Flickr/Klaus Friese (edited)
Jenny Schmitt
Comet Cafe
Odd Duck
Morel
Jenny Schmitt
Triskele's
Jenny Schmitt
Jenny Schmitt
Jenny Schmitt
Foundation Tiki Bar
Palm Tavern
Jenny Schmitt
Jenny Schmitt
Jenny Schmitt
Paddy's Irish Pub
Bryant's Cocktail Lounge
Flickr/Dave Reid
Flickr/Retinal Fetish
Flickr/Shih-Pei Chang (edited)
Flickr/Reclamation Revolution
Flickr/Alyson Hurt
Jenny Schmitt
Sweet Mullets Brewing Co.
Great Lakes Distillery
Flickr/Lobstah1977
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1. Bryant's Cocktail Lounge 1579 S 9th St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

You can feel the history when you drink at Bryant's -- it's been around since the '30s, but you'll be more interested in the intoxicating darkness and your flawless (and also intoxicating) brandy Old Fashioned.

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2. Burnhearts 2599 S Logan Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

Here you’ll find a thoughtful, just-right-sized tap list deep on Wisconsin and Michigan’s finest, plus a deep selection of rare bottles (ask about Carl’s Secret Stash). But somehow even more importantly, Burnhearts is impossibly welcoming, devoid of pretension, and the kind of bar where you can feel like you’ve been a lifelong regular in one afternoon, which will likely end up bleeding into the evening, whether you’re playing game after game of shuffleboard in back or chatting up the friendly staff up front. Come February, their (outdoor!) charity-minded Mitten Fest brings in people from all over to enjoy some rare beer, live music, and the fact that Wisconsinites refuse to let winter spoil a good time.

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3. The Palm Tavern 2989 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

This tiny Bay View bar happens to house the best Belgian beer offerings in a city most famous for decidedly not-Belgian beer. With 25 taps and a binder full of bottled brews, whiskeys, and other craft liqueurs, Palm Tavern inundates drinkers with options; but fear not, overwhelmed patrons, because Palm Tavern bartenders are always enthusiastic about making recommendations. The red crown molding above the bar is reminiscent of stage curtains, which sets the mood for an alcohol-driven main event of an evening.

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4. Landmark 1850 Inn 5905 S Howell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

The bar’s been in the old building as long as the copper/iron ceiling, owner Joe and his son, Jeff, are frequently on hand to tell you the history of Wisconsin’s first bar, and European mainstays and American craft beers dominate the taps here and pay homage to Milwaukee’s early German, Polish, and Irish heritage.

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5. Paddy's 2339 N. Murray Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211

The pints of Guinness and shots of Jameson flow with reckless abandon in this extremely inviting spot. Find a table, bask in the traditional Irish music, and just get lost here.

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6. Nomad World Pub 1401 E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Open in the wee hours of the morning for most international soccer matches, the Lower East Side’s Nomad World Pub is Milwaukee’s premier spot to travel the world without leaving your barstool. Celebrate and commiserate with rowdy fans around you as you experience games together imbibing the Prix Fix, Nomad’s signature combo of a shot of Jamo, a PBR, and a cigarette. Bring your own food or get some local options delivered to the bar.

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7. Wolski's Tavern 1836 N Pulaski St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Established over a century ago, Wolski’s Tavern is the quintessential Milwaukee dive bar. Apart from the 15 beers on tap, Wolski’s offers genuine boar bristle dartboards, an outdoor patio, and free popcorn, all in a pristinely clean environment. The humble bar is dimly lit by a smattering of Tiffany lamps, which cast enough of a glow to make the walls of memorabilia visible. If you stay until closing, you’ll be rewarded with a bumper sticker, which essentially makes the whole experience worth it.

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8. County Clare Irish Inn & Pub 1234 N Astor St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

The County Clare Irish Restaurant celebrates the music, food, and drink of the Emerald Isle. The menu of comfort food is divided into starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, and, of course, Irish specialties, like corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, cottage pie, shepherd’s pie, and a Guinness pot roast with slow-cooked beef in Guinness gravy with sautéed vegetables. If you stop by County Clare on a weekend, take advantage of the full Irish breakfast, with fried eggs any-style, grilled bangers, black-and-white pudding, Irish bacon, flame-grilled tomato, sautéed mushrooms, brown bread, and a choice of potatoes. The brunch’s real gem, though, is the County Clare Bloody Mary with Milwaukee’s own Klement’s hickory smoked bee sticks, two plump olives, one juicy pickle spear, lemon, lime, and homemade pickled potato.

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9. Foundation Bar 2718 N Bremen St, Milwaukee, WI 53212 (Riverwest)

In a city where winter can last five grueling months, it's no surprise that a tiki bar is popular. Adorned with bamboo, fish tanks, coconuts, sea horses, and puffer fish, Foundation whisks patrons away to an escapist-fueled fantasy of a bar where rum-splashed drinks, filled to the brim in festive glassware, will cure your midseason ails. This spot can get crowded, but if you snag one of the secluded booths in the back, you'll feel like a VIP.

