Best of Milwaukee 2017: Oldies but Goodies

These gems and hangouts in the metro area have ripened with age.

Holy Hill

built in 1931
Technically, Holy Hill is a basilica. But when you’re there, it feels like you’re in Europe and touring a grand cathedral. And the view from the highest platforms is an unmatched survey of the greater Milwaukee area.

St. Francis Seminary

founded in 1855
While the number of priests graduating from the Milwaukee Archdiocese’s seminary, 3257 S. Lake Dr., St. Francis, has dwindled, that makes it all them ore serene to visit as a tourist. Most visitors head for Seminary Woods, which has a wonderful network of trails that brushes past an old graveyard.

Habhegger Wheel and Axle

founded 1832
There’s something just right about this place that traces its history back to horse-and-buggy days, when the mechanics of old worked on wagon tongues and horseshoes. Operating out of the modern-day location at 102 W. Capitol Dr., Habhegger is still known for its no-frills service and reasonable prices.


founded 1913
This neighborhood grocery, 1441 E. Russell Ave., in Bay View packs a lot into a space that has remained cozy, even after a renovation expanded the building. Groppi’s excels at what’s prepared fresh, whether you’re talking the well-known sausage or food from the not-to-be-trifled-with hot case. Weekends are hopping.

Holler House

founded 1908
A funny thing happens inside this tiny, two-lane bowling alley at 2042 W. Lincoln Ave. The amount of fun you have grows in inverse relation to the cramped size of the basement lanes, which stand as the oldest certified alley in the country. It’s so cool even Jack White paid a visit.

Ray’s Liquor

founded 1961
This liquor store to end all neighborhood liquor stores at 8930 W. North Avenue, Wauwatosa, has a bevy of wine tasting events and an encyclopedic selection: It claims to carry “over 8,000 wines, 2,000 spirits and 1,000 beers.” That’s approximately one brand for every five people living in Tosa.

Best of Milwaukee 2017


Best of Milwaukee 2017

Check out all of this year’s winners!


‘Best of 2017’ appears in the October 2017 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning October 2, or buy a copy at

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