As a proud Milwaukeean, I love to share my favorite restaurants, fitness studios, and other businesses with anyone who will listen. If you are planning to travel to Milwaukee (or you live in Milwaukee and are looking for some new places to try!), I’ve included a list below of all of the places I highly recommend! As a note, this list is by no means exhaustive. There are many wonderful establishments in the city, but these are just the ones I personally frequent!
My favorite local restaurants are ones that have intriguing menu options, friendly staff, and an upbeat vibe.
LuLu Cafe (or “Cafe LuLu”) has become one of our favorite restaurants in all of Milwaukee (now that it’s sister restaurant, Juniper61, closed). Their continually updated menu will never, ever disappoint. Ryan and I regularly dine here and have never once had a meal that we were not completely impressed with.
We love love love Fuel Cafe on 5th Street in Milwaukee. They have fantastic service and REALLY great food. You can enjoy a great Milwaukee keto meal at Fuel by ordering a bunless smash burger with a house salad on the side (sans apples or quinoa).
Story Hill BKC
Do you love brunch? Of course you do. Want to eat some of the best brunch you’ll ever experience? Go to Story Hill BKC. Their menu is always impressively creative and the food is crazy delicious. What I love most is how knowledgeable their staff is about allergens and cross-contamination. I am very careful about avoiding gluten and, upon mentioning that to a server, they are always very responsive and confirm that they will notify those in the kitchen. We love going here.
Kettle Range Meat Co.
I tend to harp the importance of “paying the farmer or pay the doctor.” High-quality meat is essential to a balanced, healthy diet. Kettle Range‘s butcher shop is the best I’ve ever visited. They also sell pre-packaged meals that you can take home and prepare for your family, which makes busy work nights a breeze! They pride themselves on their locally- and responsibly-sourced products ranging from beef, to pork, to chicken, to fish, and more. If you want to eat the best chicken thighs of your life, visit Kettle Range.
A good cup of local coffee is a must. Luckily, great quality coffee shops are not hard to come by in MKE!
Valentine is a much smaller coffee shop, but I wouldn’t let that fool you. Their espresso and cold brew coffee is the best I’ve had in the area.
A Milwaukee must-try. Colectivo is definitely the largest and most well-known local coffee shop. They have several locations dotted throughout the city (as well as Madison and Chicago). They offer several different roasts of coffee in addition to a large menu, but, unfortunately, not much in the way of gluten-free options. My favorite is the Maximilian roast coffee or a Sport Tea.
Anodyne‘s coffee shops, especially the one in Walker’s Point, are beautiful. If you love visiting coffee shops to relax, read a book, or do some work, Anodyne is my recommendation.
Gyms that make you want to work out are hard to come by. For me to decide to invest money in a gym membership, I consider a lot of factors, particularly the knowledge of the coaches, the members, the facility, and the programming.
Rosencutter Ultra Fitness & Performance II (RUFP)
Ryan and I are currently members of RUFP and cannot possibly give this establishment enough praise. Alex, the owner, develops personalized training programs for each member and both him and his staff are there to help you through every step of the process. Each trainer at RUFP is fantastic, kind, and motivating. We absolutely love RUFP!
The boutique fitness studio that began my love for fitness. Milwaukee is so lucky to have a place like SPIRE. The studio offers spin, crew, and TRX classes every day of the week taught by instructors who are incredibly talented, athletic, and inspiring. If you’re looking for the best workout of your life but don’t want to feel like you’re working out, attend a class at SPIRE.
Badger is the CrossFit box I previously attended. It’s the largest box in Wisconsin and is regularly expanding, both in terms of membership and facility. The coaches are helpful and attentive and the members are incredibly motivating. I always finished last in the WODs, yet always felt supported by fellow athletes. It’s a really cool place.