In Dining

The dining scene is Wauwatosa has exploded over the past few years, creating a wide variety of new options for hungry Tosans. (PHOTO: Lori Fredrich)

Wauwatosa dining guide

Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Oct. 12, 2018 at 9:02 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on, 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.

Wauwatosa's dining scene has evolved dramatically over the recent years, exploding with new options from the string of North Avenue eateries on the east to the options at the Mayfair Collection on the west and right down in the heart of the Village itself.

Here is an updated account of what this near-western suburb brings to the dining table. While this list doesn't cover every last eatery, it includes the newcomers as well as several perennial favorites.

ABV Social
11200 W. Burleigh St., (414) 837-6290
ABV Social is an open, vibrant eatery focused on beer, bar food and sports. There's a game room and, in season, outdoor seating, too.

AJ Bombers
11340 W. Burleigh St., (414) 221-9999
Great burgers and frozen custard are on tap at this second location of a favorite Downtown eatery. And, go ahead, throw those peanut shells on the floor.

3041 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 476-6900

This family-owned American / Italian restaurant has been in its Wauwatosa location for more than 50 years. The Friday night fish fry is popular, but the entrée selections give it the feel of a chophouse.

BelAir Cantina
6817 W. North Ave., (414) 988-8533
With a large bar and a welcoming fountain patio – to say nothing of $2 tacos on Tuesdays and Thursdays – this BelAir location proved popular from the day it opened. The vibe is great, but BelAir doesn't take reservations, so on $2 nights and weekends, you might plan to have a margarita at the bar while you wait for your table.

Cafe Bavaria
7700 Harwood Ave., (414) 271-7700
A sister restaurant to Cafe Hollander, with which is shares some of its riverside patio, Cafe Bavaria has a German theme, natch, including pretzels, schnitzel, spatzle, sausages and more, served alongside some top-notch German beer. Brunch is served on weekends from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cafe Grace
11200 W. Burleigh St., (414) 837-6310
With a vibe straight outta Marais, and a menu to match, Cafe Grace is the perfect location for a special night out on Tosa's ouest side.

Colectivo Coffee
9125 W. North Ave., (414) 259-9383
6745 W. Wells St., (414) 453-4800
If you're an Alterra fan, the menu here is familiar, with the usual assortment of coffee, tea and juices, alongside bakery items, salads and sandwiches and wraps. The Wells Street location has a fire pit that's popular all year 'round.

Cosmos Cafe
7203 W. North Ave., (414) 257-2005
Located on the site of the former Barrie's Frozen Custard – a Tosa landmark for a couple generations – Cosmos offers great Greek food, fish fry, burgers and more – to enjoy in the small dining room or for carry-out.

Balistreri's Italian Restaurant
812 N. 68th St., (414) 475-1414
Balistreri's is a local legend and its 'Tosa location is family-friendly with great, thin-crust pizza, cheese bread or spaghetti and meatballs. The other, larger location is just around the corner on 65th Street and Bluemound Road.

Blue's Egg
317 N. 76th St., (414) 299-3180
Blue's Egg is one of the top brunch spots in Milwaukee. The menu features a blend of modern American items combined with old world ingredients. If you are headed to Blue's Egg try using the No Wait or Yelp App to check wait times and get put on the waiting list remotely.

Cafe Hollander
7677 W. State St., (414) 475-6771
This Tosa outpost of the local Hollander chain opens early seven days a week for breakfast and Sunday brunch and is open late as a bar, too. Enjoy your meal in the dining room or outdoors (in season) along the river. Expect a wide selection of European beers. And kids will like watching the trains go by.

China East
6810 W. State St.,(414) 456-9988
Quick and easy Chinese food with the option for take out.

Chinese Pagoda
7200 W. North Ave., (414) 774-8400

The Chinese Pagoda and 'Tosa go way back. It's a small, quaint restaurant with reasonable prices and although some dishes cater to American tastes there is plenty for those who love Chinese and Chinese-American food.

City Market
8700 W. Watertown Plank Rd., (414) 479-0479
The café is attached to the Wisconsin Athletic Club and right on the County Grounds near Froedtert and Children's Hospitals and is a great place for breakfast or lunch, with a variety of coffee drinks to accompany bakery items, build-your-own sandwiches, soups and salads.

Colonel Hart's
7342 W. State St., (414) 476-3070

Treat yourself to a wide selection bar food – appetizers, pizzas, sandwiches, burgers and Friday fish fry – while catching the game on one of 10 plasma screen TVs. Wings are just 35 cents each on Thursdays.

Corner Bakery
11500 W. Burleigh St., (414) 476-2233
Corner bakery started as a neighborhood bakery in Chicago, but has since expanded. However, when you go into Corner bakery you are still able to get fresh artisan bread sandwiches topped with fresh ingredients.

Cranky Al's
6913 W. North Ave., (414) 258-5282
Cranky Al's is a West Side favorite for donuts and coffee in the morning and for pizza in the evenings. Rather than a traditional slice, pizza lovers can order the personal 10-in. pizza with any variety of toppings.

