This Bites: Best New Restaurants

Our weekly podcast about Milwaukee’s dining scene and food culture, with dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine foodie Tarik Moody

In the last week of 2018, This Bites ‒ 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s culinary podcast ‒ did a deep-dive into Mil Mag’s December cover story, Best New Restaurants.

I explain the methodology and highlight some of my inclusions, beginning with Birch + Butcher, which opened a little over a year ago on Pleasant and Water streets. If you haven’t been there and even if you have, you might not know much about how your food is cooked. In my story you’ll learn how the wood-burning hearth influences the menu’s evolution and that doesn’t just pertain to the food. 

Over the course of 2018, co-host Tarik Moody and I have talked a lot about the plant-based lifestyle and how it’s growing in Milwaukee. Two restaurants doing really interesting plant-based menus made my list. They are Strange Town and Celesta. The beauty of these two is that they reside very close to each other and yet offer different and terrific experiences. 

Despite all the emphasis on newness, I pulled a fastball in the story and highlighted a place that isn’t new but is new to me. That’s the great Somali restaurant Blue Star Cafe on Farwell. Give our episode a listen!

Listen to “Dec 28th – Best New Milwaukee Restaurants of 2018” on Spreaker.



Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.