Skip to Content

Top 15 Best Lunch Spots in Milwaukee

Top 15 Best Lunch Spots in Milwaukee

With so many great restaurants, it’s easy to find the best lunch spots in Milwaukee. These Milwaukee restaurants are ready to serve the busy lunchtime crowds.

There are casual lunch places and ones that offer gastronomic excellence. No matter what you fancy eating, there’s a lunch spot for you.

Milwaukee’s midday dining scene is thriving. From pizza places to tacos and seafood, there’s something you’ll love.

A view looking down at a "Jumbo Burger" from Kopp's Restaurant in Milwaukee with two large patties, lettuce, tomato, and onions

1. Kopp’s Frozen Custard

Since 1950, Kopp’s frozen custard has been a sugar staple in Milwaukee. But people will head out to one of their three suburb locations for lunch. The food is that good that people are prepared to make the journey. All three locations are about 20 minutes from downtown Milwaukee. The closest location would be the Glendale one, out by Bayshore Mall. If you are looking for one of the best burgers in Milwaukee, head to Kopp’s.

Kopp’s serves up a variety of enormous, slightly sloppy, and delicious burgers. What’s more, for their size, these burgers are super affordable. They’ve got all the classic burgers, Hamburger, Grilled Chicken, and the Double Cheeseburger. In addition, there’s fish, grilled cheese, and of course, French fries and onion rings. Cover your burger in a variety of yummy toppings for a bit of extra pizzazz.

Whilst you are there pilling on the carefree calories, grab a sundae too. They’ve got Peanut Butter Log, Banana Split, the Fudge Delight, and the Cashew Creation. Of course, you could also walk away with a frozen custard to go. Buy by the pint, quart, or 1/2 gallon!

  • View Menu 
  • Address: 5373 N Port Washington Rd, Glendale
tacos Mexican Restaurant Wisconsin Dells

2. Zocalo Food Park

Head to nearby Walker’s Point for an epic food truck experience. Zocalo Food Park is a mecca for food truck cuisines. There is street food from all over the world as well as cocktails and live music.

The park was opened by passionate foodies Jesus Gonzalez and Sean Phelan. Their aim was to allow other food entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. Click here to see available restaurants.

There’s Peruvian food, tacos, and much more. It’s an encyclopedic mix of international cuisines. This is a brilliant lunch spot for visiting with friends, colleagues, or even alone.

  • Address: 636 S 6TH St, Milwaukee

3. Dairyland

Dairyland focuses on Wisconsin’s important food hamburger and frozen custard culture. It might not seem like the most natural combination, but both items are crowd favorites. Of the establishments serving this combo, Dairyland is a relatively new restaurant in Milwaukee.

They serve juicy double-patty burgers on sesame buns with perfectly melted cheese. The sauce is usually an amalgamation of mustard, cheese, and ketchup. They also serve up some of the best cheese curds in Milwaukee, which is the perfect appetizer.

If it’s possible, save some room for dessert. Grab one of their ‘Scoops’ in a cake or waffle cone. They also do some moreish salted caramel shakes and malts.

  • View Menu 
  • Address:
    • 3rd St Market Hall
    • 275 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee
    • 1037 W Juneau Ave, Milwaukee

Related Article: Things to do in Milwaukee

sushi at Hungry Sumo Milwaukee

4. Hungry Sumo

Sometimes all you want for lunch is sushi. Hungry Sumo serves up some of the best sushi in Bayview and if you ask us, some of the best sushi in Milwaukee. This is one of our favorite lunch spots in Milwaukee.

They have an extensive list of sushi rolls, starting with classic California. They’ve got spicy sushi options, including the Spicy Shrimp and the Spicy Tako. If you want avocado, try the Alaska (with salmon) or the Boston (with tuna).

As well as sushi, they’ve also got nigiri and sashimi. If sushi isn’t to your taste, there are plenty of other Asian-infused options. There’s Ramen, Teriyaki Bowls, and Don Buri.

One of the best things about Hungry Sumo is you’ll get to try something new. With so many new Asian flavors cooked to perfection, you’re in for a new discovery.

table of food with a burger with a steak knife stuck in the top is the focal point at Story Hill BKC top restaurant

5. Story Hill BKC

Story Hill BKC offers up a casual lunchtime dining option serving American fares. You may be wondering what the BKC standards for. It’s Bottle, Kitchen, Cocktail, and that sums up what they do.

This is another of the best lunch spots in Milwaukee that’s super trendy. Head there at lunchtime or dinner. You simply cannot go wrong with the Sirloin Steak Sandwich. Medium-rare Angus beef and a truffle peppercorn mayonnaise on a seeded roll.

