7 Unique Restaurants in Milwaukee

Anyone else an uber foodie like me? I love food. And dining out. Oh, and eating. I love it all, and have eaten my way around Milwaukee. In the process, I have stumbled across some very unique restaurants. Here is my little list:

  1. Elsa’s on the Park: Elsa’s always has an amazingly interesting art installation on one huge wall in their restaurant. Need I say more on the matter of it being unique?
  2. Safehouse: You need a secret password to get into this restaurant. Yup, you read that right. You’ll enter in through their discreet alley side door and upon entering, a couple of their employees will ask for the secret password. If you don’t know it, then it’s some embarrassing act to perform for you!
  3. Kopp’s Frozen Custard: Kopp’s offers jumbo burgers and tasty custard. But that’s not what makes them unique (at least not in Milwaukee). They’ve got a huge waterfall on their patio area at one of their locations, and if that doesn’t do it for ya, there’s a row of life size cows in the parking lot at another location. Moo.
  4. Ian’s Pizza: Not only is Ian’s Pizza extremely tasty, but they also serve gigantic NY style slices with all kinds of toppings offered from macaroni and cheese to cheesy potatoes. Yum!
  5. Odd Duck: Odd Duck is a really cute spot in the Bayview neighborhood serving small plates. This is so you can try a few of their dishes and not just one! What an interesting concept.
  6. Sobelman’s: Bloody Mary’s anyone? Sobelman’s is known not only for their gigantic burgers but also for putting their big burgers, brats, and hell a whole fried chicken in their bloodies. You gotta see it to believe it!
  7. Centraal Grand Cafe & Tappery: How to describe this cafe’s unique ambience? It kinda feels like you stepped into a tropical France, but the decor is oh so subtle. Did I mention they also have a gazillion beers on tap?!

Get out there and be amazed with all this unique awesomeness in Milwaukee!

Where to Go for Breakfast in Milwaukee

Out of the two of us, Nate is more of the breakfast person in our relationship. I like a good plate of eggs, bacon, and crispy hash browns though and can’t deny a good breakfast spot so I’ve put together a list of our favorite breakfast restaurants in Milwaukee.

Blue’s Egg: This is a bit nicer of a place than your average breakfast diner. And the food is kiss-your-lips-with-the-tips-of-your-fingers-worthy.

Ma Fischer’s: This is an awesome spot on the east side of Milwaukee. It may appear a little divey-but doesn’t that make for the best restaurants sometimes?

Mad Rooster: This spot is ALWAYS packed with a long wait time, but you can hop on the Yelp app to put yourself in line so you don’t have to wait at the restaurant necessarily. Oh, and it’s totally worth the wait.

Build-A-Breakfast: They serve lunch here, too, where the name changes to ‘Build-A-Burger’ but I’ve only been here for breakfast and I’m here to confirm it’s delish!

Michael’s Family Restaurant: While this is a small space with not much to look at, their tasty breakfast definitely delivers!

Bruegger’s Bagels: I usually shy away from chains, but this place is just too good. Their bagels are top notch with a lot of awesome choices.

Grebe’s Bakery: They offer all kinds of deli food here, but what you really wanna snag here is their donuts, because they are outta this world!

If you’re in the mood for pizza or dessert, then check out these posts as well!

All the Bars to go to for Your 21st Birthday in Milwaukee

When I turned 21, I did not live in Milwaukee at the time. I wish I would have though, because let me tell ya there are some *perfect* bars to add to your route of your 21st birthday bar crawl here in Miltown. All the bars in Milwaukee are pretty cool, but allow me to lay it out for you which bars are a must for your fun night of legal drinking.

City Lounge Southside: City Lounge is a hidden gem on the south side of Milwaukee. They’ve got a DJ, dance floor, large seating area, and reasonably priced drinks.

Belmont Tavern Downtown: Located near Cathedral Square, this is must to hit up because of alllll the aesthetics. It really is a friggin awesomely decorated bar.

Blackbird Bar Bayview: Another hidden gem. This is on my list because it’s such a cool, quaint bar but with big booths for a small party. And because Bayview.

Trinity Downtown: I’ve had many a fun night at Trinity. They have a DJ and dance floor here with booths off to the side. There’s actually three bars total connected here so it’s a huge space.

Red White & Blue Downtown: This place is huge! It’s got a big bar and an even bigger dance floor. It’s always a fun spot!

