Get Artsy, Stay Refined

In Milwaukee's Third Ward
By Kristine Hansen

Akin to New York City’s Soho neighborhood for its artsy appeal—think boho-chic boutiques, eateries and art galleries tucked into renovated brick warehouses—Milwaukee’s Third Ward continues to be a hot destination. New restaurants, bars and boutiques are constantly opening in this neighborhood immediately south of downtown and bordering the Summerfest grounds. Antique street lamps and, in summer, hanging flower baskets inject lots of charm. Here’s where to go.

The Journeyman Hotel’s rooftop bar The Outsider is a yearround oasis; try Top Chef alum Heather Terhune’s Mediterranean masterpieces (from coriander-crusted branzino to butterscotch budino) at Tre Rivali.

Hankering for air plants and artisan dog biscuits? MOD GEN is your grandparents’ variety store with a modern twist—and cool letterpress greeting cards.

Holey Moley Doughnuts bakes offbeat flavors (like whiskey salted chocolate, plus vegan and gluten-friendly) but get ’em before they’re gone—sometimes before the 1 p.m. closing time.

Total North Woods vibe—there’s lots of taxidermy and plaid— paired with craft Milwaukee beers at Camp Bar creates a chill spot to rest tired legs from shopping.

Don’t mistake Kickapoo Coffee for an art showroom—so many succulents and all that natural light!—but do try the coffee from this Driftless Area roaster at its only retail cafe.

Touring the country’s Chinatowns resulted in this collaboration between two chefs named Dan. DanDan serves dinner and weekday lunch, from dim sum to seafood pancakes.

Proprietary washable cashmere clothing from Vancouver retailer Kit & Ace is now in the Third Ward at its namesake shop.

Head to the Milwaukee Public Market, foodie central. The Spice House, on the second floor, offers cooking classes and a mix of culinary gadgets and spices. Locals know that Thief Wine Shop & Bar is not only a sweet spot to sip wines curated from around the world but also a great dinner spot—its owners welcome food from any market vendor, which means you can bring in anything from tacos to sushi. Don’t miss the city’s best seafood special at St. Paul Fish Company: lobster dinner for $15.95.

Nightlife in the Third Ward has a refined edge. There’s Skylight Music Theater’s Broadway-style shows, plus serious theater from Milwaukee Chamber Theater and Studio Theatre. Toast the night—or the show—at Indulge wine bar, featuring over 300 wines and fine accompaniments.

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