Wauwatosa bar guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on March 25, 2019 at 9:02 a.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.
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Downtown Milwaukee is still the top spot for nightlife in the area, but more and more folks are turning to Tosa to grab a quick drink or for a full night out.
Tosa serves as a real-life timeline of 20th century bars: You'll find quaint neighborhood taps on the east side; bigger, more modern sports bars to the west; and even larger, corporate-owned places on the western edge of town.
Check out some of Wauwatosa's watering holes, both old and new, with OnMilwaukee.com. Add your favorites using the talkback feature below.
11200 W. Burleigh St., (414) 837-6290
One of a quartet of Bartolotta-launched venues at the Mayfair Collection, this one has a sports bar vibe, with a fun game room and focuses on beer and solid pub food. With a vibrant atmosphere, this is a great place for boys' night out or as a place to watch the game.
6817 W. North Ave., (414) 988-8533
BelAir Cantina is a hoppin' place to get a hearty Mexican meal – and cheap tacos on Tuesdays and Thursdays – but it's also got a good range of tequilas that can be sampled alone or in flights, margaritas and beers, both domestic and imported.
Big Head Brewing Co.
6204 W. State St., (414) 257-9782
This Tosa brewpub offers a rotating array of craft tappers. There's a happy hour every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and the fun is never-ending with free pinball machines, indoor shuffleboard and more.
Buffalo Wild Wings
2635 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 302-1900
Another chain restaurant but one with a good-sized bar, big beers and plenty of televisions to watch the game. Plus, the always addictive bar trivia network games can keep you occupied if your team is getting throttled.
7700 Harwood Ave., (414) 271-7700
On the restaurant's Facebook page, Lowlands says, "Cafe Bavaria is not your grandmother's German restaurant. Featuring warm German cuisine and beer, the party never ends at Cafe Bavaria." But it is definitely your Lowlands German restaurant. As at Cafe Benelux Downtown, Cafe Bavaria has a wide range of beers, a market attached, and outdoor seating and soccer – Lowlands trademarks – of course, too.
7677 W. State St., (414) 475-6771
This Western outpost – which got a refresh to kick off 2017 – opens early seven days a week for breakfast and Sunday brunch and is open late as a bar, too. Lunch and dinner are also served in the welcoming dining room and tables line the bridge and sidewalk outside, offering al fresco dining, in season. As with all Lowlands Group places, you can expect an extremely wide and interesting selection of beer from Europe and a menu very similar to the one offered at the original location on Downer and Belleview.
6600 W. North Ave., (414) 763-3793
One of the newest additions to the East Tosa bar scene is the western outpost of Shorewood-based Camp Bar. Like its elder sibling the North Avenue location is outfitted in Northwoods log cabin chic and is a haven for cocktail lovers, drawing impressive crowds every night of the week. When the weather cooperates, there's a patio out back.
Club Tap Cocktail Lounge
8816 W. North Ave., (414) 257-4142
Open 365 days a year, Club Tap is Tosa's old reliable. It's been there nearly as long as anyone can remember. It opened in 1939 and many believe it to be the oldest bar in Wauwatosa. Club Tap is a neighborhood place of city-wide renown. Fourteen beers on tap, nightly specials and free WiFi make for a affordable – and productive – evening. And Lalli's next door has some of the best carry-out pizza in town.
Read Bobby Tanzilo's look at Club Tap here.
7342 W. State St., (414) 476-3070
There are more doctors here than on the back nine at the Bluemound Country Club on a summer day. Actually they're not doctors, but students from the nearby medical school who frequent Colonel Hart's. It's also a convenient stop for softball players from Hart Park across the street. Colonel Hart's has a number of booths and tables that make it a good spot if you're meeting up with a large group of friends. It also has a notable collection of old newspapers headlines commemorating great moments in Wisconsin sports history.
Read Bobby's story about Colonel Hart's here.
Dave & Buster's
2201 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 454-0830
The newest addition to Tosa's West Side, Dave & Buster's opened in March 2010, providing adults with a dining, drinking and entertainment complex. The game room and dining areas are separated by a large bar room, allowing patrons to enjoy a drink, watch the game or take their chance in the arcade.
7754 Harwood Ave., (414) 431-1444
Just across the tracks from Cafe Hollander is Firefly, formerly Bjonda and, before that, Jolly's on Harwood. The front has two dining rooms serving full menus, but continue toward the back of the space to find a spacious bar that maintains an intimate vibe and offers a stylish, dimly lit atmosphere for a Wauwatosa cocktail. There's also a patio that's open in the warmer months.
