Look What Just Opened at the Public Market

Acai/smoothie bowls, veggie burgers and kale chips, oh my!

The new counter-service vegan restaurant On the Bus at Milwaukee Public Market is letting people on the bus, so to speak. Yep, it’s open! Owner Emily Ware – a partner in the market’s Green Kitchen salad, sandwich, juice bar – restored a 1971 Volkswagen Bus that forms the visual centerpiece of her business (located in the former FORM Fine Goods & Floral, next to Thief Wine Shop & Bar).  

The menu features date shakes, made with house-made almond milk and sweetened with dates. They come in flavors like Sweet & Spicy (with mango, ginger, cayenne, banana and dates), $5.50. There are five fruit-, vegetable- and juice-based smoothies ($4.95) and six acai bowls, including the Sunset Bowl (acai, banana, pineapple, mango and orange juice topped with banana, goji berries and coconut flakes), $6.95.


The savory, sandwich side of the menu features panini and cold selections like Jamaican jerk, vegan Reuben, Portobello truffle, BBQ tempeh, tofu egg-less salad and curried tempeh ($6.95-$8.50). Would you rather have toast all day? On the Bus serves it, on sourdough: avocado toast, berry toast (fresh berries and cashew cream cheese), summer toast (avocado and tomato) and almond toast (almond butter, banana, maple drizzle cinnamon), $3.95 each.

Also, a most exciting menu item comes in the form of non-dairy dessert – ice “cream” made from almond milk and coconut milk and available in rotating flavors like chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel pretzel, chocolate chip cookie dough, peanut butter chocolate ripple and other. The dessert is available in a dish or waffle cone, and as a sundae topped with house-made hot fudge or caramel sauce and coconut flakes, sprinkles or crushed peanuts ($2.50-$5).

(MKE Public Market, 400 N. Water St.) Hours: Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m.



Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.