5 Must Visit Milwaukee Restaurants for Families

5 Must Visit Milwaukee Restaurants for Families

Where are we going to eat? I hear this from our children every vacation. You would think the food decision is the most important of them all when traveling. Well, it is definitely high up on the list. After all, we are self-proclaimed foodies. When selecting a restaurant, we always look at location, atmosphere and menu. A combination of these three factors are why we are excited to share our top five must visit Milwaukee restaurants for families.

Let’s start with breakfast! Both Mad Rooster Café and Fairgrounds Coffee offer a unique menu with a very appealing style and staff that are friendly and knowledgeable.

5 Must Visit Milwaukee Restaurants for Families - Mad Rooster Cafe

Mad Rooster Cafe

Only the bold are truly ready. Welcome to where every bite is prepared with mad style and mad flavor. Welcome to mad rooster café. Every bite in every corner of the restaurant will remind you why you came.

  • Mad Rooster Café
  • Location: 4401 W Greenfield Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53214
  • Website: www.madroostercafe.com
  • Phone Number: (414) 231-9120

What we ordered:

BISCUITS + GRAVY: two homemade biscuits smothered in our chicken chorizo gravy served with two eggs any style + choice of side. – Honestly, I cannot even remember what side I ordered as the melt-in-mouth biscuits and gravy stole the show. I was hurting by the time I was ready to leave the table, that is how delicious these were.

CARNIVORE OMELET: bacon, sausage, ham, jack + cheddar – Let me tell you, this is a lot of food. I still do not know how my husband managed to put it all away and a side of breakfast potatoes.

SOUTH OF THE BORDER SCRAMBLER: jalapeños, chicken chorizo, tomato + onion – My oldest son (age: 15) loves all things spicy and this was the perfect mix of breakfast and kick to start the day.

CLASSIC EGG BENEDICT: two poached eggs, pulled ham off-the-bone, topped with hollandaise sauce on baked English muffin – As classy as every, our youngest (age: 11) enjoys a more lux meal and Mad Rooster delivered with their take on this classic, upscale dish.

5 Must Visit Milwaukee Restaurants for Families - Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea

Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea – Yankee Hill

We believe that great coffee and tea experiences result from variety and choice. And so, we showcase myriad coffee and tea varietals, as well as the best brands from around the globe. All in one place. We named this adventure in coffee and tea: Fairgrounds, as a reflection of our dedication to diversity in our offerings, our belief in equal billing for both coffee and tea, and our commitment to fair business practices. But we love the play on words, too.

  • Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea
  • Location: 916 E State St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • Website: www.fairgrounds.cafe
  • Phone Number: (414) 395-3003

What we ordered:

Bad Hass Avocado Toast: Avocado & tomatillo salsa, radish pico, ancho toasted sunflower seeds, multigrain bread. – Definitely, a healthy choice for us but heavy on the onion. Next time, I will ask for them to go easy. Still a delightfully fresh meal and one I would try again.

BREAKFAST SAMMIES: Bacon, Egg & Cheese – Quality to go. This was probably the overall favorite as I like the ready to go style and mix of flavors.

Hearty Turkey & Havarti: Oven roasted turkey, havarti, red cabbage slaw, mixed greens, tomato, Thousand Island dressing, multigrain bread. – We actually took this with us as we headed to Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. After a lengthy trek through the trails, this sandwich was a lifesaver for our hungry boys!

CHAI TEA LATTÉ – You really can’t go wrong when it comes to mom’s caffeine fix in the mornings.

5 Must Visit Milwaukee Restaurants for Families - SafeHouse Restaurant & Spy Bar

SafeHouse Restaurant & Spy Bar

In an alleyway near the Milwaukee river, an unassuming doorway has been the entrance to safety for spies and special agents since 1966. Yes, the password is required to enter. No, we won’t reveal it. For agents who don’t know the password, a fun and imaginative clearance test will be given to prove they aren’t double agents. Behind the hidden entrance is a world of global espionage and entertainment. ​On orders from Control, Station Chief Agent 0h0h7 (aka David J. Baldwin) founded SafeHouse in 1966. His vision for this hideaway was unique and full of historical references.

  • SafeHouse
  • Location: 779 N Front St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • Website: www.safe-house.com
  • Phone Number: (414) 271-2007
  • Reservations: opentable.com

What we ordered:

FRIED C4 CHEESE CURDS – Perfection for a pub appetizer.

THE COLOMBIAN SALAD: Chopped romaine served with your choice of house-seasoned beef or house-smoked chicken. Topped with black bean corn salsa, shredded cheddar jack blend, pico de gallo, avocado crema, and seasoned tortilla strips. Tossed in a chipotle ranch dressing. – My teenager dived right in before I even got my camera out. After he took a taste of everything we all order, he decided his was the best by far!

