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The Best Cheap Eats in Milwaukee

The wonderful American city of Milwaukee is one of the most exciting and fastest-growing spots in the United States; with a young population, plenty of economic opportunities, and a ton of culture and great cuisine, Milwaukee is the place to be. Cheap eats in Milwaukee are an integral part of the city, with restaurants serving up inexpensive, delicious dishes for visitors and locals. But where are the city's smartest, savviest diners heading out to when they're looking for cheap eats in Milwaukee? Welcome to our Tastemakers List. Here, we've put together a list of the best, most inexpensive restaurants in Milwaukee, chosen by the city's in-the-know diners. From local pubs and taverns to downtown restaurants, fusion places, and cutting-edge hot spots, the cheap eats in Milwaukee have something for everyone. Grab a table in Milwaukee for cheap eats tonight!

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The OpenTable Team
20 Restaurants
Updated 01 October 2021
Restaurants:Trouble and Sons Pizzeria, Oak Barrel Public House, Bavette
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:Italian, Contemporary American, American
Neighborhoods:Whitefish Bay, Milwaukee
A photo of Trouble and Sons Pizzeria restaurant

Trouble and Sons Pizzeria

$$$$
Italian
Whitefish Bay
4.7
297 reviews

A longtime Whitefish Bay favorite for the pizza-loving Milwaukee crowd, Trouble and Sons is a classic Italian spot with a long menu of favorites. Go for one of the house pizzas, like the Trouble and Sons special house pie with mozzarella, prosciutto, banana peppers, and onions. The hearty "double trouble" features Italian and andouille sausage with pepperoni and portabello mushrooms. Other highlights include deep-fried risotto, marinated olives, and toasted ravioli filled with cheese.


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 Oak Barrel Public House restaurant

Oak Barrel Public House

$$$$
Contemporary American
Milwaukee
4.3
423 reviews

One of Milwaukee's hot spots for the Bradley Center crowd, the Oak Barrel Public House is a lively spot with plenty of great beer and spirits selections. It's also a place for some of the best cheap eats in Milwaukee. Start with some of the starters and sharing specials like a scotch egg with Dijon mustard, chicken tenders, or whiskey-battered cheese curds. For a drink, try some of Angel's Envy or Bulleit 10-year bourbon, or go for the Lakefront New Grist Pilsner or New Glarus Two Women local beer specials.


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 Bavette restaurant

Bavette

$$$$
American
Milwaukee
4.8
304 reviews

A Third Ward favorite operated by celebrated Milwaukee chef Karen Bell, Bavette is one of the prime spots for traditional meat dishes in Milwaukee's Third Ward. Start with some of the special house snacks, like lard and maple spiced nuts, smoked trout deviled eggs, or soft pretzels with smoked sea salt. Sandwiches include roast beef with cheddar, Cuban-pressed ham, bacon, and cheese with mustard, and pate on rye. Grab one of the famous Todd the Axe Man IPAs from Surly to go alongside lunch or dinner.


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A photo of Easy Tyger restaurant

Easy Tyger

$$$$
Asian
Milwaukee
4.5
129 reviews

Easy Tyger is one of Milwaukee's best spots for contemporary Asian meals and cheap eats. Stop in for specials like beef brisket with cucumber kimchi, fried chicken with blue cheese dressing, or crispy tofu with miso ranch. Pair those with noodles like miso and buttered corn ramen, or tonkatsu ramen with a 24-hour pork broth and soy-marinated egg.


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A photo of Motor at the Harley-Davidson Museum restaurant

Motor at the Harley-Davidson Museum

$$$$
American
Milwaukee
4.5
341 reviews

When traveling to Milwaukee, the Harley-Davidson Museum is a must-see spot. After working up an appetite and a thirst with those classic American motorcycles, stop into the Motor restaurant for an excellent meal of cheap eats. Try the special sriracha burger with onion strings and Muenster. There are also brisket nachos made with barbecue and chipotle cheese sauces. For a barbecue treat, try the burnt ends of brisket or the sweet barbecue dry rub chicken wings. Be sure to stop into the "Can Room" craft beer bar to try over 55 different local and national canned craft beers.


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 The Knick restaurant

The Knick

$$$$
Contemporary American
Milwaukee
4.6
1810 reviews

Inside the city's historic Knickerbocker hotel, "The Knick" is the place to go for some cheap eats in Milwaukee. Grab a table at the bar in this Yankee Hill favorite and enjoy the weekday happy hour specials. The "micro burger" sliders feature cheddar and greens salad with cherry tomatoes. House-made tater tots come with a side of chipotle aioli dipping sauce. Don't miss the bacon-wrapped meatloaf burger with cheddar cheese and stout-battered onion rings. Grab one of the Wisconsin craft micro beer bottles to go alongside dinner. Try the Door County "Little Sister" witbier or the Karben4 "Fantasy Factory" IPA.


