Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The best new restaurants in Milwaukee

Through some of these didn't technically open in 2018, here are our favorite new restaurants we tried throughout the year and that we'll be returning to in 2019.

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine’s dining critic, Ann Christenson, and 88Nine’s foodie, Tarik Moody, discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites. This Bites is supported by Society Insurance.

Read more and listen to the podcast below to hear us discuss the new article in Milwaukee Magazine about the best new restaurants in Milwaukee 2018.

12 best new Milwaukee restaurants of 2018

In the dining world, restaurants can be considered new to the general public for longer than a year. So this list is a little more broad. It's more like the best new-ish restaurants that we enjoyed checking out in the year 2018 (in no particular order).

Birch + Butcher

Birch + Butcher, the modern bistro and butcher shop featuring open-fire hearth cooking is versatile, delicious and it has been getting better and more creative every month since it's been open.


Mistral is new to KK inside the Avalon Theater. It's not your average cinema grill, but a fine dining experience inspired by the vast regions surrounding the Mediterranean.

Snack Boys

Snack Boys' atmosphere, small plates and cocktails are their own genre of a fun. If we had to name it, we might call it "high-brow stoner food."


We mostly enjoyed this new restaurant on Milwaukee's north shore during the al fresco dining months of 2018. But Moxie's warm, friendly bistro for artistic Italian-American standbys was the perfect comfort when it got colder too.

Third Coast Provisions

This fish and seafood restaurant with a Great Lakes touch hit its stride in 2018. Third Coast Provisions' contemporary oyster bar and pairings with cocktails and beer are a fresh take on seafood in Milwaukee.

Stella Van Buren

Stella Van Buren is about to be Milwaukee's go-to restaurant. The menu can please those looking for a big breakfast, power lunch, happy hour or celebratory dinner. This restaurant can dress it up or dress it down. It goes well with everything,

Strange Town

This little corner cafe is curated to perfection, from the music and the drinks to the plants (the ones on the shelves and on the menu). You won't find any Impossible Burgers at the vegan Strange Town. It is all about creative plant-based dishes, not substitutions.


Right down the street is another vegan spot, Celesta. They approach plant-based dining from a more mainstream angle, serving tofu dishes, vegan cheeses and deserts.

The Diplomat

The Diplomat has an atmosphere so romantic and trendy you expect them to serve mostly small plates. But the menu has with impressively filling American entrees with a contemporary edge.

New Milwaukee restaurants we can't wait to try in 2019

Newly opened or soon to be, check out this other article by Ann about 8 spots we can't wait to go to in 2019.

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee