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Weekend Getaways: Milwaukee for Foodies

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Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: Matt Haas

Expedia and VISIT Milwaukee created a list for food lovers as the final piece in our three-part series.

At, we partnered with VISIT Milwaukee to showcase some of the best places in town for beer lovers and those traveling with families, but what about visitors on a mission to treat their taste buds? Some of the best Milwaukee attractions are those that will have you asking for a second helping, so we rounded up several of our favorite eateries for you to chew on. From avant-garde recipes to seven-course delicacies, we’ve planned out all your meals for your weekend getaway in MKE. When you’re traveling to a place like Milwaukee, where the state’s nickname mentions cheese, you’d better arrive with an appetite.

Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: Matt Haas

Sit-down Spots

At Wolf Peach, it’s not considered rude to start nibbling on your dish before everyone’s meals are served. This alternative restaurant is committed to a “como viene” or “as it comes” approach, which means the wait staff brings out each dish as soon as it’s cooked to ensure the ultimate freshness. The menu includes a variety of innovative items, many of which are picked straight from its urban garden. Try the slow-poached egg wood-fired pizza, or sample the Buddha baby mustard mix.

While you’re in town, get a taste of what Sanford Restaurant calls “modern ethnic” cuisine, a contemporary twist on traditional dishes. Every Monday through Friday, the sous chef conceptualizes the Four-Course Exploration Menu, and the chef whips up the Seven-Course Surprise Tasting Menu. Prefer to play outside the boundaries? Pick your own dishes off the daily menu—with fennel-dusted beef tenderloin and lamb consommé with shrimp flan, any choice is a good one.

Milwaukee for Beer Lovers

Meals and Wheels

The struggle of deciding between sushi and burritos is over thanks to the Sushi Go food truck. Enter this truck’s specialty: a massive sushi roll, wrapped in a nori, like a traditional burrito. The TunaGeddon is packed with raw escolar and yellowtail tuna, while The Instigator, loaded with marinated flank, is perfect for those who prefer turf over surf. Swing by Schlitz Park on Tuesdays or Central Standard Craft Distillery on Fridays for a Mexican twist on your Japanese favorites.

Also, chase down Yellowbellies when it rolls through town. Famous for its rotisserie chicken sandwiches, this food truck knows just what you’re craving. From the Mother Clucker, served with a blue cheese spread and bacon, to the Hail Hail with Caesar dressing and crumbled croutons, these flatbread sandwiches take lunch to a whole new level.

Some food trucks operate on a seasonal schedule, so check with the individual food truck’s event calendar to ensure they’re serving during your visit.

Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

Lodging Fare

When it comes to deciding where to stay, a comfortable bed shouldn’t be your only criteria. Choose a place like the Iron Horse Hotel, where you’ll be well rested and well fed. The hotel’s on-site restaurant, Smyth, serves exquisite and sophisticated dishes, including duck pate, charcuterie boards and rabbit meatballs.

For those who prefer some variety, consider making reservations at The Pfister Hotel, which boasts a number of dining options. However, you don’t have to stay at the hotel to enjoy the restaurants, such as Mason Street Grill, which uses a wood-burning oven and grill to create its flavorful signature dishes. Dive into the shishito flatbread or savor the bone-in filet mignon. Craving something lighter? Stop in the Café at the Pfister for Wisconsin ham and cheese or a grilled salmon salad.   

Whether you’re a grazer or a devourer, Milwaukee has an eatery for you. Satisfy your appetite by noshing and nibbling your way through the city’s foodie scene on your next trip to the Cheese State.

Written by Chloe Mulliner

Weekend Getaways: Milwaukee for Families

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Expedia teamed up with VISIT Milwaukee for its second post in a three-part series focused on weekend trips to Miltown.

Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

We recently joined forces with VISIT Milwaukee to highlight some of the beer spots in town, but we didn’t want to leave your little ones out of the Cheese State fun. Because there are so many attractions in town that are suitable for your under-21 crew, has created an itinerary filled with family-friendly hangouts, eateries and hotels. For your next weekend getaway in Milwaukee, round up your gang and add these attractions to your schedule:

Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: Expedia

Activity Time

Discovery World isn’t just for kiddos. The science and technology exhibits at this museum will fascinate both you and your youngsters. A place where you can expand your knowledge and imagination, Discovery World invites you to learn about everything from energy to sound. Explore Rockwell Automation’s Music Factory, and get your hands on the “Wind Leaves,” an outdoor musical structure of rotating aluminum columns and giant xylophone benches.  

Next, burn off some of that built-up vacation energy at the ice rink. Pettit National Ice Center, which is an Olympic training facility, offers public skate sessions, where the whole family can put on mittens and carve up the ice. Show off your figure 8’s or let your kids school you in a speed race. Rain or shine, pencil this indoor activity into your travel itinerary.

Milwaukee for Beer Lovers

Grub Time

If you’re dealing with some picky palates, you can’t go wrong with pizza. Head to Palermo’s Pizzeria 3301, where the simple pepperoni and four cheese pies will have your munchkins asking for seconds. Looking for a little more grown-up oomph for the adults? Order the prosciutto and arugula or go with the Calabrese, which includes Calabrian chili paste, hot soppressata salami and green olives. What’s more, Palermo’s hosts factory tours, giving families a sneak peek into the wonderful world of frozen pizza manufacturing.

For some much-deserved vacation sweetness, treat the fam at Leon’s Frozen Custard. This family-owned business has been serving up the cold stuff since 1942. Go the traditional route with some chocolate and vanilla frozen custard, or kick it up a notch with a butterscotch malt or root beer shake.

Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: Visit Milwaukee

Sleepy Time

There are a number of family-friendly Milwaukee hotels in town, but if your kids are notorious for bouncing off the walls, consider staying at the Milwaukee Marriott Downtown. This accommodation features an indoor pool, where you kids can make a splash while you put your feet up and lounge. There’s also an on-site restaurant, Millioke - Meat. Cheese. Beer., which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, so your clan won’t go hungry. To top it all off, the hotel is within walking distance of the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Lake Michigan, and the Milwaukee Riverwalk.

Another family favorite is the Hilton Garden Inn. While the spacious hotel is located in the heart of all the action, it also offers a complimentary shuttle, which provides hassle-free transportation to the local attractions. What’s more, The Garden Grille & Bar features a menu that serves up kid-approved meals. With chicken tenders and peanut butter and jelly for the rugrats and grilled steak forestiere flatbread for the grown-ups, this hotel restaurant is a win-win.  

While traveling with children may slightly alter your adult vacation plans, thanks to Milwaukee’s countless attractions, you’ll hardly even notice. Venture to Milwaukee with your pack, and you just might end up feeling like a kid again.

Written by Chloe Mulliner

Looking for even more? VISIT Milwaukee has itineraries made for families of all ages.

Weekend Getaways: Milwaukee for Beer Lovers

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Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

Expedia partnered up with VISIT Milwaukee to showcase the best beer-inspired spots in MKE as part of our three-part series.

Home to some of the original big dogs—Pabst, Blatz, Schlitz and Miller—Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is said to be the city that built beer. It’s a town that revolves around what’s on tap, and a place where brew selections change with the seasons.

Here at, we wanted to know the best ways to get a taste of the beer scene, so we teamed up with VISIT Milwaukee. We gathered some of the top places to go in town to sip and learn about the city’s brewing history, so if your ears perk up at the mere sound of a beer cracking open, this list was made with you in mind:


Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

Quench Your Thirst

Let’s face it, the options are practically endless when it comes to the best places to knock back a few. There are plenty of watering holes around town, but if you want something authentic, head to Milwaukee Brewing Co. Kick back at the Open House with a round of Little Bittas or Polish Moons, or take the “Beer in Hand” tour where you have the opportunity to try different brews, sample the ingredients and learn about the brewing process.