If you are a vegetarian, definitely go for the Buff-Falafel Sandwich. A falafel patty with a mix of buffalo and tahini garlic sauce is delectable.

Milwaukee Public Market at night with traffic streaks

6. St. Paul Fish Company

Do you want the best lunch spots in Milwaukee for seafood? Look no further than St. Paul Fish Company.

If you want your food cooked to order, this is the go-to lunch spot in Milwaukee. You’ll find St. Paul’s in the Milwaukee Public Market, so its lively and serves great food.

If you fancy some oysters, their selection changes daily depending on what’s fresh. Many visitors opt for the Baja Fish Tacos. You can choose from Fried Grouper Cheeks, Grilled Shrimp, or Fried Surf Clams. Their specialties include the New England Style Lobster Boil and the Crab Boil.

This is one of those lunch places that has clearly labeled gluten-free options. There’s plenty to pick from, Ahi Tuna, Pan Fried Walleye, and the Red Grouper.

  • View Menu 
  • Address: 400 N Water St, Milwaukee
Sobelman's Bloody Mary with beef stick, shrimp, cheese - Best places to eat in Milwaukee

7. Sobelman’s Pub and Grill

Sobelman’s is a fantastic corner restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining. This place is lively and packed at lunch and dinner. If you are cool, boss, go for their famous bloody marys like pictured above. You can basically get a whole meal on it.

This family-owned Milwaukee restaurant has a restaurant-themed love story behind it. Owners Dave and Melanie met in 1993 when Melanie was Dave’s waitress. Their love at first sight story resulted in them purchasing the former Schlitz tavern. The rest is history, and they’ve been serving good food at Sobelman’s ever since.

Sobelman's pub and grill burger cut in half with french fries - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

You can’t really head to Sobelman’s and not have one of their burgers. They have 17 different burgers to choose from. The Fresco burger is covered in guacamole, habanero cheese, and pico de gallo. Their famous Loser burger was even featured on Food Wars! It’s a mouthwatering blend of Colby-jack cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions.

If you’d rather have a sandwich, there’s fish, chicken, BLT, and more.

It is also a great place to go before heading to Brewer’s game, as American Family Field is just up the road. It is also one of our favorite spots to cure a hangover in Milwaukee; there is nothing a greasy burger and cheese curd can’t fix.

  • View Menu 
  • Address: 1900 W St Paul Ave, Milwaukee, 1601 W Wells St, Milwaukee
best pizza in Milwaukee - Mac & Cheese pizza Ian's

8. Ian’s Pizza

Sometimes all you want for lunch is pizza. Well, Ian’s Pizza is one of the best lunch spots in Milwaukee. Luckily there’s not just one restaurant but three across Milwaukee. If you are looking for quick and cheap lunch in Milwaukee, grab a slice of Pizza at Ian’s.

Ian’s offers up gourmet pizzas with truly unique toppings. My go-to every time is the Mac-n-Cheese pizza. It is one of the best pizzas in Milwaukee. Try the Tex Mex Veg Pizza or the Gyro Pizza. The Italian Meat Sandwich Pizza is another superb choice. There are also vegan pizza options too, so everyone’s included here.

Many people love the Mac-n-Cheese or the BBQ Pork and Tater Tots. Looking at their menu, it’s difficult to imagine how they think up such combinations.

  • View Menu 
  • Address: 145 East Juneau Ave, Milwaukee, Story Hill 5300 West Bluemound Rd, Milwaukee, East Side 2035 East North Ave, Milwaukee

9. Sweet Diner

Sweet Diner really knows how to do Instagrammable-worthy food. This Milwaukee restaurant is ideal if you want breakfast or lunch. They serve breakfast all day. If you are looking for one of the best breakfasts in Milwaukee, head to Sweet Diner.

First of all, let’s talk drinks. They’ve got coffee, juices, teas, and cocktails. Depending on how your day is going, order a local coffee or a crafted cocktail. They’ve got mimosas, a delectable Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita, and Apple Cider Mule.

As the restaurant name suggests, there are some tempting sweet treats. They’ve got pancakes and waffles with a variety of different options. There is French toast and crepes as well.

If you are searching for something savory, there are also many choices. There are sandwiches, salads, tacos, and loaded toast.

Sweet Diner’s fresh interior makes for a calming and enjoyable lunchtime spot. If you visit on the weekends, expect a long wait, they don’t take reservations. We suggest going and putting your name in and then walking around the shops in the Third Ward to kill time.

chicken & waffles Tupelo Honey Milwaukee breakfast restaurant

10. Tupelo Honey

Tupelo Honey is all about Southern comfort food. They also serve up crafted cocktails and unique craft beers. If you have time check out some of the best breweries in Milwaukee. Tupelo serves brunch, lunch, dinner, and happy hour. Though this is a chain restaurant, many of these dishes are unique to Milwaukee.

