<script>
  (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
  (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
  m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
  })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga');

  ga('create', 'UA-91038877-1', 'auto');
  ga('send', 'pageview');

</script>

MILWAUKEE = BREW CITY

Milwaukee was built in the 1800's on the back of the beer industry. In its heyday it was the beer capitol of the United States, known as the Munich of the Midwest. With its blue-collar heritage, it may not be known for its high food culture, but Milwaukee has both traditional and new ethnic roots to draw from. It's culinary foundation is built on old regional specialties like Friday fish frys, pub pizzas, bratwurst, and of course lots and lots of beer. But Milwaukee also has newer establishments influenced by the recent Hispanic, Thai, and Laotian immigrants. In short Milwaukee has its own little culinary sub-culture developing and is always a great time if you know where to look.

 

The Pig

MILWAUKEE

CULINARY EXPLORATION IN WISCONSIN

PIG'S PICKS

Where to eat big burgers, find little dives, and cold brews in Milwaukee.

IAN'S PIZZA

PIG SCORE: 4.0 / 4.0

WHAT: ECLECTIC NY STYLE PIZZA 

WHEN: A late night food fix after hitting the bars.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: (2 locations) 

146 E Juneau Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53202

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Mac & Cheese

  • Smoky the bandit

WHY: Strategically placed next to college bars, and selling cool slices for only $4, Ian's quickly became a pizza by the slice legend. They are the absolute best place to grab a late night bite especially after enjoying a drink or two. Be adventurous when going to Ian's as it is their incredible selection of pizza toppings that got this named one of the top 50 pizza places you had to try before you die.

KOPP'S FROZEN CUSTARD

PIG SCORE: 4.0 / 4.0

WHAT: BIG FAST FOOD BURGERS

WHEN: You think you want McDonald's, do this instead.

PRICE: $ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: (multiple locations)

7631 W Layton Ave

Greenfield, WI 53220

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Cheeseburger

  • Fries

  • Fresh Custard Cone

WHY: This is an iconic Milwaukee burger chain. The specialize in jumbo burgers and creamy fresh custard. This is what McDonald's whishes it still was. They are seriously one of the best classic cheeseburgers you'll have in America and an amazing deal.

COLECTIVO COFFEE

PIG SCORE: 4.0 / 4.0

WHAT: CUP OF MILWAUKEE JOE

WHEN: Your want a great cup of coffee.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: (multiple locations)

2211 N Prospect Ave

Milwaukee, WI 53202

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Blue Healer

  • Co-Optiva

WHY: The country has Starbuck's but in Milwaukee we have Collectivo. It is hip, cool and a comfortable place to grab a cup of joe with a friend or a good book.

BENJI'S DELI

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: OLD JEWISH DELI

WHEN: You want a trip back in time and a Rueben to go with it.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

4156 N Oakland Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53211

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Benji Reuben

WHY: In a city known for great  Rubens, Benji's is known as the best in town. This diner looks like it hasn't been remolded since the 70's and that is part of the charm that completes the experience.  The meat is tender and there is plenty of it. although my only complaint, but not enough to stop their high ranking, I'm not sure where they get the thousand Island dressing, but it isn't homemade.

SOLLY'S

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: THE QUINTESSENTIAL WISCONSIN BUTTER BURGER

WHEN: You have some room on your cholesterol level to burn.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT:

4629 N Port Washington Rd

Milwaukee, WI 53212

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Original Solly Cheeseburger

  • Sprecher Root Beer

  • Fries

WHY: They have been serving up the signature Wisconsin butter burger better than anyone in the state since 1936. Just a warning though, this is not something your Cardiologist will want you to eat often.

PHO VIET

PIG SCORE: 3.85 / 4.0

WHY: Pho is on of my favorite ethnic soups, and Pho-Viet is my favorite place to get it in Milwaukee. With so few ingredients, each one needs to be excellent, and they don't disappoint. I have had the pleasure of watching this restaurant of growing in popularity over the years.

WHAT: VIETNAMESE / PHO

WHEN: On a cold Wisconsin day when you want a savory pick me up.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

5475 S 27th St.

Milwaukee, WI 53221

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Beef Pho

  • Banh Mi

DOC'S DRY DOCK

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: THIN CRUST PIZZA

WHEN: You want the best thin crust pizza within 50 miles of Milwaukee.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

N38W27091 Parkside Rd.

Pewaukee, WI 53072

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Supreme

  • the Rueben pizza (a special)

WHY: Yes, this is technically not in Milwaukee, yes this is a hike, but YES it is worth it. The place is small, I mean really small, call ahead or expect a long wait. This is the most heavily topped thin crust pizza, and I'll happily wait my hour to get a seat to have it.

ROCKET BABY BAKERY

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: ARTISAN BAKERY

WHEN: You want a knock out pastry coffee combo.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

6822 W North Ave.

Wauwatosa, WI 53213

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Breakfast sandwich

  • Chocolate croissant

WHY: An artisan bakery that makes great breakfast and fresh made leavened loaves of bread. They focus on using local and sustainable ingredients.Come on in and enjoy a great cup of coffee and a made from scratch pastry.

