Is it just me or is the beer colder and the food tastier outside? Dining isn’t just about the food, it becomes an experience – it’s about the fresh air and atmosphere. Milwaukee does not disappoint in the patio/rooftop dining category. To share the outdoor dining love with you, we’ve done the research and gathered all of our favorite places to dine al fresco in the Brew City.
Enjoy the food and fresh air!
Bar Louie serves lunch, dinner, late night dining and is at the heart of Milwaukee night life. The patio is lit with string lights and a bon fire offers warmth on those cool WI summer nights.
Home of Milwaukee’s only outdoor Oyster Bar and the largest in Wisconsin! What used to be a hidden gem and is now an iconic Milwaukee restaurant, Barnacle Bud’s has mostly patio seating and serves dumpster punch in mason jars.
1955 S. Hilbert St., Milwaukee, (414) 481-9974, barnacle-buds.com
Bel Air Cantina
Milwaukeeans have loved Bel Air for quite a while, but the new location in Brookfield at The Corners of Brookfield has taken the #PoweredbyTacos experience to a new level with plenty of outdoor seating that overlooks the Market Square of The Corners and wraps around the side of the building. Is there anything better than a margarita and a taco al fresco? Nope. I think not.
250 High Street, Brookfield, WI 53045, (262) 784-4938, belaircantina.com
Inspired by the grand cafes of Lowland Europe, this restaurant is great for any meal of the day or even a cup of coffee with your girlfriends. Enjoy their rooftop dining down in the Third Ward.
346 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, (414) 501-2500, cafebenelux.com
You’ll be impressed with their bier books and one of Milwaukee’s longest bars. The bier list is long and the food is mouthwatering.
2306 S Kinnickinnic Ave., Bay View, (414) 755-0378, cafecentraal.com.
This is one of my all time favorite places for brunch. It’s casual atmosphere is a mixture of your favorite elements of the Benelux region’s rich culture.
***New for 2017 – Cafe Hollander in Brookfield at The Corners of Brookfield featuring a HUGE rootop dining area!!
Their private back patio is a great urban setting to enjoy any of their nightly drink specials or delicious appetizers.
235 South 2nd St., Milwaukee, (414) 220-9420, gingermilwaukee.com
The Gingerbread House
Cozy cafe in a historic farmhouse serving ice cream & baked & light bites including soup. Sip a cold beverage from mason jars, savor their homemade soups and sandwiches and browse their wide assortment of wines, beers and cocktails. Find adorable home decor, jewelry and more in their upstairs boutique.
S63 W16147 College Ave., Muskego, (414) 422-9601, gingerbreadfarmhouse.com
Good Harvest Market
Located in Good Harvest, the Harvest Cafe is home to the only organic salad bar and hot bar in Southeastern Wisconsin! There are three separate outdoor eating areas, including rooftop dining. A couple times a month, you can also find free live music or trivia events.
2205 Silvernail Rd., Waukesha, (262) 544-9380, goodharvestmarket.com
Jose’s Blue Sombrero
Known for their fresh guacamole made table-side, Jose’s patio seating is perfectly paired with a signature margarita.
20371 W Bluemound Rd, Brookfield, (262) 432-6667, josesbluesombrero.com
8617 N Port Washington Rd, Fox Point, (414) 351-9280
6430 Washington Ave, Mt. Pleasant (Racine), (262) 886-5600
Known for their authentic Mexican menu and margaritas, La Fuente (translated to The Fountain) has a great open patio for dining. Kids menus are available.
Grab a bite off of La Perla’s authentic Mexican menu seven days a week. Locally owned and known for their homemade dishes and signature margaritas. This outdoor space is perfect with a patio and open rooftop, fire-pit and unique cabanas.
734 S. 5th St., Milwaukee, (414) 645-9888, laperlahot.com
Mason Street Grill
Floor to ceiling windows open from the lounge to the outdoor patio sharing the live music experience. Enjoy the wall of perennials while sipping on your favorite beverage and ordering from the grill.
425 East Mason St., Milwaukee, (414) 298-3131, masonstreetgrill.com
Matty’s Bar & Grille
Voted #1 on WISN A List for the best sports bar, Bloody Mary and burger, Matty’s has three beautiful patios, complete with HDTV’s to catch a Brewer’s game. Their outdoor seating is the perfect spot to sink your teeth into one of their award winning build your own burgers. Or come on a Saturday or Sunday morning for a gourmet breakfast.
