The Deer District is Milwaukee’s hottest up-and-coming neighborhood! Anchored by the new Fiserv Forum and surrounded by trendy bars and restaurants, the growth of this edge of downtown Milwaukee is only just beginning. With the Milwaukee Bucks winning the 2021 NBA championship it is now a household name.
While the area is still relatively new, new luxury apartments, entertainment spaces, bars, and restaurants are continuing to pop up and we expect to see a lot more in the coming years. There are currently plenty of destinations to check out. From new festivals, all the various reasons to spend a night at Fiserv Forum, and great new places for drinks and food, any night spent in the Deer District is an ideal way to experience some of the best things Milwaukee has to offer.
With the new stadium, new neighborhood name, and plenty of new businesses, the Deer District is certain to be one of Milwaukee’s coolest areas. We’ve put together this Deer District guide, so if you’re visiting the Fiserv Forum to catch a Milwaukee Bucks game or a concert we’ve got you covered!
Things to Do in the Deer District near the Fiserv Forum
Whether you’re heading to a Milwaukee Bucks game in the Deer District, to catch a concert, or for a fun outdoor activity in fall and winter, there are plenty of things to do and places to visit when stopping by the Deer District.
1. Go to a Milwaukee Bucks Game at the Fiserv Forum or a concert
If you’re heading to the Fiserv Forum for a game or concert, the Deer District is the perfect place to stop before or after! The Fiserv Forum, serving as the anchor for the newly developed area, is the new home to the Milwaukee Bucks and hosts all regular season Marquette basketball home games. Also, to keep drawing people to the area throughout the year, the Fiserv Forum also hosts nationally acclaimed musicians, comedians, and other entertainment acts!
Like other new stadiums, the Fiserv Forum matches fan expectations beyond just offering seats for a sporting event. First off – it is extremely beautiful once you step inside of the building. Additionally, the arena celebrates its city roots well. Throughout the stadium, you’ll find tons of awesome food and drink options that include lots of local businesses that have set up a second location for game days, like FreshFin and the famous Sobelman’s. There are also tons of stands selling local craft beer!
The Fiserv Forum also features a neat bar area on the top level, with an adjoining balcony perfect for catching views of the city and the game. The new stadium is incredible and is definitely worth checking out when you’re in Milwaukee.
2. Check a local brewery
There are several Milwaukee breweries nearby to grab a pint or take a brewery tour. Make sure to stop by Good City Brewing, Milwaukee Brewing, Water Street Brewery, or Rock Bottom Brewery they are all within a ten-minute walk from the Fiserv Forum.
3. Christmas Market – Closed in 2021
The new Christkindlmarket in Milwaukee takes place right in the heart of the new Deer District in front of the Fiserv Forum. Based on the popular winter market festivals in Germany, this pop-up festival originated in Chicago before landing in Milwaukee.
The festival typically runs from mid-November to early January and includes lots of fun outdoor winter activities including shopping stalls, live entertainment nights, and lots of great food stands with German and Polish fare. There are also delicious glasses of beer and warmed wine for adult visitors to the market. And don’t worry – there is fantastic hot chocolate if you’re looking for that too!
Deer District Restaurants & Bars
There are already several awesome spots for food and drinks in the new Deer District. While there is sure to be more to come, there is already no shortage of choices for a great time before or after a show or game at the Fiserv Forum, or for checking out an away sports game over some excellent food and beverages. Check out the spots below for your next dining destination in the Deer District!
1. The Mecca Sports Bar and Grill
The Mecca Sports Bar and Grill, named after a historic Milwaukee stadium, is one of the newest addition to the Deer District. This mega bar and restaurant has a 750 person capacity, so there is plenty of room for you and your crew. Besides plenty of comfortable seating, the Mecca also has two full-sized bars over two levels, along with 64 high definition large screen televisions, capped off with a 38 foot high def TV viewable from both levels. Trust us – there will be plenty of spots to get a great view of the game here!
Beyond great local beer options and various craft cocktails, The Mecca has an awesome food menu full of tasty treats that pair perfectly with game day. Try one of the appetizer choices like the sausage & pretzel bites with cheese or the chicken wings served with sweet chili sauce. They also offer soups, salads, chicken wings, and tacos along with great burgers. Try the Mecca Burger or Mecca friend chicken sandwich (this is my go to). They also feature daily specials and limited entree options, like steak Frites for only $21.
