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Aug 16, 2010 10:44 AM

October Weekend in Milwaukee

Coming for Farm Aid in October, been to Milwaukee once but mostly drank and didn't really get out much too eat. Coming in on FRiday morning and leaving at noon on Sunday so not much time to get out. I want to try a fish fry on Friday since I hear thats the rage there. We are staying by the airport and will be taking cabs so nothing too far away. Also looking for kitschy places kind of a Diners Drive Ins and Dives kind of guy.

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  1. really nobody has anything to offer??

    5 Replies
    1. re: countgrog

      Your request for places near the airport is a major constraint. Milwaukee has lots of excellent restaurants of all types, but many of them are downtown or in nearby neighborhoods, and few are near the airport. Couple that with a desire for very specific types of restaurants, and the lack of response is no surprise. (For example, both places mentioned in the other post are the other side of downtown Milwaukee from the airport.)

      I was visiting Milwaukee this past week without a car. I took public transportation everywhere (see ) and had great food, including dinners at Hinterland and Crazy Water in the Third Ward just south of downtown. Both were excellent but neither is the kind of place you're asking about nor particularly close to the airport. If you're not comfortable with public transportation, you may be better off renting a car if you don't want to limit yourself to places near the airport.

      1. re: countgrog

        I heartly second nsxtasy's very good advice. You're coming all the way to Milwaukee,- why hole yourself up at the airport when it's so easy to get around this area? (You're coming in to Mitchell, right?) Outside of the Final Approach (can't miss it - there's a plane on the roof), I can't really think of anything there. If you're not comfortable using the bus, do rent a car . Invest the time in a little drive down to Frank's Diner in Kenosha or the Brat Stop in Pleasant Prairie - they're exactly what you're looking for. (By the way, Mitchell to Miller Park non-rush hour is a good half hour, about the same amount of time it would take to go south to either place.


        Frank's Diner
        508 58th St, Kenosha, WI 53140

        Final Approach
        4959 S Howell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

        1. re: shaja

          Not sure which way you drive, shaja, but I've never had it take me 1/2 hour to get to Miller Park from near the airport during non-rush hour :) 15 minutes, tops.

          Nite Owl on Layton is walkable from any of the airport hotels. Cash only. Pretty tasty burgers and malts and diner-type food. Fun retro building.

          The Bay View neighborhood is a short bus/cab ride from the airport area. Tons of fun and unique Milwaukee restaurants along Kinnickinnic Avenue (aka. KK Avenue). Honeypie Cafe runs in the same vein as Comet Cafe, but is a little bit less out of the way from where you'll be and just as fun and quirky. Delicious homemade bakery items and massive portions. They do a Saturday morning brunch that's pretty darn good too.

          If you can make it to downtown, I'll put in another vote for using public transportation. The #90 route only runs during the baseball season, but the regular #10 bus runs from downtown and drops you off right on the edges of the north stadium parking lots.

          Honeypie Cafe
          2643 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

          1. re: mse924

            I am all for a bus over a cab ride especially after the concert when cabs will be few and far between. Anything open late night on Sat near the stadium, a bar that is a fun place to go? We're mid 40's but don't want a fern bar, but not the college dance club either.

            1. re: countgrog

              At the risk of getting censored for non-Chow content, let me suggest you check out nearby Kochanski's Concertina Bar if you're into dives and immersing yourself into the essence of Milwaukee. No food there that I'm aware of, other than maybe pickled eggs and candy bars, but the El Rey Grocery Store and its snack bar are 2 blocks away and may still be open post-concert.

      2. The Comet Cafe and Cempazuchi were both on diners drives ins and dives, if that helps.

        Not sure about fish fry in milwaukee, but there are several German restaurants that are... interesting.

        1205 E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

        8 Replies
        1. re: TAsunder

          thanks we figured we can cab it all over town we are linted in time because on the Saturday we are going to farm aid at Miller park and will be there noon till probably midnight that leaves only a breakfast on Sat and dinner on Friday night. I read stuff on line about the Comet Cafe looks to be about 7 miles from our hotel is it easy to get in on a Friday night? Is there a good breakfast place close to Miller Park for Saturday or should we go downtown to eat and take public transportation to the stadium?

          1. re: countgrog

            The Comet may be busy on Friday, but not horrible. Avoid the fish fry. Most everything else on the menu is quite good, but avoid the fish fry (no one I know has ever thought it good). If you're going to be on the east side then, Hooligan's on Farwell and North Ave. can provide you will very good bar food and a big beer selection. If you want off-beat, Hotch-A-Do on North ave has a non-traditional fish fry that's very good, and their cheesy potato pancakes are heart-stoppingly good.