14460 W College Ave., New Berlin, (414) 427-3838, mattysbar.com
Milwaukee Sail Loft
Not only is there a patio, but there is a patio on the water! Drive by car or by boat to dine at this unique venue for brunch, lunch or dinner.
649 E Erie St., Milwaukee, (414) 223-0100, milwaukeesailloft.com
O’Lydia’s Bar & Grill
This adorable Irish bar and grill was built in the 1800’s and serves sandwiches and out of this world pub food.
338 S 1st St., Milwaukee, (414) 271-7546, olydias.com
PS23 is causal dining and features tasty seasonal menus right from the farm. Live music on Tuesday nights and 1/2 price bottles of wine all day Wednesday.
PRO TIP :: Call ahead to make a reservations to make sure you get a table, but be aware that YOU CANNOT RESERVE THE PATIO. The patio is first-come, first-served. So get there early!
**Be sure to ask about their annual farm suppers where you get to enjoy a 5-course meal under a tent right out in the farm!
2300 Pilgrim Square Dr., Brookfield, (262) 784-7275, parkside23.com
Placed in a landmark building in historic downtown Waukesha, People’s Park offers the best sandwiches and appetizers. I highly recommend the mozzarella sticks! Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday. Rooftop seating open all summer long!
337 W. Main St., Waukesha, (262) 522-6868, peoplesparkwaukesha.com
Pier 106 Seafood Tavern
You can enjoy a family meal right on the Milwaukee River on a huge 1,300 square-foot patio! It’s also the docking home to boat cruises including the Edelweiss.
106 W Wells St., Milwaukee, (414) pier106seafoodtavern.com
The original Pizza Man burned down in a tragic fire in 2010. Rebuilt and better than ever, this venue has an incredible rooftop dining! They also feature a vast collection of wine on tap.
2597 N Downer Ave., Milwaukee, (414) 272-1745, pizzamanmke.com
Owned by Bartolotta’s and located in the village of Wauwatosa, Pizzeria Piccola serves amazing pizzas out of its wood-burning ovens. Make sure to support a local non-profit or cause on their Society Sundays. They also feature gluten and dairy free pastas and pizza dough!
7606 W. State St., Wauwatosa, (414) 443-0800, pizzeriapiccola.com
This friendly neighborhood bar offers food and daily drink specials, weekend brunch and for those Canadian lovers, poutine!
Red Lions Pub
This pub is inspired by all the best of the UK from its decor to its food and drink. Dine on the patio for a great view of the Milwaukee River.
1850 N. Water St., Milwaukee, (414) 431-9009, redlionpubmke.com
You feel just like you’re in your own backyard! Dogs are welcome (with a leash and clean up). Bring your lawn games and chairs. You can even bring some brats to throw on the grill. The menu serves pizza and appetizers. Check out their website for a list of planned events.
2155 S Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, (414) 751-4087, thebackyardmke.com
The Twisted Fishermen
Welcome the ocean to your table at this riverside seafood shack. The Twisted Fisherman offers fresh seafood, crab, ribs and specialty drinks. Picnic tables offer outdoor seating right along the river.
1200 West Canal Street, Milwaukee, (414) 273-8300, www.twistedfisherman.com
The view from this Third Ward restaurant is anything but ugly. They describe themselves as “a place of casual sophistication.”
1125 N. Old World 3rd St., Milwaukee, (414) 763-3853, uglysmke.com
Best known for its vast sausage menu, Vanguard’s back patio is complete with string lights, picnic tables, and shade.
2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Bay View, (414) 539-3593, vanguardbar.com
A casual menu offers a great atmosphere for outdoor riverfront seating.
249 N Water St., Milwaukee, (414) 431-1133, waterbuffalomilwaukee.com
The Wolf Peach is as much about the food as it is about the company. Dishes are designed to encourage sharing and gives it a “eating at the family dinner table” kind of feel. Powered by a wood-fired oven, they use ingredients from local farms to create editable works of art.
1818 N Hubbard St., Milwaukee, (414) 374-8480, wolf-peach.com
Zen on 7
Dine on the seventh-floor observation deck of Hotel Metro, overlooking Milwaukee St. Rooftop space is open to the public from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning in June and when it is not already booked for a private event.
411 E. Mason St., Milwaukee, (414) 272-1937, hotelmetro.com