Outdoor drinking guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on July 14, 2020 at 1:17 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
Cocktailing and beer drinking are year-round sports in Milwaukee, but the peak season generally coincides with our beautiful but all-too-brief flirtations with warm weather.
Patios are bound to be hopping as being outside during the pandemic is much safer than indoors. We're picking a few of our favorites that will help you take the party to the outdoors.
Hours and plans for bars and restaurants right now are an ever-changing thing, so the best thing to do is check their social media for updated weekly hours before heading there. Keep in mind things may not feel normal – because they aren't.
Please have fun responsibly, safely and wear a mask to protect yourself and others. Here is where to get some great ones locally made.
2155 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 751-4087
Patio space at The Backyard is dog-friendly and offers space for yard games and social distancing. It even got a bit of a facelift during the quarantine!
Balzac (currently under construction and not open, but stay tuned!)
1716 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 755-0099
Want a bit of an upscale feeling, just off Brady Street? Order a wine and sit either street side or on the quaint back patio at Balzac.
1955 S. Hilbert St., (414) 481-9974
This place is great for so many reasons, with perhaps number one being that so few know where it is. That's because it's nestled behind Skipper Bud's on the north side of Bay View, and you have to drive through a few parking lots to find it. Once you do, though, you'll see a totally unique view of the city, with converging rivers and a backdrop that feels more Key West than Milwaukee. The bar is far from fancy, but it's good for greasy bar food, Coronas and margaritas. In terms of vibe, it's filled with people who've docked their boats, as well as landlubbers who just came to adjust their latitude.
Bass Bay Brewhouse
S79W15851 Aud Mar Dr, Muskego, (414) 377-9449
If your ideal hangout is a patio with a lake view, look no further than Bass Bay Brewhouse. Just a short drive from Milwaukee, this destination patio offers both a beautiful view of Bass Bay plus a menu of tasty craft cocktails, wines and whiskeys as well as an extensive list of Wisconsin craft brews. Had a couple of rounds, but not ready to head home? Stick around and enjoy a dish or two off of their well-executed comfort food-filled menu.
700 W. Lexington Blvd., (414) 236-7000
The remodeled Bierhaus is sure to have a spot perfectly suited for your drinking desires. Let's not forget Heidelberg Park biergarten just outside the historical building, which serves as a lovely spot to sip one of the numerous taps available behind the bar.
3907 S. Lake Dr., (414) 744-3722
A beer garden with a lakefront view – need we say more? Bert's Bar has a great Friday fish fry, a jukebox and welcomes live music performances.
Best Place (not currently open to the public, but stay tuned!)
901 W. Juneau Ave., (414) 847-1330
What's not to love about a beer garden on the site of the historic Pabst brewery? Get your PBR on tap, take in the old world charm and hang around for one of the regular weekend music acts. You can even take your picture with Captain Pabst himself (or a statue of him, anyway).
2970 N. Brookfield Rd., Brookfield, (262) 309-5820
Biloba Brewing is an oasis of quality craft beer in the western suburbs. Late in summer 2017, it installed a new patio out in front of the brewery, located in the intimate setting of the old Brookfield village.
Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria
249 N. Water St., (414) 431-1133
This Riverwalk patio in the heart of the Historic Third Ward is sure to delight with its waterfront views. But its menu is also perfect for noshing alongside a cool, citrusy beverage. Plus, did we mention tequila?
Boone & Crockett
818 S. Water St., (414) 763-4935
The new outdoor patio at Boone & Crockett includes an abundance of new picnic tables and social distancing. It also sports a fantastic view of the Hoan bridge (and, incidentally, any fireworks being set off at the lake) and houses Chef Mitch Ciohon's Taco Moto truck, allowing tasty tacos on the warmest and coldest of Wisconsin days.
346 N. Broadway, (414) 501-2500
A Third Ward rooftop bar with views of Downtown. Need we say more? Probably not, but their great collection of Belgian brews is an added bonus. There is also sidewalk seating.
2608 N. Downer Ave., (414) 963-6366
7677 W. State St., Wauwatosa (414) 475-6771
If you like Belgian beer, pommes frites and a cool vibe, you'll be happy to while away an afternoon at either of these venues. The Tosa location is especially ripe for people watching (and trainspotting, too).
434 S 2nd St., (414) 800-5641
The word "camino" translates out to path – and you should follow this Camino into its fenced-in beer garden. It's the perfect place to soak in some sun while soaking up Camino's wide selection of tasty American craft brews.
