AB Road Eats: Milwaukee


Valentine Coffee: These guys are top notch roasters and I had a killer cortado. This goes on the list of one of the best cups so far.

Colectivo Coffee: This great city had many coffee options and I was lucky to visit Colectivo, as well as have it backstage. The coffee was good, the lattes were made perfectly and the barista backstage at The Riverside Theater also made a good mocha (hey, it was cold outside).


Cranky Al’s: The award for best doughnut on the road (so far) in 2015 goes to Cranky Al’s. I had my first taste while I was at Valentine Coffee (they serve doughnuts and pastries there). And the cruller I had was so good I had to go to the store itself. I’ll be dreaming of that one for a while.


Sobelmans Pub and Grill: If there was one overwhelming recommendation from my fans, it was to get a burger and bloody from this Milwaukee institution. And the city’s entire population happened to be there when I arrived for lunch. It was worth the wait though. The bloody scratched my itch, the cheese curds were fantastic and the burgers were cooked well.


Kopp’s Custard: I’m usually not a fan of the chocolate-cherry combo. But the chocolate cherry kiss custard (which is served on Valentine’s Day) was well-balanced in both flavors and the texture of the custard was spot on.


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  1. 1

    Next time: Vanguard – uniquely-styled, house-made sausages & The Dirty Burger (a sausage patty burger that’s perfectly sauced – just the best). Purple Door ice cream (salted caramel for the win! but lots of unique flavors). Also the cheese curds at the The Yard at the Iron Horse Hotel.

  2. 2

    Breakfast: Mad Rooster – definitely try a side of the signature baby reds!
    Snack: Iron Grate BBQ food truck for the brisket sandwich.
    Lunch: Mainstream Bar & Grill for the best burger in the area.
    Sweets: Indulgence Chocolatiers and Purple Door Ice Cream.
    These are by far the best MKE options this time around, don’t go for the overrated Blue’s Egg, please! If you didn’t have the evening show The Noble is a must try as well!

    • 5
      Jeffrey Schrab

      Agreed – Rocket Baby Bakery is top notch. Their Bacon and Cheddar Croissant is a must – also put an order in for some macaroons to go.

  3. 6
    Jeffrey Schrab

    Brunch/Breakfast: Blues Egg is must. Engine Company 3 is also worth your time. Cafe Centraal? Bah. You can do better than that in this town. Odd Duck, as others have mentioned gets the nod for small-plates. All Purpose/Crazy Water (they share a desert chef) among other things have the best bread pudding – chocolate with homemade marshmallows is frequent on the rotation. And Goodkind in Bayview might be your best place for an Old Fashioned. It would probably time prohibitive, but The Cheel in Thiensville (20 minute drive north of downtown) is a chance at the off beat spices found in Himalayan food – and their mixologist knows what they are doing as well. Cheers!

  4. 7
    Patrick Perkins

    Cafe Centraal for Brunch Sat. or Sun. Odd Duck for the best of small plates. Blue Egg for all day breakfast and Engine No. 3 for all day breakfast.

  5. 8

    Best for St. Patty’s: (breakfast) McBob’s Pub and Grill. Eggs benedict, the best corned Beef Hash you’ve ever had, scotch eggs, the list goes on. A feast any Irishman would envy.
    Lunch: Big Deal Burgers. The burgers are great, but the diamond in the rough is the Italian beef sandwich.
    Lunch (2.0): West Allis Cheese Shoppe. Two words… yum.
    Greek: Oakland Gyros. Piles of gyro goodness and an amazing tzatziki sauce. The rest of the menu is good too…
    Pizza: Ned’s. ‘Nuf said.
    Burgers: 1. Kopps. Amazing butter burgers. Fantastic custard (although Leon’s has better custard, and is home to the Fonz and Happy Days)
    2. Milwaukee Burger Company. Home of the largest fried cheese curds this side of the Mississippi.
    C. Mazos Hamburgers. In business since 1934. Bonus; there is a hospital across the street when you go into cardiac arrest!

  6. 9

    Blue’s Egg is amazing… pulled ham… stuffed browns…. did I mention the pulled ham?? Also the Smoke Shack… great BBQ, but I go for the candied bacon that comes with amazing sweet potato fries and the pecan pie served with whiskey ice cream… which reminds me, Purple Door Ice Cream! Some unusual flavors, including Brandy Old Fashioned and Raspberry Green Tea as well as Beer & Pretzels and Espresso Bourbon Chocolate Chip, Blackberry Quark, Balsamic Strawberry…. really, you need to go!

  7. 11
    Janice Hauf

    How about a microbrewery? An up and comer is Broken Bat Brewery which will be opening next month! They are located in The Third Ward, across the street from the Public Market…win, win!

  8. 12

    The Milwaukee Brat House is a fun place to get some good German inspired food. Blue’s Egg is also good when thinking of breakfast or lunch. A different custard ( kind of our thing) is Georgie Porgie in Oak Creek. Can’t wait to see you and the show!!

  9. 15

    I wish you had gotten to Love Handle for an amazing sandwich instead of a burger. We have a lot of awesome burgers here, but Love Handle offers sandwich fillings you won’t find many other places, like beef tongue and heart as well as “standards” like beef cheek and pulled pork. Sneak back sometime just to taste it – for your own satisfaction!

  10. 16

    Glad you had the opportunity to see more than the (amazing) Riverside theatre, although I was sorry to hear you weren’t able to find that Old Fashioned!

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