Image of Beer Garden at South Shore Terrace Milwaukee WI

Fun and Unique Places to Eat in Milwaukee in 2024

By: Craig

This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I (The Winding Road Tripper) earn from qualifying purchases. Read more

This post was originally published on March 27, 2022, and updated on March 11, 2023.

Are you looking for a fun place to eat in Milwaukee? 

You’ve come to the right place. 

Grabbing a bite to eat in a fun and entertaining place is one of our favorite things to do in the city.  And in this list, we’ll share some of our favorites with you. 

So whether you are visiting Milwaukee or a long-time resident, the restaurants on this list are to fill your belly and keep you entertained! Ensure they are on your list of things to do in Milwaukee.

Barnacle Bud’s

Barnacle Bud’s is unique because it transports you to a place far away from Milwaukee. And it’s best experienced in the warmer months when you can enjoy a table outside. 

A Barnacle Bud’s adventure starts with simply trying to find the place. You’ll find it tucked in behind a few old warehouses and Skipper Buds Marina along the eastern bank of the Kinnickinnic River. 

On your way, you may wonder if you’ll come back out alive or if you’re going in the right direction! But trust Google. 

Once you find Barnacle Bud’s, you’ll be transported to a place that makes you feel like you are in the Florida Keys, not Milwaukee. This is a place to relax, have drinks, and maybe have oysters. 

You’ll likely be treated to live music and table dancing on Sunday afternoons. This is a Milwaukee gem that is not to be missed.  

St. Paul’s Fish Market

St. Paul’s Fish Market is the perfect unassuming spot to grab seafood in Milwaukee. 

Nestled in the Milwaukee Public Market, you can grab a seat at the oyster bar inside or have an adventure at the tiki bar outside. 

St. Paul’s Fish Market is fun because the staff always seems to be having a blast at work, especially outside the tiki bar. 

The menu is full of delicious seafood options and fun beachy cocktails. 

A lobster dinner is a fun option, as who doesn’t love cracking open a whole lobster while sitting at the bar with a tiki drink? Just be careful that your lobster shrapnel doesn’t hit a bartender. (That may or may not have happened to us.)

Hamburger Mary’s

Are you looking for dinner and a show? Then look no further than Hamburger Mary’s, a wildly kitchy burger joint in the heart of the 5th Ward. 

Their namesake is their specialty, with remarkably named burgers and equally delectable. The “It’s My Havarti and I’ll Rye If I Want To” and “Buffy the Burger Slayer” are tempting options for those looking for something a little outside the box.

Stop by for the food, but stay for almost nightly drag shows. The entertainment never stops whether you’re “Dining With the Divas” or hoping to hit the jackpot at the “Charity Bingo Game Show”. 

The Sunday “Divas Drag Brunch” is one of the best times to visit. Treat yourself to bottomless mimosas in a “Long Leg” take-home souvenir glass.

More Milwaukee Posts:
Best Things to Do in Milwaukee – with Itinerary Suggestions
Best Craft Breweries in Milwaukee

Best Casual Restaurants in Milwaukee
Best Milwaukee City Tours
Best Gluten-friendly Restaurants in Milwaukee

3rd Street Market Hall

The 3rd Street Market Hall is a recent addition to the Milwaukee food scene. Situated in an old mall, 3rd Street Market Hall has it all for a fun night out.

With numerous eateries to choose from, including some of our favorite cheap eats in the city, this place will likely have something for everyone in your group. Our favorites are Dairyland and Anytime Arepas. 

And after dinner, you can stick around and play a few games. You’ll have ways to stay entertained for hours with a selfie studio, gaming lounge, shuffleboard court, and a Topgolf Swing Suite. 

This is an excellent place for those rainy days or the cold winter months in Milwaukee. 


Your mission: discover the secret entrance and recite the password. Only then can you enter the world of espionage that awaits at the Safe House.

This famed and unique Milwaukee spy-themed restaurant and bar has kept patrons on their toes since 1966. Full of authentic spy artifacts, ostentatious historical and pop culture references, and many secrets to be discovered, plan to spend some time there.

Come early for a more family-friendly experience. The food menu has plenty of options for your younger spies. And it’s generally less crowded, so your junior 007’s can explore to their hearts’ content. Stop by later for themed cocktails and a more raucous experience. 

And no matter your age, the scavenger hunt around the restaurant will surely keep you entertained. 

Pro Tip: There are many ways to exit when you’re ready to leave. Some are more obvious, and some ways of escaping the quarters require a little more thought than just phoning it in (hint: check out the phone booth).

South Shore Terrace Beer Garden

South Shore Terrace beer garden is one of the best beer gardens in Milwaukee. This is because of its fantastic view of the city and delicious food. 

What makes this place a fun place to eat is all of the activity surrounding you. There is a playground for the kids nearby, a marina in the distance, a bike trail that runs through it, and, as we already mentioned, the city’s best view.

Order your food and drinks at the bar, grab a number, and find a picnic table to enjoy your afternoon. The wings are delicious, and the burgers are great as well. 

For those non-beer drinkers, they have wine and a rotating sangria available. 

Side Note: South Shore Terrance’s beer selection isn’t the best in the city (mostly Miller products), but the location and atmosphere more than make up for it.

Lakefront Beer Hall

Lakefront Beer Hall is the place to be, especially on a Friday night, for its Milwaukee famous fish fry. 

Starting at 4 pm, Lakefront Beer Hall becomes a gathering place for people to enjoy a good old-fashioned fish fry and polka!

The fish fry is delicious, and the polka music will make you smile. This is an excellent place for both adults and families. 

Before dinner, consider going on one of the best brewery tours in Milwaukee. The Lakefront Brewery tour is a great way to wet your pallet for dinner. It’s a fun and informational tour you’ll surely love. 

Zocalo Food Truck Park

Can’t decide what you’re in the mood for? 

One of the best options might be to head to Zocalo Food Truck Park, the only of its kind in Milwaukee. 

There are a lot of permanent resident food trucks that offer a wide variety of dining options. And there is a constantly rotating roster of mobile gourmets as well. You will find something to tempt your palate regardless of when you go. 

Zocalo Food Truck Park is one of the more affordable places to eat in Milwaukee.

The centrally located indoor bar is always open for a unique craft cocktail or beer to go with your food order. Zocalo is even accessible during the harsh winter months with a reservation of their heated greenhouses.

Book a time slot at the Hot Spell sauna if you’re looking for a real warm-up in the winter. This Nordic-inspired sauna experience will get you to work up a sweat no matter how brutal Milwaukee winter gets.

AJ Bomber’s

Regularly voted as having the best burgers in Milwaukee, AJ Bombers delivers delicious food at reasonable prices. It’s always a lively affair where the beer flows non-stop and peanut bombs litter the tables and floors.

The food ranges from pretty standard to genuinely local. 

The Milwaukee burger is loaded with bacon, cheese, and onions sauteed in Schlitz. Try the Barrie burger with bacon and peanut butter if you’re feeling adventurous. Pro Tip: add the fried egg on top for an extra $1.

It’s a mainstay for nearby collegians who bar hop up and down Water Street on the weekends. But it’s a safe, fun atmosphere for families and a great place to eat before any event at the Fiserv Forum. 

Good City Brewing – Deer District

Good City Brewing is one of the best craft breweries in Milwaukee and offers some of the most flavorful hoppy beers anywhere. But their selection of elevated bar food, including a killer cheeseburger and stone-fired pizzas, is also worth a try. 

If you’re in the area during the NBA playoffs, get to the brewery well before game time to secure a spot for a Milwaukee Bucks game.