Still feeling thirsty? Swing by Lakefront Brewery for a tour and a flight. Featuring both the nation’s first organic beer and gluten-free beer, this innovative craft beer maker is well worth the stop. Choose from the year-round lagers and ales, switch it up with the seasonals or go all out and sample them all.


Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

Chow Down

Some like to say there’s a sandwich at the bottom of every beer, but we don’t suggest relying on that theory. Instead, pair your brews with some solid grub at the Uber Tap Room and Cheese Bar, which is committed to upholding the state’s love of cheese and the city’s brew history. Cheese platters, mac ’n’ cheese and grilled cheese selections dominate the menu, but you can also order bratwurst, hot dogs and pretzels. Wash it all down with a local Lakefront IPA or the Oakey Dokey pale ale from Sheboygan.

As long as you’re sipping some brewskis, why not nosh on some beer-infused fare? Inspired by the practice in Belgium and Northern France, Milwaukee Beer Bistro cooks all of its cuisine with barley pop. If beer-brined chicken wings and sandwiches served on beer rolls are making you thirsty—don’t worry—they serve more than 55 bottles and cans and 13 selections on tap.


Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

Step into the Past

There are various brew-based attractions in town for when you’re not in the mood for a mug. Explore the city’s beer heritage around the Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery. The Pabst brewery opened in 1844, and it became the largest brewer in America between the late 19th and mid-20th century. Take the “Beer History Tour,” and mosey through the Blue Ribbon Hall and The Great Hall, while uncovering PBR’s past.

For another taste of the city’s history, visit MillerCoors Milwaukee Brewery. Here you can embark on a tour of Miller Valley and discover 155 years of brewing history. Learn about Frederick Miller—the man behind the beer can—and check out the distribution warehouse. At the end of the tour, swing by Miller Inn for some samples of a fresh batch.


Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

Put Your Feet up

Can’t bear to part with the beer scene when it’s time to rest up? Thanks to The Brewhouse Inn & Suites, you don’t have to. At this hotel, you can sleep soundly on the grounds of the original Pabst Brewing Company, which closed in 1996. Reserve a room and admire the two-story, stained glass window of King Gambrinus enjoying a beer, which was commissioned by Frederick Pabst, the brewer himself.

In order to enjoy a brew-inspired vacation in Milwaukee, you don’t have to be a beer connoisseur. Simply arrive in the city with an open mind and willing taste buds.

Written by Chloe Mulliner

Milwaukee’s Old-School Bar Scene

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Old-School Bar Scene

The readers of SAVEUR, in our humble opinion, have pretty good taste. So we’re thrilled that they chose Milwaukee as a runner-up for “Destination-Worthy Old-School Bar Scene” in the magazine’s inaugural Good Taste Awards. And sharing a category with Dublin, Ireland and Budapest, Hungary means we’re in great company. Obviously these readers know all about Milwaukee’s great bar history, but do you?
Milwaukee’s bar scene is built on a history of tied houses. In the late 19th century, breweries would form exclusive contracts with bar owners, helping them open their business for the right to be the only brew flowing from their taps. Thanks to Milwaukee’s local breweries, tied houses flourished across the city; their connection to the breweries changed after Prohibition, but some of these original corner taverns are still thriving today, many still bearing some mark of the brewery they were once “tied” to.
Raise a glass to the past in one (or more) of Milwaukee’s great historic bars. Here are just a few of the old-school bars that should be on your list:
  • Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge: First opened as a Miller Brewing tied house in 1936, in 1938 owner Bryant Sharp gave up beer in favor of cocktails, making Bryant’s Milwaukee’s first cocktail lounge. Sharp is also credited with the invention of the Pink Squirrel and the Banshee.
  • Wolski’s: Opened in 1908, Wolski’s still maintains much of the tavern’s original interior, including the back bar, but it’s best known for the infamous “I Closed Wolski’s” bumper stickers that have been spotted all around the world, from Paris to Japan.
  • Holler House: Home to the oldest certified bowling alleys in the country, this bar opened in 1908 and is still run by the original owner’s daughter-in-law. Call ahead if you want to bowl so some neighborhood kids can come be pinsetters.
  • Uptowner: Originally a Schlitz tied house, the Uptowner has been continuously operating since 1884, the longest of any bar in the city (they made it through Prohibition by serving “medicinal alcohol”).
  • Landmark 1850 Inn: Built as a stage coach stop between Milwaukee and Racine in 1850, Landmark 1850 is the oldest tavern in the city. Today it’s fully renovated, but still maintains its historic charm.
  • Historic White House Tavern: Another Schlitz tied house, this bar was founded in 1891. Today, the original wood floor, main bar and some original 1890’s décor remains in use.
Looking for more history (and drinking)? Click here for more places to experience beer history in Milwaukee. If it’s just the drinking you’re after, you can find unique bars old and new here. Cheers!


