Outdoor drinking guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Aug. 29, 2018 at 5:56 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 often all-too-brief flirtations with warm weather.
These days, outdoor patios come a dime a dozen. That's not a bad thing, but it would be futile to try to list them all here in a comprehensive guide. Instead, we're picking a few of our favorites that will help you take the party to the patio during these last few glorious days of summer.
If you have a favorite spot that's not on our list, use the Talkback feature to share it.
2155 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Patio space at The Backyard is dog-friendly, has space for yard games, and offers grills for guests to use, just bring your own meat and utensils!
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 at the back patio at Balzac.
1114 N. Water St., (414) 847-1330
It's one of Downtown's larger outdoor drinking spaces, and it's full of Milwaukee history, too, as it used to be Brew City BBQ, one of the original drinking spots on Water Street.
1955 S. Hilbert St., (414) 481-9974
This place is great for so many reasons, perhaps No. 1 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, 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 – 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.
700 W. Lexington Blvd., (414) 236-7000
With spacious rooms and bars designed for large parties as well as more intimate settings, the newly remodeled Bierhaus is sure to have a spot perfectly suited for your drinking desires. Let's not forget Heidelberg Park 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 great Friday fish fry's, a jukebox, and welcomes live music performances.
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 and late in summer 2017 it installed a new patio out in front of the brewery, which is located in the intimate setting of the old Brookfield village.
Boone & Crockett
818 S. Water St., (414)763-4935
The outdoor space at the new Boone & Crockett, which will be executed based on plans laid out by Vavra Design, will sport a fantastic view of the Hoan bridge (and, incidentally, any fireworks being set off at the lake), will also house Chef Mitch Ciohon's Taco Moto truck, which will enjoy new digs, complete with a four-seasons enclosure that will allow customers to eat tacos even on the coldest winter days without freezing.
346 N. Broadway, (414) 501-2500
Third Ward rooftop bar with views of Downtown. Need we say more? Okay. Cafe Benelux was also named Best Non-Irish Pub by OnMilwaukee in 2014.
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 in 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 backyard beer garden space. Opened in 2016, 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, tied perhaps with its neighbor, Red Dot.
Casablanca on Brady
728 E. Brady St., (414) 271-6000
Major renovations transformed one of the city's best Middle Eastern restaurants – and one of the Milwaukee's best buffets – into a destination 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.
City Lights Brewing
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.
1758 N. Water St., (414) 331-0020
Does anything go together better than beer and pizza? DiModa gives you more than 30 beers to match with one of the wood-fired oven pizzas. There is also a gluten free menu and a menu for your dog.
1307 E. Brady St., (414)-539-6826
A great way to enjoy some Italian food and a wide-ranging cocktail list.
Eagle Park Brewing Company
823 E. Hamilton St., (414) 585-0123
The East Side's newest 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 will serve as the site for a brewery pig roast, concerts and various events celebrating future beer releases.
5300 S. 76th St., (414) 423-1365
A lounge area to the left of the inside bar comes complete with a gas fireplace and humidor containing a collection of cigars which can be purchased and smoked out on the Explorium patio. The patio space also features an outdoor bar and fire-pit along with a dining area.
Fuel Café 5th Street
630 S 5th St, (414)-847-9580
Fuel Café on 5th Street is Fuel Café's second location, offering another place for bikers to hang and grab a cup of coffee or beer.
Good City Brewing
2108 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 539-4173
A new rooftop patio was installed in summer 2017 and it's a great place to grab one of the city's best craft beers and breathe in the lake air.
Great Lakes Distillery
616 W. Virginia St., (414) 431-8683
Great Lake's 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.
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.
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 has one in its indoor dining area, but the patio is where it's at. Enjoy one of the signature margaritas (heck, grab a pitcher) and 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 / parking lot is now a comfortable drinking / 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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