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
    Learn More
  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
    Learn More
  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 two-time semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest.

    330 E. Menomonee Street
    Milwaukee, WI • 53202
    (414) 273-3375
    Learn More
  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 Street
    Milwaukee, WI • 53204
    (414) 212-8843
    Learn More
  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
    Learn More
  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
    Learn More



    This comfortable neighborhood restaurant serves approachable, shareable American cuisine. Chef Dane Baldwin is a 2019 Semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest.

    815 E. Brady Street
    Milwaukee, WI • 53202
    (414) 800-5816
    Learn More
  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
    Learn More
  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
    Learn More
  10. 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 Street
    Milwaukee, WI • 53207
    (414) 481-7530
    Learn More