Essential Milwaukee Eats

If you're hungry or thirsty, Milwaukee has you covered. This is a city where beer flows freely, where the farms are closer to the tables, and where upscale gourmet cuisine lives side by side with deep-friend cheese.

Cheese Curds (2018) by Visit MilwaukeeVISIT Milwaukee

Cheese Curds

If you’ve never been to Milwaukee, you may not know what to expect when you see “cheese curds” on the menu at the local watering hole – and you have no idea what you’re missing! Cheesy, gooey, salty, and oh-so delicious, a basket of deep fried cheese curds dipped in ranch or marinara sauce is a must-try. You can also see how these squeaky curds are made at Clock Shadow Creamery, one of the country's only urban creameries.

Bloody Mary (2018) by Visit MilwaukeeVISIT Milwaukee

Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary is no joke in Milwaukee. A limp stick of celery as a garnish? Not here. This iconic brunch beverage is turned up to 11 at Milwaukee eateries, topped with everything from mini-burgers to bacon, lobster claws to sushi rolls, and everything in between. What really gives a Bloody some Milwaukee flair isn’t what’s in it – it’s what’s on top – and what’s served next to it as a chaser.

Custard (2018) by Visit MilwaukeeVISIT Milwaukee

Frozen Custard

Milwaukee is home to the world’s largest concentration of frozen custard shops, earning the city the unofficial title of “frozen custard capital of the world”! Ice cream and frozen custard are both made with milk, cream, and sugar, but custard is also made with egg yolks. This gives it a richer, creamier texture than ice cream. You won’t want to miss out on this sweet treat on your next visit to Milwaukee.

Bratwurst (2017) by Visit MilwaukeeVISIT Milwaukee


This is a city where the wurst is the best! Milwaukeeans love a good sausage, from classics like bratwurst to new gourmet versions. Taste the history at Usinger's Famous Sausage, where the Usinger wurstmachers have been using the same recipes for over a century.

Fish Fry (2018) by Visit MilwaukeeVISIT Milwaukee

Fish Fry

You’ll see it on almost every menu in the city, but what’s Friday Fish Fry all about? Milwaukee was founded by predominantly Catholic European immigrants, so it’s no surprise that fish on Friday became a citywide offering year round. It’s still a tradition many families keep today! A classic fish fry includes a few pieces of fried fish (probably cod or perch) with a side of fries, coleslaw and rye bread. For an upgrade, try subbing in potato pancakes for fries.

Old Fashioned (2017) by Visit MilwaukeeVISIT Milwaukee

Old Fashioned

Milwaukeeans have been drinking Old Fashioneds since long before Don Draper made them cool again. This cocktail traces its roots all the way back to the 19th century and is most often made with whiskey – but the Wisconsin version is all about the brandy! Once you’ve tried Wisconsin’s take on the Old Fashioned, you’ll understand why Wisconsin is surpassed only by California (a much more populous state!) in brandy consumption.

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