Milwaukee Food Adventures

Milwaukee Food Adventures

Editor’s Note: This article was originally written in 2018 before things like global pandemics were part of our collective experience. Please be sure to check into specific opening detail, mask requirements, etc. before you head out the door! Stay safe out there, friends. 

As has become my annual tradition, here are my suggestions for Milwaukee food adventures while we are closed for the holiday break. (Yep, we aren’t delivering December 26th, 29th or January 2nd.) Bonus – a few of these places have things to do besides eat, so they will kill more time with holiday guests. We all win! Hooray!

Sherman Phoenix

This food hall on the north side is everything I love about Milwaukee in winter – fun eats, lots of things to do, and ice cream all in one warm, I-don’t-have-to-get-out-of-my-car-a-bunch kind of space. The first time we went, we sampled everything from pizza at Sauce and Spice (best thin crust I’ve ever had and a great deal at $8 for a whole pizza), my favorite Funky Fresh spring rolls, and kale apple juice from Shindig. Next time we go, we are going to leave time for the open gallery at Vibez Creative Studio. And you know we got ice cream (hello, chocolate malt madness) from Purple Door to enjoy later.

The story about the Sherman Phoenix is great and something I hope y’all want to champion as much as I do. Explore a new neighborhood and enjoy a great lunch.


I’m the last person in town to discover Thai-namite. A friend invited me to lunch at the east side location, which was so good I tried the Tosa location, too. Rumor has it they run the Asian spot at the Milwaukee Public Market now, so check that out, too. The lunch deal was great but I bet dinner is just as delicious. Perhaps not the most authentic Asian restaurant I’ve ever been to, but it should leave everyone from kiddos to grandma, happy which is important this time of year.

Sweet Diner and The Hop

Speaking of the Third Ward, Randy and I took the girls for an at-home adventure day one recent Sunday. We started with brunch at Sweet Diner, which was delicious. Super healthy or super decadent, you pick! (You might have seen the picture of Eggroll snarfing her chocolate chip pancakes on my personal Instagram account.) We wandered around the Third Ward for a bit and then hopped aboard the well, Hop. I’m still not sold on this as a viable actual transportation option, but it was a fun way to see parts of downtown. Now is the perfect time to take a ride since it’s free and there are holiday decorations all around. I’d love your opinion after you go.

Drinks at Hotel Madrid and/or Lost Whale

So I know you can eat here (at least Hotel Madrid), but these last two recommendations are for your grown-up night out. I’m in a Spanish wine phase (insert eye roll here) and Hotel Madrid does not disappoint. They also have great cocktails, as does Lost Whale. Perfect for a night out on the near south side. Salud!

Where else do we need to go this holiday season? Would love to hear your recommendations, too!