Eating and trying local cuisine is an essential part of travel, at least in our opinion. While Milwaukee might not pop into your mind when you think of the Top Foodie Cities to Visit, it has its fair share of tasty, local foods that are sure to make your trip to Milwaukee even better. To help you decide what to eat when visiting Milwaukee, we decided to put together this post of 8 Must-Eat Foods in Milwaukee!
1. Cheese Curds
If you ask anyone from Milwaukee, or Wisconsin for that matter, about what to eat when visiting, they will most likely start with cheese curds, which is why it’s number 1 on our list of must-eat foods in Milwaukee.
You might be thinking, “What’s the big deal? It’s just cheese…” Well, that’s where you’re wrong. Cheese curds are gooey, delicious, and maybe most importantly, squeaky!
You read that right, squeaky. If a curd squeaks while you are chewing it, you know it’s good.
Cheese curds come in two different forms, regular and fried. If you are trying to figure out which one to get, it’s simple: GET BOTH! You will not regret it.
Regular cheese curds are served cold and have that distinct squeak we mentioned before, while fried cheese curds and gooey, yummy, and have that perfect blend between cheese and fried goodness.
Clock Shadow Creamery makes their cheese right in Milwaukee, and you can even get a tour! This is where you should go to get regular cheese curds, but go to Lakefront Brewery for fried cheese curds.
2. Fish Fry
Ah, another Milwaukee tradition: Fish Frys.
In Milwaukee, eating fish on Fridays is not just limited to Lent. It’s a year-round tradition. Throughout the year on Friday afternoons, you’ll typically hear people ask, “Where are you going for a fish fry tonight?”
Not only is it common to go get a fish fry, but there are hundreds of places around Milwaukee where you can get one, so it’s a common point of contention among Milwaukeeans about who has the best fish fry in Milwaukee.
We’re not here to settle that debate. You can get everything from cheap, all-you-can-eat fish frys to more expensive ones with a great ambiance. We’ll let you decide which you prefer.
However, when visiting Milwaukee, eating a fish fry is a must. Fried cod, with a side of potato pancakes, applesauce, rye bread, and coleslaw, all while washing it down with a cold, refreshing beer, how can you go wrong?
Given that this post is about the must-eat foods in Milwaukee, beer doesn’t quite exactly fit in it, but in Milwaukee beer is basically its own food group.
Milwaukee was built on beer. The brewing giants of Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, and Blatz helped the city grow and prosper. Nowadays, Milwaukee is home to tons of craft breweries who continue the city’s brewing traditions.
With so many local breweries in Milwaukee, it can be hard to choose the best one, especially because each brewery offers their own unique styles, and everyone has their own preferences when it comes to what beer styles they like.
Some of Milwaukee’s must-visit breweries include local legends, like Lakefront Brewery and Third Space Brewing as well as the newer, smaller breweries, like Vennture Brew Co., Dead Bird Brewing Company, and Enlightened Brewing Company.
More commonly referred to as a Bratwurst, a brat is a must-eat in Milwaukee. This traditional German sausage is so common in Milwaukee that they actually sell more brats than hot dogs at Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. It is the only baseball stadium in the United States where they sell more brats than hot dogs.
Brats are available all around the city at restaurants and bars, but the best way to eat a brat in Milwaukee is while tailgating. If you are unfamiliar with tailgating, it’s where you drive to an event, typically a sporting event, and eat, drink, and hangout in the parking lot hours before the event begins.
This is very popular for baseball and football games in Wisconsin, and it’s where you will want to eat a brat. Don’t worry though. You definitely will not be the only one there. This time honored tradition draws big crowds, and at least in the case of baseball, is actually more fun than the actual game.
5. Frozen Custard
Frozen custard is synonymous with Milwaukee, and many Milwaukeeans prefer it to it’s scaled down cousin, ice cream. Custard and ice cream are very similar except that custard contains more egg yolk than ice cream. It’s thicker, creamier, and richer.
6. Butter Burgers
A butter burger is almost exactly what it sounds like. It’s a burger that’s cooked with a healthy scoop of butter on it. The deliciousness that comes from cooking a burger with butter can only be explained by trying it.
The best place to eat a butter burger in Milwaukee is at Solly’s Grille. It’s been around since 1936 and claims to be “the home of the original butter burger.”
7. Bloody Mary
If you’ve ever been trying to kick a hangover at brunch, you’ve probably had a Bloody Mary. The mix of tomato juice, vodka, spices, and garnishes go well with a brunch and a little hair of the dog can help ease your hangover.
While Bloody Mary’s are available all of the United States, they are a little different in Milwaukee, and quite frankly, a lot better.
First of all, they are topped with an incredible array of garnishes that include, but aren’t limited to, sausage, peppers, pickled onions, pickles, cheese, and celery. Some even include burgers, fried chicken, mushrooms, and the aforementioned cheese curds.
Bloody Mary’s in Milwaukee are also special because they always come with a beer chaser. Typically, the beer chaser will be anywhere from half a beer to a full beer. That’s a win-win for you as the drinker because you get a Bloody Mary and a beer. What a great way to start the day!
There are so many places that serve fantastic Bloody Marys in Milwaukee that you’ll probably find a good one no matter where you go. A few places that continuously get ranked as having the best Bloody Marys in Milwaukee are The Wicked Hop, Sobelman’s, and Steny’s.
8. Cream Puff
Last on our list of must-eat foods in Milwaukee is the famous cream puff. These are a delicacy at the Wisconsin State Fair and are only available during the fair. They have been around since 1924, and an estimated 400,000 are eaten every year at the State Fair.
They are a pastry bun filled with a light cream. Many people flock to the cream puff stand inside the State Fair, so expect a a little wait. Cream puffs are a definite must-eat if you visit Milwaukee.
Again, Milwaukee might not be the top place on your list of best foodie cities in the United States, but hopefully these 8 must-eat foods in Milwaukee got your mouth watering and made you want to visit Milwaukee on your next trip!