Milwaukee Comfort Food for Fall

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Monday, August 31, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Mac n cheese and ribs at Maxie's Southern Comfort

Though fall doesn’t officially start until September 23 this year, you’ll start to feel the crispness of autumn in the air much sooner. Nothing warms you up on a cool day like some good ol’ fashioned comfort food, and luckily, we’ve got you covered. Check out these local spots for some of the cheesiest, gooiest, stick-to-your-ribs-iest comfort food around.

Grilled Cheese: Find the grilled cheese of your dreams at Uber Tap Room, where they serve up everything from the classic piece of American slapped between two pieces of white bread to a Limburger sandwich (a classic of a different kind).

Soup: Stop by the Milwaukee Public Market for a bowl of soup from the Soup Market. You’ll find chicken noodle, chicken dumpling and a featured chili every day, plus three to six featured soups.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese: Comfort food doesn’t have to be low-key. Treat yourself to Balzac Wine Bar’s signature “Sac Mac,” made with five cheeses and topped with bleu cheese and toasted panko bread crumbs. Or get a side of mac at Maxie’s (pictured above), where Southern comfort is the name of the game.

Pasta: The best comfort food is always made with love, and you’ll be able to taste that in the pasta made from scratch daily at Onesto. If you head a little further west to Wauwatosa, you’ll enjoy a traditional Northern Italian feast at Ristorante Bartolotta.

Pizza: Have you ever had pizza with cream cheese? Don’t ask questions: just go and order some at Pizza Man. Even if you don’t get some cream cheese on your pie (trust us, just do it), the classic thin-crust ‘za here is good for what ails ya.

Coffee: So it’s not technically food. A nice cup of coffee is still one of the best ways to warm yourself up on a chilly morning (or afternoon). Colectivo Coffee is roasted by hand right here in Milwaukee, and you can get a cup of this local Joe at one of their twelve Milwaukee cafes.


11 Things You Must Do at the Wisconsin State Fair

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

11 Things You Must Do at the Wisconsin State Fair

Known by some as the “best 11 days of summer,” the Wisconsin State Fair (running 8/6-16) is jam-packed with rural-meets-urban fun. There’s so much going on that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options, but don’t worry: in honor of the 11 days of the Fair, here are 11 things you must do to have the ultimate State Fair experience!