Eddie Martini's
8612 W. Watertown Plank Rd., (414) 771-6680
This is where fine dining meets old-school supper club. The breadth of experience and expertise at Eddie Martini's easily makes it perfect for everything from a business meeting to an intimate date night for two.

Firefly Urban Bar & Grill
7754 Harwood Ave., (414) 431-1444
Firefly's menu features appetizers, sandwiches and entrees from its wood-burning grill and smoker, as well as microburgers, fondue and crunch salad. Don't miss out on the s'mores for dessert, which you get to make at table with a cute little personal grill.

Genghis Khan Mongolian BBQ
725 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 774-5540

Genghis Khan offers an elaborate buffet laden with various thinly sliced meats, freshly cut vegetables, more than 10 kinds of sauces and natural spices to create your own exotic meal.

George Webb
6108 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 453-2392
12201 W. North Ave., (414) 774-4377
George Webb, a Milwaukee-area institution, likely needs no explanation here. Open 24 hours a day, you can grab a booth or belly up to the counter and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner anytime of day.

Gilles Frozen Custard Drive In
7515 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 453-4875
Milwaukee's oldest custard stand offers hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries, onion rings and, of course, some of the city's best frozen treats for dessert.

Ginza Japanese Restaurant
2727 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 771-3333
Don't let the strip mall location fool you, Ginza is a great place to grab sushi or other Japanese dishes, like teriyaki, tempura, miso soup and other specialties. Smart folks grab a soft shell crab appetizer and the delectable Wauwatosa roll (when in Rome!) and smile all the way home.

Habanero's Mexican Kitchen
869 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 607-9025
Featuring an impressive array of authentic dishes served in a lively, welcoming atmosphere, this locally-owned restaurant provides a strong alternative for foodies who don't want to head to the South Side for their Mexican food fix. Be sure to take advantage of the fresh table-side guac.

7118 W. State St., (414) 258-5600

This 'Tosa Village favorite is small and comfortable with an extensive menu that can please the meat eater and the vegetarian. Please don't forget to order a margarita.

6519 W. North Ave., (414) 585-0577
This is the second location for Hue Vietnamese Restaurant, the first of which is located in Bay View. Delicious noodle dishes, pho and other Vietnamese specialties made from fresh ingredients are served in a simple, elegant – but casual – dining room. Warning, don't park in the lot to the west of you'll get ticketed. But don't worry, there's plenty of street parking out front.

Il Mito Enoteca
6913 W. North Ave., (414) 443-1414
Il Mito serves fabulous northern Italian dishes along with a mix of Mediterranean and South American-styled entrees. Adjacent to the restaurant is Chef Michael Feker's School of Culinary Magic.

10499 W. Innovation Dr., (414) 259-0793
Located in the Crowne Plaza West, this restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, in a nice dining room and on a patio with a fireplace. There's a fish fry on Fridays and brunch on Sundays, too.

Irie Zulu
7237 W. North Ave., (414) 326-9251
A mix of African and Caribbean food results in one of the best new restaurants anywhere in the area. The small dining room is augmented by a little bar and a few sidewalk tables, too.

Jimmy's Island Grill & Iguana Bar
2303 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 837-2121
Family friendly dining across from Mayfair Mall, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in an island-themed atmosphere. Seafood, salads and sandwiches rule the menu, which also includes a variety of steaks, ribs and chicken. Enjoy the Tiki-ish patio when the weather cooperates.

Jose's Blue Sombrero
7615 W. State St., (414) 453-2300
This multi-location Mexican eatery has replaced the long-lived Chancery location in the Village and has added some great outdoor seating. Don't miss the margaritas or the tableside guac service, both of which are Jose's highlights.

Leff's Lucky Town
7208 W. State St. (414) 258-9886
Burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, wings and pizza are the specialties at this comfortable corner tavern, which is hugely popular with softball, kickball and dart league all-stars. Stop in to watch the game, or on your way to the game, and you won't leave hungry. The patio is a must, in season.

Le Reve Patisserie & Cafe
7610 Harwood Ave., (414) 778-3333
Le Reve is a French-style patisserie and cafe in the heart of downtown 'Tosa that serves pastries, sandwiches, salads, crepes and coffee. Some of the best desserts on tap in the area can be found here.

Lucky Joe's Alchemy & Eatery
1425 Underwood Ave.
A small menu of entrees (sliders, Burgundy glazed chicken, triple mushroom risotto, slow-braised lamb stew) is augmented by a range of shareable plates, salads and sweets in this intimate Tosa Village bar and restaurant.

Maggiano's Little Italy
2500 N. Mayfair Rd.
(414) 978-1000
Since the opening of the first Maggiano's in Chicago in 1991, the restaurant has expanded with locations across the country. Even though Maggiano's is considered a chain, you can still expect wide ranging and unique Italian menu.

Maxfield's Pancake House
2727 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 453-6000
This bustling breakfast, brunch and lunch spot dishes up deliciousness from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. On weekends, you'll often find a line, but it won't take long as service is efficient here. Don't miss the potato pancakes.