            Try searching the board for Brady St. and North ave, the Comet is between the two east-west main drags on the east side.
            There are a number of bars and restaurants on Bluemound Rd near Miller. Also, there's the 4th Base on National south of Miller park. The food is great if expensive. They don't have a menu so when they say we'll make whatever you want, ask about price. That said, I've never spent a better 65 bucks than on a bone-in ribeye with blue cheese skillet cooked, 6 jumbo shrimp in garlic butter, asparagus, mushrooms and drinks for two. Maybe the best steak I've ever eaten.

            1. re: mike_d

              Beware, it will take a good 15+ minutes to walk from Bluemound south to the stadium, or National north to the stadium, and the places to eat are a bit further than that. So while those places are "near the stadium" in the sense that they are convenient when you have a car, they will be a VERY long walk to the stadium if that's what you're planning to do.

              I was in Milwaukee last week specifically to go to several ballgames at Miller Park. I found it much, much easier to eat downtown and take the #90 bus directly to Miller Park, which eliminated the long walk to the stadium from those streets. (You can also get a free transfer if you need to take more than one bus.) The #90 bus only runs before and after ballgames, but maybe they will run it (or some alternate transportation to downtown) for your event; check your event's website for more information.

            2. re: countgrog

              If you happen to find something that you like on Bluemound or in the area of Miller Park, you can always check with them about shuttles. They are commonplace for Brewer games, and I wouldn't be surprised if a subset of the places have them for FarmAid.

              1. re: mike_d

                thats about 12 years ago I went to summerfest in Milwaukee and the hotel told us there was a shuttle 2 blocks from the hotel that saved us driving and parking nightmares so was hoping w might be lucky with this event. A co worker recommended the Public Market as a place to eat??

                1. re: countgrog

                  The public market is a great place to visit. It's more suited to grab-and-go than sit-down meals. It's sort of a combination of small deli counters and grocery stalls with a sort of food court area for sitting. We always get some tamales from El Rey when we go there.

                  El Rey Restaurant
                  616 W Van Buren St, Clinton, IL 61727

                  1. re: TAsunder

                    Yes, that's a good description. There are a couple of bakeries, one place selling fresh meat, another with fresh meat, a stall for the Spice House, etc. Several places sell sandwiches. The seating TAsunder mentions is upstairs at the west end of the market. It's interesting, but not huge, and I would not plan on having an entire meal there. It's just south of downtown Milwaukee, just east of the river, at the north end of the Third Ward, which is a renovated district that has numerous restaurants. You can find more info on their website at

                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      two things to note on the website - the hours, they close up at 6 or 7 pm. Despite the name, Margarita Paradise, that vendor serves up some very good Mexican food, and has counter seating.

                      Margarita Paradise
                      11112 W National Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53227

          2. The Lakefront Brewery Tour/Fish Fry is probably your best hardcore Milwaukee experience to do Friday afternoon/night.

            Do the tour first:

            Then the fish fry:
            (the fish fry is in the same place but run by an outside caterer, hence the different link)

            1. Right across from the airport, on Howell, is Jalapeno Loco. Good Mexican food. Atmosphere is not great but the food is good. The Shrimp soup is wonderful. And, the enchiladas are terrific as well.

              3 Replies
              1. re: rjlebed

                Good catch, as we all forgot to mention this place. The moles are exceptional.

                1. re: mike_d

                  here's my recommendation--don't stay by the airport. down there you get all the atmosphere of newark, oklahoma city, bakersfield, des moines. it costs more downtown, but you'll be happier. try the comfort inn on state st. they usually have the cheapest, decent rooms, and it's a great location.

                  then you can walk through neighborhoods to downtown and brady street and lakefront brewery, rather than staggering through some culvert like a migrant worker along a four-lane road near the airport trying to find soemthing to eat. (actually, sounds apropos for farm fest--kind of grapes of wrath.)

                  if you do stay at the airport, i second jalapeno loco. also, the nite owl has a great burger (when they're open). otherwise, not much there. there's an alterra in the main terminal at the airport--walk over there in the morning for coffee and a breakfast burrito. that way you can watch the planes take off rather than just listen to them.

                  1. re: Milwhawkeye

                    During my recent trip, I stayed in a hotel near the zoo (near the intersection of I-894, I-94, and US-45) because I got a great deal on a room, much cheaper than anything I could find downtown. It was walking distance from the #10 bus route which you can take to the outskirts of Miller Park. There were a few restaurants within walking distance, including fast food places, Starbuck's, Edwardo's for stuffed pizza, etc, but I went everywhere by bus and had dinners in the third ward just south of downtown.

              2. We had limited time there so Friday night we ate at the Fish Fry at the Lakefront Brewery, it was good but not memoarable. Polka band was Ok. Went to the Safe House afterward and that was a lot of fun (didn't eat there)
                Saturdayit was breakfast at the hotel and ate lunch and dinner at Miller park, but since teh farmers had booths there the food was above your average ballpark fare. Sunday breakfats at the hotel.

                The Safe House
                779 N Front St, Milwaukee, WI 53202