  1. Eat a cream puff. Last year, fair visitors consumed a record-breaking 400,678 of these famous puffs. You’ll have to line up to get one of these iconic treats, but trust me – they’re worth it!
  2. Watch the racing pigs. Far from the big, lazy pigs you’ll see napping in the livestock barns, these little guys are fast and furious, racing for their favorite prize: an oreo.
  3. Check out an agriculture judging. Of course, one of the premiere forms of entertainment at the fair is seeing all the livestock. Make sure to stop by the Case IH Coliseum at least once during your visit to find out who’s taking home the prize!
  4. Eat something on a stick. The only thing more classically State Fair than cream puffs is food on a stick! Get hungry by browsing all of the “fair fare” on their website, including a list of the new treats in store this year.
  5. Go down the Giant Slide. A green and yellow mountain rising up from the fairgrounds, taking a trip down the slide atop your burlap sack is a fun (and fast!) tradition.
  6. Listen to music. With major headliners taking the Main Stage at the Milwaukee Mile each night and great live music on the grounds throughout the day, the fair is a great place to hang out and jam.
  7. Sip flavored milk for 25 cents. Whether you’re thirsty for chocolate, strawberry, root beer, fruit hoops or birthday cake flavored milk, you can get a cup for just a quarter at the Milwaukee Bucks Milkhouse.
  8. Relax at the DNR Park. This wooded oasis is the perfect place to take a break from the bustle and find out more about the natural world of Wisconsin.
  9. Browse the Wisconsin Products Pavilion. An informative and often delicious stop, this is where you’ll learn all about what we produce right here in Wisconsin, from cheese to cranberries.
  10. Find out who won a blue ribbon. Award-winning art, pies, pickles, vegetables, home brews and more will all be on display, so take a stroll to appreciate the handiwork of talented Wisconsin residents.
  11. See baby animals at the Badgerland Financial Discovery Barn. Everyone loves a baby animal! In addition to those cuties, this barn also offers demonstrations and fun activities to help you learn about Wisconsin’s agriculture industry.


Favorite Milwaukee Festivals: Staff Picks!

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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Festival goers in Milwaukee

Summer is in full swing in Milwaukee, and locals know what that means: festivals! Known as the “City of Festivals,” Milwaukee is host to a wide variety of celebrations throughout the summer. Looking for the world’s largest music festival? Got it. Awesome neighborhood street fairs? Sure thing. Cultural celebrations complete with food, music and dancing? Yup. Bike races? Free festivals? Two fests just for beer? Yes, yes and definitely yes! So many great festivals have already happened, but there are still so many more to come! If you’re looking for the inside scoop, who better to ask than the VISIT Milwaukee team? I asked a few of my coworkers to tell me about their favorite upcoming Milwaukee summer festival, and here’s what they said:

I like Bastille Days, since it’s different from the other ethnic festivals. You don’t feel boxed in, and it’s free!

Brady Street Festival is another one I like a lot. It’s good for people watching and getting that random/quirky Brady Street vibe. I always run into unexpected people I know too, which is fun (mostly).

Last one is State Fair. Can’t beat the crazy foods on a stick!

It’s tough to pick a favorite festival, since they all are so unique and fun. Last year I really enjoyed going to Milwaukee Brewfest. It was fun hanging out in the afternoon in the sunshine on the lakefront with a crowd of people that love beer. There were so many unique craft beers to sample, and afterwards it was an easy walk up the street to Brady Street Festival. We walked up and down the street sightseeing at all the vendor booths and listened to the bands playing in the evening on the stages.

Actually, that’s just an awesome day in the city whether you live in town or are visiting, because the Riverwest 24 is taking place that weekend too. So Saturday morning before hitting up Brewfest and Brady Street, you can check out all the bikers that have been biking all through the night in the Riverwest 24 race. There is a Colectivo Coffee on the bike route, and it’s a nice start to the morning grabbing a cup of coffee on their patio and watching the bikers race by and just thinking how crazy it is that they’ve been riding nonstop for all those hours.

Bastille Days!

Bastille Days is my favorite for many reasons, but I think the reason I love it more than the rest is because of the people there. It is by far the most diverse festival I can think in terms of attendees – old/young, families/couples, college kids/professionals, you name it they’re all there. Everyone seems to be so happy as well, everyone is there to enjoy the same things. Good music, good food, good drinks and great vendors.

