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The Best Bars for Foodies in Milwaukee

Every one of the best bars in Milwaukee can trace its success to the breweries established back in the 1830s. Immigrants from 'drinking cultures' settled the area, and while nearly every community in Wisconsin had at least one brewery, Milwaukee had the largest in the world. But where do patrons with demanding taste buds choose to toss back a few? Welcome to our Tastemaker List. We’ve gathered data from thousands of bars and restaurants to find the places that OpenTable’s most experienced users love the most. Milwaukee is well-known for its butter burgers, cheese curds, and bratwurst, and it just so happens that all these foods go great with an ice-cold brew. Check out these popular spots and book a table today!

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The OpenTable Team
13 Restaurants
Updated 26 February 2020
Restaurants:Oak Barrel Public House, The Rumpus Room - A Bartolotta Gastropub, Johnny Manhattan's
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Contemporary American, American, Steakhouse
Neighborhoods:Milwaukee, Menomonee Falls
A photo of Oak Barrel Public House restaurant

Oak Barrel Public House

$$$$
Contemporary American
Milwaukee
4.3
423 reviews

Located in the Downtown area, Oak Barrel Public House has worked hard to maintain its designation as one of the best bars in Milwaukee. This includes offering a shuttle bus to every Brewer game and to Summerfest events. It's also within walking distance to the Bucks arena. Those who don’t have tickets to games can watch live surrounded by whiskey barrels, exposed brick walls and vintage art. They also offer over two dozen styles of whiskey along with craft cocktails and the increasingly popular “beer cocktail.” This place somehow discovered just how great certain IPAs taste when combined with lemonade and bourbon.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Rumpus Room - A Bartolotta Gastropub restaurant

The Rumpus Room - A Bartolotta Gastropub

$$$$
American
Milwaukee
4.2
1853 reviews

Joe Bartolotta was a force in the Milwaukee restaurant scene, and The Rumpus Room that bears his name has proven just as popular. Their frequent events – which include the Oysterfest, Annual Holiday Brunch and Pre-Broadway Show Colonial Dinners – are a huge draw for tourists and locals alike. What really makes them one of the best bars in Milwaukee, though, is their authentic gastropub atmosphere. Of course, their 20 craft beers on tap and Wisconsin Happy Hour probably don’t hurt the cause either. Those who want a meal with their drink have vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options if they need them.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Johnny Manhattan's restaurant

Johnny Manhattan's

$$$$
Steakhouse
Menomonee Falls
4.8
893 reviews

The oak wood ceiling, mounted deer head, vintage chandeliers and stone fireplace are not what make Johnny Manhattan’s one of the favorite bars of Milwaukee. They do create an aura, however, that perfectly complements many of the classic cocktails that guests enjoy. There are no worries for those with more contemporary tastes, though, because the bartender can make just about anything. What’s really impressive is the list of around 200 wines that the bar offers. Toss in the wide variety of pizzas and delicious entrees like seared carpaccio, shrimp cocktail or seasoned calamari, and guests get the best of all worlds.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Motor at the Harley-Davidson Museum restaurant

Motor at the Harley-Davidson Museum

$$$$
American
Milwaukee
4.5
341 reviews

A trip to the Harley-Davidson Museum simply wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Motor Restaurant. The décor is exactly what one would expect: classic motorcycles, whiskey barrels, engine displays and vintage images of bikers from the past. They also have great food that includes wings, burgers, stuffed potatoes and sandwiches. It’s the variety of drinks available, though, that designate the Motor as one of the best bars in Milwaukee. There are around 20 whiskey and ryes available along with wine, beer, other spirits, cocktails and non-alcoholic offerings.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of East Town Kitchen & Bar restaurant

East Town Kitchen & Bar

$$$$
Pub
Milwaukee
4.5
461 reviews

Many bars claim that they'll eventually become the preferred downtown hot spot, but East Town Kitchen & Bar could actually pull it off. Their whiskey list is one of the best in the state, and they’ve got a variety of wine, cocktail, beer and locally brewed offerings. Happy Hour happens on the weekdays and lasts from 3 pm to 6 pm, so those who need a drink after work can still enjoy a great price at one of the best bars in Milwaukee. The décor is basic – only the archways and exposed brick particularly stand out. Fortunately, the food and alcohol menus speak for themselves.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Five O'Clock Steakhouse restaurant

Five O'Clock Steakhouse

$$$$
Steakhouse
Milwaukee
4.8
3148 reviews

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, and in Wisconsin, ‘somewhere’ is the Five O’Clock Steakhouse. It’s often called Milwaukee’s best steakhouse, and with options like filet mignon, New York strip, porterhouse and lamb chops, this isn’t really surprising. With over 30 craft, import and domestic beers in addition to 60 wines and a variety of cocktails, it’s also easy to see why the establishment is considered one of the best bars in Milwaukee. Posh lighting, rustic décor and live music in the Alley Cat Lounge round out this experience.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Stella Van Buren restaurant