Mekong Café
5930 W. North Ave.
(414) 257 2228
Mekong is a family owned southern Asian themed restaurant. Since opening in 2008, Mekong has offered Laos, Thai and Vietnamese options.

MidTown Grill
8913 W. North Ave., (414) 837-6400
Located in the former John's Sandwich Shop space, MidTown offers a full menu of hearty options for breakfast and lunch, from diner-style fare to salads and other healthy options.

Mo's Irish Pub
10842 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 774-9782
Like its sister location Downtown, the Wauwatosa Mo's Irish Pub 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; the choice is yours.

North Avenue Grill
7225 W. North Ave., (414) 453-7225
Open daily from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. (until 3 on Sundays), North Avenue Grill – located in a classic diner space that retains its counter seating and booths set-up – serves breakfast, great burgers, chili and more, as well as cocktails, beer and wine. Sidewalk tables make for great people watching.

Ono Kine Grindz
7215 W. North Ave., (414) 778-0727
Not every neighborhood in the area can boast a Hawai'ian deli and catering business, but East Tosa can. There's Kalua pig, Chinese char siu chicken, Huli chicken, grilled salmon, ahi poke and more, plus a variety of bento boxes, too.

11530 W. Burleigh St., (414) 988-6044
Osgood's calls itself "a fresh take on an old classic, the hot dog stand," but it's much more than that. There are soups and salads, burgers, Italian beef and more, too. The baby back ribs are quite good and you can top it all off with frozen custard at the end.

Peony Dim Sum and Seafood Restaurant
11120 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 443-6455

Milwaukee loves its dim sum and Peony has proven itself as one of the best places in the area to indulge.

Pizza Man
11500 W. Burleigh St., (414) 249-2000
Finally, Tosans and West Siders don't have to drive to the East Side to get their Pizza Man fix, now that there's a location in the Mayfair Collection retail and residential development. Some of the area's best pizza and a great wine list in a festive atmosphere.

Pizzeria Piccola
7606 W. State St., (414) 443-0800
Located in downtown 'Tosa, this place is a marked departure from the Bartolotta group's signature fine dining eateries. This "little pizzeria" venture is a pocket-sized treasure that combines the positive aspects of a chain restaurant – fast, good and inexpensive – with a unique, atmosphere and wood-burning oven.

Red Dot
6715 W. North Ave., (414) 607-1045
Red Dot Tosa has a great patio for people watching, hearty pub food – including poutine, tater tots, wings, burgers, Friday fish fry – and weekend brunch. Lately, live music – including legendary blues band The Kinsey Report – has also been on tap. (NOTE: As of late 2018, Red Dot is closed after a fire. Please call ahead to see if it has reopened before visiting.)

Ristorante Bartolotta
7616 W. State St., (414) 771-7910
Bartolotta's theme here is "cucina rustica," or the serving of traditional, simple foods that Italian families enjoy in their homes. This rustic cuisine focuses on country recipes utilizing the freshest of ingredients. Many argue this is Milwaukee's best Italian restaurant.

Saz's State House Resturant
5539 W. State St., (414) 453-2410
Saz's is a great spot to get your barbecue fix with its specialty: baby back ribs and pork sandwiches. In addition, Saz's has specials for game days and shuttles to Miller Park.

Smoke Shack
11340 W. Burleigh St., (414) 431-1119
Grilled or smoked, sauced or dry rubbed, some of the best barbecue in the area can be had at this second location of the popular Third Ward restaurant, Smoke Shack.

Story Hill BKC
5100 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 539-4424
Stop by Story Hill BKC for brunch, lunch or dinner. The menu is upper Midwest inspired with a unique flavor and it also offers cocktail and wine lists, and has a small wine shop.

The Original Suburpia
10853 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 456 1100
Walk-in or take out for great classic subs. Just be careful, the subs are addicting!

Taqueria El Jefe
11200 W. Burleigh St., (414) 837-6295
Taqueria El Jefe is bright and casual with tacos made to order. From the expected (al pastor) to the unusual (croque and Cantonese char siu pork), El Jefe brings Mexican-style street food indoors in western Tosa.

Ted's Ice Cream and Restaurant
6204 W. North Ave., (414) 258-5610

Belly up to the serpentine lino counter at Ted's and dine like your grandparents did. Prices are reasonable and the food is no-nonsense, home-style fare: bacon, eggs and waffles with coffee for breakfast, burgers and fries and Cokes for lunch. Fish fry on Fridays.

Thai-Namite Tosa
8725 W. North Ave., (414) 837-6281
In addition to your typical Thai cuisine, Thai-Namite – which also has a Brady Street location – also offers sushi. A small patio out front offers outdoor dining when the weather cooperates.

Wauwatiki Bar & Grill
6502 W. North Ave., (414) 323-7555
With an island themed cocktail list and menu, Wauwatiki will take you out of Milwaukee and into your happy place on a sandy beach.


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