April 20-23 is the 4th annual gathering of women involved in the travel industry, Women in Travel Summit 2017. There goal is: “By creating an empowering, encouraging, and supportive environment for women to learn new skills and grow professional relationships, we hope to help more women find their voice in the online travel world.”
I am so excited to be attending this year. My goal for 2017 was to attend some sort of conference on travel writing. Then miraculously I discovered that WITS would be hosted in my town, Milwaukee Wisconsin. There are traveling women coming from all over the country and world. The networking and learning opportunities seem limitless.
The group Wanderful is an international community of women who travel and their organization of this event has been superior. Almost everyday I received new information and unbelievable technology to encourage engagement. I feel like I have been networking for weeks before I have even attended the first event.
Earlier this morning one of the attendees, Sue Reddel posted an article she had written about dining in Milwaukee on her site The Food Travelist. She covered some great venues, some I have not tried before. I thought that I would jump on this wagon and share some of my favorite downtown haunts.
I actually live west of the city and love to find new dining and drinking establishments all over the state. For the purpose of our 500+ WITS guests staying in or around the Hilton I have created a map of fun eating places within a reasonable Uber ride.
Milwaukee Dining Map
I love making these Google maps for my trips. You can color code your pins for lodging, dining, museums, etc. You can include several regions with different layers all on one map. In the upper left hand corner is a box and arrow that when clicked will open up the complete list of places.
There are a couple of outliers with Good City Brewery furthest north and Honey Pie Cafe furthest south.
Good City Brewing-New and trendy brewery. I have not been to Good City but my brewing beer snob son loves it.
Honey Pie Cafe–Yum yum yummy breakfasts and lunches. This is a hot spot and worth the distance from downtown. And they have PIE!
Sue Reddel mentioned Brady Street in her article but didn’t name any specifics. Here are a couple of my favs:
Glorioso’s Italian Market–This bustling market truly makes me feel like I am back in Italy. Enjoy something from the deli/counter while you browse the products.
Balzac–A cozy setting and extensive wine selection with some small plates available.
Bel Air Cantina–Who doesn’t love “ritas” and tacos. Bel Aire has a great happy hour and $2 tacos on Thursdays. Not technically on Brady it is just a couple blocks north.
5th WARD/Walker’s Point
The 3rd ward is a common entertainment area in Milwaukee. But its younger sibling the 5th ward is coming on strong. In the last several years some great new dining options have joined the gentrification of this old industrial region.
La Merenda–Is my all time favorite spot for small plates. Their delicious creations cover many world regions and cultures. Wine, beer and cocktail selections are very classy
Engine Company No. 3–Housed in an old fire station the setting is unique and the breakfasts are amazing.
Movida–A classic Spanish Tapas restaurant is better than most of the tapas I found in Spain. Honestly, you had me at Sangria!
Morel–Borrows its name from the famous ‘shrooms. This is an extraordinary menu focused on mushrooms. The bar has a nice craft beer selection and fashionable cocktails.
Screaming Tuna–With seating right on the Milwaukee river, this sushi spot is very popular.
Stack’d–Right across the bridge from the 3rd ward this burger joint has fun outdoor seating and my favorite burgers in town.
Iron Horse/Smyth–This boutique hotel is worth stopping in just for its Harley decor and architecture. The restaurant Smyth is a farm-to-table gem, Branded the bar is always hopping and The Yard is their extensive laid back outdoor space. There is something for everyone here.
North Water Street
Water Street runs parallel with the river and provides plenty of dining options on and off the water. This stretch is north of the freeway and popular for sports and theater events.
Rumpus Room–An after work hangout this is fun for happy hour. I haven’t had great experiences in the dining room but the bar is spacious with a wonderful beer selection and plenty of appetizer choices.
A.J.Bombers–Another burger joint this one has been showcased on the Travel station Food Wars. It is a fun funky ambiance but I like the actual burgers at Stack’d better.
Cubanitas–When the northwind doth blow it is nice to sneak into this little touch of Cuba and enjoy a mojito and cuban comfort food.
I don’t know about you but I love to enjoy my coffee as close to water as possible. McKinley Marina is just north of art museum and Veterns Park.
Colectivo Lakefront–Our local fair trade, organic, health crazy, hipster coffee hangout has several outlets around the city. But the one on Lincoln Memorial Drive across from the Marina is the best people and city watching spot in Southeast Wisconsin.
I realize that I should have thought to create this list earlier. But those of you who like to let serendipity lead the way, you might find yourself dropping in to one of these establishments while you visit Milwaukee this weekend.