East Side dining guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Oct. 28, 2017 at 1:26 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.
Season's eatings! The weather may be getting colder, but Dining Month on OnMilwaukee is just cooking up, dishing out your winning picks in this year's Best of Dining poll. Dining Month is brought to you by Fein Brothers, your premier food service equipment and supply dealer in Wisconsin since 1929. Congratulations to all of the winners, and happy eating for all those who voted! See all the winners for the month so far here.
For decades, the East Side has been home to some of Milwaukee's best restaurants, bars and shops and one of the social and cultural hubs of the city.
Bounded unofficially to the north by the UWM campus, the south by the Brady Street corridor, the east by Lake Michigan and the west by the Milwaukee River, the East Side offers an array of delectable and eclectic eats for everyone from humble college students to well-off professionals.
Here's a guide, curated from the listings of the local business improvement districts, for where to dine on the East Side.
1310 E. Brady St., (414) 272-2233
Specializing in authentic Greek food, especially gyros and chicken sandwiches, Apollo is a popular spot at lunch, dinner and bar time.
1751 N, Farwell Ave., (414) 897-7022
This intimate, upscale choice presents innovative new American fare, including a rotating tasting menu.
1609 E. North Ave., (414) 273-6688
An upbeat, trendy restaurant and bubble tea shop, Asian Fusion serves Korean, Thai, Taiwanese and Japanese, as well as dishes from all across China.
1716 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 755-0099
Just off Brady Street, Balzac is a cozy, dimly lit wine bar serving creative New American small plates and a long list of vintages.
Beans and Barley
1901 E. North Ave., (414) 278-7878
Beans and Barley has been an East Side favorite for years, with its specialty deli, market and restaurant beloved for healthy, eclectic and vegetarian options.
2336 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 551-2166
Serving a mix of Thai, Laos, and Hmong food, Bee's Cuisine claims to have "the best stuff chicken wings and Hmong egg rolls in town."
Bel Air Cantina
2625 N. Downer Ave., (414) 964-1190
A Mexican restaurant with some California flair, Bel Air is known for tacos and tequila, as well as humongous burritos and brunch.
2856 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 763-6526
Black Rose is a dark, stylish pub serving classic bar food with beer and cider in traditional Irish-themed decor.
2632 N. Downer Ave., (414) 962-0032
This bakery offers a wide range of made-from-scratch artisan breads and sweets.
1208 E. Brady St., (414) 276-2739
An easygoing coffeehouse, Brewed offers sandwiches and other cafe fare, including vegetarian and vegan items.
1504 E. North Ave., (414) 283-8400
A well-appointed, Asian-inspired restaurant that offers delivery via bicycle rickshaw, Buddha Lounge serves Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and Chinese small plates and entrees.
2608 N. Downer Ave., (414) 963-6366
One of the city's best beer bars, Cafe Hollander does high-end, savory European-style pub food well, with extensive brunch, lunch and dinner menus.
Carini's La Conca d'Oro
3468 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 963-9623
Carini's is southern Italian food, particularly pizza and pasta, as well as wines in a homey setting, with a Mediterranean feel and a patio.
728 E. Brady St., (414) 271-6000
A chic bi-level Middle Eastern restaurant and cocktail lounge with hookah and weekly belly dancers.
2342 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 347-9922
You want Chinese food delivered fast? This is the place.
1820 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 390-0570
This is a low-key eatery featuring updated Chinese fare, bubble tea and late-night delivery.
2232 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 287-9999
Using bread from nearby Peter Sciortino's Italian Bakery and offering dine-in or delivery options, Chubby's is Milwaukee's take on the Philly cheesesteak.
2211 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 273-3753
Serving strong brew, all-day breakfast and signature sandwiches, Colectivo has grown into much more than a coffee house, especially at the Prospect Avenue location, which offers patio seating and special concerts.
1947 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 273-7677
Comet is a cozy restaurant and bar serving comfort food (including bacon-infused and vegetarian entrees), plus craft brews and wine, as well as its ever-popular brunch.
