Having brunch with friends is a weekend ritual in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After a full workweek, a Saturday or Sunday isn’t complete without savoring a plate of eggs Benedict, a platter of French Toast and a few mimosas — or ‘beermosas’ (you’re in ‘Brew City,’ after all). We head to the shores of Lake Michigan to find the 10 best brunch spots in Milwaukee, from European-style cafes to retro diners.
Blue’s Egg is an art deco-inspired restaurant known for its extensive menu. Dishes highlight fresh ingredients and flavors from all over the world, including Europe, Africa and Asia. We recommend trying the Dubliner Benedict, made with poached eggs, corned beef, creamy leeks, rye toast and paprika aioli; steel-cut oatmeal with Sassy Cow Creamery milk, vanilla sugar, berries and walnuts; and roast pumpkin-stuffed French toast with salted caramel sauce, bourbon anglaise, house granola, whipped cream and bacon or sausage. You can also opt for the daily Egg Plate; Blue’s Egg will donate $1 to a local charity every time it’s ordered.
Find a spot at Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro‘s three-sided Parisian zinc bar or in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lake Michigan, and settle in for one of the best brunches in the region. Located on the top floor of a revitalized historic park pavilion, this 20-year-old bistro is known for its breathtaking views of the lake. Menu highlights include buckwheat crêpe with Gruyere, French ham, sauteed mushrooms and eggs; brioche French toast with pecans, preserved fruit, whipped fromage blanc, bacon and maple syrup; and grilled hangar steak with eggs, potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and Bearnaise sauce.
Exposed brick walls and bikes hanging from the ceilings contribute to the industrial, eclectic atmosphere of Cafe Hollander. Its brunch menu is filled with everything from the healthy to the indulgent; popular entrees include the chicken and cheddar jalapeño topped with white gravy and fried eggs; the quinoa skillet with mushrooms, butternut squash, oven-roasted tomatoes, scallions, fried eggs and fire-roasted tomato sauce; and the berry basil French toast made with fresh berries, cinnamon-coated challah French toast, basil-topped mascarpone cheese and maple syrup.
Cafe Benelux & Market
Cafe Benelux & Market is a charming, rustic, European-style cafe featuring plenty of outdoor dining including a sidewalk patio as well as a rooftop patio with pristine views of Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward. Start your morning with one of Cafe Benelux’s seven different Bloody Marys or a ‘bier mosa,’ a Brew City twist on the classic mimosa that’s made with Belgian beer and orange juice. Entrees include cinnamon streusel French toast, made with challah bread, cinnamon streusel, orange marmalade butter and maple syrup; duck poutine skillet, made with a duck leg confit, cheese curds, French fries, caramelized onions, gravy and fried eggs; banana Nutella pannenkoeken with hazelnuts and whipped cream; and the Brussels pannenkoeken with asparagus, fried eggs, pancetta, Parmesan and bier cheese sauce.
Comet Cafe is an award-winning venue. Get a taste of Comet Cafe’s legendary brunch for yourself with American-style classics like sour cream pancakes, country fried steak, the vegetarian-friendly artichoke melt sandwich, or breakfast burrito. Stick around for dinner on Sundays for Bacon Night, when every table gets a free basket of bacon.
Midwestern fare takes center stage at Honeypie Cafe. The five-year-old bakery and restaurant sources most of its ingredients from around the state to craft brunch-time favorites like scallops Benedict: poached eggs on an English muffin with seared scallops, lemon hollandaise, sunflower sprouts and country bacon. Be sure to follow up any meal with one of Honeypie’s 33 varieties of pies, including Rocky Road, Cheddar Bacon Apple, Bourbon Walnut Pecan, Chocolate Chip Cheesecake and Lemon Icebox, all of which are homemade.
You’ll find the National, a retro, rocker-chic eatery known for its wholesome fare and emphasis on pure ingredients, within the historically rich Walker’s Point neighborhood. Meats, cheeses and produce sourced from around the state, including vegetables from the Walker’s Point farmers market and herbs from the restaurant’s own garden, are used whenever possible. The breakfast menu features everything from classic diner-style comfort food made healthy to more sophisticated international entrees. Try the Full English, a plate of sunny side-up eggs, bacon, English bangers, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, beans and toast. For diners on the go, takeaway is available too.
The Wicked Hop
When you’re finished shopping at the illustrious Milwaukee Public Market, head across the street to the Wicked Hop, whose entrance is marked by street signs that designate the restaurant’s fusion of ‘Sunday Brunch’ and ‘Bloody Mary.’ Wicked Hop’s two levels are usually packed for brunch, so make sure you arrive early to claim a spot since reservations aren’t accepted. Enjoy quirky dishes like French toast Fonzarelli (named after ‘the Fonz’ of ‘Happy Days’); Sunday Sliders, or three fire-grilled cheeseburgers on pretzel rolls; and Uncle Albert’s Flat Top Corned Beef Hash with two eggs, homemade hollandaise sauce and toast. Head to the restaurant’s Jackalope Lounj after your meal is complete to enjoy live music with a mimosa or two.
A 16th-century European legend has it that witches once used tomatoes to conjure werewolves, and as a result many gave the scarlet fruit the nickname, ‘wolf peach.’ Today, hundreds of years after the legend originated, Wolf Peach bears the tomato’s moniker in homage to its history. At brunch, the ‘wolf peach’ features in the restaurant’s wood-fired pizzas, baked polenta, vegetable stir fry, chilaquiles, and fried chicken and waffles with strawberry-thyme jam. Ingredients are sourced from the on-site garden and a one-acre farm in Milwaukee County that the restaurant operates as part of the Milwaukee Urban Discovery Farm project.
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