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Top 10 Best Lunch Spots in Milwaukee

With all the great restaurants in Milwaukee, it’s easy to find a tasty spot for lunch. The best lunch spots in Milwaukee cater to downtown workers and tourists looking for a quick bite alike. The best destinations in the city are convenient to get to, primarily downtown and the Historic Third Ward, have plenty of well-priced options ideal for lunch, and quality service ensuring you can get in and out without taking up half of the day.

We’ve put together this list of the top ten lunch spots in Milwaukee to help sort out your lunch!


front of Cafe Benelux - Rooftop bar and top rated bloody mary's in Milwaukee

Cafe Benelux

The lowlands-style Cafe Benelux is a perfect destination for lunch. Conveniently located in the Historic Third Ward, the restaurant has plenty of seating, and extensive hours allowing for lunch at any time of the day. For tourists, Cafe Benelux is perfect for a laid back lunch with one of the best bloody marys in the Milwaukee, while downtown workers can grab a quick yet delicious lunch. For a taste of Europe with other American classics, check out the fantastic food at Cafe Benelux for lunch.

If you are heading to Cafe Benelux for lunch during the summer months make sure to request a table on their rooftop. They have one of the best rooftops in Milwaukee.

The Food

The lengthy menu at Cafe Benelux offers lunch-goers numerous options to choose from. Try any one of the appetizers, which could also double as a lighter lunch, like the lux tater tots, with bacon, blue cheese, gruyere cheese, and sriracha mayo ($9.95), or the bacon kraut fritters, or fried fritters with summer sausage, bacon, sauerkraut, gruyere, and served with dijon mustard ($9.95).

For a light lunch at Cafe Benelux, try any one of the awesome salads. The Chicken Cobb is fantastic, with chicken, mixed greens, arugula, avocado, bacon, cheddar, red onion, cucumber, tomato, and a yogurt dressing ($13.95).

The menu also features plenty of burgers and sandwiches, like the Stacked Turkey Club, with turkey, ham, bacon, swiss cheese, pepper jack cheese, tomato, red onion, and garlic aioli on a hoagie roll ($14.95).

Lunch Specials

Besides great specials on bloody marys and other drink discounts, Cafe Benelux has rotating daily food specials for lunch definitely worth checking out.

  • Address: 346 N. Broadway
  • Hours: Monday-Thursday, 7am-11pm | Friday, 7am-12am | Saturday, 8am-12am | Sunday, 8am-11pm

 

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Brunch

What’s better than getting a weekend brunch for breakfast or lunch any day of the week? Brunch, located right in the center of the city, offers brunch and lunch items all through the week. The restaurant’s central location also makes it a convenient option for downtown workers and anyone staying in an area hotel. Stop into Brunch for one of downtown Milwaukee’s best spots for lunch.

The Food

The menu at Brunch basically consists of upgraded brunch items and delicious lunch options. They also have creative appetizers, like the breakfast egg rolls, with scrambled eggs, sausage, cheddar cheese, and a maple chili dipping sauce ($12). The French Toast Sticks are also excellent, basically, deep-fried French toast bites dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar, served alongside a maple syrup dipping sauce ($11).

There are plenty of tasty brunch items to choose from, including regular plate options with a choice of eggs, meat, and potato, in addition to extensive omelet options, like the Cheese Steak, an omelet stuffed full of steak pieces, muenster cheese, mushrooms, and onions ($12).

For lunch, Brunch offers a variety of sandwiches, including the Chicken & Waffle, with deep-fried pieces of chicken between a perfectly prepared waffle covered with sriracha aioli and maple honey butter ($13).

Lunch Specials

There are also a few specials to take advantage of at Brunch. Mondays offer a service industry special, where you can get 25% off your tab, $5 bloody marys, and $20 bottomless mimosas. Thursdays offer a $6 breakfast option, with three pieces of bacon and three eggs prepared anyway. Fridays they also have a buy one get one half deal on mimosas and bloody marys.

