Milwaukee Dining on the Lake: 5 Great Spots

Milwaukee’s popular Riverwalk isn’t the only place to dine with a view of the water. Try these five restaurants for lunch or dinner with a view of the expansive Lake Michigan.

Café Calatrava and East End Wine Bar

The Milwaukee Art Museum isthe city’s prime lakefront property. Café Calatrava serves contemporary cuisine and the rotating menu even features entrees inspired by the museum’s featured exhibition. Enjoy the dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows or dine al fresco on the large patio overlooking the lake. The East End Wine Bar, a new addition on the opposite end of the museum, also overlooks Lake Michigan and offers more casual fare like European-style small plates, coffee, craft beer and sweets. Thursday Night Happy Hour from 4-6 p.m. offers discounted small plates and $5 glasses of featured wines.
Hours: 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and open until 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
700 N. Art Museum Drive

Harbor House 

The Bartolotta restaurant group has a reputation for fine dining in the Brew City and their seafood restaurant Harbor House is no exception. The raw bar features a daily selection of fresh oysters and more. The Sunday seafood brunch and happy hour Monday-Friday, 4-6 p.m. are highlights, especially if you can snag a seat on the sunny patio.
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
550 N. Harbor Drive

The Harbor House patio. Photo courtesy of Harbor House.

South Shore Terrace Kitchen

The South Shore beer garden has added a full kitchen just in time for the summer, serving local staples like beer-battered Clock Shadow Creamery cheese curds, Milwaukee Pretzel Co. pretzels and Usinger’s sausages. There will also be a traditional Milwaukee fish fry served on Friday nights. Purchase a souvenir pint glass or stein and refill it with any of the tap beers at a discount at the bar or any of the other Milwaukee County Parks Traveling Beer Gardens.
Hours: 4-10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
2900 S. Shore Drive

South Shore Terrace. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee County Parks.

Lake Park Bistro 

This classic French bistro is situated in the East Side’s popular Lake Park. Call ahead to ensure a window-side table with spectacular views of the lake while you dine.
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m., Saturday 5-10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m.
3133 E. Newberry Boulevard

Lake Park Bistro dining room. Photo courtesy of Lake Park Bistro.

Newport Shores 

This casual spot in Port Washington features fresh seafood, from-scratch cooking and a famous Fish Fry. Arrive by car or dock your boat while you dine and take in the views of the lake.
Hours: Monday 4-9 p.m., Tuesday- Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday- Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
407 E. Jackson Street



Jenna Kashou is a writer, storyteller and journalist specializing in lifestyle and culture feature writing for print and web. She is a frequent contributor to Milwaukee Magazine, MKE Lifestyle Magazine, The Business Journal and more. She was chosen as the fifth writer in residence at the historic Pfister Hotel where she wrote about and photographed guests and events. A Milwaukee native, Kashou has lived abroad and visited far-flung locales like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, and Argentina. She has always had an enormous sense of pride for her hometown and spreads this Milwaukee love everywhere she goes.