images via wikipedia
today’s city guide is devoted to the great city of milwaukee, wisconsin. the guide was written by milwaukee local and author of the blog cream city and sugar, sara yaeggi. sara is walking us through her “beloved” milwaukee’s best spots to eat, shop, site-see and find entertainment, so i hope you’ll enjoy this guide to milwaukee the next time you’re in town. as always, if you have a favorite local spot that’s missing feel free to add it in the comment section below. thanks, sara!
*starting next week we’ll be posting some updated city guides. we’ve been working hard to update any and all city guides written before 2009, so stay tuned for an updated brooklyn guide next tuesday!
CLICK HERE for the full milwaukee guide after the jump!
image via wikipedia
When I moved to Milwaukee almost ten years ago for college, I only packed one bag because I didn’t think I would be staying very long. I ending up falling in love with this city: the breweries and the lakefront lured me in, but growing culture and diversity kept me here. After I graduated from Marquette, I decided to stay. I found a job, met my fiancé, and moved to Bay View. I started my blog, Cream City and Sugar to post about post-college life: finding your style, decorating, discovering things you can finally afford, and my beloved Milwaukee.
Over the last decade a burgeoning restaurant scene has developed with Beard award winning chefs, designer and upscale boutiques have appeared, and local indie music is thriving (Kings Go Forth, Decibully, Maritime). The old stereotypes of a dull, blue collar, beer drinking, bratwurst-eating city are changing, and when visitors come to Milwaukee, they start to fall in love with it like I did. I’ve heard it described as “Portland with more beer”. It’s true: our beer culture is strong and the roots are deep. Milwaukee is known as the “beer capital of the U.S.” and the names Miller, Pabst, Schiltz, and Blatz are like members of our family, but you find can also find new names like Leinenkugels, New Glarus, and Tyranena. If you visit, come in the summer. The winters are harsh and people tend to hibernate. But, in the summer, the city comes alive with festivals and block parties every weekend. Milwaukee is becoming more bike-friendly, but it is still best accessible by car.
Amtrak’s Hiawatha route runs regularly back and forth from Chicago. Gen. Mitchell International Airport is located just south of the city and an easy 15 minute cab ride to downtown. To check out the local happenings, grab a Shepherd Express paper or log onto onmilwaukee.com.
DOWNTOWN / LAKEFRONT
MAM: The gem of the city, the architectural wings open in the morning and close at night.
Villa Terrace: An old italianate mansion converted into a decorative arts and textile museum. I like to pretend I live there.
Haggery Museum of Art: Walk through the Marquette University campus, check out the Joan of Arc Chapel nearby.
Fred: Fun, stylish, reasonably priced fashion. Limited stock means guaranteed unique pieces.
Pabst Theater: Indie artists almost every night, insanely breath-taking historic theater, $3 PBR tallboys.
The Home Market: Simple yet chic home goods, furniture, and décor with an upscale flea market feel. This is my favorite store in Milwaukee (my checkbook will tell you so) .
Freckle Face: The cutest kids clothes you ever will see.
Hot*Pop: Art and design boutique and gallery. Clothes and fun stuff that is young, bright, and modern.
Eisner Museum: Advertising and Design museum. Explore advertising’s influence on American culture. Near Milwaukee Institute of Design.
Rubin’s: Contemporary high-end furniture.
Broadway Paper: Stationery, greeting cards, invitations, gift wrap, and handmade paper.
Katie Gingrass Gallery: A contemporary fine art gallery with regular exhibits.
Lela: Wearable fashion that’s moderately priced and has great style.
Coquette: Traditional and classic Parisian cafe with white table cloths and excellent service. Multiple Beard award winning chef, Sandy D’Amato prepares the most delicious food.
Milwaukee Public Market: 20 local vendors selling fresh food, flowers, spices. St. Paul Fish Co. serves a good lunch.
Hinterland: Gastropub with wild game, gourmet ingredients.
Optix: Even if you’re not in the market for new glasses, check out all the crazy yet gorgeous styles.
Utrecht Art Supplies: Big and small art supplies.
Oriental Theater: Indie and mainstream movies. Incredible and historic 1920’s movie palace with plenty of gilded ceilings and red carpets.
Detour / Ma Jolie / Miss Groove: Top shelf clothing stores for the fashion savvy trend-seekers.
Comet: Rock and Roll greasy comfort food.
Beans & Barley: The best choice for vegan, vegetarian, or organic eaters. Deli and market for to-go eats.
Trocadero: Always voted best brunch. Nice big patio. Modern french feel. Good for large groups and hangover drinks.
Balzac : Wine bar tucked away just off Brady St. Small menu with cheese and appetizers.
The Garage: Next door to HiHat, a nice hangout with great music under a canopy of large trees and branches.
Nomad: Like a world traveler’s attic. Souvenirs and beers from all around the world.
Sparrow Collective: Local designers, handcrafted accessories.
Rush Mor Records: Old School record store with hard to find CD’s and Vinyl.
Tip Top Atomic Shop: Retro and mid-century modern paradise.
Honey Pie: Laden with heavy cheese sauce and Wisco-pride, this hotspot caters to hipsters and blue-haired ladies alike.
Palomino: Rockabilly roadside fare with plenty of vegan options to boot.
Café Lulu: A neighborhood fixture. Kitschy and cool.
Highbury Pub: British beers and British soccer.
Sugar Maple: A craft beer mecca for beer drinkers that know the difference between a porter vs. a bock.
Burnhearts: Tucked away between houses, this tavern has a hip vibe, great beer, and impeccable music.
LIVE LIKE A LOCAL: Bay View Bash in September, PBR Block Party on 4th of July, South Shore Water Frolics in July, South Shore Farmers Market
Clinton Street Antiques: An edited mix of eclectic and unique.
Fox Skylight Gallery Antiques: Large and vast like an indoor flea market.
Fashion Ninja: Indie fashion with a couture look.
Walker’s Point Center for the Arts: Avant garde visual and performing arts center.
Brass Light Gallery: Amazing handcrafted Arts & Crafts style lighting for residential or commercial.
Harley Davidson Museum: Find out about Harley’s history from WWI to weekend warriors.
La Merenda: Tapas from around the world. My personal favorite is the Sambul Goreng Udang.
The National: Coffee, sandwiches, beer– all local and sustainable.
Soup Bros: The maker of these fine, hearty broths and stews is better known as the “soup nazi”. Dining area is decorated with an incredibly eclectic mix of ephemera, artwork, and personal belongings.
LIVE LIKE A LOCAL: South 2st St. is a largely LGBT district. The pride parade marches through the street every year as part of Pride Fest.
Stonefly Brewery: Gritty and dark, but staff is friendly, and they brew their own beer.