Old Man Winter needs some warm, rosy cheeks. These five local soup emporiums can help make that happen.
If you’re looking to try a new food trend or a beloved Milwaukee favorite at a new establishment, we’ve got you covered. We provide the recs, you decide the rankings. Next time someone says “I wonder where to get…” direct them to Milwaukee Magazine.
Scan the chalkboard menu for the rich, cheesy cheddar-Bermuda onion, the wild rice and duck and, on occasion, the belly-soothing, stewy yet creamy pork-based Mario’s Barrio.
Bowls are served with a hearty scoop of rice and (often) topped with crème fraîche. And the Bros’ warm, crusty sourdough bread? So good.
Two soup sizes, $5-$8.
Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11a.m.-3 p.m.
209 W. Florida St.
Three sizes, $4.90- $12.90.
Tues-Sat 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
3329 W. Lisbon Ave.
Be sure to eyeball the daily specials board: Creamy corn chipotle, beef barley and especially Thai curry are worthy ones.
$3.95 and up.
Mon-Thurs 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
3950 S. Howell Ave.
Three sizes, $4.25-$8.75.
Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat-Sun 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
4156 N. Oakland Ave.; 8683 N. Port Washington Rd, Fox Point.
Choose jasmine rice or noodles for a base and co-owner Ruby Erickson ladles the goodness on top. Tikka masala, a creamy tomato-based curry, is delish.
Three sizes, $6-$8. Cash only!
Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
324 E. Michigan St.
The man behind the bisque
When Soup Brothers brought Walker’s Point to a rolling boil back in 1998, that meant long lines and the colorful personality of owner Richard Regner. And the soups were entirely soul-satisfying.
Regner credits his red pepper bisque, a two-decade constant. “We are the House of Bisque,” as he puts it. Ladling out hearty bowls and wedges of warm, poppyseeded sourdough is one of Regner’s talents. Building a dining area decorated with objects arty or obsolete is another.
Next to the counter, where Regner commands a cash register and mobile payment system (the dark age of cash-only is over!), is a shelving unit displaying an iPod “graveyard.” Apple technology is an easy way to engage Regner in conversation. So is music. The soup shack’s playlist swings from flamenco to ragtime to a recording of a space shuttle landing. Here, the humble soup steps out of the shadows.