Your 2023 Summer Dining Guide

Savor a delicious meal in the sun at these restaurants.

Photo courtesy of Café at the Plaza

Local Restaurants



Transport yourself to the streets of Italy when you dine al fresco on Onesto’s patio in the Historic Third Ward. The restaurant can serve up to 36 guests outdoors, plus it has eye-catching fire tables that light up when the sun goes down. 

The Bridgewater Modern Grill

2011 S. FIRST ST. 

This new restaurant boasts the longest riverfront patio in the city. The 245-feet of outdoor and green space along the south bank of the Kinnickinnic River seats 80. The Bridgewater offers full service dining, an indoor/outdoor bar and lounge seating for you to soak up the summer. 

Il Cervo 


This rooftop destination in the brand-new Trade hotel in Westown just opened last month. Take in fantastic city views, while enjoying a hand-crafted cocktail and sampling the menu of Italian cuisine, including Florentine-style steaks, sourdough pizza and more. 

Solomon’s Terrace and Lounge


Just a few floors below Il Cervo, you’ll find this restaurant named after Milwaukee’s first mayor, Solomon Juneau. The sophisticated spot offers shareable small plates and a collection of craft beer, fine wine and cocktails, which can all be enjoyed on the outdoor terrace. 

Mason Street Grill

425 E. MASON ST. 

The Pfister Hotel’s lively street-level restaurant is known primarily for its steaks, but it also offers burgers, seafood and more. The personalized service makes this dining destination a standout, and the sidewalk cafe is a summer destination. 

Photo courtesy of Mason Street Grill


401 W. CANAL ST.

Want to enjoy dinner with your pooch? This is the place to go. The spot at the Harley-Davidson Museum isn’t just dog-friendly – it actually provides bowls and treats for your pup. And for humans, there is a wide range of options to enjoy on the patio overlooking the Menomonee River. 

Photo courtesy of MOTOR

Balistreri’s Bluemound Inn


The patio at this Italian classic is one of Milwaukee’s favorite pizza destinations. It also offers a variety of Sicilian-inspired pasta and other Italian dishes. A pergola overhead and hanging flower baskets along the edges create a relaxed atmosphere for its outdoor dining area.

Café at the Plaza

1007 N. CASS ST.

The greenery of the charming courtyard at The Plaza is the ideal spot for an outdoor breakfast or lunch, whether it’s one of the cafe’s delicious omelets, pastries or sandwiches.

Stella Van Buren


The rooftop patio at the Westin Hotel’s Stella Van Buren offers a phenomenal view of our skyline, not to mention an extensive menu of craft cocktails, steaks, seafood and more. It also offers flexible seating options as well as private dining. 

Photo courtesy of Stella Van Buren

Fresh and New Dining Alert!

Potawatomi Casino Hotel recently reopened Dream Dance Steakhouse, one of the most exciting dining destinations right now. It’s back in action for the first time in three years, bringing prime cuts of steak from Allen Brothers in Chicago, as well as more than 400 wines. 

Driftless Dining

Considering a vacation? The Driftless Area’s Richland Center is a scenic, rural escape, and while you’re there, be sure to stop at these patios. 

Christy’s Sunny Side Bakery & Cafe


Swing by for breakfast or lunch at this lovely cafe. Sidewalk seating offers a front-row view of downtown Richland Center, and the flatbread pizzas are a particularly popular midday nosh. 

Los Amigos 2


Sip a margarita or a mojito on this Mexican dining spot’s backyard deck. On a gorgeous summer day, what more could you want? 

Branding Iron Roadhouse


This restaurant hosts outdoor Friday fish fries, pizza nights on Saturdays, and on every third Thursday of the month, it brings out local musicians to perform live.

Grill at Home

Don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your house? Well, consider a backyard barbecue. Outpost Natural Foods has you covered, with a wide selection of fresh, organic produce, naturally raised meat and poultry and grilling supplies. The one-stop shop’s a great local spot to stock your next backyard bonanza. 

Photo by Getty Images

Summer Sipper

Looking for the perfect cocktail to enjoy in your backyard? Try whipping up this Irish American Mule from Keeper’s Heart Irish + American Whiskey. It’s simple enough to make at home, but sophisticated enough to impress.

Photo by Getty Images


Copper mug

1½ oz. Keeper’s Heart Irish + American Whiskey

⅓ oz. fresh lime juice

Ginger beer, to top
Crushed ice


1. In order above, add ingredients to copper mug, finishing with ginger beer.

2. Top with half of your crushed ice, stir briefly to mix, then add the rest of the ice. 

Food Trucks and Live Tunes

BAYSHORE’s annual Sounds of Summer concert series (Fridays, June 9-Aug. 25) is bringing 10 of the city’s best food trucks out to cater the live music event. Pete’s Pops, Shorty’s Grilled Cheese, Twisted Plants, El Sazon Dominicano and more will be featured. Check out the full lineup of options at

Illustration by Getty Images


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine’s June issue.

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