Di Moda Pizza
1758 N. Water St., (414) 331-0020
DiModa offers custom wood-fired pizza to give you a unique smoky flavored pizza. They also have menu offerings that are gluten free. Maybe the most unique feature at DiModa, however, is their menu for dogs.
815 E. Brady St., (414) 800-5816
The Diplomat is a well appointed friendly dinner spot serving up approachable American fare in a shareable plate format.
Divino Wine and Dine
2315 N. Murray Ave., (414) 212-2222
A classy wine-and-dine Italian restaurant off North Avenue serving up a variety of antipasti, small plate sandwich and pasta dishes and, of course, hand-tossed, stone-baked pizzas.
The Dogg Haus
1433 E. Brady St., (414) 727-1224
The counter-serve chain joint doles out specialty and build-your-own hot dogs with a variety of toppings, plus other items like cheese curds.
1307 E. Brady St., (414) 539-6826
Dorsia, a modern Italian eatery owned by Jeno and Lorenzo Cataldo, in the former home of Mimma's, brought Italian fare back to Brady. The house-made pasta, delightful brunch options and swanky shimmery walls are not to be missed.
The Drive Thru
1801 E. North Ave., (414) 287-9900
Affiliated with Chubby's across the parking lot, The Drive Thru is a fun, easy, drive-up spot for coffee, hot-and-fresh mini donuts, breakfast sandwiches and the cheesesteak menu, as well.
1230 E. Brady St., (414) 226-6640
With a motto of "Eat the world," Easy Tyger features international dishes spanning the globe and elevates them, in a fun casual atmosphere.
1806 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 224-8284
This low-key eatery serves a menu of traditional Thai and Lao dishes, including many vegetarian options.
Emperor of China
1010 E. Brady St., (414) 271-8889
This longtime, casual Chinese eatery with a huge menu offers a variety of regional cuisines.
Erberts and Gerberts
2338 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 273-3727
Open late and offering fast delivery, this subs and clubs franchise – the first one was in Eau Claire – is well-liked for its fresh bread and flavorful sandwiches, with names like Bornk and Girf.
1824 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 224-5226
An informal nook with a warm atmosphere featuring wat, a spiced stew, and other classic Ethiopian dishes.
2116 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 270-1918
This Japanese restaurant offers varied buffet items, seafood and made-to-order sushi, and also has a bar and party room.
Good City Brewing
2108 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 539-4343
This craft brewery and tap room also serves a food menu with snacks, salads, burgers and sandwiches, meat and veggie plates, cheese boards and desserts.
The Halal Guys
3133 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 214-1357
An American Halal food restaurant offering Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, including gyros and chicken dishes.
Harry's on Brady
1234 E. Brady St., (414) 273-6000
Harry's has a menu with a ton of variety with offerings like chicken quesadillas, fish tacos and beet salad. In addition, Harry's is open for brunch and has a large beer and wine list, while also offering martinis and a variety of cocktails.
2523 E. Belleview Pl., (414) 332-2772
A neighborhood fixture for three decades, Henry's is a bar that serves burgers, sandwiches, salads, fish fry and weekend brunch.
Hi Hat Lounge/Garage
1701 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 225-9330
A stylish split-level lounge that features craft cocktails and gourmet American fare, including brunch, plus live music.
Hooligan's Super Bar
2017 E. North Ave., (414) 273-5230
One of the most popular destinations for the North Avenue pub crowd, Hooligan's has been at its prime corner spot since 1936, serving up a strong selection of burgers, sandwiches and other bar eats.
2428 N. Murray Ave., (414) 906-8888
This casual Chinese restaurant provides the standard favorites but also has a secret menu with more authentic, traditional items.
2035 E. North Ave., (414) 727-9200
A fun vibe and a large, rotating selection of pizzas with different and generously apportioned toppings (available as a whole pie but more commonly by the slice) makes Ian's a popular spot, especially at bar time.
2150 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 271-5278
One of the premier Japanese and Izakaya restaurants in the city, Izumi's has been serving the East Side for two decades.
