Your picks for best coffee shop, soup, deli, food truck, bargain bites and family-friendly restaurant
This category’s results mirror 2016, a nod to the consistency of The Original Pancake House (2621 N. Downer Ave., 16460 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield), AJ Bombers (1247 N. Water St.; 11340 W. Burleigh St., Wauwatosa) and Organ Piper Pizzeria (4353 S. 108th St., Greenfield)
Gypsy Taco, which makes its permanent home on the Boone & Crockett patio (2151 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.), knocked out the dairy-loving Gouda Girls – last year’s winner – into second place. And making its first appearance is Meat on the Street, a purveyor of Filipino street foods. The family-run business also offers its rice bowls, lumpia rolls and meats-on-a-stick on the old Pabst brewing grounds (1125 N. Ninth St.).
The sandwich trumpet players are sounding for Glorioso’s Italian Market (1011 E. Brady St.), which also held this title tightly last year (those meatball sandwiches on Italian rolls are out of sight!); Bavette La Boucherie (330 E. Menomonee St.), which serves a changing menu of sandwiches like a housemade kimchi sausage banh mi; and Jake’s Deli (1634 W. North Ave., Grand Avenue Mall), whose history under the name dates to 1955. Jake’s took down last year’s No. 3, Benji’s Deli, which poses stiff corned beef competition.
This is a category that shows little change from year to year, with dominant Colectivo (13 locations in the Milwaukee area alone), with Anodyne and Stone Creek duking it out for second. For the last two years, it’s been Anodyne (four locations) in the middle, with Stone Creek striding in for third (12 locations). What’s interesting is that in the last year, both Colectivo and Stone Creek have opened locations in Madison and Chicago. And with the Naples-style wood-burning oven installed in the Bay View cafe, Anodyne has proved that it is a force in our pizza scene.
It’s not every restaurant that wants to be known as a cheap date, but all three of these winners have owned this category for the last few years (because they make a career out of being, well, affordable), and in this order, too: Conejito’s Place, where a Mexican plate lunch is $4.50 (539 W. Virginia St.); Swingin’ Door Exchange, the 12-buck meatloaf plate being one example (219 E. Michigan St.) and Riverwest’s Nessun Dorma, and its $10 pasta specials (2778 N. Weil St.).
Hot news! The Soup Market took its African peanut and chicken soup all the way to first place (multiple locations). Carrying the giant slice – make that, chunk – of bread (for sopping) as a baton, Soup Bros. (212 W. Florida St.) came in second. And the long-running Benji’s Deli (4156 N. Oakland Ave., 8683 N. Port Washington Rd.), home of borscht and chicken matzo ball, scored a respectable third. ◆
- The Original Pancake House (2621 N. Downer Ave., 16460 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield)
- AJ Bombers (1247 N. Water St.; 11340 W. Burleigh St., Wauwatosa)
- Organ Piper Pizzeria (4353 S. 108th St., Greenfield)
- Glorioso’s Italian Market (1011 E. Brady St.)
- Bavette La Boucherie (330 E. Menomonee St.)
- Jake’s Deli (1634 W. North Ave., Grand Avenue Mall)
- Colectivo (13 locations in the Milwaukee area alone)
- Anodyne (four locations)
- Stone Creek (12 locations)
- Conejito’s Place (539 W. Virginia St.)
- Swingin’ Door Exchange (219 E. Michigan St.)
- Nessun Dorma (2778 N. Weil St.)
- The Soup Market (multiple locations)
- Soup Bros. (212 W. Florida St.)
- Benji’s Deli (4156 N. Oakland Ave., 8683 N. Port Washington Rd.)
Our readers said what? Our annual dining survey is at its revealing best. You’ll want to know the results!