Maybe it is Milwaukee’s European heritage, or maybe it is just the long cold winters, but once spring comes, Milwaukee residents want to do everything outside. From hitting the trails to enjoying a leisurely brunch, to simply reading a new book - if we can do it outdoors, we will!
Enjoying your dinner, or even just cup of coffee al fresco is one of the great pleasures of the warmer seasons. As a Milwaukee car accident lawyer for more than 30 years, I have endured my share of cold winters, looking forward to enjoying many spring and summer outdoor dining experiences.
There are a lot of lists out there detailing all of the places that you can dine (and drink) outdoors in Milwaukee, but here are a few of our personal favorite places and patios.
Top Must-Eat Milwaukee Patios1. The Yard: Part of the Iron Horse Hotel, The Yard is one of the city’s most popular patios. With food until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, stylish yet industrial decor, live music on Sunday afternoons, motorcycle parking, and a great happy hour, The Yard deserves its top spot reputation. Be sure to show up a little early to grab the seating that you want.
2. Botanas: A Milwaukee Mexican food institution, Botanas offers a large lively patio, amazing service, over 100 brands of tequila and great lunch specials. Bring a large group of your friends and family to enjoy margaritas under the stars.
3. The Harp: Don’t wait for St. Patrick's Day to visit The Harp Irish Pub. March is usually too cold to enjoy the legendary Milwaukee River deck that this bar offers. In addition to amazing sunsets, they have a trolley to and from every Brewers game, a summer Sunday Rehab party with live music and drink specials, and boat parking on their own river dock. Stop by for a Guinness and see why the Harp is a summer tradition for many.
4. Colectivo’s Lakefront Cafe: Originally built in 1888, the historic Milwaukee River Flushing Station building has been reborn as the Colectivo Lakefront Cafe. A great spot for both families and freelance workers, this cafe has a large menu, multiple rooms, and a patio that hosts the Florentine Opera and Musica del Lago outdoor music series each summer.
5. Barnacle Bud’s: Have you found Barnacle Bud’s? Your first journey to this Milwaukee Riverfront bar can be a bit of an adventure, as it is hidden behind various warehouses and marine businesses just north of Bay View. Once you successfully arrive, you will be hooked on their fresh oysters, daily specials, creative and casual outdoor seating, and live music on Sundays and Tuesdays.
6. South Shore Terrace: Beer gardens have been a recent (and welcome) addition to the Milwaukee County Parks. South Shore Terrace in Bayview’s South Shore Park is one of the newest. A Partnership between the Milwaukee County Parks and MillerCoors created this amazing facility, with gas fire pits, a cedar pergola, and two stamped concrete stages. Revenue benefits the county parks system, and there is live music on Wednesday nights, including the US Navy Band on July 6th.
7. Tonic Tavern: located on a busy section of Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View, Tonic Tavern has a daily happy hour, loads of live music, and a stylish urban patio that is made for an afternoon of relaxed people-watching. Take a seat here and rest your feet before or after Summerfest - you can catch the free shuttle right out front.
8. Harbor House: If you are looking for a great view of the city and a great meal, look no further than Harbor House. Located right on Lake Michigan, this hot summer spot has a can't-beat-it patio view. The patio also features live music from 4 to 7pm on Sundays and Mondays all summer long.
9. Café Benelux: Not only does Café Benelux offers great food and drink options, but in the spring and summer, you can’t beat the rooftop deck. Stop in and ask for rooftop seating to get a great view of the hustle and bustle of the 3rd Ward, the Public Market and the fun of being downtown Milwaukee.
10. Screaming Tuna: Looking for a view of the Milwaukee River? Consider visiting Screaming Tuna. Asian food and sushi lovers even have the option to park boats on the adjacent docks and walk into the restaurant.
Did we miss your top summer spot? Where is your favorite place for an outdoor meal in Milwaukee?
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