DAY SMART TURNED CHICKEN: Fresh chicken breast disguised under pepper-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, mayo, and tomato on a brioche bun. – I was happy with my selection. The bacon was crispy perfection and all the flavors married well creating a great sandwich.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE BURGER: Two mouthwatering USDA patties with pepper-smoked bacon, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. Topped with house-made onion rings, and chipotle ranch on a brioche bun. Complete with a “self-destruct” jalapeño relish. – My hubby was a little hesitant to share this one as he said he was starving. Really, he just wanted this menu mission all to himself.

Additional note: Of all the places on this list, I would pick the SafeHouse as our number one pick if you have never visited. Everything from locating the place to the activities inside is worth the stop. I had no idea what to expect and left out the hidden back exit with a smile on my face and a desire to return!

5 Must Visit Milwaukee Restaurants for Families - South Shore Terrace Kitchen & Beer Garden

South Shore Terrace Kitchen & Beer Garden

South Shore Terrace celebrates the best of the local Milwaukee community. Our open-air Miller beer garden serves up stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee skyline. Fresh, local ingredients combine in the classic hometown menu, and the historic 1930s bathhouse building provides a one-of-a-kind location to share good times with friends and family.

  • South Shore Terrace
  • Location: 2900 S Shore Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53207
  • Website: www.southshoreterrace.com
  • Phone Number: (414) 617-1147

What we ordered:

`South Shore Wings: Smoked then fried chicken wings with choice of sauce, served with housemade ranch or bleu cheese – Buffalo all the way! These are the ultimate beer garden appetizer.

Lobster Roll Sliders: Buttered brioche rolls, fresh lobster salad, lemon tarragon aioli – Who doesn’t love a good lobster roll? South Shore Terrace spared no expense with this refreshing slider. While it is on the appetizer menu, our lux loving youngest had it for his main course and was in lakeside foodie heaven.

Terrace Cuban: Mojo pork, honey ham, Swiss cheese, Leinie’s mustard & dill pickles on pressed brioche. – This one was not for me. I found the meat too hard to cut and basically destroyed the sandwich when I was trying to cut it in half. Hopefully, you have better luck than we did.

Hoan Bridge: 6oz beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, choice of cheese, brioche bun. – Well-cooked and everything you would want from a standard burger.

Additional note: I would say that most visit the South Shore Terrace because of it’s location right off Lake Michigan. They do offer a few indoor tables where the restrooms are located but outdoors is where it is at. The view and gathering atmosphere is worth the visit.

5 Must Visit Milwaukee Restaurants for Families - Proof Pizza

Proof Pizza

This small, neighborhood pizza joint relishes in the simple pleasures. Proof Pizza is a fast-casual Neapolitan style pizza joint that balances old-world character and modern design, resulting in the best pizza in downtown Milwaukee.

Saint Kate
  • Proof Pizza
  • Location: 139 E Kilbourn Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • Website: www.proofpizzamke.com
  • Phone Number: (414) 270-4433

Margherita Pizza: fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, parmesan, basil, extra virgin olive oil. – So, so, so, so, so good! I am a sucker for a great pizza and this one checked all of the boxes for pie perfection.

Pepperoni Pizza: mozzarella, pepperoni, romano cheese. – Classic cooked in a wood burning oven creating crispy crust and pepperoni sliced to drool over.

Genoa Pizza Basil: pesto sauce, burrata, cheese, cherry tomatoes, prosciutto, parmesan. – This was both my teenager and husband’s favorite. They are carnivores at heart for sure.

Additional note: Proof Pizza is located at the Saint Kate hotel in Milwaukee. We spent three lovely days at this location. To see more about our experience visit: Saint Kate The Arts Hotel review and be ready for a photographical explosion of art and luxury.

Share your favorite Milwaukee restaurant with us in a comment below! We just might add a visit on our next adventure.

About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.


  1. I grew up 1-1/2 hours from Milwaukee but haven’t seen or been to these places. Next year, we’ll make an out-of-the-way stop to visit SafeHouse Restaurant & Spy Bar. Sounds awesome!

  2. Very interesting I never knew these restaurants were there and I have gone past them a lot. I know one that not on the list would be Ihop the kids like that. For other places to go to I would look in metro parent for ideas.

  3. Every place listed looked like they had delicious food if I ever travel to that area I will check one of them out.

  4. Thanks for this! What wonderful, delicious sounding restaurants. I’d go to the Mad Rooster first.

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