Izzy Hops Swig & Nosh
2311 N. Murray Ave., (414) 249-4489
Whether you are trying to watch the game or hang out with friends, Izzy Hops is a great spot to grab a bite or a brew. Izzy Hops drink menu has over 30 craft beers on tap and 30 quality bourbons, while the food menu includes various sandwiches, burgers, wings and pizzas from next door at Divino.
Jack's American Pub
1323 E. Brady St.,(414) 763-2830
Jack's is a popular watering hole with sidewalk seating that serves pizza and bar fare such as appetizers, burgers and wings.
2207 E. North Ave., (414) 291-0645
Jalisco has been a North Avenue institution for 30 years, offering good and affordable Mexican cuisine – try the famous burrito – and seafood to its wide variety of customers.
1344 E. Brady St., (414) 272-3333
A well-liked counter-serve chain specializing in sub and club sandwiches, plus signature potato chips, that stays open late.
2321 N. Murray Ave., (414) 249-5750
Kawa is a one of the newer contemporary Japanese bistros in Milwaukee. In addition to a sushi bar, Kawa serves up four authentic ramen options, seafood noodle bowls, teriyaki and a variety of other appetizer options.
La Masa Empanada Bar
1300 E. Brady St., (414) 885-1866
La Masa specializes in scratch, oven-baked empanadas using authentic Latin American-inspired dough.
Lake Park Bistro
3133 E. Newberry Blvd., (414) 962-6300
Located in the middle of Lake Park, Bartolotta's gives you unique French cuisine a view of Lake Michigan. The menu features various seasonal offerings and the wine list has over 250 choices.
2961 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 332-6360
Lisa's Fine Foods does pizza first and foremost, but also offers quality pastas and sandwiches in a cozy second-floor space.
2214 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 271-7424
A cherished favorite of the East Side, Ma Fischer's has been giving hungry Milwaukeeans the comfort food they want – breakfast, lunch or dinner – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for more than 60 years.
1550 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 276-2550
If you are craving Indian food, Maharaja is a great spot to checkout. Maharaja has been voted one of the best Indiana restaurants in Milwaukee. In addition to cuisine from both northern and southern India, Maharaja has an Indian beer list to give you the full experience of eating in India.
2335 N. Murray Ave., (414) 550-8226
Open late and serving authentic Mexican food with attitude from its tiny storefront off North Avenue, Mr. Senor's is a favorite of college kids and the late-night bar crowd.
2867 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 963-1393
Perennially an award-winner, Oakland Gyros is regarded as arguably the best Greek and gyro sandwich joints in the city.
Original Pancake House
2621 N. Downer Ave., (414) 431-5055
Want enormous, plate-sized pancakes (and lots of other breakfast-oriented options) made fresh with quality ingredients and a fun, diner-style atmosphere? Original Pancake House is the place to go.
1814 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 585-0303
A family-run spot that features a modern take on traditional pho and Vietnamese rice and noodle dishes, plus coffee.
2224 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 727-2720
With a motto of "fresh thinking, healthy eating," Pita Pit offers quality, healthy, fresh food fast and has dine-in or delivery options.
1801 N. Humboldt Ave., (414) 272-9313
A no-frills BBQ outlet since 1942, Pitch's is known for baby back ribs and cribbage tournaments.
2340 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 278-0007
If you're not feeling Divino, there's always Pizza Hut.
2597 N. Downer Ave., (414) 272-1745
A high-end pizza restaurant that's been treasured by Milwaukeeans for decades, Pizza Man moved to Downer a few years ago and offers its famous pies, as well as other entrees and its extensive wine list.
1827 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 289-9993
An area favorite, Pizza Shuttle serves a huge menu of pizza, other Italian eats, lots of American items and beer in a casual setting with late-night hours, a jukebox and photo booth.
2239 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 831-0485
A counter-serve sandwich shop that prizes fresh ingredients and plenty of choices, Potbelly's offers made-to-order toasted sandwiches, soups, salads and more.
