It’s no secret that Milwaukee is a meat and potatoes town, Midwesterners are a hearty bunch and we like a hearty meal. Throw a slab of nicely charred cow on someone’s plate and watch their eyes go wide as the “MEAT” synapses fire off in their brain. Stop into any of these 10 local steakhouses for a meal that will leave you in carnivorous bliss.
This is the steakhouse to see and be seen at, possibly brushing elbows with a celebrity or Packers linebacker. Don’t be intimidated, there’s bound to be plenty of couples celebrating their anniversary with oysters and filet. This is also one of the few places you can get amazing Japanese Wagyu beef and at “market” price (which, yes, means expensive).
The biggest, baddest steak you can get here is a 20oz bone-in ribeye. It’s dry-aged for 75 days, concentrating the flavor into a beefy mélange, prized by many. The restaurant has plenty of fancy schmancy credibility with stone crab claws flown in from Florida (in season), creamy Spanish gazpacho with lobster, and bistro classics like steak frites.
If Don Draper were real, visiting Milwaukee, and not already dead five times over thanks to his lifestyle choices -- he’d totally eat at Five O’Clock. It's been searing up porterhouses and bacon-wrapped filets since 1948 and is still going strong. Get the retro filet oscar, topped with asparagus, crab meat, and hollandaise alongside a Sazerac.
If you want to feel like a caveman for a night, gnaw on the 32oz Wagyu tomahawk ribeye. It gets its name from the comically large rib bone that’s left on, making for some kooky selfies with a $92 steak. Also oversized: the chilled seafood tower, with shrimp, king crab legs, and mussels overflowing from a giant martini glass.
This little duplex-turned-steakhouse sits on a corner lot in a residential neighborhood, and you’ll feel like family as soon as you walk through the door. It’s got about a dozen tables and a bar that’s always full of regulars waiting to order a steak with a deep, dark crust. The filet mignon, topped with a whole portabella and roasted garlic cloves, can’t be beat, but the scallops are first class if you’re in the mood for seafood.
Part of the Bartolotta restaurant empire, Mr. B’s cooks its steaks in a wood-burning oven. That gives them an all over sear and infuses them with wood smoke, taking you back to that time your dad took you camping when you were 12 and burnt the steaks. Luckily the chef here is a little more skilled, so your 16oz NY Angus strip will be a perfect med-rare.
Menomonee River Valley
Don’t let the cacophony of slot machines and bingo callers distract you from finding your way to this steakhouse in the Potawatomi casino. It’s much better than you’d expect a casino restaurant to be; it even makes its own charcuterie and cheese. Of course you could get the usual filets and ribeyes, but you should try the lean kangaroo steak instead. Because where the hell else are you going to get kangaroo?
You go to Ward’s for one thing: prime rib. The smallest, wimpy cuts range from 8 to 24oz. Above that, they’re named for the people who first conquered the meaty mountain. The largest is 168oz and is called the Awesomefat-The Michael Litman Experience. Because presumably, you’re going to have quite the experience in the bathroom the next day if you try to eat more than 24oz of beef.
Town of Lake
The Packing House is a supper club that’s been around since the '70s, but has had a facelift and is once again a happening place to be for people under 60. The menu is pure supper club, with steak au poivre, beef Wellington, prime rib, lobster thermidor, and escargot. After dinner, escape to the bar for a Grasshopper while the lounge singers serenade you.
This is a no-nonsense kind of steakhouse. You pick your cut of beef, your upgrade (real men don’t need truffle butter), and your a la carte sides. If you prefer your steak raw, you can get a carpaccio appetizer with Parmigiano, aioli, capers, and arugula. Even if you’re wary of trusting raw meat at a restaurant, this one definitely makes the cut.
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Lacey Muszynski is a Milwaukee food writer who is now craving a little surf and turf and some au gratin potatoes, thank you very much. Follow her on Twitter: @worthhersalt.
1. Carnevor Steakhouse Moderne724 N Milwaukee St, Milwaukee
2. Mason Street Grill425 E Mason St, Milwaukee
3. Five O'Clock Steakhouse2416 W State St, Milwaukee
4. Eddie Martini's8612 W Watertown Plank Rd, Milwaukee
5. Jackson Grill3736 W Mitchell St, Milwaukee
6. Mr B's - A Bartolotta Steakhouse18380 W Capitol Dr, Brookfield
7. Dream Dance Steak1721 W Canal St, Milwaukee
8. Ward's House of Prime540 E Mason St, Milwaukee
9. The Packing House900 E Layton Ave, Milwaukee
10. Milwaukee ChopHouse633 N 5th St, Milwaukee
This is one of the spots in Milwaukee, with a decent chance of local celebrity (or Greenbay Packer) sighting. The menu includes (amazing, but expensive) kobe beef, USDA prime beef, and a wine list with more than 400 (!!!) selections.
Situated in the historic Pfister Hotel, this sophisticated steakhouse serves elevated New American fare. Providing they don’t forget their suit coat, meat lovers can savor signature favorites like the eponymous Mason Street Grill Burger: Black Angus Chuck impeccably cooked to your preferred temperature, topped with honey-glazed onions, tangy house relish, and melted muenster. Whatever you order, we suggest you pair your steak with a bold glass of red wine, and relax in the warm glow of this leather-upholstered, sleek dinner spot.
This supper-club steakhouse serves up meat and potatoes in giant portions. Start your meal off with a brandy Old Fashioned; cold Shrimp Cocktail; and complimentary Relish Tray, iceberg-lettuce salad, and dressing caddy before you polish off that porterhouse. It’s quintessential Wisconsin.
This place feels like an upscale, old-school, supper club, but the steaks and seafood make it clear that this is definitely a full fledged chophouse. The steaks are premium midwestern beef, from the angus short ribs, to the dry-aged prime sirloin, to the filet mignon (which comes in 6 oz, 8 oz, and 16 oz bone-in cuts).
Chef Jimmy Jackson learned to cook at his father's restaurant (Ray Jackson's) under Jahn Kramph. Now he helms this spot, which calls itself "Milwaukee's Supper Club." The steaks are phenomenal, and most of them come topped with mushroom, gorgonzola butter, or creme bordelaise.
A bit outside the city, in Brookfield, this steakhouse is serving wood-burning oven cooked steaks with killer sears and a wood smoke flavor. Pro Tip: Check out the patio during the warmer months.
Ignore the slot machines and bingo, and keep walking through the Potawatomi casino until you get to Dream Dance. It will exceed your (probably low) standards for casino restaurants and you'll probably get more out of your money than you would feeding it into the slots. Also they have kangaroo steaks, which is a real thing.
Where else can you find prime rib entrees stretching from 8 ounces all the way up to 168 insane ounces? (Side note: WHY?) If you simply can't get enough prime rib, this is the place to go. They also have filets, NY strip, lamb chops, chicken and seafood.
After over 30 years of supper club-ing, this spot has found its place again with a younger crowd. The classic menu includes stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktail, beef Wellington, prime rib, lobster thermidor, and steak au poivre.