Guest writer Bill Sakalaucks is an Admirals and Predators fan from Milwaukee. If you’ve ever wondered about where to eat when you visit Nashville’s farm team, he has all the information you need right here.
So your favorite Predator was sent for conditioning or rehab to the Admirals and you happen to have a few days to travel. You’ve found the great Southwest fare to Milwaukee and have your hotel booked. The big question, outside of the game: what and where are you eating?!
In this article, I’ll have suggestions based primarily on most accommodation locations or within a short walk or Lyft from the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. I’ll also toss in a couple of places you really should visit before you leave as they are Milwaukee staples. Click the name of the restaurant to visit their site.
I don’t blame you for wanting to be close to your flight out. But you don’t need to sacrifice food just to make a gate time.
Brunch is a big deal in Milwaukee. Saturday/Sunday is best started with a beermosa (a Milwaukee special featuring a wheat of farmhouse ale, typically Spotted Cow, and orange juice), a heavy breakfast, and bloodies. St. Francis Brewery is a microbrewery off of Kinnickinick Ave in St Francis between Bayview and the airport. Their brunch features a fresh buffet (which does include biscuits/gravy), omelet stand, pancake maker, & drink specials. And let’s not forget their own beers that are available. Bring a growler home. You won’t regret it.
If you prefer to sleep on your flight home, carb up then check your luggage. They do take reservations for brunch and tables fill fast
The Mad Rooster – Miller Park Way & Greenfield
Brunch only, open until 3pm daily.
Did I mention brunch? Now let’s add a Latin twist to it. Yes, the wait times can be long but well worth it on a Saturday. You can queue up ahead of time on the NoWait app if you want (useful for here and Blue’s Egg). Their homemade salsa and breakfast potatoes feature prominently in their menu, but don’t forget their sandwiches and other lunch items. The breakfast burrito is a great choice for any time they are open. The decor is a bit much, think Cracker Barrel meets Zaxby’s. But the food is filling, portions grande, and prices fair.
Blues Egg – 76th & Bluemound
Blues is a part of a family of restaurants to be featured here and specializes in breakfast/brunch/lunch. Arrive early with your entire party or queue up in NoWait or else you could be waiting 45-60 minutes for a table. More traditional brunch fare, but specializes in crepes. Mimosas are encouraged.
Story Hill BKC – General Mitchell Drive & Bluemound
Another in the Blues Egg family. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They do close on Mondays, but if you have a reeeeeeeally big hankering for local grub, you can rent the space and get food. More crepe specialists and emphasis on locally produced food. Specials rotate seasonally based on availability. Their local wine and beer selection is great if you want to get a gift to bring back. Located in the historic Story Hill neighborhood, the restaurant has a great view of Miller Park and the VA medical campus (itself a historic landmark). Walk off the calories in the historic cemetery across the street or go across the bridge over I-94 and walk the grounds. You can jump on the Henry Aaron State Trail and go east towards downtown or go west towards Waukesha.
Maxie’s – 68th & Fairview
Missing some good southern flavor? See what the chefs at Maxie’s do with oysters, grits, and catfish. As someone who lived in Nashville, this place did NOT disappoint. While mostly creole-style cooking, their take on southern cuisine is fairly authentic. Lagunitas is available for those who really want Louisiana in a can. Parking is limited, but there is a lot across 68th from Maxie’s.
Double B’s – 74th & Greenfield
Probably the best barbecue place in Milwaukee, and don’t @ me. KC style bbq and in portions that prove we love our food and want it to last an extra day. Various specials throughout the year. They smoke their meat on the property. And to wash it down brings me to…
Benno’s – 74th & Greenfield
Over 40 beers on tap.
Brady Street/North Avenue
This area is eclectic and full of many awesome places that I won’t be able to list them all. Here are some highlights
HiHat/Garage – Brady & Arlington
Two places in one. Brunch and late night fare. I had the chicken and waffle there and the sweet/savory was a delight. Their tap list rotates with many beers from the Midwest.
Dorsia – Brady & Arlington
Across from HiHat, this place is a definite yes if you’re making it a trip for two. They have flights of their homemade pasta, and all are available as gluten free. Their menu also includes handmade pizzas which I am told are very good, but honestly, get the pasta. You will thank me later.
Comet Cafe – Farwell & Irving
Between the brewery of the month, tray of bacon happy hour on Sunday, pies and cupcakes, and the killer meatloaf (with their house made beer gravy) it’s an artery clogging, diabetes wrecking, alcohol poisoning heaven. Every day has a different selection of pies and cupcakes, drink specials (yes, even Friday and Saturday), and themed beer nights. If meat isn’t your thing, they do have a number of vegetarian options. I’ve had just about everything on the menu, and can’t say anything bad about any of it. Brunch is also available on the weekends, but again, arrive early. And get the ‘Sconnie-mosa.
Rice’n’roll Bistro – Farwell & Irving
Have a Thai or sushi craving? You’ve hit the right place. Their Thai, sushi, and two nations lunch specials are great value for the food that you get. If there on a Tuesday, arrive at 4:30 to start the sushi happy hour (50% off on most rolls). Due to people abusing it, they did have to make some rules and it’s fun trying to figure out when each got added. The presentation is always well done, and the desserts aren’t to be missed. The banana balls are an excellent choice.
If you’ve pulled out a map, you may have noticed I’m just making my way north and east these last few places. It’s intentional. More local fare and beverages abound up and down Farwell Avenue and these two are no exception. They are located in the same building at opposite ends. Good City is better known for their beer and new rooftop patio. They also host events over the summer in their back lot.
Simple Cafe is another breakfast/brunch/lunch restaurant that features locally produced and seasonal dishes. More vegetarian options, gluten free, and quick service.
Beans & Barley – Kenilworth & North
Continuing the locavore trend. I want to highlight this location because of the underground mini-golf beneath the building. Again, good food, has a small grocery inside which features local produce, meat, cheese, and of course, beer.
Steny’s – 2nd & National
If the Preds are playing, you can catch it there. It hosted most of the watch parties during the Predators run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Known more for their wings and try the Mac & Cheese specials if you get the chance.
Engine Company No. 3 – 2nd & National
Brunch with more local fare. Most items have a French or Latin twist. Make reservations ahead of time. Also, a President ate there a few years ago, so it can’t be bad.
Need a cuppa joe? Odds are, you’re close to a Colectivo or a restaurant you are going to serves it. Many different roasts available. If you want to see where it’s roasted you can check out the locations in Riverwest on Humboldt or in the 3rd Ward off Water/1st. A really neat location is along the lakefront in the old water pump house on Lincoln Memorial Drive. It overlooks the McKinley Marina and will have live music in the summer.
I’ll admit, this list is far from extensive, but gives you some highlights of places to eat when you’re seeing the farm team or hitting the worlds biggest music festival, Summerfest. We look forward to seeing you up here in the Cream City and Let’s Go Preds!