5 Reasons I Love Milwaukee: Sarah Butler

This Chicago-born Twin Cities resident would rather be in Milwaukee.

See all of our Reasons I Love Milwaukee series here.

We asked writer and Milwaukee Weddings 2019 issue contributor Sarah Butler to share with us the reasons she loves Milwaukee. Here are her picks:

Meatloaf Monday at Buckley’s

Milwaukee’s dining scene is down-to-earth and delicious, and I’m unreasonably bitter that my favorite restaurants don’t deliver to my apartment 300 miles away. So when I’m in town for a weekend, my former haunts (which range from Crazy Water to the Koppa’s Fulbeli Deli counter) are some of the first stops I make.

But what I want most (and rarely get) is Buckley’s Meatloaf Monday special. Unless I’m so lucky as to enjoy an extended weekend in the Brew City, this special is a locals-only treat. The promise of this cozy corner spot’s Monday night comfort food (and its homemade pop tarts on Sundays) could alone convince me to relocate.


While it makes the occasional appearance beyond the state line, the beermosa consistently graces Milwaukee brunch menus, and the city seems to exclusively employ bartenders with natural aptitudes for crafting them. I’ve yet to find an out-of-state bartender who will make this two-ingredient poor man’s mimosa without raising their eyebrows.

Urban canoeing and kayaking

Convenient for glampers like me who enjoy spending time outside but prefer few bugs, minimal drowning risk and the option to take a break at a bar, canoeing the Milwaukee and Menomonee Rivers is a surprisingly low-stress way to meet your #optoutside quota on Instagram for the week. I’ve always thought the Urban Ecology Center’s watercraft lending program (included in a membership!) is a deal everyone should get in on.

Photo by Adam Ryan Morris

My ideal Midwest hub city

On a recent 48-hour mini tour-de-Midwest, I traveled by car from Minneapolis to Milwaukee to Lambeau Field and back, only stopping at a Culver’s but once. In between mouthfuls of cheese curds I marveled at how quickly I could access so many of my favorite Midwest destinations with just a couple pleasant drives to and from the Good Land.

And you don’t even have to drive. Need to traverse the lake? Ride the ferry to Muskegon! Want to visit Chicago and not complain about traffic? Board the Hiawatha. You really can get most anywhere in neighboring states without missing a meal.

Photo by Marge Beaver

Milwaukee Brewing Company’s 2nd Street Open House

I like beer a lot, but I don’t get precious about it. Lucky for me, Brew City, U.S.A. has all of the high quality barley pop I could ever want and a refreshing dearth of beer snobs.

For me, no Milwaukee experience embodies this more than the Milwaukee Brewing Company’s two-hour Saturday Open House, where happy patrons pay $15 to loiter in the 2nd Street brewery (sans tables and chairs) while drinking all of the beer (mini tour optional, hula hooping highly recommended). My husband and I like to do this so much that we went there on our first date and also immediately after our wedding ceremony. It’s that great. A Brewing Co. tour guide once told me they started the Open House event because people didn’t want to leave the brewery after their tour ended. Can you blame them?

I feel the same way every time I leave Milwaukee. One day, I’m staying in this city for good. Prost!

Butler is a contributor to our Milwaukee Weddings 2019 Issue, writing this month’s story, “Bachelorette Bash 101.”