Donut from Cranky Als

Best of the ‘Burbs 2017

Life outside Milwaukee? Yep, it really exists. Our comprehensive guide tells you where to eat, shop, golf and shred (it’s a skateboarder’s thing) in the city’s sprawling collar.

Do you live in Milwaukee? “Yes, well, actually, it’s [nearby suburb], but close.” It’s a familiar response Milwaukee-area-ans repeat to outsiders when asked about our residence (I would know; I live in Tosa). We’re near the city, and reap many benefits of that relationship, but we’re undoubtedly removed. We live in small cities, towns and villages that hug the city close, but we retain our own sub-identities and pride points (and the occasional municipal hang-ups).

This story dwells on those pride points – the great restaurants, cultural venues and outdoor spaces – that make the ‘burbs spectacular places to reside. We even let the suburban mayors (briefly!) gush about their tony towns, and were glad to see a couple mention the proximity to Milwaukee as a selling point.

In previous years, this magazine has ranked the suburbs using a complex methodology, or it has taken a microscope to their housing markets. This year we’re using a structure that’s much closer to our annual feature “Best of Milwaukee,” while holding onto helpful data like walkability, crime rates, school report card scores and median home sales prices. The thinking was: It’s a fine time to give the ’burbs the same love-letter treatment as we give the city each year. We hope you agree.  By Claire Hanan

Watch Editor Carole Nicksin discuss Best of the ‘Burbs on The Morning Blend and hear our picks for best suburban festival, best fine dining, and more. 


Photo Courtesy of Erin Hills

For the Kids

Helium Trampoline and Climbing Park in New Berlin
Photo by Adam Ryan Morris

The Arts

Old Earth performing at Inspiration Studios
Photo by Adam Ryan Morris

Food and Drink

42 Ale House. Photo by Chris Kessler


Photo by Mark Wahl

How Does Your Burb Stack Up?

Map of Milwaukee Suburbs

Edited By
Claire Hanan

Written By
Ann Christenson, Matt Hrodey, Jenna Kashou, Dan Murphy, Dan Simmons

Additional Reporting By
Somer Servais