McGillycuddy’s Downtown: This is another big bar with lots of seating. It’s on popular Water Street and is always lively.

Who’s on Third Downtown: Located on Old World Third Street amongst a row of bars, Who’s is a great place to grab some delicious bar food and a shot!

Harp Downtown: Harp has all the best vibes especially in the summer. It’s a popular spot right on the Milwaukee River and has a dock for boats, too.

Victor’s Downtown: This is an underhyped bar, as it doesn’t shine along with the other more well-known bars downtown, but it’s a blast!

Flannery’s Downtown: Flannery’s has two different areas, the bar and then the dance floor in the back with another bar. It’s more low key compared to the other bars in the area but a must to add to your list!

I’m sure I left some awesome bars out on this list as there are so many amazing bars in Milwaukee. This should get you started and make for a super fun and memorable (or maybe not) night!

9 of the Best Local Pizza Spots in Milwaukee

What’s your favorite food? Mine is pizza! I could it eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have decided to pair together two of my loves in life: blogging and pizza. Read below for some of the best pizza Milwaukee has to offer!

  1. Pizza Shuttle: Located on the east side of Milwaukee, this is a great spot to stop in after a night of drinking as they’re open uber late. You can order a whole pie to yourself or ask for a slice or two instead.

2. Ian’s Pizza: Another spot open late but only ont he weekends and they also offer pizza by the slice here. They get real creative with their toppings, too. Oh, and their slices are HUGE but thin like NY style!

3. Balistreri’s Pizza: If you love a greasy, garlicy pizza then Balistreri’s is your spot. I, for one am obsessed with garlic so I love the pizza here!

4. Riverfront Pizzeria: The amazing pizza here is matched with an amazing ambience. They’re located right on the Milwaukee River so if you sit outside you’ll get some beautiful views while you dine.

5. Organ Piper Pizza: This is a buffet spot so it’s very family friendly. They’ve got delicious pizza and a fun game room, what more does one need?

6. Glass Nickel Pizza: Glass Nickel is probably the best local pizza restaurant in all of Milwaukee! It’s so delicious, with thick, doughy crust, crispy toppings, and the perfect combo of flavors. Heart eyes for dayssss.

7. Jet’s Pizza: Another awesome spot that presents their pies in squares. Just go with it-you won’t be disappointed!

8. Mamma Mia’s: This is an Italian restaurant offering much more than just pizza but they’re pizza is legit so if you’re not sure what to order here go with the za for sure.

9. NYPD Pizza: Another great spot open late and perfect after hitting up some bars downtown. Their crust is a bit on the thin side but their pies are delicious!

I take my pizza with thick crust and pepperoni-so very classic (and boring) but hey I like what I like. Check out my other post 13 of the Best Casual Restaurants in Milwaukee for more restaurant recommendations in Milwaukee.

15 Date-night Worthy Restaurants in Milwaukee

I’ve been with my fiance for over 4 years now, and we still do date nights! One reason is because he’s amazing, but another reason is because Milwaukee’s food scene is friggin awesome! There are countless incredible restaurants to choose from but if you’re looking for upscale, fancy shmancy spots perfect for date night then take a look at my list below!

Number One Carson’s: Downtown Carson’s originates in Chicago, which is just down the road from Milwaukee but it explains why the steaks here are so insanely delicious! Best steaks you’re gonna find in Milwaukee-hands down- is at Carson’s. This Nate’s favorite spot.

Number Two The Noble: Fifth Ward One of my favorite places in Milwaukee, this is a smaller quaint spot but with a menu that will knock your taste buds outta the park. They change up their menu every week and you can find their updates towards the end of the week on their Facebook page.

Number Three Crazy Water: Fifth Ward A lively spot in the Fifth Ward of Milwaukee, Crazy Water won’t disappoint for your next date night!

Number Four Crawdaddy’s: West Allis We recently visited here not knowing what to expect other than a Cajun-themed menu. We were blown away by the food here! It was an absolutely unforgettable meal.

Number Five Tess: East Side Another smaller place but with an awesome menu and quaint vibes.

Number Six Balistreri’s Bluemound Inn: Wauwatosa This is truly the perfect spot for date night. The menu is great, of course, but the ambience is quiet and dark and very romantic!

Number Seven Maxie’s: Southside Another Cajun-themed spot in Milwaukee serving delicious food.

Number Eight Tenuta’s: Bayview A beautiful Italian restaurant in the heart of Bayview neighborhood. Don’t Italian food and date nights just go hand in hand?

