 53202
    (414) 276-9608
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  10. Amilinda

    Spanish & Portuguese Inspired Cuisine


    Inspired by the flavors of Spain & Portugal, 2022 James Beard Finalist Gregory León uses locally sourced ingredients, paired with specialty items from across the Iberian Peninsula to offer a unique meal every time.

    315 E Wisconsin Ave
    Milwaukee, WI • 53202
    (414) 369-3683
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  11. Birch

    Contemporary Midwestern Cuisine


    Birch’s unique, delectable flavors of contemporary Midwestern cuisine cooked in the restaurant’s wood-burning hearth have earned Chef Kyle Knall recognition as a semifinalist for the 2022 James Beard Awards’ Outstanding Chef.

    459 E Pleasant St
    Milwaukee, WI • 53202
    (414) 323-7372
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  12. Goodkind

    American Cuisine


    Located in Bay View, Goodkind takes a modern approach to Old-World dining. Featuring rotisserie meats, local produce, and house-made cocktails, the restaurant focuses on a symbiotic relationship between its kitchen and bar, earning Goodkind the distinction of being semi-finalist for the 2022 James Beard Awards' Outstanding Bar Program.

    2457 S Wentworth Ave
    Bay View, WI • 53207
    (414) 763-4706
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  13. Odd Duck

    New American Cuisine

    Odd Duck

    Globally inspired, locally sourced small plates with something for everyone is the central concept for Odd Duck. Featuring dishes for omnivores, vegetarians, & vegans alike, the restaurant was recognized as a 2022 James Beard Award semi-finalist for Outstanding Restaurant.

    939 S 2nd St, Milwaukee
    Milwaukee, WI • 53204
    (414) 763-5881
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  14. Solly's Grille

    American Cuisine

    Solly's Grille

    Established in 1936, Solly’s Grille is a Milwaukee staple. The family-owned restaurant is home to a local delicacy, the butter burger, a heavenly pairing that has made Solly’s a 2022 James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Award-winner.

    4629 N Port Washington Rd
    Milwaukee, WI • 53212
    (414) 332-8808
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  15. Three Brothers


    Three Brothers

    Awarded as an American Classic (2002), this low-key Serbian restaurant is a beloved neighborhood jewel that has been serving authentic Serbian cuisine since the 1950s.

    2414 S St Clair St
    Milwaukee, WI • 53207
    (414) 481-7530
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