37 restaurants in 8 days can seem daunting, so we've rounded up our top picks.
Downtown Dining Week returns for its 14th annual festival of food May 30-June 6. Visit a different restaurant every day and sample food from 37 of Milwaukee’s best steakhouses, bistros and bars. Here’s the list of this year’s participating restaurants.
Milwaukee Downtown has released their full menu, featuring two- or three-course lunch offerings ($12.50) and dinner entrees ($25 or $35). The options are dauntingly plentiful — and delicious-sounding — so we combed the menus looking for the top ten. Here’s where to start:
Want to try something new? This new fusion restaurant prides itself on authentic Korean dishes with modern flair to create a truly inspired culinary art. Their $25 dinner menu includes a range of options for diners to choose from, such as KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) wings in a sweet-and-spicy sauce, beef or pork bulgogi with sautéed vegetables and s’mores or cheesecake for dessert.
222 E. Erie St.
If you’re in the mood for good old Midwestern comfort food with a southern twist, this restaurant is the place to try. You can come for a $12.50 lunch of creole-seasoned deviled eggs and a fried bologna sandwich and come back for a $25 dinner of grilled salmon in a browned butter mustard glaze with cheese curds. Finish it off with a gooey butter cake or a beverage flight and you’ve got one colorful dining experience.
323 E. Wisconsin Ave.
One of the Downtown Milwaukee Hilton Garden Inn’s signature eateries, the Garden Grille and Bar will be featuring lunch and dinner courses featuring American cuisine favorites. Pair a bistro chicken sandwich with some savory beer cheese soup at lunch, or get a Korean-style steak bowl for dinner and a Caramel Apple Granny dessert to round out the night ($25).
5890 S. Howell Ave.
Combining board games and bar food is this eatery’s specialty, and they are bringing a taste of it to Dining Week. Whether you wish to indulge in a Return of the Briskwitch sandwich for lunch or Hey Ma! The Meatloaf! entrée accompanied by Hulk Smash Nachos and a Stay Puft dessert for dinner, this restaurant will meet all of your pop culture needs.
600 E. Ogden Ave.
Unlimited appetizers, meats and sides: that’s what this Brazilian restaurant is bringing to the table this year. They’ll also offer a range of savory and sweet samples, such as the cinnamon-glazed Bananas Fritas or the traditional Brazilian black bean stew called Feijoada. These dishes are perfect complements to the 14 unlimited meat dishes you can choose from, such as the Frango Com Bacon (chicken wrapped in bacon) or the Bife Com Parmesão (center-cut steak topped with Parmesan cheese), all carved fresh and right at your table. Saúde!
777 N. Water St.
Wake up and smell the avocado egg BLT, because this café is serving brunch favorites with a modern twist. As straightforward as its name, Brunch is offering some of its classic dishes, such as truffle beer-battered fries, cinnamon roll pancakes and the Wiscomelette (complete with cheese curds). Washed down with a classic or virgin Bloody Mary, this could be a great place to start your day Downtown.
800 N. Plankinton Ave.
Taking it back to Milwaukee’s German roots, Mader’s will be serving authentic German cuisine just as they have been since 1902. Come for a lunch of beef and mushroom strudel or a Jaeger Pretzel, or save your appetite for dinner to indulge in the restaurant’s famous Bavarian Sauerbraten. For dessert, try a delicious slice of the Black Forest cake or apple strudel, if you dare.
1041 N. Old World 3rd St.
Sometimes, you just want something that covers all of your culinary basics. Oak Barrel Public House specializes in American cuisine that ranges from the Wisco butter burger with three different cheeses to a 12” Caprizza topped with mozzarella, basil and balsamic glaze. Throw some Kentucky-fried bacon into the mix and you can’t get any more American than that.
1033 N. Old World 3rd St.
As a gastropub, the Rumpus Room is no stranger to culinary creativity with high-quality ingredients. This year, they are offering some of their best dinner entrees for $35, including their Heritage Ham chowder, Surf and Turf plate of scallops, petite fillet and vegetables and their Grasshopper Trifle made of flourless chocolate cake, mint mousse and chocolate ganache with fresh whipped cream.
1030 N. Water St.
What is better than a restaurant? A spy-themed restaurant. SafeHouse is going undercover at Downtown Dining Week this year, bringing along some of their most valuable assets, including the Fried C4 Cheese Curds with top-secret dipping sauce and the Columbian salad for lunch. If you’re still hungry, come back after dark for a $25 three-course dinner, with options such as the Tradecraft Tacos and a Blondie Shooter for dessert. If you know the password, that is.