Number Nine Caterina’s: West Allis This is such a great spot! When you walk in, you feel like you just walked into an Italian village. Oh, and the food is delish!

Number Ten Pasta Tree: Eastside Another quaint Italian spot, it has all the romantic feels and vibes.

Number Eleven The Packing House: Cudahy The Packing House is a perfect date night restaurant and even has a slight 1970’s retro feel to it. Seeing as I love that era-this place calls to me!

Number Twelve Elsa’s on the Park: Downtown Omg. Elsa’s is awesome. They serve great food, of course but really gives this place its ‘wow’ factor is their ambience. They change up their large art installation -yep- every couple months or so. Check. It. Out.

Number Thirteen Odd Duck: Bayview They do things a little differently here by serving small plates which is a different concept to most Americans. Small Servings-delicious food.

Number Fourteen Ward’s House of Prime: Downtown Ward’s is best known for their Steaks and Prime Ribs of course so if you’re in the mood for exactly that this is the place to go.

Number Fifteen Open Flame: Greenfield If you wanna avoid downtown this is the spot for you. A lovely ambience with great food without having to find parking.

Ok, now it’s time to get all dolled up and head out for a night on the town! Be sure to check out my more casual list of Milwaukee restaurants, too for a more laid-back night out!

13 of the Best casual restaurants in Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s Food Scene is legit! Sure, this city definitely has its fare share of fine dining spots to scope out, but sometimes you just want something quick, fun, and casual while still satisfying your taste buds. So, here is a list of excellent restaurants to go to when you want to go somewhere casual in Milwaukee, straight from a local!

Number 1: Oscar’s Frozen Custard Super cheap, consistent, and satisfying, Oscar’s never disappoints. AND their portions are the perfect amount of food, so you can definitely save room for custard!

Number 2: Sammy’s Taste of Chicago Chili dogs, anyone? A humble spot known for their hot dogs, Sammy’s is great for quick-fare easy dining.

Number 3: Taqueria Buenavista They have a small dine-in restaurant as well as a food truck parked around town. It’s perfect for some quick and delish Mexican food.

Number 4: Golden Gyros There’s ALWAYS a line out into the street for their drive thru, but with a place constantly this busy-you know their food has got to be amazing. And it is! And so worth the wait!!

Number 5: Jonny Hammers This is a small neighborhood bar, but oh man their grub-primarily their wings- is the best in town, hands down.

Number 6: West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe This is a great spot for breakfast or lunch, with yummy bloodies and mimosas mmmm!

Number 7: Fortune Restaurant I love me some Chinese food and this casual restaurant does not disappoint. They have the best traditional Chinese dishes. It’s my fav spot to order take out from in all of Milwaukee.

Number 8: The Wicked Hop A hip spot located in the Third Ward of Milwaukee serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, and of course cocktails.

Number 9: Paul’s Fish Market Another casual restaurant located downtown serving some amazing seafood! I love fish so it’s right up my alley for a delicious meal.

Number 10: Grebe’s Bakery Ok so, I’m guilty of primarily going here for their perfectly baked donuts, but they also serve deli-style hot foods here, too.

Number 11: Ian’s Pizza With locations all over Milwaukee, they sell whole pizzas or even fresh pizza by the slice here. They also get quite creative with their toppings. It’s one of the best places to grab pizza in the whole city!

Number 12: Milwaukee Ale House They brew their own beer here, so what’s not to love about that?? It’s also a water front restaurant on the Milwaukee River. You can sit on their patio and watch the boats go by while enjoying a tasty beer.

Number 13: Sobelman’s Y’all ever scrolled Pinterest (addict for several years now) and saw those bloody mary cocktails with a whole fired chicken in the glass? Yea, they’ve got those here. Known for their insane bloodies and mouth-watering burgers, this is the perfect location for casual dining!

All of these restaurants offer delicious, budget-friendly menus with a very laid back atmosphere. They’re perfect for when you just want to grab something quick, or dine in but without the pressure of having to apply a full face of makeup before arriving. From one foodie to another-bon Appetit!

All the Amazing Things to Do In and Around Devil’s Lake State Park

Wisconsin is known for some awesome and legit state parks but Devil’s Lake is at the top of most Wisconsinites’ lists. There is so much to do here and in the area for people of all ages. The biggest attraction being in it’s name-the lake. It’s a perfect swimming lake as no motors are allowed on the water. My fiance’s family comes here every summer and has for many years, staying here a few days at a time making a mini vacay out of it. See below for all the adventures you can get into at Devil’s Lake!

