10 Downtown Dining Week Spots Worth Checking Out

40 restaurants in 8 days can seem daunting, so we’ve rounded up our top picks.

The week has almost arrived. From May 31-June 7, nearly 40 restaurants will take part in the 13th annual Milwaukee Downtown Dining Week. For 8 days, these Downtown eateries will offer a three-course lunch for $12.50 and dinner entrees for $25 or $35.

Milwaukee Downtown recently released the final menu list with all restaurant offerings, and we combed through the list looking for gems. Here’s where we’re looking forward to trying and where we’re excited to go back.

New Additions

Cantina Milwaukee

This contemporary Tex-Mex restaurant can fulfill all your sweet and spicy cravings. Stop by for lunch and enjoy coyote wings with Cajun lime rub or sweet Chipotle-sauced wings. Stay for a $25 dinner and sip on a handcrafted house margarita while enjoying a queso-smothered burrito, bistro taco plate or vegetarian bistro tacos.
1110 N. Old World Third St.

DOC’s Commerce Smokehouse

Meat-lovers will definitely not be disappointed with the menu options from DOC’s Commerce Smokehouse. For lunch, choose from a pulled pork, turkey or Usinger’s sausage sandwich; and for a $25 dinner, options include brisket and pork, chicken and turkey, pork and ribs or DOC’s sampler for two. Full yet?
754 N. 4th St.


If you’re in the mood for some good old Wisconsin comfort food, Flannery’s has got you covered. For dinner ($25), their menu samples different tastes with a Cajun bowtie pasta, Asian salmon, Bourbon pork ribeye or rigatoni and Italian sausage. Last but not least, choose from a carrot cake, salted caramel brownie with a pretzel crust, chocolate brownie or marble cake for dessert.
425 E. Wells St.

Water Street Brewery

Milwaukee’s first brew pub joins the list of DDW restaurants this year. Their $25 dinner menu gives you the option of an Old World Sausage platter, bacon-wrapped meatloaf or Ponzu glazed salmon. Finish on a sweet note with the chocolate stout cake or New York style cheesecake. With your meal, choose between a Water Street Brewery House Beer or root beer.
1101 N. Water St.

Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria

Not only is Blue Bat new to DDW, but it is also new to the Milwaukee area, replacing the bygone Water Buffalo. The new restaurant is also a Tequilaria, so for dinner ($25), sip on a margarita — watermelon vanilla or cucumber basil. Start off with an appetizer of tuna poke nachos and then choose an entrée: a taco sampler plate, caramelized pineapple salad or Cuban bowl are all good bets.
249 N. Water St.

Old Favorites

Carson’s Ribs

It’s always good to have a healthy salad now and then, but take a day during DDW to treat yo’self. Their dinner menu ($35) is on the heavier side, with entrée options of 16 oz. center cut black angus N.Y. strip, 10 oz. barrel cut filet mignon, a full slab of baby back ribs or cedar plank salmon.
301 W. Juneau Ave.


Not a sushi fan yet? It’s never too late to start, perhaps with a lunchtime Bento box. For the major sushi fans, Kanpai’s $35 dinner offers plenty of delicious options: sweet and spicy gyoza, chicken sea bass and shrimp, a maki platter and a sushi platter.
408 E. Chicago St.


There’s nothing quite like some classic Italian fare at Louise’s downtown location. For lunch, begin with a goat cheese salad with sherry wine vinaigrette or minestrone soup and then choose between a prosciutto goat cheese sandwich, Tuscan chicken panini or small insalata Louise. Lunch at Louise’s is not complete without their tasty homemade tiramisu or chocolate lasagna.
801 N. Jefferson St.


This classic burger joint and American restaurant can help you with any classic food craving. You can get anything from fish tacos to bone-in chicken wings to the “MKE AF burger” at this trendy Cathedral Square spot.
811 N. Jefferson St.

Pier 106

For the seafood fan: Try beignets, a salmon B.L.T. or shrimp and grits at lunch. For dinner ($25), don’t miss the cast iron scallops or surf and turf.
106 West Wells St.



Caroline Blair is a digital marketing intern for Milwaukee Magazine. She just finished her sophomore year at Syracuse University studying magazine journalism and marketing. She grew up in Milwaukee and is excited to be spending her summer here interning at Milwaukee Magazine.