The 10 Best Restaurants In Lincoln Village, Milwaukee

Photo of Benjamin M. Smith
9 February 2017

Lincoln Village on Milwaukee’s south side has seen various ethnic communities pass through its limits, from the Polish who settled the area in the the 19th century, to Mexican and Central American immigrants. Working-class, family values abound in this neighborhood, which makes for some well-priced eats. We look at some of the best.

De Guerreros Taquería Pollo Tacos | © Matthew Jording/Flickr

Taqueria Arandas

Food Truck, Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
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The tacos from Taqueria Arandas and its food truck are some of the best on the south side. Offering a host of flavors native to the Pacific coast of Mexico, Taqueria Arandas is slowly being discovered by those interested in authentic Mexican food. Their Pastor taco has achieved a local following in the neighborhood, but for a more traditional flavor, try their succulent Cabeza tacos.

La Caribeña

Restaurant, Caribbean, $$$
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Dessert Plate
Dessert Plate | Courtesy of Old Town Serbian Gourmet Restaurant
It’s easy to spot La Caribeña while perusing the neighborhood, due to its bright red paint and its standout triangle structure. Inside, its tiki hut-style booths, fish tanks, and expressive tropical wallpaper create an ambiance seemingly imported from the Dominican Republic itself, while the menu touts some of the best Dominican, Peurto Rican, and Colombian flavors in Milwaukee.

Old Town Serbian Gourmet Restaurant

Restaurant, American, European, $$$
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For nearly 50 years, Old Town Serbian Gourmet Restaurant has served true family-style Serbian fare at their small Lincoln Village location. With generous portions of kabobs, lamb shank, and stuffed grape leaves, this restaurant is one of the ethnic treasures of the city, seemingly remaining unchanged since its opening. The service is attentive, the food fantastic and the welcome always warm.

El Salvador

Restaurant, Salvadorian
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Just across from the Basilica of Saint Josaphat, a beautiful structure built by the area’s Polish emigrants, lies El Salvador, Milwaukee’s Salvadoran food mecca. Despite its small size, this restaurant packs some serious flavor, coming in the form of the Salvadoran staple: the papusa; a thick corn tortilla filled with cheese, pork, and beans.

Carnitas Machetes

Cafe, Restaurant, Mexican
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Carnitas Machetes’s specialty is pork, in all its wonderful cuts. This restaurant is inextricably attached to its community and has a real passion for authentic Mexican cooking. Carnitas are the speciality here, although the pork belly and shoulder and are also both delicious. Basic Spanish language skills will definitely be advantageous in this establishment, being the dominant language spoken by both customers and servers.

Transfer Pizzeria Café

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Italian, American, Tea , $$$
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Ceviche Oriental
Ceviche Oriental | © Colores Mari/Flickr
Just three blocks east of I-43, the main artery of the city, lies Transfer Pizzeria Café, one of the most popular late-night pizzerias on the south side. From its vintage, brownstone brick to its live jazz music, this restaurant has combined the ambiance of a jazz club in Havana with a pizza parlor in New York. With a wide variety of pizzas, and with a popular following for its famed gluten-free crusts,

La Canoa

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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La Canoa is the place for seafood in Lincoln Village. Its festively painted chairs, tropical scenic wallpaper and unique décor create an inviting space to enjoy some of the best maritime dishes in the city. While most of the customers may speak Spanish, everyone comes together to watch sports and games with a cocktail and a dish of fresh fish cuts in this welcoming restaurant.


Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Watch chef JoLinda Klopp cook behind the bar at Triskele’s, a recent addition to the neighborhood. Featuring fine-dining in a casual atmosphere, this restaurant adds a much needed contemporary take on American and French classics to Lincoln Village. Be sure to capitalize on the promotions at this restaurant, which include an all-you-can-eat mussels dinner on Tuesday, and discounted craft beer on draft, and wine by the bottle, on Wednesdays.

Taqueria La Salsa

Bakery, Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
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Mexican Bakery
Mexican Bakery | © stu_spivack/flickr
Across from Lincoln Theater, once the largest theater on the south side, and now the home of the Milwaukee Bicycle Company warehouse, stands Taqueria La Salsa, another recent addition to the Lincoln Village neighborhood. Its owners pay tribute to the Mexican state of Jalisco, with regional classics like parrilladas, various meats and vegetables cooked over an open fire, and birria, a spicy goat soup known to cure hangovers.

Lopez Bakery & Restaurant

Bakery, Restaurant, Mexican
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Lopez Bakery & Restaurant is Lincoln Village’s best-known Latin bakery. Regulars at the South Shore Farmer’s Market, these guys’ churros and conchas blancas have become entrenched fixtures in the area. Their Historic Mitchell Street bakery and restaurant location also dishes up some fantastic tortas on freshly baked bread, while the rest of the menu stays true to traditional Mexican food.

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