Oh and the beignets!

Irish Fest speaks to my Irish soul! I’ve been involved in the theater tent at the festival for years, both acting in shows and organizing. I love the way Irish Fest with its numerous offerings, from music to culture to sports, retail and more, appeals to all ages and sends spirits soaring! Thousands of people singing “Wild Mountain Thyme” together on the last night? Thousands more dancing to Gaelic Storm? Hundreds of colorful Irish dancers? Who doesn’t love that?

Irish Fest is one of my favorite festivals, but I also love Bastille Days. As a local, I don’t think there’s anything more fun than a night run through the city with hundreds of your closest neighbors. To help bridge the gap after Summerfest, Bastille Days sets up shop near Cathedral Square for a weekend filled with amazing food and the city’s best 5K.

And as for myself? German Fest all the way! I love to get myself a big plate of Spanferkel, join in a rousing rendition of “Ein Prosit” and polka the night away. Plus the people-watching can't be beat (hooray for lederhosen!).

Which summer festivals are still on your list? Get the scoop on what's still to come with our festival itinerary.


Celebrate the Fourth of July in Milwaukee

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Friday, June 12, 2015

By Lauren Morton
Communications Intern
VISIT Milwaukee

In search of exciting plans for the Fourth of July weekend? Look no more! From brilliant, crackling fireworks displays to family-friendly activities in the city and everything in between, Milwaukee provides countless opportunities to celebrate Independence Day.

Downtown fireworks at Milwaukee's lakefront.

The Fourth of July falls on a weekend this year, giving you ample time to celebrate in the Greater Milwaukee area! Start your red, white and blue weekend at the Fireworks Kite Festival on Friday, July 3. Held in Veterans Park, this lively festival invites kite fliers of all ages to come fly beautiful kites and enjoy performances by the Giant Kites of Yves LaForest from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., then again at 7:30 p.m., until the downtown fireworks begin.

The traditional Downtown Milwaukee Fireworks at the lakefront are a special treat for Milwaukeeans! Don’t miss out on theincredible and vibrant hour-long fireworks display in Veterans Park, starting around 9:25 p.m. 

For those interested in sailing and a spectacular view of Milwaukee’s lakefront, check out the US Bank Lakefront Fireworks Sail on July 3. Presented by Discovery World, guests enjoy a leisurely sail on the S/V Denis Sullivan from 7:00-9:00 p.m. All boats return to the dock in time to watch the downtown fireworks from aboard the ship—ice cream included!

Looking for family-friendly events for the day of the Fourth? The City of Wauwatosa truly knows how to celebrate Independence Day. Wauwatosa’s Fourth of July Celebrations include an entertaining parade, family activities, a concert in Hart Park and fireworks.

Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, is a great go-to for those looking to cut loose during the Fourth of July weekend. Enjoy live bands, local delicacies and shopping at the Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront (plus a great view of the fireworks on the third!).

For a unique and educational experience, celebrate Independence Day weekend with your family at Old World Wisconsin. This weekend of historic fun will include making ice cream, pie-eating contests, tug-of-war and a lively parade through the crossroads village.

Wrap up your patriotic weekend with Brunch in the Beer Hall on Sunday at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. Lakefront lox and other local dishes are served, and the Beer Hall offers excellent Bloody Marys with beer chasers. After your brunch, make sure to take one of Lakefront's famously hilarious brewery tours.

Looking for more to do in town? In addition to local parades and festivals, many area attractions are open on July 4, including the Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee Art Museum, Summerfest, Old World Wisconsin, the Mitchell Park Domes, the Harley-Davidson Museum and Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums. Or, take tour with Milwaukee Food & City Tours, get out on the river with a kayak rental from Milwaukee Kayak Company or rent a Segway, surrey bike or tandem bike to explore along Milwaukee’s lakefront.


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