In addition to checking out MKE blue, consider the list on this page--ideas about notable sites, restaurants, shops, lodging, and activities in the area--with links to the Web sites of the places where available. Do you know other items of interest? Something missing or incorrect? Please let me know and send the URL.
Fun and Learning
Go fly a kite at Gift of Wings in Veteran's Park at the Lakefront. Participate in the annual Family Kite Festival.
Urban Milwaukee--the Store:
get the true flavor of city life
in Milwaukee--t-shirts, books, games, paintings, photography, and postcards.
ReThreads: get cash for your clothes and then get new (old) ones at this shop in riverwest.
Laacke & Joys: an outdoor outfitter right on the Milwaukee River by the Cherry Street bridge since 1961.
You can smell the aroma in the air on Old World Third Street and get hard-to-find spices at The Spice House. Also, order online.
Buy quality souvenirs and clothing with Milwaukee logos and beer flavor at Brew City. This is the best stop to get the genuine, original Milwaukee designs of t-shirts and souvenirs. Visit the shops in town or order online.
Broadway Paper: handmade and imported papers, and more, in the Historic Third Ward.
Milwaukee Electric Tool: Founded in 1924, this company produces tools whose name is synonymous with toughness, durability, and reliability.
Downtown / Eastside Grocery Shopping
Downtown Milwauke residents are fortunuate to have a selection of grocery stores to choose from. Many cities have no food stores in the downtown area, particularly ones with economical prices.
Roundy's operates a Metro Market at 1123 North Van Buren (corner of N Van Buren and Juneau Ave; see photo album page). This has a wide selection of fresh fruit and "high end" other items (and prices). Roundy's also has a Pick N Save nearby with more affordable prices at 605 East Lyon Street in the East Pointe shopping area (Jefferson and Ogden) and at 1100 E. Garfield (on Humboldt just south of North Avenue).
While not on the East Side or downtown, the ALDI at 225 E. Capitol Drive is a short distance away, and is a good example of an edited-selection food store that can provide affordable, basic groceries in a smaller-store format. There are also Save-a-Lot grocery stores outside of the downtown area.
Crazy Water: in Walker's Point: everything from Cajun Grilled Tiger Shrimp with corn pancakes to Potato-Crusted Tilapia with a lemon beurre blanc and vegetable brunoise.
Bacchus located in the Cudahy Tower at the east end of Wells Street near Lake Michigan serves seafood, handmade pastas, and grilled meats; part of the Bartolotta Restaurant Group.
Miss Katie's Diner: A genuine classic diner from the 1950-1960 era, offering hamburgers, ribs, milkshakes, etc. Near Marquette University downtown. Past diners have included Bill Clinton and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
Miller Time Pub: Presenting a retail presence in its hometown, this Miller Brewing Company enterprise operated with and located in the Hilton Hotel downtown recalls the old days when breweries owned saloons. This pub features Miller products as well as a lunch and dinner menu.
Coast: all the way east on Wisconsin as far as you can go is Coast, the restaurant in the Miller Pavillion, overlooking O'Donnell Park, the Art Musuem's Calatrava-designed addition, and Lake Michigan; see photo album page.
American Serb Hall: This the place for the "famous Friday fish fry." With banquet and conference facilities, this is also the place for political rallies. Past speakers have included Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Tommy Thompson, John Norquist, and others.
Spies can find sanctuary at the Safe House, a place with a distinctive air of espionage. Tip: look for the door to "International Exports Ltd.," in an alley, across from the historic Pabst Theater, which is near the tower of city hall (see photo album page classified photo for a clue).
Sanford: Unassuming in appearance as a former family grocery store nestled in a residential neighborhood on the east side, Sanford impresses nonetheless. Dennis Getto described it as "the cutting edge of culinary excellence in Milwaukee."
Beans & Barley: Established in 1979 as a health food store, now grown to be a popular East Side deli/speciality grocer and cafe. Famous for vegetarian, but also serves non-vegetarian food. Web site lists daily specials; see photo album page.
Saz's BBQ: famous for ribs, this restaurant is popular with people before a baseball game or Miller brewery tour. Also has a smaller food stand in the Grand Avenue Mall.
Pizza Shuttle: An east-side eatery famous for its value-oriented pizza, burgers, subs, pasta, wings, custard, etc., etc. Open late hours and deliveries to east side and downtown; The restaurant is just north of Brady Street on Farwell; see photo album page.
Stop by Mader's on Old World Third Street and see the hummels, art gallery, and dine at this famous German restaurant founded in 1902. Past diners have included several heads of state (John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Vicente Fox of Mexico); see photo album page.
Il Mito: just off the roundabout on the south end of the sixth street bridge. Highly rated.
Osteria del Mondo: in the Knickerbocker Hotel in the downtown east side, offers complete dinner, lunch, and brunch menus.
Pretend you're rich and try to glimpse celebrities at Mimma's Cafe on Brady Street.
Buca di Beppo: Enjoy southern Italian food from the old days. Milwaukee's branch of this national franchise is on North Van Buren Street, north of Juneau (just down the street from the fictional address of Laverne and Shirley on Knapp Street, by the way).
Cafe Vecchio Mondo: On Old World Third Street, the name comes from Italian, meaning "Old World Cafe," offers fine food, drinks, and banquets. See photo.
Balistreri's: Well-known for pizza and other Italian specialities.
You can travel around the world, but you won't find a place quite like the Nomad World Pub on Brady Street.
Pat McCurdy: Catch Pat's song parodies and humor at various venues around town and around the region.
Enjoy impov comedy raised to competitive levels at ComedySportz. This is improvisation organized by team play. It is funny, sometimes surprising, worth a visit if you've never been there. Originated in Milwaukee, franchised nationally.
The Pfister: One of the great hotels of the world. Former guests include US Presidents, sports celebrities, and music stars; see photo album page