Food & Drink

The 10 Best Sausages in Milwaukee

Published On 10/06/2015 Published On 10/06/2015
Michael Goelzer/Courtesy of The Vanguard
Courtesy of the Milwaukee Brat House
Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist
Michael Goelzer/Courtesy of The Vanguard
Flickr/Mark Z
Flickr/C-Monster
Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist
Flickr/Ross Grady
Joe Laedtke/Courtesy of Red Lion Pub
Courtesy of Who’s on Third
Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist
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1. Milwaukee Brat House 1013 N Old World 3rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53203

Milwaukee Brat House marries the city's German heritage with regional tastes, resulting a menu of flavorful sausages (ranging from traditional Polish styles to Midwest variations featuring local cheddar, jalapeno, and bacon), pretzels, and the some of Brew City's best cheese curds (lightly battered, fried to order, and sprinkled with Parmesan, because there's no such thing as too much cheese). It's a popular haunt for beer lovers who want to enjoy a pint before heading to a game at Miller Park or an event at the Bradley Center, as there's a free shuttle conveniently running between the bar and both venues.

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2. Mader's Restaurant 1041 N Old World 3rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53203 (Downtown)

What do a $3-million collection of medieval suits of armor, the largest collection of Hummel knickknacks in America, and hundreds of beer steins have in common? You can see them all at German restaurant Mader’s. It’s all up on the second floor above the bar and dining room in this oldest restaurant in Milwaukee, so take a stroll up there after you finish your sauerbraten and strudel.

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3. Vanguard 2659 S Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53207

Sausages will never go out of style in MKE, especially when Vanguard in Bay View reinvents the wheel with new versions all the time. Thai, Italian, German, and Jamaican meats are all represented, not to mention our neighbor to the north (which gets a nod with several variations on poutine). But you're in Milwaukee, so opt for the city's namesake dog, which comes with cheese curds, cheddar cheese, and Cheez Whiz for good measure. There's a hidden patio out back, which we suggest retreating to so you can eat the second hot dog you'll likely order in peace.

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4. Old German Beer Hall 1009 N Old World 3rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53203

Old German Beer Hall is a wonderful place to kick back with a large beer and Bavarian festival food. The giant pretzels are imported from Munich and the bratwurst is really something special.

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5. Glorioso's 1011 E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

This family-owned and operated mercato has been been around since 1946, offering customers Italian delicacies and imports that include handmade sausages, oversized deli sandwiches, fresh pasta, and all the cheese, wine, and cured meats you'd ever need.

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6. Karl Ratzsch 320 E Mason St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

The location where Karl Ratzsch now dwells has been an old school German beer hall since 1904, and Karl Ratzsch’s hearty, authentic German menu that continues to pay homage to Milwaukee’s heritage. For starters, Karl Ratzsch features savory inventions like Sauerkraut Fritters stuffed with bacon, and crispy Pork Cracklings on pumpernickel. For full on stomach-filling mains, the menu sticks pretty closely to traditional German dishes like Sauerbraten (potato dumplings in a gingersnap gravy), pork Bratwursts, Wienerschnitzel (veal, red cabbage, and parsley), and a gigantic, honey-glazed Goose Shank served over wild rice and pickled red cabbage. As expected, the beer program is just as German with hefeweissens, kölschs, pilsners, and bocks galore.

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7. Red Lion Pub 1850 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

MKE has exactly 3,472 Irish-themed pubs. That’s why the owners of Red Lion decided to revamp the space that had been an Irish pub into... a British pub! There’s more of a focus on soccer (or footy, for you ex-pats), and the food is slightly more British with things like bangers and mash, Cornish pasties, and donner kebab sandwiches, all of which are great when you’re drinking and/or hungover.

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8. Who's on Third 1007 N Old World 3rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53203

Partially named after the Abbott and Costello routine "Who's on First," this official Bucks sports bar is a casual spot for game day food and drinks. Don't leave without trying their beer-infused cheese curds or Grandma's dip.

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9. Sprecher's Restaurant & Pub 5689 N Bayshore Dr, Glendale, WI 53217

Sprecher's merges German and American cuisine at this relaxed sports bar/restaurant. Menu items include 14 craft Wisconsin beers, four gourmet sodas on tap, and a bratwurst platter that could've came straight from Deutschland.

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