CITY LIGHTS BREWERY

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: ADULT MICRO-BREWERY

WHEN: You want a microbrewery with the Gen X'ers in mind.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

2210 W Mt Vernon Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53233

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Session IPA

WHY: Located in the century-old coal gas building in the Menominee valley. The vibe is turn of the century industrial. City light brewery is one of the newest members to the micro-brewery scene, but if you love craft beer, and a great environment, they are a must stop.

PURPLE DOOR ICE CREAM

PIG SCORE: 3.8 / 4.0

WHAT: GOURMET ICE CREAM

WHEN: You want ice cream, but don't want boring flavors.

PRICE: $  

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

205 S 2nd St.

Milwaukee, WI 53204

 

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Salted caramel

  • Thin mint chocolate

WHY: The flavors change daily, sometimes as your waiting in line waiting to order it. They get creative and have nontraditional flavors such as pretzels and beer, whiskey, or even Brandy old fashioned. This is Milwaukee'best-handcrafted ice cream.

LAKEFRONT BREWERY

PIG SCORE: 3.8 / 4.0

WHAT: MICROBREWERY & FOOD

WHEN: You're out for a night with friends who love beer and fun.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1872 N Commerce St.

Milwaukee, WI 53212

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • A flight of micros

 

WHY: Milwaukee's oldest microbrewery, located on the Milwaukee river and producing fantastic craft beer since 1987 this is a Cream city landmark. Get there before 6pm and take the tour, you wont regret it. 

BLUE'S EGG

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: INSPIRED AMERICAN

WHEN: Brunch

PRICE: $$ - $$$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

317 N 76th St.

Milwaukee, WI 53213

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Dubliner

WHY: Blue's egg takes, classic dishes and adds inspired twists on them. This is a locals favorite for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Great location, great service and great quality. This is a hidden Milwaukee locals breakfast gem.

OSCAR'S BAR & GRILL

PIG SCORE: 3.75 / 4.0

WHAT: SERIOUS BURGERS

WHEN: You want a soli d burger and beer in a casual setting.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1712 W Pierce St .

Milwaukee, WI 53204

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Big "O"

  • The Gringo

WHY: Oscar's is Milwaukee's best kept secret in a bar burger for value and quality. They serve it with homemade Parmesan fries.  It is owned by two friends whose dream it was to open a pub that served great burgers, well their dream is our reward. Oscar's is always busy for a reason.

RAISED GRAIN BREWERY

PIG SCORE: 3.75 / 4.0

WHAT: BADGER  BREWING

WHEN: Your looking for a cool place to hang and grab a beer on the west side of Milwaukee.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT:

2244 W Bluemound Rd,

Waukesha, WI 53186

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Six Stone Scotch Ale

  • Take Er Easy Amber

  • Kilted Kölsch

WHY: This is a project started with two doctors passion for brewing. Come in and enjoy the great beer in a comfortable enviorment.

NITE OWL DRIVE IN

PIG SCORE: 3.7 / 4.0

WHAT: OLDFASHIONED BURGERS

WHEN: You want to know what burgers were like back in the 50's.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Cash only

 

MAP IT: 

830 E Layton Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53207

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Bacon cheeseburger

  • Butterscotch shake

WHY:  The 1950's un-apologetic neon sign above the shack tells you all you need to know; great burgers inside. No need to get a double, these are serious burgers and a regular will satisfy even a teenager in a growth spurt. 

THIRD SPACE BREWING

PIG SCORE: 3.7 / 4.0

WHAT: WAREHOUSE BEER

WHEN: Looking for a quality microbrew close to the city.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1505 W St Paul Ave .

Milwaukee, WI 53233

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Acers edge, oatmeal stout

  • Mocha Java

 

WHY: They are producing some of Milwaukee's best beer. Third space is located in an old re-purposed warehouse, with lots of room for hanging out. It is another newcomer to Milwaukee's growing microbrewery scene and one that has a lot of potential to be one of the best.

SPRECHER'S TRAVELING BEER GARDEN  

(seasonal)

PIG SCORE: 3.7 / 4.0

WHAT: MOVING MICRO-BREWERY

WHEN: It's summer, it's not raining, and you want to enjoy a German tradition in a Milwaukee park.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

Check their website as it moves often

 

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Amber

WHY: Summer in Milwaukee can be short and mild, but the locals make the most of it. One of my favorite  Milwaukee traditions is beer gardens, parks around the city open up sections for the public to enjoy a beer or two. Sprecher a local German style micro brewer runs a great beer garden that moves around the city. Check the website for its location. And an added plus you can keep the glass!

RED LIGHT RAMEN

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

WHAT: JAPANESE RAMEN

WHEN: You need a late night fix for ramen.

PRICE: $$ - $$$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1749 N Farwell Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53202

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Tonkotsu ramen

  • PBR tall boy

WHY: Red light ramen started out as an after-hours pop-up restaurant for other restaurant employees that was only open from 11:30 pm till they ran out of ramen every Friday and Saturday. The word spread quickly and soon there were lines down the block half an hour before they would open.

