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This article originally appeard in the August 2011 issue of Milwaukee Magazine. * Forget naming an “American Idol.” What the world really needs to know is which local restaurants are our readers’ faves! And in the immortal words of game show hosts of days gone by, heeerrreee they are. … But before you give it […]

This article originally appeard in the August 2011 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

*

Forget naming an “American Idol.” What the world really needs to know is which local restaurants are our readers’ faves! And in the immortal words of game show hosts of days gone by, heeerrreee they are. … But before you give it up for the most mouthwatering steak, top weekend brunch or best restaurant with a patio, put your hands together for the winners in our random drawing: Deanna Klafka ($250 to Mayfair Mall), Nan Teske ($100 gift card to Salamander), Gina Trimboli ($250 gift card to Impressions salon), Kris Collett ($150 gift card to a Bianchini restaurant), Nancy Szymczak (Sheridan House gift package) and Cory Peterson (tickets to Broadway at the Marcus Center).

Top Five Restaurants

1. Lake Park Bistro, 3133 E. Newberry Blvd., 414-962-6300
2. Le Rêve Patisserie & Café, 7610 Harwood Ave., 414-778-3333
3. La Merenda, 125 E. National Ave., 414-389-0125
4. Maxie’s Southern Comfort, 6732 W. Fairview Ave., 414-292-3969
5. Sanford Restaurant, 1547 N. Jackson St., 414-276-9608

Critic’s Choices (*)

1. Sanford
2. Crazy Water, 839 S. Second St., 414-645-2606
3. Ristorante Bartolotta, 7616 W. State St., 414-771-7910
4. La Merenda
5. Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub 222 E. Erie St., 414-727-9300

Ethnic Restaurants

Cajun

1. Maxie’s Southern Comfort
2. Crawdaddy’s 6414 W. Greenfield Ave., 414-778-2228
* Maxie’s

Chinese

1. Emperor of China 1010 E. Brady St., 414-271-8889
2. Fortune Restaurant 2945 S. 108th St., 414-328-9890
* Fortune

Cuban

1. Cubanitas 728 N. Milwaukee St., 414-225-1760
2. Charro 729 N. Milwaukee St., 414-431-5557; 17800 W. Bluemound Rd., 262-782-7253
* Cubanitas

Ethiopian

1. Alem Ethiopian Village 307 E. Wisconsin Ave., 414-224-5324
2. Ethiopian Cottage 1824 N. Farwell Ave., 414-224-5226
* Alem

French

1. Lake Park Bistro
2. Le Rêve Patisserie & Café
* Lake Park Bistro

German

1. Mader’s Restaurant 1041 N. Old World Third St., 414-271-3377
2. Karl Ratzsch’s 320 E. Mason St., 414-276-2720
* Nothing good enough

Greek

1. Apollo Café 1310 E. Brady St., 414-272-2233
2. Oakland Gyros 2867 N. Oakland Ave., 414-963-1393
* Nonexistent

Indian

1. Maharaja 1550 N. Farwell Ave., 414-276-2250
2. Mayura 1958 N. Farwell Ave., 414-271-8200
* Mayura

Irish

1. Brocach Irish Pub 1850 N. Water St., 414-431-9009
2. County Clare 1234 N. Astor St., 414-272-5273
* Brocach

Italian

1. Ristorante Bartolotta
2. Zarletti 741 N. Milwaukee St., 414-225-0000
* Bartolotta

Japanese

1. Izumi’s 2150 N. Prospect Ave., 414-271-5278
2. Nanakusa 408 E. Chicago St., 414-223-3200
* Fujiyama 2916 S. 108th St., 414-755-1977; 17395D W. Bluemound Rd., 262-796-1977

Korean

1. Seoul Korean Restaurant 2178 N. Prospect Ave., 414-289-8208
2. Sake Tumi 714 N. Milwaukee St., 414-224-7253
* Seoul

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Mexican

1. Botanas 816 S. Fifth St., 414-672-3755
2. Cempazuchi 1205 E. Brady St., 414-291-5233
* Café Corazon 3129 N. Bremen St., 414-810-3941

Middle Eastern

1. Casablanca 728 E. Brady St., 414-271-6000
2. Tulip 360 E. Erie St., 414-273-5252
* Casablanca

Polish

1. Polonez 4016 S. Packard Ave., 414-482-0080
2. Crocus 3577 S. 13th St., 414-643-6383
* Polonez

Puerto Rican

1. El Farol 1401 W. Washington St., 414-647-1899
2. Cafe El Sol 1028 S. Ninth St., 414-384-3100
* El Farol

Thai

1. Thai-namite 932 E. Brady St., 414-837-6280
2. Singha Thai 2237 S. 108th St., 414-541-1234
* Chiang Mai Thai 18895 W. Bluemound Rd., 262-784-7130

Serbian

1. Three Brothers 2414 S. St. Clair St., 414-481-7530
2. Old Town Serbian Gourmet House 522 W. Lincoln Ave., 414-672-0206
* Three Brothers

Vietnamese

1. Húe Restaurant & Lounge 2691 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 414-294-0483
2. Mekong Café 5930 W. North Ave., 414-257-2228
* Pho Hai Tuyet 3881 S. 27th St., 414-282-8041

Milwaukee Classics

Fish Fry

1. Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden 1872 N. Commerce St., 414-372-8800
2. Kegel’s Inn 5901 W. National Ave., 414-257-9999
* Wegner’s St. Martins Inn 11318 W. St. Martins Rd., 414-425-9971

Dessert

1. Le Rêve Patisserie & Café
2. Honeypie 2643 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 414-489-7437
* Sanford Restaurant

Cupcake

1. Milwaukee Cupcake Company 316 N. Milwaukee St., 414-727-1209
2. Classy Girl Cupcakes 825 N. Jefferson St., 414-270-1877
* Honeypie

Bakery

1. Simma’s Bakery 817 N. 68th St., 414-257-0998
2. Peter Sciortino’s Bakery 1101 E. Brady St., 414-272-4623
* Le Rêve for croissants and baguettes.