  • Address: 714 N Milwaukee St.
  • Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 am-3 pm | Saturday and Sunday, 8 am-3 pm

 

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Sweet Diner

Sweet Diner is located right in the middle of the Historic Third Ward, a short walk or drive from any part of downtown. The restaurant concept is pretty simple: take a classic diner, upgrade the ambiance and the menu, and provide customers with an exceptional experience for breakfast or lunch. Make the Third Ward your next stop for awesome diner favorites in a swanky environment at Sweet Diner.

The Food

Sweet Diner provides an exceptional number of breakfast and lunch items at a reasonable price. Their omelets are a fantastic option at any time of the day, including the Wisconsin, with pork sausage, cheddar cheese, cheese curds, caramelized onions, and sauteed peppers ($13).

They also offer a number of creative benedicts, and a variety of skillet bowls, like the really tasty Veg Head Bowl with sauteed seasonal vegetables, eggs prepared any way, and topped with cheddar and gruyere cheeses ($12). Diners can also pick from a number of sweeter options, like pancakes, waffles, French toast, and crepes.

Larger lunch items include entrees, really delicious salads, and a variety of sandwiches. The Monte Cristo at Sweet Diner is one of the best in the city, with grilled French toast, ham, grilled chicken, a berry jam, and gruyere cheese, certain to please anyone looking for a delicious lunch ($13).

Lunch Specials

Sweet Diner offers a number of rotating daily specials.

  • Address: 239 E. Chicago St.
  • Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 am-3 pm | Saturday and Sunday, 7 am-4 pm

 

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Glorioso’s Italian Market

Glorioso’s Italian Market is located right on Brady Street and offers a full-service store for Italian specialty pasta, meats, sauces, and other tasty treats like gelato. The store is a great destination for anyone visiting Milwaukee.

When it comes to lunch, Glorioso’s has plenty of options to choose from. Customers order at the counter, and then after checking out, there is a spacious indoor seating area to dine at and quite a few tables outside for summer.

The Food

When it comes to a quick and delicious Italian lunch in Milwaukee, Glorioso’s can’t be beaten. They offer numerous pasta options, like penne alla bolognese ($6.99), and tasty sandwiches, paninis, and calzones. For something spicy, try the Human Torch sandwich, with calabrese, capocollo, provolone, and a hot pepper spread ($7.99).

For something lighter, try one the excellent salads, like the Portabella, with marinated and grilled portabella mushrooms, mixed greens, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, pine nuts, crispy bacon, and a Marsala dressing ($9.49).

Glorioso’s also offers thin-crust pizzas to go, which they prepare fresh and are ready in about ten to fifteen minutes. The Fig & Prosciutto is amazing, with prosciutto, figs, spinach, goat cheese, and a balsamic glaze ($8.99).

Lunch Specials

Glorioso’s offers weekly food specials that can be found online, in addition to occasional lunch specials. Especially in summer, they often have discounted lunch items like grilled Italian sausages with chips for a discounted price.

  • Address: 1011 E. Brady St.
  • Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm | Saturday, 8am-6pm | Sunday, 8:30am-5pm

 

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St. Paul’s Fish Market in the Public Market

St. Paul’s Fish Market in the Milwaukee Public Market is one of the best seafood restaurants in the Milwaukee, and given its casual atmosphere and hours. It makes for a perfect lunch spot. Especially when it comes to grabbing seafood for lunch, few places will please quite like St. Paul’s.

Additionally, the restaurant is located in the Milwaukee Public Market, so if someone in the group doesn’t want seafood, there are plenty of other options to pick from, like Middle Eastern, Thai, and Mexican food, and gourmet salads and sandwiches. Please the entire crowd by heading over the Public Market.

