The Hottest New Restaurants in Milwaukee, August 2015

The Hottest New Restaurants in Milwaukee, August 2015

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Eater returns to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to focus on nine newish restaurants that have been garnering some serious buzz. Once again, local writer Todd Lazarski has kindly offered up his picks for the hottest openings/revamps of the past 12 months.

9 Places
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    A name synonymous with the best from-the-boot grub in town, a wood-burning Acunto oven, and a sprawling homage to Naples’ finest export — but is a trip out to Mequon ever worth it? US President of the Association of Neapolitan Pizza Makers Roberto Caporuscio personally deemed this freshly revamped restaurant's “the best pizza in the state." Hell, to sample such wares, we’d drive to Weyauwega. [Photo]
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    It's a long way from Oklahoma to Venezuela to San Francisco to Milwaukee. But it's an even longer journey from moonlighting pop-up restaurant to brick-and-mortar stability. Chef Gregory Leon has finally made it through the real estate and city permit scramble and can now sling his Spanish-Venezuelan-Deep South mélange, reflective of diverse roots and many travels, in a revamped, just-opened downtown setting. [Photo]
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    From the wrestling motif, tap cocktails, and the owners’ penchant for chilling at the bar, it might not seem like Vanguard takes itself that seriously. But then you try a house-made short rib sausage. Jim McCann, co-owner of Michelin-slaying Longman & Eagle in Chicago, here attempts a rather non-cheffy venture, and the result is the new and undisputed king of encased meats in Sausage Town. [Photo]
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    Chef Andrew Miller, formerly of Salotto Zarletti, tries to overcome a seemingly cursed restaurant location by doubling down on a good-vibed name, modernizing the salvaged wood feel, and by slinging non-traditional dim sum snacks from circulating trays. The restaurant opens tonight but is already getting serious buzz. [Photo]
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    Milwaukee’s favorite coffee roaster is now trying its hand at everyone’s favorite food. The custom-built, wood-fired Neapolitan oven is an extension of owner Matt McClutchy’s love for cooking pizzas in his backyard. And each doughy bite is a pleasant reminder that Bay View is still the spot to follow your dreams, and to get your caffeine with a side of soppressata. [Photo]
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    A "new small plate joint" in this neighborhood has been a Portlandia-esque cliché for years. But there’s nothing funny about Movida's paella — or the Spanish saffron, imported rice, and chistorra sausage therein. The menu gets rounded out by a smorgasbord of tapas, tablas, and tostas, all of which must loosely translate to "meaty, salty, cheesy nuggets of mouth-warming deliciousness." [Photo]
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    Bummed about the shuttering of Blue Jacket? Follow former chef Justice Neal down the street to the uber-hip bar with the pricey haute dogs. Black Sheep is now under new management and soon to unveil a new menu, which is hopefully rife with bar snacks formidable enough to lay base for the tap wine and spiked tea. [Photo]
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    Story Hill provides a one-stop-shop for a rough morning after, a big night in, and everything in-between. But this "bottle, kitchen, cup" combo is more than just gastronomic convenience. Get a growler or a cold brew, or anything off a Midwest-focused menu that goes from schupfnudeln (gnocchi-like dumplings) to lamb cheeks. It is maybe the best sign of Milwaukee’s westward expansion of hip and thoughtful dining. [Photo]
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    Everyone does hollandaise, and every other restaurateur does Walker’s Point. But not many do Bloody Marias (here called "El Bombero") with patacon con huevo (egg-fried plantains), and nobody in town holds the kitchen esteem of La Merenda chef Peter Sandroni. The small-plate guru set up his daylight-only noshing branch in an old firehouse, which may now be the best, most delicious way to put out a hangover. [Photo]
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