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Apr 20, 2009 12:38 PM

Traveling to Milwaukee, need a good dining option

I'm traveling to Milwaukee Thursday/Friday of this week and need a good dining option that's a hot spot, but not the most trendy. Any good suggestions? This is a working dinner for 2. Thanks in advance!

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  1. What is your pricerange? Any idea what kind of food you are looking for?

    1. What do you mean "a hot spot but not the most trendy"? That sounds like a contradiction.

      Also, where in Milwaukee will you be located? Downtown, or one of the suburbs, etc?

      3 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        We'll be staying at The Iron Horse, but working in the central downtown area at an editing session. I want something that's a hot spot, but maybe hasn't been discovered by the masses, just yet.

        I've eaten at Hotel Metro in the past and really enjoyed it, but I haven't been in MIlwaukee in a few years, so I'm not up on the better, fun places to dine. Thanks much.

        1. re: rocks67

          We like The Hinterland. It has the main dining area and a back lounge area with a smaller plate menu. It is located in the Third Ward.

          Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub
          222 E Erie Street, Suite 100, Milwaukee, WI 53202

          1. re: rocks67

            For a hot spot, try:

            For Pacific Rim and some outrageously tasty and inventive sushi, try Saki-tumi on Milwaukee Street. Expect a young, lively and talkative crowd (early 20s to early 30s), especially on Friday and Saturday nights. If you're into the sushi rolls, make sure to try the Godzilla Maki – famous among young, chick Milwaukeeans. We also love the Tempura green beans, and everything tempura for that matter. Great trendy place within the mid to upper price range bracket. (


            For local, fresh ingredients, try Roots in the growing North End area of Milwaukee. Try their dining room for a more elegant experience, or the “Roots Cellar” for a more casual, but still great dining experience. Again, this spot is trendy but without the young party crowd (still, expect young professionals, especially on a nice night when you can enjoy drinks and food on their wonderful terrace overlooking the Milwaukee skyline). This place is high on the board of those restaurants helping to define contemporary Milwaukee flavor. (


            For chick, French cuisine, try Coquette Cafe in the Third Ward. With head chef Sanford D'Amato at its helm (yes, the head chef at Milwaukee's Sanford, irrefutably one of Milwaukee's finest restaurants), the low-lit restaurant turns out some great cuisine at reasonable prices and attracts a younger crowd, usually couples. Great for a later-night, or even romantic dinner. Never the less, very acceptable for a business meal. (


            For higher-end French cuisine at a Milwaukee foodie destination (yet still bringing in a younger, albeit well-heeled crowd), try Lake Park Bistro on Milwaukee's Northeast Side. This restaurant is one of my favorites – timelessly elegant in setting (the building is an architectural gem with a great view of the lake to boot), and nationally renowned for its food. In 2008, Head Chef Adam Seigel won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Midwest. This is an amazing restaurant, and a must try at some time or another. Higher price range. (


            For a lively, urban and trendy scene, try Elsa's. There, you’ll find Gourmet burgers, inventive, chick salads, modern decor, and a very talkative, young crowd. Young professionals and fashionably dressed city dwellers who like to make a splash in the social scene come for the bar and the food. This place is louder, be warned, but a very trendy Milwaukee spot that would be worth a shot if you've got the energy. Upper-mid price range. (


            For a relatively undiscovered spot (except by locals and Milwaukee foodies) that boasts the best Italian cuisine I’ve had in Milwaukee, try Sala da Pranzo on Milwaukee’s Northeast Side. The gnocchi noodles are made in-house and are exceptional in texture and taste – better than any I’ve had in Boston’s North End – and what’s more, the prices are very reasonable! Candle lit, traditional yet chick, great wines and wonderful foods, (you’ll even love the warm, crusty bread and olive oil with parmesan reggiano that comes before you order) this restaurant provides a wonderfully memorable dining experience. Mid to upper-mid price range depending on the wine, and how many bottles make their way to your table. (