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10. Über Tap Room and Cheese Bar 215 W Highland Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203

Uber's 30+ taps of Wisconsin beer feature reliable breweries like Sprecher, Lakefront, and Central Waters partnered with hard to-find pours from Black Husky, MOBcraft, and 3 Sheeps. If that doesn't convince you, then consider these four words: beer and cheese flights.

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11. Franky's Newport Lounge 939 E Conway St, Milwaukee, WI 53207

Head to this Milwaukee standy for all your classic dive bar needs: broadcast sports game, karaoke nights, live music, and amiable bartenders. It's a no-frills spot generous in relaxed vibes, and the good deals will soon make it your favorite venue too.

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12. Odd Duck 2352 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

Odd Duck in Bay View stands out for consistently delivering creative flavor combinations contained in small plates on an ever-changing menu. It serves a variety of vegan options suitable even to carnivores, and their cocktails rarely disappoint. This place is incredibly popular, so reservations are recommended.

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13. Morel Restaurant 430 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

Morel, named after a type of mushroom, is a small-plates spot in Walker's Point serving upscale fare. Hedgehog, shiitake, crimini, and other farm-fresh ‘shrooms rotate weekly on the menu, which also includes a meticulously curated beverage program. If you'd prefer dinner entertainment to a quiet conversation, sit at the bar overlooking the open kitchen, where chef/owner Jonathan Manyo brings the culinary fireworks.

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14. Triskele's 1801 S 3rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

A restaurant for the American foodie in all of us, Triskele’s delivers consistently delicious morsels time and time again from its seasonally changing menu. It’s one of Milwaukee’s most underrated spots, serving up comfort like a dynamite sausage-topped mac & cheese and a mouth-watering Friday Fish Fry.

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15. Comet Cafe 1947 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Comet does the holy trinity of Bs (beer, bacon, and brunch, of course) so very well that finding a table in this tiny, dual-sided bar/cafe can be difficult on the weekend. Hungover or not, folks venture here for stellar biscuits & gravy, hearty meatloaf (wrapped in bacon, because of course), and some bomb mac & cheese.

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16. Bavette La Boucherie 330 E. Menomonee St., Milwaukee, WI 53202 (Third Ward)

Blending old school butchery with present day sustainability, Bavette offers high-quality meat with a conscious: everything here is sourced from nearby Wisconsin farms and butchered onsite to ensure freshness. It’s become a community mainstay for the Third Ward, one where guests can enjoy a glass of wine and charcuterie plate while watching butchers work against a backdrop of immaculate white tile. In the main dining area, deer horns are mounted on a wall papered with teal and gold embellishment, striking the ideal balance of contemporary industrialism and European class.

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17. Oscar's Pub & Grill 1712 W Pierce St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

Slightly off the beaten path, Oscar’s rocks an outdoor patio, new draught lines, and a summertime food truck. Oh, and it has one of the city's best burgers in Milwaukee.

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18. Lakefront Brewery 1872 N Commerce St, Milwaukee, WI 53212 (Brewers Hill)

The beers of Lakefront Brewery are a source of regional pride for Milwaukee, and it's easy to see why: in addition to being certified organic, they're also made with hops and barley sourced from the state of Wisconsin and made on-site at the historic Bernie Brewer's Chalet (pro tip: it's definitely worth a tour of the facilities, especially when you can taste the different beers at the end). The sprawling, brick-walled beer hall also features delicious culinary staples like fried cheese curds with garlic ranch dressing and beer-battered Polish sausage with sauerkraut, making it a popular destination for neighborhood regulars and tourists alike.

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19. Milwaukee Brewing Company 613 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

The space is small (the whole tour basically takes place in one large room), and the learning aspect isn’t dominant... but you’re not there to exactly retain any information. You’re there to drink (and nod occasionally), and that’s exactly what you’re going to do. From the flagship amber ale Louie’s Demise (ask for the backstory) to the hot new Outboard Cream Ale (ask to check out the tap handle), you’re guaranteed to have a great time while drinking through the wares.

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20. Sprecher Brewery 701 W Glendale Ave, Glendale, WI 53209

Nestled in the northwest ‘burb of Glendale, Sprecher has been carefully cranking out delicious German and American-influenced brews for almost 30 years. A tour here will take you through their gift shop, alongside the brew kettles, and through the bottling room, ending in their gorgeous wooden-carved tasting room.

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21. Sweet Mullets Brewing Co. N58W39800 Industrial Rd, Ste D, Oconomowoc, WI 53066

Although there are no tours outside of the summer season, a stop to Sweet Mullets' tasting room to try Jorge’s Jalapeno Ale is necessary, and makes a west-of-Milwaukee pilgrimage a must.

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22. Great Lakes Distillery 616 W Virginia St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

The distillery has a great bar showcasing their spirits -- Rehorst Vodka, Citrus & Honey Vodka, gin, whisky, and rums -- in cocktails, to-go bottles, and a tour that will leave participants feeling a little fuzzy when it’s all over.