  1. Rock Jumping There’s a perfect-for-jumping-off-and-having-a-mini-heart-attack rock located on the West Bluff. You’ll see kids, teenagers, and adults jumping off this thing right into the lake. It’s a little scary but after you jump, your fear grows so much you think you’ll lose your shit, and you hit the refreshing water.
Jesus take the wheel

2. Swimming As mentioned earlier, Devil’s Lake is a great lake to swim in. It’s shallow in a lot of spots so it’s not very cold and the water is also really clear in most areas. You don’t have to worry about any boaters or motor oil as motors are not allowed in this lake. Maybe a fishing lure but no boats…Some people even use the lake for exercise and do laps from the north shore to the south shore.

3. Kayaking/Canoeing The lake is so serene and calm it’s also perfect for taking out a kayak or canoe. The sunsets here are so beautiful, take the ‘yak out and paddle into the middle of the lake to catch the rays.

4. Find Devil’s Doorway Hiking at this park is probably the best year-round activity to do. You’ll really get a workout in no matter what trail you take. There are rock formations in some areas and my favorite is Devil’s Doorway. There is a trail called as such on the map. You will be close to the edge so walk carefully!

Every single one of us, the devil insideeee

5. Find Elephant Rock Another Rock Formation on the East Bluff is called Elephant’s Rock. It looks like a, uh, big rock elephant. Take that creative writing!

6. Find Balanced Rock Balanced Rock (East Bluff, too) is large at the top and thins out more toward the bottom so that it looks like a rock balancing on a base.

7. Climb a Rock Hill You will find these on the West Bluff, but I prefer the ones by the South Beach. It’s basically a wall of light gray rocks ranging from small to gigantic and you can go up real high or stay lower to the ground, whatever your rock-loving heart desires.

Amongst the boulders is where I’m happiest at DLSP

8. Chill at the Beach There are two beaches at DLSP-North Beach and South Beach. South Beach is smaller , whereas the North Beach is much larger, with a concession area, bike rack, canoe launch, doggy beach, etc. It’s a great place to relax, dip into the lake, or play some frisbee.

9. Sauk County Fair This fair usually rolls into town the same time of year we are visiting the park. it’s a fun little fair-not too crowded but with all the activities we all love at the fair!

10. Take a Photo by the Sign Find the Devil’s Lake State Park sign at the entrance of the park for sweet pic!

DLSP ❤

11. Go Fishing Grab your poles and lures and find a spot that calls to you for some peaceful fishing.

If only this were catfish 😦

12. Find the Big Chair Just a little ways outside the park is an over-sized, purple chair perfect for a photo-op.

Oversized chair FTW

13. Find the ‘Pig’ Car Next to the oversized purple chair is a VW Bug dressed up like a pig. I mean it, ears and all.

Oink 1

14. Nature Center Ok, so it may sound lame, but it’s actually a cool little spot. They’ve got stuffed wild animals as well as live ones in terrariums and small cages. They have info on the park, it’s history, and the species that live there-go check it out!

15. Parfrey’s Glen This is the BEST little hidden gem in the Baraboo area. It’s in Merrimac, WI so load up the car and head just down the road. It’s a little oasis of a hiking spot with big mossy trees and rocks with little streams running to and fro. It’s truly awesome, beautful, and perfect for those who have wanderlust seeping from their pores like I do day in and day out.

This photo just doesn’t do this place justice!

16. Rappelling Caution-uber scary! With all the huge rocks everywhere, it’s common to see people rock climbing or rappelling at DLSP. The big difference between the two is with rock climbing you go up, and rappelling you go down. I’d much rather lessen the space between me and the ground rather than increase it, thank you. That first step off the comforting rock is hard, but after that you’re just sliding down the rope and it’s a lot of fun!

The outdoorsy type

I know I threw a lot at you but there’s just so much to explore in this area! It’s a great summer destination with all kinds of stuff to do, you could easily spend a week here and never get bored with all the adventures DLSP has to offer.