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 Bottlehouse 42 restaurant

Bottlehouse 42

$$$$
American
Milwaukee
4.0
161 reviews

Milwaukee is one of the prime beer cities in the world, and the Glass + Griddle is one of the city's best places to go to for a frosty mug and some great food. Head in during the Monday-Thursday happy hours for half-off snacks and shares. These include pizza dip with garlic bread and Korean fried chicken wings with celery. Beers feature the local favorite New Glarus "Moon Man" and the Prost maibock. There's also the Collective Arts Imperial IPA and the Drekker "Lactose IIPA." Don't miss one of the Surly coffee bender brown ales or the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPAs, either.


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A photo of Cafe Manna restaurant

Cafe Manna

$$$$
Vegetarian / Vegan
Brookfield
4.8
691 reviews

This vegetarian restaurant in Brookfield delivers an eclectic menu that appeals to eaters of all styles. It's one of the coolest brunch places in town. There's a creative selection of vegetarian specials like "crab" cakes made from heart of palm. Weekly specials feature jackfruit carnitas and Italian "sausage" pizza with seitan crumbles. Grab one of the Cafe's organic local beer selections to go along with the meal and the cafe carrot cake for dessert.


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 East Town Kitchen & Bar restaurant

East Town Kitchen & Bar

$$$$
Pub
Milwaukee
4.5
461 reviews

The creative menu at East Town Kitchen and Bar is full of "elevated Midwest comfort food." It's one of the top spots for cheap eats in Milwaukee. Stop in during the weekday happy hour for plenty of great deals on these Midwestern-styled specials. Try the "bacon lollipop" with thick-cut, house-seasoned slices, or the BLT deviled eggs with peppercorn aioli. Of course, the menu also includes Widmer's cheese curds and a warm jumbo pretzel with cheddar beer cheese sauce. Pair the cheap eats selections with a draft Miller Light or craft beer or glasses of house red or white wines.


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

This straightforward and upscale American bar and bistro close to the river in Milwaukee is a local favorite for cheap eats. Grab a seat at the bar or in the relaxed dining room for the weekday happy hour, with deals on appetizers, draft beers, and select drinks. Try the signature onion straws or chicken quesadilla, or go for the classic mussels with garlic, white wine, butter, and tomato. Be sure to stop in on Friday for one of the traditional Milwaukee fish fries. Enjoy beer-battered cod alongside rye bread, coleslaw, and waffle fries. Be sure to grab some of Wisconsin's favorite Spotted Cow farmhouse ales or the Krombacher Pilsner from Germany.


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 MOXIE Food + Drink restaurant

MOXIE Food + Drink

$$$$
Contemporary American
Whitefish Bay
4.8
976 reviews

Head over to the North Shore of Milwaukee for some of the city's finest deals on comfort food and craft cocktails. This lively hot spot for cheap eats in Milwaukee has a modern Italian menu with plenty of local favorites. Start a meal with the marinated tomato bruschetta, and spicy shrimp sauteed in bacon. There's also a grilled sausage platter with white cheddar and roasted grapes. The sandwiches come with the restaurant's signature baked cracked pepper fries. The menu highlights feature red pepper pesto chicken salad and grilled chicken breast with gorgonzola. Go for one of the Moxie martinis, like the chocolate espresso with chocolate syrup and Bailey's.


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

Right in the middle of one of the city's most happening districts, the Rumpus Room is an engaging gastropub with plenty of cheap eats and great beer. Show some state pride and stop in for the weekday "Wisconsin Happy Hour" with a wide-ranging menu of inexpensive specials. Wisconsin cheese is at the center of the happy hour. Try the fried cheese curds with creamy garlic dressing or bacon and cheese curd flatbread. Diners will also find pretzel bites from the Milwaukee Pretzel Company. The happy hour also features a full menu of domestic "tall boy" specials. Grab Miller Lite, Coors Light, and PBR, along with 2-for-1 Wisconsin tap beers.


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 North Star American Bistro-Brookfield restaurant

North Star American Bistro-Brookfield

$$$$
American
Brookfield
4.7
1475 reviews

Brookfield's North Star American Bistro is a relaxed and welcoming spot in the suburbs ideal for dinner or brunch. It also boasts some of the best cheap eats in Milwaukee. Select from a wide-ranging menu of classic American favorites. These include crab cakes with horseradish dressing or fried calamari with marinara. The impossible vegan burger features cashew cheese sauce and avocado. A cheddar and bacon jam burger comprises all the traditional toppings and parmesan onion strings. Stop into brunch for a special pecan-crusted chicken salad or the southwest skillet with chorizo, bell peppers, and onions.


