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Milwaukee- 1st time

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I am going to be in Milwaukee in July for a conference and will be staying near the convention center. Typically, restaurants near convention centers are very "touristy" but I will not have time to start taking taxis to the surrounding areas. Can you give me some great restaurants and brewpubs within walking distance from the convention center area? I can walk up to 30 minutes. I will go to very expensive restaurants or "dives" as long is the food is Chowhound quality.

Thanks.

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  1. Just to clarify your location, when you say "convention center" are you talking about the Frontier Airlines Center downtown? Or are you referring to the Wyndham hotel and convention center near the airport? Don't want to assume....

    1 Reply
    1. re: shaja

      ys, I'm staying at one of the two convention hotels attached to the Frontier Center.

    2. If you're referring to the Frontier Airlines Center, all of downtown Milwaukee is within a 15-minute walk. You'll find plenty of current recommendations of places downtown in these previous topics:

      Milwaukee - www.chow.com/topics/842490
      Milwaukee / Miller Park. Afternoon and overnight... - www.chow.com/topics/817649
      Best Restaurants in Milwaukee - www.chow.com/topics/801843
      What is the Milwaukee Experience? - www.chow.com/topics/789572

      1 Reply
      1. re: nsxtasy

        There's lots of really good stuff within 15 minutes walking distance, including the Historic Third Ward, home of the Milwaukee Public Market for grazing type stuff, and great restaurants like Hinterland, the upscale gastropub. So is all of downtown Milwaukee, with Milwaukee icons like Karl Ratzsch's, the German restaurant that's been there since 1904, about 1/3 mile east of the convention center. A little further (1.2 miles northeast of the convention center) is Sanford, one of the best restaurants in the Midwest. Again, check out those previous topics for lots of detailed recommendations. (Don't waste your time at national chains like Capital Grille unless you are only looking for a good steak!)

      2. as a couple of posts have said. Milwaukee is a wonderful place - and from the Frontier convention center there are many (SAFE!) places within walking distance. Be more specific and we can help.

        To be honest, Milwaukee is the greatest city I have ever lived in for ease of getting around
        (for the locals - despite Norquist). :)

        1. You won't have any problem. These are some spots within 15 minutes walking. Across the street is the Capital Grille, which gets good reviews. In one of the hotels attached to the center is the Milwaukee Chophouse, which is a small chain but also is delicious (but pricey). They do a take on escargot with steak instead of snails that is outstanding. Walk east along Wisconsin to the river, and there is the Rock Bottom Brewery (another chain but good) and Mo's Irish Pub. Cross the river and walk down to Milwaukee St., and you'll find plenty of choices (although not much is open on Sunday nights). We like Zarletti's - they don't do the usual pasta Italian. From Wisconsin, if you walk north along Water Street, you'll find some more spots north of State, including the Water Street Brewery (also very good).

          1. You didn't specifically ask for bar recommendations, but I just wanted to add that Blu, the cocktail lounge on the top floor of the historic Pfister Hotel, is pretty wonderful - especially at or immediately after sunset.

            1. My husband and I were just in Milwaukee. I grew up in the area so enjoy showing him the great old standards like Karl Ratsch's, exploring the new spots.

              Sanford had been on my list for years and we had a wonderful dinner there - fresh, inventive, delicious yet unpretentious, seasonal with local roots. Just as one might hope for a restaurant based in what was once Sandy D'Amato's grandparents' grocery store. Interesting wine list and the sommelier suggested some great pairings.
              sanfordrestaurant.com
              1547 North Jackson Street Milwaukee 53202 (414) 276-9608

              Can't get more typical Milwaukee than a Friday fish fry. We had a good time at the Lakefront Brewery's fish fry (with polka band and dance floor) after a brewery tour. Fish dinners and beer are both excellent. Get the potato pancakes - an original standard. It's actually on the river.
              http://www.lakefrontbrewery.com
              1872 N. Commerce Street, Milwaukee, 53212 414-372-8800

              I'll second the Milwaukee Public Market as a good browsing/grazing spot. I'm a big fan of Kehr's Kandy Kitchen which has had a stand there for several years, expanded from the original place on West Lisbon. Fairy food, turtles...