You simply cannot head to Tupelo’s and not try the Bone-in Fried Chicken. This chicken has been brined for more than 18 hours and then fried to perfection. Tupelo’s Famous Fried Chicken & Buttermilk Waffles with sriracha honey are otherworldly.

As well as chicken, they have a variety of other yummy meat dishes. The Tupelo Shrimp & Grits is sustainably caught, and it’s served with chorizo pork sausage. The Blackened Mahi-Mahi is a buttery fish dish that’s popular among seafood enthusiasts.

11. Chucho’s Red Tacos

If you are craving tacos for lunch, Chucho’s has you covered. As well as classic Mexican cuisine, Chucho’s serves birria. This traditional Mexican dish originated from the state of Jalisco.

Birria is a kind of stew or soup made from goat meat adobo. You can certainly order some of the other dishes, but you have to try birria. Visiting Chucho’s and not ordering birria is unthinkable. It’s like going to Italy and not eating pasta.

We suggest the birria plate served with rice, frijoles, and corn tortillas. Or the Birria Tacos. Chucho’s Red Tacos serves up the real authentic Mexican food in Milwaukee.

Neon sign of Nite Owl Drive in - Classic Burger Joint in Milwaukee

12. Nite Owl Drive-In

Sometimes you just need a quick and filling bite to eat. Nite Owl Drive-In offers just that, fast, no-fuss food that tastes good.

They specialize in hearty classics, like burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and chicken strips. They also have all the sweet drinks you could possibly want. There are also shakes and malts, ice cream floats, sundaes, and ice creams.

This restaurant has been through three generations of family members. They offer friendly service and food that’s clearly been made from the heart.

Their one patty burgers are more than filling enough. Don’t be fooled by the price, their burgers may be cheap, but they are big. The burgers are nicely seasoned, not too greasy, and with enough onion and extras.

Many people attest to this being one of the best burgers in Milwaukee. Head over to the Nite Owl for a quick bite to eat, and you won’t be disappointed.

Nite Owl only operates seasonally, so head there between March and October. They also sell out daily, often, if you head there at 4 pm, they will be closed because they sold out of the day.

  • View Menu 
  • Address: 830 E Layton Ave, Milwaukee

13. Toast

Toast offers breakfast, brunch, and lunch. We recommend heading there for lunch, it’s an excellent spot. Toast is colorful and creative, and there’s a vibrant ambiance. From the quirky decor to the friendly wait staff, this is a hip and youthful restaurant.

What we love about Toast’s menu is there’s something for everyone. If you want a light lunch, choose the Crispy Spicy Gooey Cheese Sticks. They’ve got omelets, Pesto Toast, and Hippie Hash. The Hippie Hash is eggs with veggies, paps Rojas, avocado, and toast.

Toast also does sublime burgers. The Ancho Pulled burger is made of slow-roasted carnitas pork, onions, and zesty ranch. The Brew City Butterburger is another fantastic option. Angus beef, fried onion, cheese, pickles, and mustard on a classic bun.

Grab lunch at Toast, and you’ll feel right at home in a matter of moments. There’s a real family and friends feel to this place that keeps customers returning.

14. Shake Shack

This is another Milwaukee restaurant serving up burgers and frozen custard. This American fare restaurant chain originates in New York.

One of the most popular items on their menu is the Bourbon Bacon Cheddar Burger. The burgers Bourbon bacon jam is made with Maker’s Mark Bourbon.

They serve top-quality food that’s super tasty. Their food is served hot, always fresh, and is plentiful. Many have called their burgers ‘the best burgers in Milwaukee.’ Check out this Milwaukee restaurant at lunch to find out for yourself.

  • View Menu
  • Address: 220 East Buffalo Street, Milwaukee
Exterior view of the Wicked Hop covered Outdoor dining area during breakfast in Milwaukee Brunch

15. The Wicked Hop

The Wicked Hop is a real crowd pleaser and an excellent spot for lunch. It’s right across the road from the Milwaukee Public Market.

The Wicked Hop opened around 18 years ago and has been a staple ever since. They serve lunch, but locals usually enjoy this as a watering hole.

This restaurant is relatively small, so there’s plenty of opportunity for people watching. You can also sit outside on the heated sidewalk area.

They serve up all the classic American fares. They’ve got burgers, sandwiches, and wraps, as well as nachos and specialty salads. Their salads are big, and the Buffalo Chicken or Ahi Tuna are delicious choices.

Where are your go to restaurants for lunch in Milwaukee?

We are always looking for new places to try!