7 Places to Grab Custard in Milwaukee

Ah, custard. Don’t call it ice cream-’cause it ain’t! It’s essentially the same thing, the only difference being custard is made with an extra ingredient-eggs. That’s what makes it more creamy and ultimately BETTER than ice cream. And, being in the land of dairy and all, Milwaukee has some pretty sweet spots with some amazing frozen custard. Each spot also serves delicious burgers and fries but that’s another blog post for another day, folks. You can also go to their websites and find out what their ‘Flavor of the Day’ is and they usually give you a month forecast. See below for the 7 spots I go to for some yummy treats!

NUMBER ONE: Oscars Waukesha, West Allis We go to the one in West Allis usually but both serve equally yummy treats. They have handmade waffle cones here, too, and if you catch them at the time of the day they’re making them the whole restaurant is filled with an amazing cookie aroma!

Come to me, Butter Pecan

NUMBER TWO: Kopp’s Glendale, Greenfield, Brookfield You can find a Kopp’s at a few areas in Milwaukee but I highly suggest you hit up either Glendale or Greenfield to snag some custard because of their…unique neat patio areas. That’s vague, so go find out for yourself!

Chasing waterfalls. And custard.

NUMBER THREE: Leon’s Greenfield This place has been around since the ’40s-whoa! Their flavors are uber rich and so damn good.

Triple stacked!

NUMBER FOUR: Culver’s all over the midwest Culver’s started in Baraboo, WI, about 2 hours from Milwaukee, but now you can find one all over the city as well as around the midwest.

Mint + Chocolate = D E V O U R M E N T

NUMBER FIVE: Murf’s Waukesha, Brookfield The custard here is delicious. If it wasn’t it certainly wouldn’t have made my list. But what I really love about this place is that their dining room has that 80s/90s look.

Murf’s in Waukesha

NUMBER SIX: Gille’s Milwaukee Beware-this place offers massive servings of custard. I mean huge. Now that you’ve been warned you must also know that this is the OLDEST custard stand in Milwaukee!

Pronounced ‘Gill-eez’

NUMBER SEVEN: Big Deal Burgers & Custard West Allis Last to make the cut is Big Deal. A newcomer in the Milwaukee area but they do not disappoint!

Yummy custard at Big Deal

There you have the best custard in Milwaukee. Grab the flavor of the day and don’t forget your Lactaid!

What to do in Door County, WI

I have lived in Wisconsin for 6 years now and I finally made a trip to Door County! And it was glorious! Door County is the tip of the peninsula of the state on the upper eastern side. You truly feel like you’re in a different area than the midwest when visiting here. It definitely gives off a Cape Cod/Northern California vibe. There are tons of stuff to see, do, and eat there but here’s what we managed to cram into a weekend getaway.

-Eat Breakfast at Rusty Tractor: Start your day off right with some delicious breakfast!

Peninsula State Park: This is one of a few state parks in the peninsula but I’ve been eyeing it for a while now so we picked this one. It was awesome! It’s filled with miles of bike trails and hiking trails right along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Grandma Tommy’s: There are of course several shops in each little town but we stopped here to snag some cherry salsa (yep!) for a friend and found all sorts of cool homemade stuff here! They’ve got everything from jams & jellies and hot sauces, to patio furniture & other kinds of Door County gifts and trinkets.

-Have Lunch at Wild Tomato: If y’all didn’t already know, pizza is my number one favorite food in this whole world. So, of course I’m going to try the local ‘za in Door County and it was top notch!

Chase the Lighthouses: There’s like a billion lighthouses in Door County! Ok, maybe not quite that many but you could spend the whole day or even weekend chasing them all. There’s one we found in Peninsula State Park called Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and we also found three others in one little spot in Sturgeon Bay. The one pictured below is called Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Lighttower, so just look that one up and it will wake you to the spot! Does visiting lighthouses put your soul at ease like it does mine?

lighthouse vibes

Get Day Tipsy at a Winery (or two): We visited Harbor Ridge Winery as well as Stone’s Throw Winery but there are several others to choose from all offering about the same: tours, tastings, and merchandise. Be sure to grab a bottle of Carmen’s Last Dance at Harbor Ridge, it’s oh-so-tasty!

Wine Country

-Walk along the Pier at Fish Creek: Head out to the harbor of Lake Michigan and walk along side all the fancy schmancy yachts & boats. It’s very picturesque!

ooh, ahh

Find a Mural: We found ours at a place you wouldn’t expect…a gas station in Sturgeon Bay!

Gas station finds

I had such a great time visiting Door County and I can’t wait to go back! There is so much more to do there apart from what I have listed, but this should get you started-have fun!