This story is part of our Summer Guide from the June Issue of Milwaukee Magazine. To read our full guide to summer fun, order your copy today!
1. Harbor House
550 N. HARBOR DR.
If New England seafood-inspired cuisine, plus a disarming, unparalleled view of Lake Michigan capture your Down East-loving heart… lock down a table on Harbor House’s spacious deck, the next-best thing to being on a sailboat.
6030 W. NORTH AVE., WAUWATOSA
If you and your mate plan to feed each other fusilli and whisper sweet nothings… bathe in privacy on the verdant, fenced-in yard at Tosa’s Ca’Lucchenzo.
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434 S. SECOND ST.
If soaking in the youthful pulse of Walker’s Point’s Restaurant Row is as obligatory as downing poutine and pierogi… settle into Camino’s narrow, almost secretive outdoor alcove.
4. La Merenda
125 E. NATIONAL AVE.
If global small plates under the shadow of the Allen-Bradley clock tower is your objective… slip into La Merenda’s flora-drenched oasis complete with outdoor bar, pergola seating and loads of twinkling lights.
5. Centro Café
808 E. CENTER ST.
If Bolognese, chianti and a garden plucked (in spirit) from the Italian countryside are your holy trinity of summer night perfection… bask in the backyard at Riverwest’s Centro Café.
636 S. SIXTH ST.
If your belly is begging for no-nonsense street food (bagels to burgers) in a buzzy, vibrant food truck park… the signs point to charming Zócalo.
7. Café at the Plaza
1007 N. CASS ST.
If a cozy, leafy courtyard drawing mimosa-sipping urbanites makes your heart leap… thread through Café at the Plaza’s art deco dining room for its casual but refined outdoor escape – with a side of Plaza eggs Benedict.
2300 N. MAYFAIR RD., WAUWATOSA
If you want to be mere steps from retail therapy (Mayfair Mall) but transported to an elegant, Nordic-modern gathering place… Eldr+Rime is your spot to sip aquavit neat.
9. Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993
7616 W. STATE ST., WAUWATOSA
If al fresco is synonymous with cushioned chairs, warm lighting, white tablecloths and words like arrosticini (grilled lamb)… Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993’s La Terrazza is your Shangri-La – and culinary catapult to regional Italy.
2535 S. KINNICKINNIC AVE.
If people-watching serenaded by the steady flow of Bay View traffic is your speed… partake of the scene-stealing Duroc pork or a wood-roasted pizza at Sorella, whose patio frames the front of its Kinn Guesthouse location.