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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 are craving, there’s a lunch spot for you.

Milwaukee’s lunch 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 so 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 want 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, French fries, and onion rings. Cover your burger in various 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 

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. 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, pizza, 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.

3. Dairyland

Dairyland focuses on Wisconsin’s important food, hamburgers, 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 

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 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. View Menu 

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 a casual lunchtime dining option serving American fares. You may be wondering what the BKC stands for. They are Bottle, Kitchen, Cocktail, and that sums up what they do.

This is another of the best lunch spots in Milwaukee, and it’s super trendy. Head there at lunchtime or dinner. You simply cannot go wrong with the Sirloin Steak Sandwich: Medium-rare Angus beef and 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. View Menu 

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. St. Paul’s is in the Milwaukee Public Market, so it’s 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 clearly label gluten-free options. There’s plenty to choose from: Ahi Tuna, pan-fried walleye, and Red Grouper. View Menu 

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. It is lively and packed at lunch and dinner. If you are a cool boss, go for their famous Bloody Marys, like the one pictured above. You can basically get a whole meal on them.

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.

Before heading to Brewer’s game, it is also a great place to go, 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 

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 a quick and cheap lunch in Milwaukee, grab a slice of Pizza at Ian’s.

Ian’s offers 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. There are also vegan pizza options, 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 

Milwaukee breakfast restaurant Sweet Diner

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 about 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, it offers tempting sweet treats. It offers pancakes and waffles with various options, as well as French toast and crepes. If you are searching for something savory, there are also many choices. There are sandwiches, salads, tacos, and loaded toast.

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. View Menu 

chicken & waffles Tupelo Honey Milwaukee breakfast restaurant

10. Tupelo Honey

Tupelo Honey is all about Southern comfort food. It serves brunch, lunch, dinner, and happy hour. Though this is a chain restaurant, many of the dishes are unique to Milwaukee.

You 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 and 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 served with chorizo pork sausage. The Blackened Mahi-Mahi is a buttery fish dish that’s popular among seafood enthusiasts. View Menu 

11. Chucho’s Red Tacos

If you are craving tacos for lunch, Chucho’s has you covered. In addition to classic Mexican cuisine, Chucho’s serves birria, a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the state of Jalisco.

Birria is a kind of stew or soup made from goat meat adobo. You can order some of the other dishes, but you must 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 authentic Mexican food in Milwaukee. View Menu 

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 shakes and malts, ice cream floats, sundaes, and ice cream.

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.

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 

chicken and waffles breakfast in Milwaukee

13. Toast

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

Toast also does really good 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. View Menu 

shake shack burger fries restaurant

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. Many have called their burgers ‘the best burgers in Milwaukee.’ View Menu

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.

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.

The Wicked Hop opened in 2004 and has been a staple ever since. They serve lunch, but we, as locals, also enjoy it as a local bar. This restaurant is relatively small, so there’s plenty of opportunity for people-watching. You can also sit outside on the heated sidewalk area. View Menu 

Where is your go-to best lunch spots in Milwaukee?

We are always looking for new places to try!