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 Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria restaurant

Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria

$$$$
American
Milwaukee
4.5
488 reviews

In the middle of the city's historic Third Ward, the Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria is one of the best places for cheap eats in Milwaukee alongside fine spirits. Head in for the weekday happy hour for deals on house margaritas, Miller Lites, or the "Rooster Kick" with a shot and a beer. The "shareable" food specials include a "bag o' chips" with choice of salsas or guacamole and fried brussels sprouts with lime and cojita cheese. Be sure to accompany the meal with a flight of "Blanco," "reposado," or "Blue Bat favorites" tequilas.


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 ARIA - The Restaurant at Saint Kate restaurant

ARIA - The Restaurant at Saint Kate

$$$$
Contemporary American
Milwaukee
4.6
268 reviews

In the middle of the Saint Kate Arts Hotel, Aria Cafe & Bar is one of the best places for cheap eats in Milwaukee. It's a great spot to go into for a bite or a drink after a show at the nearby Marcus Performing Arts Center. The seasonally-inspired "All Day" menu features a wide selection of American favorites. Start with the classic or lox deviled eggs, a dip duo of pimento cheese and smoked whitefish, or sweet corn falafel with yogurt sauce. The Aria's classic "Big Boy" burger features American cheese and iceberg lettuce, and mini lobster BLTs feature a grilled split bun and house chips. Don't miss the pan-seared salmon with East Side dark glaze and a soba noodle salad.


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 Punch Bowl Social - Milwaukee restaurant

Punch Bowl Social - Milwaukee

$$$$
American
Milwaukee
3.6
71 reviews

Lots of entertainment and lots of great food is on the menu for the fun Milwaukee spot called Punch Bowl Social. Only a short walk away from the BMO Harris Bradley Center, Punch Bowl Social is the spot to go for a birthday party, celebration, or just a regular night out with friends and family. Indulge in some private karaoke, bowling, exciting table games, or the vintage arcade favorites straight from the genre's heyday. Pair the fun with some of the Punch Bowl favorites from the happy hour menu. Go for an "Old Man Can" of classic Schlitz, Blatz, or Old Milwaukee lager and some of the buffalo honey wings with buttermilk dressing and honey-buffalo sauce.


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A photo of P.F. Chang's - Wauwatosa restaurant

P.F. Chang's - Wauwatosa

$$$$
Asian
Wauwatosa
4.0
124 reviews

The local Wautwatosa location of this national Chinese-food chain is one of the best places for cheap eats in Milwaukee. A welcoming and lively spot inside the Mayfair Mall, P.F. Chang's is an excellent spot for a night out with friends or a relaxing meal after a shopping day. Stop in for the P.F. Chang's Happy Hour for a full menu of inexpensive food and drink favorites. Try kimchi fries, tempura poppers, Asian macaroni and cheese, or hand-folded crab wontons. The special pitcher of drink favorites includes Asian pear mojitos and pink grapefruit seltzer. There are also special craft-beer selections for the happy hour crowd.


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 Pizza Man - Oak Creek - Permanently Closed restaurant

Pizza Man - Oak Creek - Permanently Closed

$$$$
Italian
Milwaukee
4.3
204 reviews

"In Crust We Trust" is the slogan of this North Downer Avenue hot spot, one of the top places in Milwaukee for cheap eats. Be sure to try some of the special chef's selections, like spicy honey garlic wings with gorgonzola dipping sauce or the bacon & Brussels pizza with white sauce and a balsamic drizzle. Stop in before or after a Brewers game for deals on select appetizers, a "Blueberry Brauny" cocktail, or the "Brew Crew margarita."


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A photo of Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub At The Brewhouse Inn & Suites - Permanently Closed restaurant

Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub At The Brewhouse Inn & Suites - Permanently Closed

$$$$
American
Milwaukee
4.2
248 reviews

The historic Pabst Brewery is a must-go spot for anyone traveling to the city. Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub in the brewery is one of the finest places for cheap eats in Milwaukee. Grab one of the hearty Midwest appetizers, like chicken tenders with bleu cheese or a giant pretzel. Wisconsin cheese curds include yellow and white cheddar hand-battered to order. The breaded thin pickle spears come with a side of jalapeno ranch. A traditional Pabst Blue Ribbon or Riverwest stein lager is the perfect pairing to go with these Midwest favorites.


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A photo of Meraki - Milwaukee - Permanently Closed restaurant

Meraki - Milwaukee - Permanently Closed

$$$$
International
Milwaukee
4.5
332 reviews

This intriguing 2nd Street location in the heart of downtown Milwaukee is a creative international bistro with some of the best cheap eats in town. Grab a seat at the bar in the industrial-styled surroundings for some of the Meraki bar bites. Enjoy soba noodles and ahi tuna, rabbit wings, a scotch egg, or green beans with "dragon sauce." Pair those snacks with a craft beer from the large selection at Meraki. Favorites for brews include the "Lazerite" IPA from Warpigs and the "No Snowflake Ever Falls in the Wrong Place" from Evil Twin Brewing.


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