Food Truck

1. Streetza Pizza streetza.com
2. Pita Brothers pitabrothers.com
* Satellite Crepes satellitecrepes.com

Sandwich

1. City Market, four locations
2. Koppa’s Fulbeli Deli 1940 N. Farwell Ave., 414-273-1273
* Koppa’s

Coffee

1. Alterra Coffee Roasters, 11 locations
2. Fuel Café 818 E. Center St., 414-374-3835
* Stone Creek Coffee Roasters eight locations

Hot Dog

1. The Dogg Haus 1633 W. Wells St., 414-933-9179; 1433 E. Brady St., 414-727-1224
2. Sammy’s Taste of Chicago 10534 W. Greenfield Ave., 414-774-0466
* Dr. Dawg 6969 N. Port Washington Rd., 414-540-0400

Chili

1. Real Chili 419 E. Wells St., 414-271-4042; 1625 W. Wells St., 414-342-6955
2. Chili Lili’s 525 E. Menomonee St., 414-897-0555
* Chili Lili’s

Frozen Custard

1. Kopp’s Frozen Custard three locations
2. Leon’s Frozen Custard 3131 S. 27th St., 414-383-1784
* Leon’s

Happy Hour

1. Bosley on Brady 815 E. Brady St., 414-727-7975
2. Taylor’s 795 N. Jefferson St., 414-271-2855
* Bosley

Cocktails

1. At Random 2501 S. Delaware Ave., 414-481-8030
2. Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge 1579 S. Ninth St., 414-383-2620
* Bryant’s

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Weekday Breakfast

1. Blue’s Egg 317 N. 76th St., 414-299-3180
2. Comet Café 1947 N. Farwell Ave., 414-273-7677
* Café at the Plaza Plaza Hotel, 1007 N. Cass St., 414-272-0515

Weekend Brunch

1. Blue’s Egg
2. Roots Restaurant & Cellar 1818 Hubbard St., 414-374-8480
* Roots

Burger

1. Sobelman’s Pub & Grill 1900 W. Saint Paul Ave., 414-931-1919
2. AJ Bombers 1247 N. Water St., 414-221-9999
* Sobelman’s

Pizza

1. Zaffiro’s 1724 N. Farwell Ave., 414-289-8776
2. Balistreri’s 812 N. 68th St., Wauwatosa, 414-475-1414
* Il Ritrovo 515 S. Eighth St., Sheboygan, 920-803-7516

Barbecue

1. Speed Queen 1130 W. Walnut St., 414-265-2900
2. Saz’s 5420 W. State St., 414-453-2410
* Speed Queen

Buffalo Wings

1. Points East Pub 1501 N. Jackson St., 414-277-0122
2. Buffalo Wild Wings multiple locations
* Elsa’s on the Park 833 N. Jefferson St., 414-765-0615

Ethnic Grocery

1. Glorioso Bros. Italian Foods 1011 E. Brady St., 414-272-0540
2. El Rey four locations
* Glorioso’s

Family-Friendly

1. Café Hollander 2608 N. Downer Ave., 414-963-6366; 7677 W. State St., 414-475-6771
2. Maxie’s Southern Comfort
* Maxie’s

Wine List

1. Balzac 1716 N. Arlington Pl., 414-755-0099
2. Bacchus 925 E. Wells St., 414-765-1166
* Bacchus

Beer

1. Cafe Hollander
2. Sugar Maple 441 E. Lincoln Ave., 414-481-2393
* Sugar Maple

Small Plates

1. La Merenda
2. Balzac
* La Merenda

Outdoor

1. Trocadero Gastrobar 1758 N. Water St., 414-272-0205
2. Roots Restaurant & Cellar
* Roots

Healthy

1. Beans & Barley 1901 E. North Ave., 414-278-7878
2. Café Manna 3815 N. Brookfield Rd., Brookfield, 262-790-2340
* Beans

Quiet

1. Sanford
2. Bacchus
* Milwaukee ChopHouse Hilton Milwaukee, 633 N. Fifth St., 414-226-2467

Vegetarian

1. Beans & Barley
2. Café Manna
* Café Manna

Seafood

1. Harbor House 550 N. Harbor Dr., 414-395-4900
2. Bosley on Brady
* Sanford and Hinterland

Steak

1. Carnevor 724 N. Milwaukee St., 414-223-2200
2. Mr. B’s: A Bartolotta Steakhouse 18380 W. Capitol Dr., 262-790-7005
* Eddie Martini’s 8612 W. Watertown Plank Rd., 414-771-6680

Lunch

1. Cafe LuLu 2265 S. Howell Ave., 414-294-5858
2. Blue’s Egg
* The Green Kitchen at Milwaukee Public Market 400 N. Water St., 414-273-8830

Cheap Spot

1. Conejito’s Place 539 W. Virginia St., 414-278-9106
2. Comet Café
* Indian Bazaar 5254 S. 27th St., 414-325-6480

View

1. Harbor House
2. Roots Restaurant & Cellar
* Harbor House

Service

1. Bacchus
2. Sanford Restaurant
* Sanford

Romantic

1. Lake Park Bistro
2. The Pasta Tree 1503 N. Farwell Ave., 414-276-8867
* Lake Park Bistro

Ambiance

1. Harbor House
2. Lake Park Bistro
* Harbor House

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