The Urban Beets Expansion Is Finally Complete, and It’s Beautiful

And with the physical expansion comes extended hours and delicious-sounding menu additions.

The Milwaukee choices for plant-based cuisine seem to be getting better and better. Consider Urban Beets (1401 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.), which opened in 2016 across the street from Manpower Group’s headquarters and near the new Bucks arena.

Children’s handmade art hangs on one of the walls.

Expanding the business – which started as a bright, colorful one-room space with a juice bar and minimal seating – was something owner Dawn Balistreri has talked about from the beginning. Work was completed recently on the adjacent space, which incorporates natural, earthy materials and sweet design touches like the kids’ drawings arranged on one of the walls. The three-sided bar features an arbor-like treatment under the 20-foot ceiling, with plants and warm pendant lighting. One of the walls showcases children’s crayon drawings. 

The breakfast menu includes a vegan bagel (which can be topped with house-made pesto cashew cream cheese) and smoothie bowls ($7.50 each) like lemon cream pie (made with banana, pineapple, lemon, maple syrup, coconut cream and turmeric). One of their best plates is the vegan taco salad, a mix of romaine, walnut taco meat, pico de gallo and cashew sour cream (yes, add avocado to that!), $8.75. Other items: curried chickpea wrap, tropical Buddha bowl, and the Urban Beet burger topped with spicy pickled beets and tahini-dill sauce on a pretzel bun ($7.50-$9.50). There’s even a “lobster” roll that substitutes heart of palm for shellfish.

In addition to smoothies, shakes and juices ($5.50-$7.25), Urban Beets also started selling craft beer and wine.

New extended hours: Tues-Fri 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-4 p.m.



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.