Art, fashion, eateries, and more! Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward has become known to be a hot-spot for performances, boutique shopping, and dining out, among other activities. Take a leisurely walk through the area and you’ll notice an old sort of charm throughout.
10 Best Third Ward Restaurants in Milwaukee
Buildings made of Cream City brick date back many years, to a time when the Third Ward was a center of commerce and warehousing. Devastated by a 16-block fire in 1892, the neighborhood was reconstructed over time to become what it is for Milwaukeeans today. Among the activities and shopping sit many amazing establishments serving up nearly any type of cuisine one could hope to find. Read on for a list of the best Third Ward restaurants!
10. Red Elephant Chocolate Cafe
Can’t leave dessert off the menu! Red – symbolic of the two most popular chocolate holidays, which are Christmas and Valentine’s Day. The elephant – a sociable, intelligent, and seriously cute animal! Red Elephant Chocolate is one of the prime Third Ward restaurants available to meet your need for something sweet. They serve many different chocolate-based products (made with their delicious chocolate recipe), but their chocolate truffles are iconic. They are filled with a variety of delicious seasonal flavors and then are beautifully hand-painted. They also are one of the few spots in the Third Ward where you can find ice cream on a hot day.
And for a cold day? Try the hot chocolate. It’ll be hard to make a wrong choice surrounded by all of this chocolate!
9. Blue Bat Kitchen
Blue Bat serves up fresh and upscale street food and is one of the Third Ward restaurants on the Milwaukee River. Shareables, handhelds, salads, and bowls make up their menu which serves lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekend. While they are known for serving fun and interesting tacos, their fried brussels sprouts are a winner from the shareables portion of the menu! They also boast an all-day Happy Hour (weekdays 2-6), which is completely vegetarian friendly.
This Korean BBQ spot has a menu laden with perfectly charred steak and great vegetables. Char’d is a somewhat newer addition to the Third Ward restaurants scene, but with their locally sourced seasonal menu has been immediately been considered to be a fan favorite for dining in the area. Choose anything from their saucy KFC wings on their Korean tapas menu to one of the many meats from their entrees section. Their of their meats are served on sizzling lava stones, keeping it well-heated until the very last bite.
7. FreshFin Poké
The trend sweeping Milwaukee…poké bowls! The best spot to grab poké in the Third Ward is certainly FreshFin. Typically, poké is a Hawaiian dish of raw fish, sea salt, sesame, and onions – but FreshFin takes it up about twelve notches. Their sauces absolutely transform the already delicious and diverse ingredients that make up their bowls. It’s certainly a great choice if you’re looking for something healthier that is just as tasty as it is light!
Fauntleroy is one of the more high-end experiences that can be found on this list of the best restaurants in the Third Ward, but still a completely approachable one at that! Diners won’t feel out of place on a casual night out, but will also be able to appreciate Fauntlereoy’s reimagined French cuisine on a special occasion. The menu will not be what you’re looking for if you’re specifically a purist about traditional French cuisine, but if you’re open to a little adventure, you have come to the right place. They still serve up old favorites, but in a reinvented sort of way. The 70s rock and roll imagery and nods to France throughout the restaurant aid to create an exceptionally unique dining experience.
5. Kanpai Izakaya
Looking for great sushi in Milwaukee? Look no further than the Third Ward. Kanpai is a source for Japanese fusion cooking. Not only is their sushi delicious, but beautiful as well! They are open for both lunch and dinner, and have several specials during the week as well. But don’t get caught up in just ordering sushi! They have many delicious kitchen entrees and appetizers as well (the stuffed avocado is life-changing).
4. Milwaukee Public Market
While the Milwaukee Public Market is not one singular restaurant itself, it is the landmark of the Third Ward and host to many that please patrons day in and day out. Modeled after the Pike Place Market in Seattle, the MPM truly is the most well-known indoor hub of dining in Milwaukee (and for good reason).
A group of dining companions with extraordinarily different tastes will be sure to find something to please each of their palates here. You have seafood at St. Paul’s Fish Market, vegan at On the Bus, and sandwiches and charcuterie at West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe – to name just a few. Not to mention Indian, Mexican, Thai, deli items, salads, soup, fresh juices, bakery, candy, wine, coffee, olive oil, and spices. It’s no wonder the market is bustling from morning til night! Definitely a spot to try whether you are just passing through for a weekend or here to stay for the long haul.
DanDan – two guys who grew up eating Chinese food and love cooking it. Also…a noodle dish with origins in Chinese Sichuan cuisine. DanDan serves up innovative American-Chinese dishes for both lunch and dinner. Choose from dim sum, savory pancakes, noodle and rice dishes, dumplings, and various house specials. Another spot that is great for a casual adventure, or something more sophisticated. Come down to one of the Third Ward restaurants where you’ll find “Chinese soul with Midwestern sensibility.”
2. Bavette La Boucherie
What started out as a neighborhood butcher shop concept has evolved into a highly revered sit-down restaurant spot in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. Bavette is known for their methods of sourcing the entire animal carcass (more sustainable and creates less waste), as well as total traceability for its meat back to a singular farm and even a singular animal. While you can still come to Bavette to fulfill your butcher shop needs, their daily lunch and dinner menu is filled with delicious small plates, sandwiches, salads, and charcuterie. The meat you see on the meat counter that week is the same meat you will find on the menu.
1. Tre Rivali
Within the Kimpton Journeyman hotel is a fabulous mixture of traditional and modern Mediterranean style cooking. Tre Rivali is one of the Third Ward restaurants located right on Broadway, where you’ll find a gorgeous dining area (the tile floor is insanely instagrammable), bar, and cafe serving breakfast through dinner. Their wood-fired oven and grill are visible to diners through their glassed-in production kitchen. Choose from a number of handmade pastas and wood-fired pizzas, among other menu options, that will surely feed your desire for delicious coastal Mediterranean cuisine in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.