The Food

For fans of seafood, few places will beat lunch at St. Paul’s Fish Company. The restaurant has a full-service oyster bar, excellent starters like fried clam strips ($7.95), and grilled shrimp kabobs ($16.95). They also offer numerous salads, like a grilled tuna Caesar ($16.95). On colder days, the soups at St. Paul’s are especially comforting and delicious, like the New England Clam Chowder. All soups are $3.95 for a cup, $4.95 for a bowl, and $5.95 for a pint.

The menu at St. Paul’s offers diners a bunch of tasty sandwich choices, like a catfish po boy ($9.95), fried lake perch sandwich ($10.95), or one of the city’s best lobster rolls ($14.95). There are also larger plates that basically come with grilled or blackened fish, served with jasmine rice and sauteed vegetables, and a choice of either beurre blanc or fruit salsa to accompany the fish. The fish options are extensive, including Alaskan halibut ($24.95), Blue Marlin ($15.95), or Atlantic Salmon ($15.95).

Lunch Specials

There are a variety of specials at St. Paul’s Fish Company, including discounts on lobster, crab legs, and other seafood favorites. Also, ask about daily food specials.

  • Address: 400 N. Water St.
  • Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-8pm | Saturday, 8am-8pm | Sunday, 10am-6pm

 

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The Wicked Hop

The Wicked Hop is one of Milwaukee’s most popular lunch spots. With plenty of indoor seating and one of the best outdoor patios for nicer weather, Wicked Hop is affordable, conveniently located in the Historic Third Ward, and serves up some awesome food.

The Food

Wicked Hop excels at serving up classic American and bar fare always doesn’t with an extra dose of delicious. Try any of the appetizers, like the Philly cheesesteak egg rolls ($12), or the calamari fries served with a marina dipping sauce ($12).

They also serve up excellent burgers, sandwiches, and wraps. The Reuben sandwich is really tasty ($12), and they have this footlong grilled cheese sandwich that is sort of a local favorite ($11). The carne asada tostada plate is also a great choice, with shirt steak, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and cotija cheese with verde salsa ($14).

Lunch Specials

Wicked Hop has some great daily specials worth checking out, like a Monday $10 burger special, Tuesday Italian beef specials, discounted burger sliders on Wednesday, and taco specials on Thursdays.

  • Address: 345 N. Broadway
  • Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11am-2am | Friday, 11am-2:30am | Saturday, 9am-2:30am | Sunday, 9am-2am

 

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Smoke Shack Third Ward

When it comes to barbeque in Milwaukee, Smoke Shack is definitely one of the best. Whether needing an awesome lunch pick me up during work, or for a great barbeque spot while exploring the city, Smoke Shack in the Historic Third Ward has you covered.

The Food

The food at Smoke Shack is some of the best in the city. They have numerous appetizers that can double for a great lunch option, like the Texas BBQ Nachos, with jalapenos, black beans, tomato, red onion, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and a choice of barbeque pork or brisket ($12.50). The chicken wings are also excellent. They are smoked and then fried, and served with a variety of barbeque sauce options ($9.50). The fried green tomatoes with chipotle aioli also makes for a great start to any meal.

For a more traditional lunch, choose from any of the barbecue meat options, like the pulled chicken, pulled pork, brisket, andouille sausage, ribs, and for vegetarians, barbeque seitan. From there, diners can choose to have a sandwich ($9.75-$13.75) or a plate with a half-pound of meat and choice of side ($14.50-$19.50).

Lunch Specials

Daily food specials are available at Smoke Shack, so be sure to ask the waitstaff.

  • Address: 332 N. Milwaukee St.
  • Hours: Monday-Friday, 11am-10pm | Saturday, 10am-10pm | Sunday, 10am-9pm

 

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Milwaukee Brat House Downtown

Milwaukee Brat House downtown is one of the city’s most popular choices for lunch. With its central location, abundant seating, and great menu items, the Brat House is great for a lunch filled with Milwaukee favorites, like grilled sausages, cheese curds, and burgers.

The Food

There are tons of awesome menu items at Milwaukee Brat House. The wings are some of the best around, where diners get a pound for $10.95 with a choice of sauce. The Frito Pie is also surprisingly delicious, with Frito Scoop chips covered in chorizo, cheddar cheese, tomato, avocado, cilantro, and ranch dressing ($10.95).

Brat House also offers tasty salads and soups, like a really rich and comforting beer cheese soup ($3.95 for a cup, $5.50 for a bowl). For a larger lunch, try one of the specialty sausages, like The Farwell, with a bratwurst, sauteed onion, poblano peppers, bacon, pesto, and gouda cheese ($11.95). The Greek Freak is also exceptional, with a custom gyro meat bratwurst, cucumber, tomato, pepperoncini, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce ($11.95). Try any of the sausages, other sandwiches, or one of the specialty burgers.

Lunch Specials

Milwaukee Brat House has numerous rotating food and drink specials, sure to keep your lunch within a reasonable budget.

  • Address: 1013 N. Old World 3rd St.
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-2 am | Friday and Saturday, 11 am-2:30 am

Stack'D Burger Milwaukee & Sweet Potato Fries

Stack’D Burger Bar

When it comes to one of the best burgers in Milwaukee with an accessible location from downtown, it’s pretty hard to beat Stack’D Burger Bar. The restaurant offers plenty of options for serious burger fans and vegetarians alike, in addition to having lots of seating and exceptional service. When craving a burger for lunch, make your way to the edge of the Third Ward for Stack’D burger Bar.

The Food

Stack’D is all about burgers and sandwiches done really well. Stop by and build your own sandwich, with a choice of meats, like grass-fed beef, bison, free-range chicken, Impossible burger, or a chickpea and walnut patty, among others ($10-$14).

From there, diners can customize their toppings, with an assortment of cheeses ($1-$2), buns like pretzel rolls and Texas toast, and assorted toppings (free-$2) like raw or caramelized onions, jalapeno bacon, and chili. There are numerous sauces to pick from, and a choice of sides like fries, tater tots, onion rings, fried pickles.

To make things a bit easier, diners can also pick one of the numerous specialty sandwich choices, like the Don’t Mess with Texas, with a bison patty, chipotle cheddar, jalapenos, onion rings, and a barbeque sauce topping ($15). There are also extensive other choices, like salads, soups, and chicken sandwiches.

Lunch Specials

If you have the day off, take advantage of one of the numerous drink specials at Stack’d Burger Bar.

  • Address: 170 S. 1st St.
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-10 pm | Friday and Saturday, 11 am-11 pm

 

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Swingin Door Exchange

The Swingin Door Exchange is a popular spot for lunch in downtown Milwaukee for workers looking for a quick bite in a cozy bar atmosphere. Located right between downtown and the Historic Third Ward, visitors to Milwaukee can walk to Swingin Door Exchange from just about any part of downtown. The restaurant excels at bar and comfort food done really well. Head over and see what the buzz is about at the Swingin Door Exchange.

The Food

There are tons of tasty options on the menu at the Swingin Door Exchange. For an appetizer, try the burger sliders topped with grilled onion and cheddar cheese (2 for $5, or 4 for $9), or the really tasty buffalo chicken dip served with toast, tortilla chips, and celery ($9.50).

Swingin Door Exchange offers a number of really tasty salads to try, like the beet salad with marinated and grilled beets, goat cheese, spring lettuce mix, apples, sunflower kernels, and a mustard vinaigrette ($8.50).

For something more substantial, try one of the specialty sandwiches, like the prime dip with roast beef, grilled onions, mozzarella cheese, served on a fresh French roll with au jus dipping sauce ($10.50).

Lunch Specials

There are daily food specials at the Swingin Door Exchange to keep your lunch budget under control, like Monday hot dogs specials, with a Chicago or chili dog for $3, and a taco Tuesday special with $2.50 tacos.

  • Address: 219 E. Michigan St.
  • Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 am-2 am | Saturday and Sunday, 10 am-2 am

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