You won’t’ go hungry or thirsty at The Mecca!
- Address: 1134 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave.
- Hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.
- Phone: 414-908-0401
- Menu Here
2. Drink Wisconsibly Pub
For all things Wisconsin, check out Drink Wisconsibly Pub. The original Drink Wisconsibly was located in the Walker’s Point area, but they recently decided to relocate to a much larger space in the Deer District. The pub has lots of seating, a ton of big-screen televisions, and is decked out with awesome Wisconsin decor and signs.
They even have Drink Wisconsibly swag for sale at the bar if you’re searching for a fun souvenir. A large section of the bar is also available for rent as a special event space.
Drink Wisconsibly is strictly a bar, so it’s best to grab food elsewhere if you’re hungry! However, they do have limited snacks, like cheese curds and jerky, or you can have food delivered from a nearby restaurant, like Ian’s Pizza (which is one of our favorite pizza places in Milwaukee). Otherwise Drink Wisconsibly is perfect for catching a drink before heading over to Fiserv Forum, or for partying the night away after a game, or on a small bar crawl through the area.
Drink Wisconsibly boasts a great drink menu spanning from Wisconsin taps and cans, locally sourced wines, and a great list of craft cocktails. Try the Crivitz Club Cocktail, with brandy, cherry liqueur, pineapple juice and bitters, or the Polka Pit Sour with brandy and house sour mix.
- Address: 320 W. Highland Ave.
- Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-2am | Friday 11am-2:30am | Saturday 8am-2:30am
- Phone: 414-409-1740
3. Good City Brewing Downtown
Good City Brewing already has one popular destination on Milwaukee’s East Side, so we’re so excited that they decided to expand their business to the new Deer District. Their new space is absolutely awesome, with tons of seating, large TVs, outdoor spaces, and even a private event space.
Stop into this spacious bar and restaurant for a taste of Good City beer, which is what made them popular in the first place, like their excellent Risk IPA, Detail Porter, Smoked Baltic Porter, or the Hollywood Nights, a gluten-free blonde IPA.
The food at Good City Brewing, like their east side location, is also top-notch. Try one of the personal pizzas, like the Bacon Artichoke Spinach with honey-cured bacon, artichoke hearts, spinach, mozzarella and provolone cheeses. They also have great salads and numerous appetizers, like the curry fries. For something more substantial try one of the sandwiches, like their excellent rotating burger, or their chicken sandwich with avocado. Good City also offers a few entree options, like the vegetarian-friendly gnocchi with imitation bacon, mushrooms and peas.
- Address: 333 W. Juneau Ave.
- Hours: Closed Monday | Tuesday-Saturday 11am-12am | Sunday 11am-10pm
- Phone: 414-539-4343
- Menu Here
4. The Beer Garden
The Beer Garden is a newly built space located right between The Mecca and Good City Brewing. As the name implies, the concept is basically an urban beer garden with various outdoor entertainment options.
There is an attached bar where you can grab a locally brewed beer and then enjoy the outdoor seating, large screen TVs for game watching, and various games scattered around like bags toss. If looking to watch a big game without buying tickets, the Beer Garden on a pleasant evening is one of the best spots in town.
- Address: 1133 N. Old World 3rd St.
- Hours: Sunday-Thursday 4pm-10pm | Friday 4pm-12am | Saturday 12pm-12am
- Phone: 414-908-0401
5. Punch Bowl Social
While most of the destinations in the new Deer District are locally owned and mostly feature Wisconsin made products, the national chain Punch Bowl Social has also found a new home across from Fiserv Forum. This new and popular bar is lots of fun featuring everything from karaoke, bowling, table and arcade games, to delicious food bites and fantastic drinks. The fun is available for the whole family, at least until 10 p.m. when Punch Bowl Social transitions to a 21 and over establishment.
Try any of the shareable plates, like the chips and salsa, hummus platter, loaded nachos, or the really yummy sriracha peanut fries. For a larger bite to eat, try any of the salads, tacos, burgers, or main entrees like the crunchy fried chicken. There are also a bunch of great drink options, like locally sourced beers, craft cocktails, and creative punch cocktails, like one with dark and coconut rums, pomegranate green tea, and fresh lime juice.
- Address: 1122 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave.
- Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-2am | Saturday 9am-2am | Sunday 9am-12am | Ages 21+ after 10pm
- Phone: 414-204-7544