Camp Bar Tosa
6600 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 763-3793
As soon as it opened, Camp Bar became the coolest place for a cocktail in East Tosa. Now, there's a patio out back and a deck above, as well, making it the coolest place in East Tosa for an outdoor cocktail.
Casablanca on Brady or Brookfield
728 E. Brady St., (414) 271-6000
17800 W. Blue Mound Rd., (262) 261-6000
Major renovations transformed one of the city's best Middle Eastern restaurants – and one of the Milwaukee's best buffets – into a destination. It's a hot spot for the late-night crowd too, thanks to a second floor deck that juts out over the sidewalk to offer views along Brady Street. On the west side? Check out their Brookfield location - similar vibes and same great goodies.
City Lights Brewinguzfvdxzrsfrdyzcxxuzese
2210 W. Mt. Vernon Ave., (414) 436-1011
Located in the heart of the Menomonee Valley, City Lights has a rockin' patio that's perfect for a pint on a warm summer's day or night.
1307 E. Brady St., (414)-539-6826
Sometimes a nice little sidewalk patio is all you need to make the day better. Use this opportunity to enjoy some Italian food and a wide-ranging cocktail list.
Eagle Park Brewing Company
823 E. Hamilton St., (414) 585-0123
S64 W15640 Commerce Center Pkwy. Muskego
This East Side brewery has a sunny patio located just to the west of the taproom and adjacent to the brewery's substantial fenced-in parking lot, which serves as a site for pig roasts, concerts and beer release parties. A second location is now open in Muskego – and well worth the trip!
1875 N. Humboldt Ave., (414) 226-5882
Hello Milwaukee! Everybody's going to "everyman's cocktail bar" – and everyone knows it. And that includes its cozy patio, featuring plentiful seating and a few bar games to keep the energy and fun going even away from the pinball machines and arcade games inside.
Fuel Café 5th Street (currently not open, but stay tuned)
630 S. 5th St., (414)-847-9580
Fuel Café on 5th Street is the popular coffee shop, eatery and hangout's second location, offering another place for bikers (and other chill folks) to relax, enjoy a cocktail or grab a cup of coffee or beer.
Glass + Griddle / Milwaukee Brewing Co.
1130 N. 9th St., (414) 988-1551
You're going to want to get a piece of this amazing patio and beer garden, which seats a crowd just outside the restaurant and brewery.
Good City Brewing
2108 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 539-4173
Fiserv Forum, 333 W. Juneau Ave., (414) 539-4173
Thanks to Good City's rooftop patio, it's a great place to grab one of the city's best craft beers and breathe in the lake air. Meanwhile, the Deer District location boasts tables outside on the plaza as well as a large upper balcony patio.
Great Lakes Distillery
616 W. Virginia St., (414) 431-8683
Great Lakes has a spacious, nicely landscaped patio with an action-packed view of the cars going round and round and round on the 6th Street roundabout.
Harbor House (currently not open, but stay tuned)
550 N. Harbor Dr., (414) 395-4900
One of the city's top seafood restaurants boasts a fine view of Lake Michigan, literally right outside the windows. But it also has an outdoor patio with a range of seating offering views of the lake, of Milwaukee Art Museum and of the changing Downtown skyline.
The Harp Irish Pub
113 E. Juneau Ave., (414) 289-0700
Perfect for outdoor drinks and tomfoolery from spring to fall, The Harp is located half a block off Water Street. Nothing beats sitting on the patio overlooking the water on a hot summer night.
Hooligan's Super Bar
2017 E. North Ave., (414) 273-5230
Hooligan's is right in the thick of things, and during the summer, the outdoor patio is a fun place to dine and casually take in the view of the bustling East Side.
600 S. 6th St., (414) 488-9146
Among the city's collection of well-appointed patios is the gem at Hotel Madrid. In fact, there's no better place for dinner, brunch or happy hour than their beautifully landscaped, secluded yard. So grab a sangria. We'll meet you there.
354 E. National Ave., (414) 272-5789
One of the "secret gems" in the Milwaukee patio scene. The owner has tremendous style and a very green thumb, and it shows in this bar's beautiful patio.
9155 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 771-9900
With a name like "The Fountain," you can bet this outdoor drinking spot has them in spades. There's even one in its indoor dining area, but the patio is where it's at. Enjoy one of the signature margaritas (heck, grab a pitcher) as well as a taste of Mexico right here in Milwaukee.
Leff's Lucky Town
7208 W. State St., Wauwatosa
What used to be a tiny gas station and parking lot is now a comfortable drinking and dining spot that has made Leff's even more popular with the Tosa crowd. Page 1 of 2 (view all on one page)
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