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Our favorite Milwaukee rooftops and patios of the summer

So many little summer to enjoy them all. We've narrowed down our favorites to six Milwaukee patios where you should dine alfresco before fall.

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 break down the best Milwaukee patios to visit this summer, the Shakers Pre-Germanfest Dinner, Milwaukee County Parks Feast on the Beach, Juniper 61 closing and an upcoming event/pop-up Oak & Oyster.

Best of Milwaukee's patios

Earlier this month, Ann wrote a feature for Milwaukee Magazine on six restaurant patios and rooftops we’re loving right now. Here are her choices, taking both the menu and outdoor setting into account.


"This Brookfield venue doesn’t need to soundproof its patio. The 70- seat dining area next to the front entrance is fenced in, framed by flora and shrubbery and enveloped in glowing light.

 a seasonal powerhouse of menu inspiration, from its summer squash and leafy greens to raspberries and fresh herbs."


"The rooftop deck is both intimate (seating about 18) and a showpiece for Braise’s hands-on, farm-to-fork mentality."

La Merenda

"Once the flora is thick and lush and the cocktails are dribbling deliciously over their rims, it’s easy to forget that traffic is flying by less than a block west on busy First Street. That’s one of this patio’s best qualities – the ability to tune out the cacophonic world."


"This summer they’ve added a projector screen and various outdoor games for a distraction other than the cocktails, which range from Manhattans to specialties such as the Dirty Sprite."

The Outsider

"If the view isn’t distraction enough, various games such as a shuffleboard court may lure you in. No wonder there’s usually a line outside the lobby elevator. The Outsider has its own 'sips and snacks' menu of deviled eggs, braised shortrib sliders, pork belly tacos and signature cocktails."

Harbor House

"A sunshade made of sails covers the white patio furniture. Come during weekday happy hour (Mon-Fri 4-6 p.m.), when specialty cocktails (a cranberry orange Manhattan!) are $6 and appetizers like tuna tartare and spicy shrimp skewers are under $10."

Food news and events

Pre-Germanfest Dinner

On July 26, Shaker’s Cigar Bar is hosting an evening of great German grilling under the stars featuring classic Germanic beverages and foods with a twist of Argentina. Curated cigars can be paired with this unique menu.

Roble y Ostra 

On August 1, Oak & Oyster is transforming into Roble y Ostra for a night of stimulating small plates influenced by Latin American fare, as well as unique and provocative cocktails. Get a closer look at the menu and RSVP here.

Juniper 61 closing

Juniper 61 announced last week that it will be closing in late August. The owners said, "These past 18 months have been fraught with personal difficulties and losses that have made us re-examine our own lives." They've decided to sell the restaurant to Sarah and Zak Baker, industry veterans and current operating partners of Pizza Man, who have plans for an Italian cuisine concept.

Milwaukee County Parks Feast on the Beach

Sprecher Brewery and the Stilt House are bringing the entertainment, food and beer. You need to bring your beach chair, blanket and flashlight to Doctor’s Park for  an authentic beach feast. Their July 25 event will be a Maryland crab feast. Get tickets here.

P.S., if you are a chef or a restaurant and have a food-related announcement or event, please send us any information or press release to

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee