We had a hard time figuring out where all of the downtown Milwaukee restaurants were when we were walking around. Normally options for a quick lunch are on nearly every corner in a busy downtown area.
If you are looking for suggestions for the best downtown Milwaukee Restaurants to hit with kids, put the Milwaukee Public Market at the top of your list!
When we walked into the Milwaukee Public Market, I suddenly understood the reason for lack of restaurants in the surrounding area. EVERYBODY in downtown seemed to be enjoying lunch at the market.
The Milwaukee Public Market is in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. This area has historically been the center of Milwaukee’s commerce district. The current market was built in 2005 but the area has been associated with fresh, local food for over 100 years.
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The Milwaukee Public Market offers a wide selection of local foods with abundant options for grab and go lunches. You can also get fresh meat and seafood, wine, coffee, produce, local Wisconsin cheese and TONS of really yummy desserts.
Our Favorite Foodie Finds
The Nehring Family Market was one of my favorite stops at the market. This is a cornerstone of the market and one of the longest established Downtown Milwaukee restaurants. We picked up freshly made Panini sandwiches here for lunch one day. The next night, I stopped here for some Italian sausage which was also homemade and excellent.
They have many options for ready made foods that you can take back to your hotel room to heat up for an easy dinner. I drooled over a case of homemade pastries (the danishes were HUGE and clearly homemade.) A must if you are shopping in the Milwaukee Public Market.
On another afternoon, we ate lunch from Margarita Paradise. The burritos we got were huge and very reasonably priced. The kids split a taco plate with rice and beans and everyone was full and happy at the end (though in hindsight, mom could have used a margarita at that point in time!)
Another favorite treat from the Milwaukee Public Market were the gourmet gummies from Kehr’s Candies. This candy store has been making candy magic in Milwaukee since the 1930’s.
They are well known for their chocolate, but my kids LOVE gummies and I couldn’t resist a small bag of butterfly gummies to use as a bribe for good behavior for the rest of the trip (mwaaa haaa haaa!)
Milwaukee Restaurants: Tips for Doing the Milwaukee Public Market with Kids
If it is busy or you just don’t want to fuss with dragging the kids around the market, you can send one parent up the elevator with the kids to get them tucked off to the side and settled while parent #2 goes downstairs to procure the nourishment of choice.
Another Tip: If you have little kids, Saturday afternoon lunch (or probably lunchtime during any weekday) is definitely NOT the best time to try the market. We made the mistake of going at this time and it was just packed and super frustrating. Between lunch and dinner seemed to be a better time with less crowds and craziness.