7118 W. State St., (414) 258-5600
This long-lived State Street bar is also the best Mexican restaurant in Tosa, serving enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas and more, with a good variety of vegetarian options. Hector's margaritas are also among the city's most beloved.
Jimmy's Island Grill & Iguana Bar
2303 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 257-3400
Jimmy's is a bar and restaurant located in the Radisson Hotel, across the street from Mayfair Mall. The warmth of Key West and the Caribbean comes alive in this parrothead-themed bar, which also serves full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.
JoJo's Martini Lounge
418 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 475-5656
Don't be fooled by JoJo's location in a strip mall on Mayfair and Bluemound Roads, across from Mo's. The lounge is a favorite for girls' night out (Thursday offers a range of ladies' night specials) and for couples seeking a frou-frou cocktail.
7610 Harwood Ave., (414) 778-3333
Le Reve Patisserie and Cafe is more restaurant than bar, it's true, but like it's Italian neighbor across the street – Ristorante Bartolotta – it's still a lovely place to share an intimate drink.
Leff's Lucky Town
7208 W. State St., (414) 258-9886
The food is good. The beer is cold. But, Leff's Lucky Town isn't flashy, fancy or very remarkable and the customers in Wauwatosa like it that way. Located in a historic building that once housed a silent movie theater and a shoe store that fronted a Prohibition speakeasy, Leff's is a regular winner in the OnMilwaukee.com Best of Bars survey and has become a landmark Tosa watering hole, especially popular before and after Brewers games. A few years back owner Chris Leffler took over an old gas station next door to build a patio that allows Leff's to offer outdoor dining in season.
Lucky Joe's Alchemy & Eatery
427 Underwood Ave., (414) 399-7999
Lucky Joe's Alchemy & Eatery is the brainchild of Lee Guk, who ran Lucky Joe's Tiki Lounge in Walker's Point, and business partners Chad Polczynski and Frank Harroun. It is a speakeasy-style bar and eatery which specializes in craft cocktails and small plates.
Mo's Irish Pub
10842 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 774-9782
Like its sister location downtown, the Wauwatosa Mo's Irish Pub, located in the former Ground Round space at Highway 100 and Bluemound Road, offers a variety of Irish and American staples in food and drink. You can get a Shepherd's pie and wash it down with a pint of Guinness or have a cheeseburger and a Miller Lite, all while watching live music and enjoying a fun and upscale casual vibe.
Ray's Growler Gallery
8930 W. North Ave., (414) 258-9521
Nestled atop one of the area's best independent liquor store (and along the sidewalk in front when it's nice out), Ray's Growler Gallery is a Mecca for craft beer lovers, thanks to regular brewery tap takeovers and a great selection at all times. But you don't have to love beer to enjoy the Growler Gallery, which also serves wine, whiskey and adult slushies.
The Ruby Tap
1341 Wauwatosa Ave., (414) 456-1300
A wide range of wine is available at this Tosa Village hotspot that allows patrons to pour their own tipples from automatic wine dispensers. But don't pass up the tasting menu, which offers delicious cheeses, meats and small plates to enhance your wine-tasting experience.
Stock House Brewing Co.
7208 W. North Ave., (414) 739-9876
East Tosa's first brewery and taproom is a small place but one whose small system concocts beer with big flavor. And those flavors change all the time, as the brewery's web site boasts, "we will never make the same beer twice." The web site is updated regularly to show what's on tap in the welcoming storefront taproom.
Walters' on North
6930 W. North Ave., (414) 774-0440
Walter's barely looks like a tavern on the outside. But inside, there's a long snaking bar, with a perennially-sizzling grill, a range of video games and friendly patrons. There are five TVs usually showing sports, the standard Milwaukee-area beer offerings with a healthy dose of specialty brews mixed in and delicious tacos and fish fry on Thursdays and Fridays, respectively.
6502 W. North Ave., (414) 323-7555
After a bit of a hiccup – a fire forced the place to close for three months during its first year – this Polynesian-themed cocktail lounge and restaurant is back up and running, serving a variety of tiki bowls and other eye-catching cocktails as well as a fell menu, including a Friday fish fry that comes with sweet potato pancakes.
World Of Beer
418 N. Mayfair Rd., (262) 770-3902
The 3,200-square foot tavern – one of 58 WOB locations in 18 states – boasts more than 500 bottles and 42 rotating drafts that change daily.
Don't forget Metro Market on State Street (Tosa's best kept secret with $2 taps and $5 glasses of wine) and The Tosa Tavern inside of Whole Foods (Great specials all day every day). Smoke Shack at the Mayfair collection also has a bar.
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