10 Places to Visit in Milwaukee
A list of places to bring people from out of town when they come to visit, or to go yourself if you've never been! Mostly centered around food and alcohol in typical Wisconsin fashion. I tried to get equal representation for different categories. Here's a few tucked away gems that won't burn a hole in your pocket.
Great Lakes Distillery
Milwaukee is known for their beer, and while we have plenty of great brewery tour options (see further down) an overlooked gem is the Great Lakes Distillery making a variety of small batch spirits unlike anything else in the area. The brewery produces their own rum, whiskey, gin, absinthe and vodka. They even provide tours of their distillery complete with samples at the end of everything they offer. It's so smooth you can drive them all striaght. They also work with other local companies as often as possible to source ingredients making it as local as possible. Tours book up quickly so it's smart to book online in advance. It's also a great place to get a well made moscow mule provided in their own brand of copper mugs. (Also for sale at the distillery)
The Red Dot
Tucked into a residental area on the Eastside, THe Red Dot is one of the few places to find delicious poutine (a Canadian dish containing fries, Chese curds and gravy). They even offer their own Midwestern twist of using tator tots as the base. Everything is reasonably price and it's rarely very busy. They also use house infused vodkas for their homemade Bloody Mary's. (I reccommend trying the Garlic Basil) as well as a good selection of local taps.
The Milwaukee Domes are a great way to help fight the long Wisconsin winters. Made up of 3 unique domes (Tropical, Desert and Show) visiters get to see the incredibly vibrant plant life growing in other areas of the world. There are also small animals such as birds and frogs living within the plant ecosystems. The show dome is an ever changing themed exhibit and there are many other events through out the year. From the Winter Farmer's Market to Chinese New Year celebrations you're likely to want to return soon.
The design of the Art Museum is beautiful in the inside and out. In the morning, the Burke Brise Soleil wings covering the glass panels open up gracefully like wings and at night they are closed back up. There are traveling exhibits always featured and the largest collection of Georgia O'Keeffe work.
From the outside, Corazon looks like a residental house and it's easy to miss. Inside, a modest bar and limited indoor seating make it quaint and cozy in the winter. You'll probably have to wait for a table, but their extensive original drink list including housemade margaritas will make it easy to wait. The menu has a lot of vegan/vegetarian options and ala carte selections.
Walker's Point area of Milwaukee is home to many Mexican restaurants, but one sticks out above all. Conejito's has been a staple of the area for years without changing a thing. Patron's food is served on paper plates and your soda comes in a can. Everything from the drinks to the food is unbelievably cheap, I don't think they've changed their prices since the first time I've gone many years ago.
Milwaukee Public Market
Milwaukee Public Market is a center point of the downtown area. It's the only place you can get fresh seafood, sushi, mexican, mediterranean, decadent chocolates, fresh bakery, artesian cheese, juice bar, coffee and handmade soups all under the same roof. In addition to these popular lunch spots, the Public Market is also home to a wine bar, Wisconsin-themed clothing shop, spice house and fresh produce stand. It's loud and busy on the first floor (in a good way) with overlooking seating on the second floor. There's always things changing at the market, and new business coming and going so it's a great place to revisit frequently.
Leon's Frozen Custard
Family owned since 1942, Leon's is a Southside landmark. Fresh flavors made daily with carry out service all year round and open until midnight. Wisconsin knows how to make custard.
Stubby's is one of the many bars in Milwaukee going gastropub, offering a huge selection of beers on tap and pairing them with the correct glassware. Their lines are clean and the 53 beers on tap they have are often rotated. THe bar also does monthly drawings for specific breweries even offering prizes such as drinking for a year there free. On Thursdays, the bar offers $3 off ALL taps making it a great place to try pricey beers usually $5-$7 for more than half the price and in the proper glassware. They also have a decent amount of local beers on tap, so it's a good place to try them out all in one spot. They also have a good selection of bar food and mile high nachos that you think you can eat yourself but you're really going to want a friend to help. Even the half order will fill you up.
A small shop in the heart of the Bayview neighborhood that sells only items by local artists. It's a great place for unique gifts, or a Wisconsin souvenir to take home with you. They carry jewelry, prints, house decor, cards/post cards, baby clothes, adult clothes and many other odds and ends you wont find anywhere else.
The Distillery in my opinion is the #1 must see in Milwaukee, we are known for our beer and breweries so it gets overlooked, but there arent a lot of places in this country (It's the only one in the state) doing small batch distillery. They've paved the way for anyone else in this state who wants to do this and had to jump though many hoops to get the proper licensing for what they're doing. In all, Milwaukee itself is a place that is very overlooks as a "tiny big city" but it has a lot of character and a lot of small local businesses that do really well supporting eachother and exchanging goods and services. Even within the city, there are so many neighborhoods with unique characteristics that I could write a list for each one.