Stella Van Buren

$$$$
Italian
Milwaukee
4.3
929 reviews

The bourbon collection that lines the walls behind the bar is impressive, and this alone would throw Stella Van Buren into contention for the ‘Best Bar in Milwaukee’ title. Those who enjoy variety, though, will love the extensive beer list, cocktails, seasonal offerings and wines from around the world. Tuscany? Southern Italy? California? Oregon? Stella Van Buren has reds and whites from all these areas and more. Toss in the delicious offerings of an Italian American steakhouse, and this place is understandably a Wisconsin favorite.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Butcher & Barrel Gastropub restaurant

Butcher & Barrel Gastropub

$$$$
Steakhouse
Racine
4.4
318 reviews

The wood paneling outside makes Butcher & Barrel Gastropub stand out among its neighbors. Its selection of drinks, however, makes it stand out from its contemporaries. Their signature cocktails include the Habanero Matador, California Old Fashioned, Harvest Sangria and Autumn in New York. They also have an extensive collection of pilsners, lagers, porters, stouts, ales and domestics. Guests get to enjoy fine dining in a pub atmosphere – complete with industrial lighting, exposed brick, mounted deer head and television behind the bar.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Mason Street Grill restaurant

Mason Street Grill

$$$$
American
Milwaukee
4.7
3062 reviews

When asked what they enjoy most about Mason Street Grill, many people will mention sitting in the lounge – right where the wood-fired oven aroma and live jazz can tickle their senses – and enjoying a specialty cocktail. Drink selections include artistic options like the Five Fifteeni, Hope Floats, Widow's Kiss and Rhubarb Daiquiri. Those who prefer an ice-cold beer also won’t be let down since there are over two dozen bottled options and several drafts available. Even as one of the best bars in Milwaukee, though, guests are still treated to a fine dining atmosphere.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Harry's Bar and Grill restaurant

Harry's Bar and Grill

$$$$
American
Milwaukee
4.6
450 reviews

Just a short distance from Lake Michigan – and sporting an outdoor deck that would fit in perfectly at the lake – Harry’s Bar and Grill is a popular bar in Milwaukee’s east side. The décor is contemporary and chic, and the food menu is modern America at its finest. Those who are focused on a great drink, however, will adore the alcohol selection. There are a variety of wines and beers to go around - including macro brews - but everyone should try out a few of the cocktails. The Dirty Harry, Pear Smash, Shorewood Collins and Vanilla Cosmo have remained consistently popular over the years.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Champps Americana - Brookfield restaurant

Champps Americana - Brookfield

$$$$
American
Brookfield
4.6
315 reviews

Frequently referred to as the city's 'craft beer mecca,' Champps Americana is a sports-themed casual restaurant that puts a heavy focus on live sporting events. Like any Bucks or Packers fan, the owners believe the best bars in Milwaukee need to have a way to watch the games. With televisions placed just about anywhere there’s free wall space, Champps pulls this off. They offer classic bar foods such as hot dogs, pretzels, chicken tenders, nachos and burgers. Add this to the beer, martinis, wine and specialty cocktails like The Smackdown, and guests have a great time waiting for them.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Firefly Tosa restaurant

Firefly Tosa

$$$$
American
Wauwatosa
4.5
624 reviews

Classic comfort foods with a modern twist are the name of the game at Firefly Tosa, but this doesn’t mean the eatery can’t also be a desirable bar in Milwaukee. The elegant lighting, huge mirrors, abstract art and stylish seating all create a contemporary feel that anyone can enjoy. Of course, the more than 60 micro-brews and imports on hand can go a long way in creating a good time as well. Firefly is one of the few places where diners can find three varieties of absinthe, so it’s definitely a big deal in the city.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Carson's Prime Steaks & Famous Barbecue - Milwaukee restaurant

Carson's Prime Steaks & Famous Barbecue - Milwaukee

$$$$
Barbecue
Milwaukee
4.5
1254 reviews

Everyone knows that barbecue and beer go great together, and this is the driving force behind the popularity of Carson’s Prime Steaks & Famous Barbecue. It’s located in the luxurious Moderne high rise, and it fits in well here thanks to the sleek white seating, marble-style bar, impressive lighting and variety of photographic art featured on the walls. Being in such a fine dining atmosphere should never stop guests from enjoying a beer or delicious cocktail such as the Lisa Lisa or Moderne. It may be called America’s No. 1 barbecue, but it’s no doubt still one of the best bars in Milwaukee.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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