VEINTIANE NOODLE SHOP

PIG SCORE: 3.5 / 4.0

WHAT: LAOTIAN & THAI

WHEN: You're craving Asian noodles, but don't want just average.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

3422 W National Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53215

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Khao Poun

  • Pho

WHY: Located in a heavily Asian part of Milwaukee known simply as the Silver city. This noodle shop can be a hard place to find since they don't have a sign, only a little neon light shaped like a bowl of soup with chopsticks in it. But the Vientiane noodle shop puts out the best Laotian and Thai noodle soups in the city. 

MAD ROOSTER CAFE

PIG SCORE: 3.5 / 4.0

WHAT: GREAT BREAKFAST

WHEN: You're looking for a good breakfast place.

PRICE: $$ - $$$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

4401 W Greenfield Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53214

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Chilaquiles with chorizo

WHY: One of the great breakfast places in Milwaukee. The rooster gets busy and stays like that for the whole morning.  Get the Chilaquiles with Chorizo and if you like the chips crisp like me, ask for the sauce on the side. 

LA MICHOACANA

PIG SCORE: 3.4 / 4.0

WHAT: MEXICAN ICE CREAM

WHEN: It's hot, and you want an authentic Mexican treat.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1224 S Cesar E Chavez Dr,

Milwaukee, WI 53204

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • A hand made fruit popsicle

  • Mexican walking taco

WHY: La Michoacana is an authentic Mexican ice cream and street food shop. It is located in the heart of the Milwaukee Hispanic district right next to some great taco places and the best Mexican grocer in the city. All the ice cream is made on premise. This is a local kid hang out in the summer.

THE VANGUARD

PIG SCORE: 3.4 / 4.0

WHAT: SPECIALTY SAUSAGES

WHEN: You're looking for a taste of Milwaukee hipster life.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

2659 S Kinnickinnic Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53207

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Thai breaker

  • Nashville Hot chicken sausage

  • Duck BLT

WHY: The Vanguard is where Milwaukee's German heritage meets hipster elcectic. Located in the up and coming Bay view area this little bar with artisan sausages is the coolest place in town to grab a brat and beer.

ENLIGHTENED BREWERY

PIG SCORE: 3.2 / 4.0

WHAT: MICRO-BREWERY

WHEN: You're looking to explore Milwaukee breweries.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

2018 S 1st St #170

Milwaukee, WI 53207

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Human condition (French Saison)

WHY: One of Milwaukee's newest additions to the microbrewery scene. Enlightened is housed in the southwest corner of an old red warehouse. The beers are light, crisp and worth a look. One of my favorite touches (working as a research chef) is the flight of beers came in scientific beakers.

OLD GERMAN BEER HALL

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WHY: In the middle of downtown Milwaukee is this little German beer hall. They only serve Haufbrau beer brewed in Germany using recipes from the 1500's. They also serve traditional Bavarian festival food, if you get the chance try the pig wings.

WHAT: BAVARIANFOOD & BEER

WHEN: You're looking for a German beer hall.

PRICE: $ -$$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1009 N Old World 3rd St.

Milwaukee, WI 53203

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Hofbrau Dunkle (a liter) 

  • Pig wings

LEON'S FROZEN CUSTARD

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WHAT: CUSTARD

WHEN: You want classic south side Milwaukee

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

3131 S 27th St.

Milwaukee, WI 53215

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • the Tin Roof

  • A custard cone

WHY: The look and menu say old fashioned, but the crowd says rough and local. One of the best places to get an ice cream sundae in the summer heat.

LE REVE

PIG SCORE: 3.95 / 4.0

WHAT: A FRENCH BISTRO

WHEN: You want a small taste of Paris

PRICE: $$ - $$$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

7610 Harwood Ave.

Wauwatosa, WI 53213

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Croque-Madame

  • Macaroons

WHY: It is a quaint French bistro in downtown Tosa (a burb). They have the best brunch plates in the city and fantastic macaroons. A must for a French dessert.

FRESH FIN POKE

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WHAT: BUILD YOUR OWN POKE 

WHEN: You want sushi and you want a bowl.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1806 E North Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53202

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Spicy Tuna bowl

  • Curry Coconut Shrimp

WHY: It is a casual, bright, and quick place to get very fresh seafood poke style in the city. well worth the trip.

Mc BOB'S

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WHAT: SERIOUS RUEBEN

WHEN: You're jonesing for a serious Rueben

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

4919 W North Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53208

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Rueben

  • A PBR tall boy

WHY: Because it is a no frills hole in the wall that delivers a great sandwich, in fact one of the best. Make sure to grab a tall boy to go with it.

EL SENORIAL

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WHAT: AUTHENTIC MEXICAN

WHEN: You want authentic Mexican at a reasonable price.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1901 S 31st St.

Milwaukee, WI 53215

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Chilaquiles

  • Flautas

  • Mexican grill

WHY: It is a casual cantina that serves up some classic Mexican fare. This is where the local Hispanics go for comfort food.

Pig's pick logo, eat like a local
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
Pig's pick logo, eat like a local