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Jul 1, 2014 02:48 PM

Sunday brunch in Milwaukee - Envoy or Harbor House or...?

Next month I'll be visiting MKE again. I've got most of my meals decided, but I'm agonizing over where to go for Sunday brunch.

One possibility is Envoy, in the Ambassador Hotel just west of downtown Milwaukee. I've been there for Sunday brunch before, and absolutely LOVED it. (I have yet to hear a report about it from anyone else, so I consider it my own personal "hidden gem"!) All the dishes are prepared to order and they'll bring you additional dishes, so it's essentially all-you-can-eat, although they don't use that label. The food is terrific. It's also a great value at $18. The menu is at The only reason I might not go back is just for the sake of trying someplace different, but I could go back there and be very happy.

Another leading contender is Harbor House, the seafood restaurant that's part of the Bartolotta restaurant group. They serve an all-you-can-eat buffet for $40. The menu is at The brunch menu sounds pretty good, except for the desserts, which sound quite ordinary. I've never been there. Anyone been, particularly for the brunch?

I've looked at the brunch menus for a couple of other places, notably Lake Park Bistro and Coquette Café, but they didn't sound all that brunch-y and didn't wow me. But I'm still open to other suggestions besides the first two mentioned above.

I will probably be eating breakfast at Blue's Egg on Saturday, so no need to mention it (and yes, I know I will probably have to wait a while to be seated).

A place anywhere in the city (but not the suburbs) would be most convenient for me.


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  1. I have not had brunch at Harbor House, but I have some friends that have gone and they weren't impressed for what that's worth, but I can't imagine it would be bad with Bartolotta management. I have been for lunch and for drinks. The space is beautiful, but the lunch menu is a little overpriced when comparing other options on a food only basis, but the location and view did make it worthwhile.

    I've mentioned before that I like Lake Park for brunch. I just think for the price, it's nice to have a leisurely multi-course meal and I always have a hard time deciding between sweet and savory at brunch, so having a few courses helps with that.

    The only other brunch that comes to mind on that higher end of the spectrum is the one at the Iron Horse. I think it is priced comparably to Harbor House and we've been tempted to try when staying there, but weren't sure if it would be worth it.

    We've had good luck with food at Kil@wat at brunch--haven't been for a little while, but have a stay at the Intercontinental coming up and may check that out again.

    For something very casual, I am intrigued by the brunch menu at Smoke Shack. We've just been for appetizers there, but they were good enough to warrant a return trip for more of a meal sometime. Maybe someone else has tried their brunch and will chime in. The atmosphere is not very brunchy...but they do have a nice patio.

    There is a Simple Cafe now in Milwaukee. I haven't been to this location, but have enjoyed several breakfasts at the one in Lake Geneva.

    Wolf Peach also does brunch--if you haven't browsed their menu.

    Although it's a chain & in the near suburbs, just so you know it's an option if you weren't aware...I do think the Devon Seafood brunch is pretty good for $25 up at Bayshore and if you sign up for their mailing list, they do send out special offers from time to time.

    I have been to Envoy for brunch when they first opened. It sounds like it's a little different now, but will have to put that on our list when looking for brunches. Thanks.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bte576

      Thanks for all these suggestions. I've looked over the menus and your suggestion of the brunch at the Iron Horse - they call it the "Route 66 Brunch Buffet" (it's actually a combination of a buffet and prepared-to-order dishes) - sounds very appealing. Maybe I'll try that instead. Thanks again!

      1. re: nsxtasy

        I posted a detailed trip report, including my brunch at the Iron Horse, at Thanks again for the suggestion!