milwaukee city guide

Milwaukee was our first of several babymoons. It was supposed to be our only babymoon. (Don’t ask, you guys.)

We really enjoyed the vibe Milwaukee has going on. There are some surprising gems we discovered in only a couple days.

Milwaukee city guide: Le Reve, Lakefront Brewery, City Market, Milwaukee Art Museum

Here’s my Milwaukee city guide: 

+ Le Reve Patissiere + Cafe: Romantic + lovely. This was our one nice dinner out. We were happy to be seated upstairs in a back corner. The menu is too complex or scary, and the waitress kindly explained the few things about which we had questions. We were stuffed, so we ordered two little desserts to take back to the hotel. If you’re not up for a big meal, come here just for the desserts. The case filled with delicate little desserts might make you forget you’re in Milwaukee.

+ Blue’s Egg: Brunch heaven. Call me snooty, but I was initially put off by this restaurants strip-mall location. Even inside, it’s not the cutest decor, but I’m sure I put too much weight in that. No matter how much weight you put in decor, the food is delicious. We feasted. The menu carries a nice mix of sweet and savory options. The “Blue’s Browns” — hand-cut hash browns — are a must.

+ Kopp’s Frozen Custard: Not just custard! This was recommended by a former local. The burgers are huge, juicy, and slimy. The fries are good, too. They make the regular custard flavors plus a few special flavors. Stuffed again, we took our raspberry dark chocolate custard back to the hotel. I’m not sure about all locations, but the location we went to in Glendale did not have indoor seating. Probably best to get it to go, in the summer, or without little kids.

+ Milwaukee Art Museum: One of my new favorites. I’m picky about my art museums. The architecture here is reason enough to visit, but the galleries were certainly impressive, as well. We especially enjoyed the photography and visual art galleries. Other museums seem to skimp on these, and it’s a shame. Take your time wandering here and enjoying the view of the lake.

Milwaukee Art Museum

+ Lakefront Brewery: The best for your money. (Or so I hear.) My husband wanted to tour a brewery, and this one was most frequently recommended to us. The location is interesting and pretty. For $7, you get a glass and four beer tokens. The tour was average, but for what you’re paying, worth it. It seemed that they were running at a limited capacity on the day we visited, so our tour was likely shorter than most. And, being honest: This was my first brewery tour. I don’t have a lot to which to compare it.


+ Milwaukee Public Market: Perfect for lunch! Save a lunch to explore the market until something catches your eye. This is also worth a visit if you want to buy food + gifts to take home. We got sandwiches and sat in the upper seating, which is perfect for people-watching.

+ Iron Horse Hotel: A rustic boutique hotel. I honestly think my first introduction to Iron Horse was through a Pinterest picture. It’s beautiful, rustic, and surprisingly cozy for a hotel in an old warehouse. The rooms are huge, and the bathroom is seriously sleek and sexy. And I don’t use that word generously. The bar, Branded, had a great drink menu. (Or so my husband tells me. I just like the fruity stuff.) We enjoyed chatting with the bartender about the time Emma Stone stayed at the hotel. The location is not super walkable and parking was a bit pricey, but it was worth it for us.

+ If a stay at Iron Horse is not in the cards — I really can’t blame you! — there are a lot of great Airbnb places in Milwaukee.

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  • I love your city guides!

    • natalie

      thanks, Kayla! I love writing them. we are definitely fortunate to get to take so many trips.

  • Jennifer

    Ohh, thanks for the hotel recommendation! We’ve never been to Milwaukee, but I’m always looking for amazing hotels for future trips and that’s definitely going on the list!

    • natalie

      Jennifer, it’s so wonderful! I love unique hotels. What are some of your favorites?

  • Try eating at Ethiopian Cottage next time! Yummy food with African owners.

    • natalie

      We will! That sounds great.

  • Oh, Milwaukee! I spent the bulk of my years here, and I LOVE the art museum & Kopp’s custard!

    • natalie

      It would be so nice to live near those!

      • Oh, most definitely. Although I do enjoy the delights of Indy like Scotty’s Brewhouse. Now that I’m thinking about Milwaukee again, I’m craving gelato. Do you know of any place that has gelato around here?

  • Born and raised in Milwaukee and I must say Kopps frozen custard is the BEST!! I love there burgers. I always enjoyed the history museum and the zoo when I was a kid as well. Summerfest is a blast!! So if anyone happens to be in Milwaukee at the end of June or beginning of July, I highly recommend checking it out:)

  • Nic

    Kopp’s is good, but Leon’s on the South Side is the real deal. It’s been a Milwaukee staple since the 40’s, and it’s the place to be on a nice summer night.

  • Thanks for posting these Milwaukee Must-do’s. If anyone else is moving to Milwaukee, like myself, this article is a great reference.

    Many times when you move to a new city, it is hard to transition especially if you do not know anyone close by. As my local Milwaukee movers recommended, I am going to go out and see everything Milwaukee has to offer while All My Sons Moving & Storage takes care of my belongings. I think the sooner I dive into local eateries, museums, and Milwaukee hangouts such as these recommended the sooner I will feel more at home.

    Thanks for the recommendations!