Well it’s been a while, folks, but it’s finally time for Part 4 of the MKE brunch guide with the East Side! Up until last year I called the East Side home; the restaurants in this list are near and dear to my heart. Some of these places turned me into the Milwaukee-loving foodie that I am now so without further ado, here are the places to enjoy the best brunch on the East Side.
Check out the other MKE brunch guides too!
Part 1, Walker’s Point
Part 2, Third Ward
Part 3, Bay View
Soon to come: Shorewood, Wauwatosa and all the Milwaukee gems in-between.
The East Side
Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro — A beautiful location with classic French food, Lake Park Bistro is a special occasion impress your significant other’s parents kind of place. Get dressed up, order the steak tartare, pop a mint (seriously), and take a walk around gorgeous Lake Park. Sounds like the perfect Sunday morning to me.
3133 E. Newberry Boulevard (414) 962-6300
Beans & Barley — This place was one of the first restaurants I ate at where I felt free to be a vegetarian. Tons of options for everyone. For whatever reason, I usually order the quesadilla. It’s just good. Oh and they have fresh veggie juice and amazing desserts. I recommend ordering both.
1901 E. North Avenue (414) 278-7878
BelAir Cantina — BelAir introduced me to the joy that is a mexican style breakfast. Chilaquiles are popping up on every brunch menu these days, but BelAir started it all for me. Their menu includes everything from a chorizo burrito to french toast with mexican chocolate to a black bean & corn omelette. And they have the best margaritas in town.
1935 N. Water Street (414) 226-2245 and 2625 N. Downer Avenue (414) 964-1190
Cafe Hollander — Oh Cafe Hollander, I can’t quit you. I think I’ve dragged every out-of-town family member and friend to this restaurant at least once. The frites cone is an absolute must (with sriracha ranch & roasted garlic aioli, oh my gosh). After that, everything is good. Berry basil french toast, green torpedo omelet, lowland’s rocket salad. The beer pairing recommendations are perfect, but you can’t go wrong with a bloody mary, bier mosa, or classic mimosa either. And that beer book…legendary. Also, sit outside!
2608 N. Downer Avenue (414) 963-6366
Cempazuchi — Brunch is served at Cempazuchi on Saturday & Sunday and features their twist on a bloody mary with mezcal. I really love Cempazuchi’s unique menu and I firmly believe everyone should try a dish with the corn masa cakes (like the Cerca de Cielo) at least once.
1205 E. Brady Street (414) 291-5233
Comet Cafe — What can I say about Comet that you don’t already know? It’s a Milwaukee staple, especially at brunch time. You can easily eat veggie since most of the menu can be made vegan or go in the complete opposite direction and order bacon cakes. Comet is the home of my first beermosa so order one for me, okay?
1947 N. Farwell Avenue (414) 273-7677
HiHat/The Garage — It’s been a while since I’ve had brunch at HiHat/The Garage (two connected bars, one brunch menu) and their menu changes somewhat frequently. I’ve always been a fan of their omelettes and breakfast potatoes, but some new items have caught my eye like the fried latkes with caramelized leeks, mustard cream sauce, eggs & toast, and the bourbon battered challah french toast with caramelized apples. Latkes, challah, caramelized anything. The way to a Jewish girl’s heart.
1701 N. Arlington (414) 225-9330
Ma Fischer’s — Open 24/7 yet I’ve never found the time to eat here! This comfort food diner has been in business for over 65 years so I’m sure I’ll have time to try it out eventually. With all the classics from build your own omelets to (my favorite) skillets to good old short stacks, they seem to have everything you could want on those extra hungry, and maybe hungover, mornings.
2214 N. Farwell Avenue (414) 271-7424
Pizza Man — Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time! Yes, you can have pizza for brunch at Pizza Man. I guess you could have a frittata or eggs benedict instead, but honestly, how could you pass on their pizza?!
2597 N. Downer Avenue (414) 272-1745
Red Lion Pub — I was a huge fan of brunch at Brocach, the former restaurant in Red Lion’s location, and was so sad to see it go. Lucky for me (and you) they seem to have kept many of my favorite menu items like the biscuits & gravy and sugar donuts.
1850 N. Water Street (414) 431-9009
Simple Cafe — I practically lived at Simple once it opened. Too good. Read my full review here!
2124 N. Farwell Avenue (414) 271-2124
Stubby’s Pub & Grub — Banana creme brûlée waffle. Yes, please! Also, skillets, salads, sandwiches, and lots of early morning alcohol options.
2060 N. Humboldt Avenue (414) 763-6324
The Hotch Spot — I’m loyal to the original Hotch-a-Do and was a bit disappointed with the changes made to the style of restaurant and the menu, but mostly just because I hate change. But they still have the hotch hash which is a superb breakfast that I often copycat for dinner.
1813 E. Kenilworth Place (414) 727-2122
Trocadero — Oh boy, this menu looks incredible. Fried green tomato & goat cheese salad, potato croquettes, fresh berry crepe, humboldt fog cheese omelet. Trocadero just moved to the top of my must try list.
1758 N. Water Street (414) 272-0205
Wolf Peach — I haven’t tried Wolf Peach yet and I don’t even know why. It’s currently hovering around the top of my brunch wish list because they have latkes & applesauce. LATKES!!! I’ve heard only amazing things about Wolf Peach and can’t wait to test out as much of their menu as possible from chilaquiles to cinnamon rolls to wood-fired pizzas.
1818 N. Hubbard Street (414) 374-8480