What’s Brewing in Brewers Hill?
New dining spots flourish in this northern Milwaukee neighborhood
Something is brewing in the Brewers Hill neighborhood, thanks to a recent boon of residential development, bringing about new dining spots in this northern Milwaukee neighborhood.
A former industrial district, Brewers Hill always had a distinct neighborhood feel. The influx of young professionals made it a hip place to live, without losing its neighborly vibe that long-time residents love. For food, the message is simple: Make it traditionally trendy and locally sourced as much as possible.
One of the reasons Brewers Hill has maintained its identity, and pushed the culinary envelope, is an anchoring destination that has rested along the river since 1987. And wouldn’t you know it? It’s a brewery and brewpub.
Lakefront Brewery: The Anchor on the River
Though it has enjoyed success for more than 30 years, Lakefront Brewery has accommodated the neighborhood in the last few years beyond just being a brewery by simply giving visitors what they need—places to sit. Locals and tourists gather on the patio along the river for its scenic river views, or experience the big German-style beer hall featuring long tables and live polka music. There’s also locally sourced, traditional Wisconsin fare like fried cheese curds, scratch mac n’ cheese and pretzels with beer cheese sauce.
The big day though is Friday for the famous Lakefront fish fry, frequently named one of the best in Milwaukee. Served weekly from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., it features fresh cod baked in Lakefront’s Eastside Dark lager batter.
“We’re real big on, if the recipe calls for water, just substitute beer,” says Executive Chef Kristin Huekeke. “We do a lot of cooking like that.” Hey, people love it. Reviews and patron pictures are covered with beer-battered bites.
Another hallmark experience and tourist destination is Lakefront’s brewery tour, where you receive a signature pint glass, beer samples and a 45-minute tour for $11.
Other operations making noise in Brewers Hill:
Sitting on Brewers Hill is this modern, rustic diner, which opened in late 2018. Early returns are promising, in part because of its large windows and spectacular views. Let’s not forget Uncle Wolfie’s impressive breakfast and lunch menu, highlighted by a hearty breakfast burrito and Breaky Burger (a third-pound burger stuffed with cheddar cheese) and a wide beverage list, which includes beer, wine and craft cocktails.
Going against the Milwaukee and Wisconsin culinary grain is Mi Casa Su Cafe’s forte, as it focuses on serving healthy food and beverage options. You’ll find mostly vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, fresh smoothies and no soda, fried food or pork. One could argue this is the antithesis of Wisconsin eating, but this young restaurant has enjoyed rave reviews from eaters.
Touted as a Milwaukee landmark, The Brown Bottle rests between Brewers Hill and Schlitz Park, next to the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks offices (if you’re lucky, you may run into a few players!), and is home to “Old World pub fare” and a comfortable, vintage atmosphere, which lends to its reputation of a versatile meeting spot for lunch, dinner or after-work drinking. Menu favorites include brat pot stickers, Schlitz on tap and a Friday fish fry.
Atop Brewers Hill, View MKE enjoys the best views of the city. The ambience is complemented by large, plush booths, trendy decor and a dazzling ceiling of drop-down, dim-lit lights. Though a beautiful dining spot for dinner—thanks to a locally sourced, creative menu that includes Milwaukee-style pizza—this place is also a fan favorite brunch spot. Don’t forget to try the biscuits and gravy and build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.