2228 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 431-4300
The Mexican-themed chain restaurant makes big burritos, tacos, quesadillas and healthy options at the counter.
The Pasta Tree
1503 N Farwell Ave., (414) 276-8867
The Pasta Tree is considered by some to be one of the best Italian spots in Milwaukee. The quaint European bistro's atmosphere for a night out with your special someone and, of course, the food won't disappoint, as the chefs use local farmers to give you the freshest dishes possible.
Red Light Ramen
1749 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 837-5107
A buzzy spot for ramen and sides paired with sake, beer, wine and boozy slushies in an intimate setting.
Red Lion Pub
1850 N. Water St., (414) 431-9009
Red Lion offers a authentic U.K. pub feel with a menu featuring British favorites like Shepard's pie and fish 'n' chips. In addition, they have a plethora of British beers, ales and spirits.
Rice N Roll
1952 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 220-9944
The bistro is a contemporary spot for creative sushi rolls and traditional Thai dishes served in a stylish space.
Roast Coffee Company
2132 E. Locust St., (414) 828-2030
Besides its excellent coffee and drink menu, the chill cafe also serves sandwiches and baked goods.
2613 E. Hampshire St., (414) 964-2611
A tasteful neighborhood Italian restaurant just off the UWM campus, Sala does modern Sicilian dining, notably pizzas and pastas, in an art-rich space.
2178 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 289-8208
Tucked away off North Avenue, Seoul keeps it simple and serves good, authentic Korean food.
2847 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 964-5475
Shahrazad offers Persian & Middle Eastern fare, plus a weekday lunch buffet, wine and beer in a casual setting.
2921 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 967-1000
The Middle Eastern restaurant is known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes and using high quality fresh ingredients.
2124 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 271-2124
Simple is a bright, contemporary spot that specializes in creative, locally sourced meals for breakfast and lunch.
Stone Bowl Grill
1958 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 220-9111
A casual eatery, Stone Bowl does typical Korean dishes such as bibimbap in hot stone bowls, as well as noodles and kimchi.
1962 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 509-6074
A supper club that offers upscale American cuisine and sophisticated cocktails in a classy setting at the Shorecrest Hotel.
2499 N. Bartlett Ave., (414) 964-8377
Tess is an upscale dinner and drinks restaurant that prides itself on using local, fresh, high-quality ingredients.
2851 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 962-8851
A variety of spicy curries plus other Thai favorites & lunch specials provided in a basic setup.
932 E. Brady St., (414) 837-6280
This casual, cool restaurant features traditional Thai fare and a sushi bar with a sleek atmosphere.
1903 E. Kenilworth Pl., (414) 226-2626
Open late with dine-in and carryout options, the tiny spot off North Avenue serves pizzas (with plenty of topping varieties, of course), Toppers stix, wings and more.
2235 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 272-1775
Von Trier is known for its German beers and bar popcorn, but it also recently reopened its kitchen and now customers can get wursts, pretzels with obatza and other Bavarian-inspired items with their brews. Von Trier will be closing its doors as a German style pub after the holiday season and will reopen early 2018 as a mid-century cocktail lounge.
Whole Foods Market
2305 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 223-1500
The health-conscious grocery store has a hot bar and plenty of tasty tine-in options, including salads and pizza.
Wings over Milwaukee
1434 E Brady Street, (414) 278-9464
With delivery, walk-in and take out options, Wings Over Milwaukee is a great, easy way to get your wing fix. Wings Over's menu has both bone-in and boneless wing options with a variety of sauces from their spicy "Red Alert" to the cooler "Citrus Chipotle."
1683 N. Van Buren St., (414) 220-4660
A no-frills outfit, Wok Zone offers a large menu of classic Chinese fare, primarily for takeout and delivery.
1724 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 289-8776
This is a casual, family-owned spot serving thin-crust pizza, pasta and other Italian fare since 1954.
714 E. Brady St., (414) 226-9999
A locally owned modest pizza joint with housemade pies that serves a large, varied menu that includes wings, ribs and subs.
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