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Friday, August 25, 2017

Best of MKE: Patios

Every year, the people of Milwaukee come out of hiding for the few glorious (and sometime humid as hell) months of summer. And that means patio season. To celebrate this wonderful time of year, I have put together a list of some of my favorite patios. From restaurants to bars to food trucks, these are ten of my favorite places to grab a drink or enjoy some grub during the sunny season.

1. Gypsy Taco: Along with the best tacos I’ve had in MKE, this patio is pretty swell as well. With an outdoor bar and food truck, this place has everything I need for a great summer patio outing. Look around and you'll find hidden details that add to the space and give it some humor.

2. Fuel: Great food, great space. From the interior to the patio, this place kills it all around. Serving lunch, dinner, and brunch, Fuel has a large menu of food and local brews (even one called Butterfly Farts). Shockingly, it never seems to be hard to get a table.

3. La Merenda: This place may not look like much from the outside, but hidden in the back is a beautiful (and large) patio with flowers and plants spread throughout that bring this space to life. And the food isn't too shabby either. Their tapas style dishes are great for sharing and perfect for people (like myself) that don’t like to make decisions.

4. Café Corazon (Riverwest): Great Mexican food with a laid back feel and, obviously, margaritas. This spot is hidden within the Riverwest neighborhood and is a secret gem (but really not secret at all…if you live in Milwaukee and don’t know about this place, you really need to get out more). Over the years, this place has transformed from a tiny little dining room to a back room addition with doors that open during the nice weather and a second location in Bayview.

5. DanDan: This Chinese inspired restaurant serves up some of the best in Milwaukee with a great patio to match. Designed to be shared with healthy portions, this place is packed with flavor and a good atmosphere.

6. Nomad: This soccer bar built a patio for the last World Cup and has since become a colorful and relaxing place to grab a drink. If you’re feeling a beer, a shot, and a cig, order their prix fix (all for $5).

7. Dimoda: While I can’t speak to the food (on my to-do list) at this establishment, I can speak to the patio. Once Tracadero, this patio has remained one of my favorites. A fountain and an array of greenery make this patio space a great place to enjoy some pizza and a gorgeous summer day.

8. Finks: A local spot that benefits off of Bel Air Cantina’s long waits, this little bar with a fresh new patio serves up a great happy hour ($3 taps, $5 cocktails) and good vibes. With old arcade games and local charm inside, their new patio is an awesome addition and will draw in that summer crowd.

9. Barnacle Buds: This hidden fisherman style shack serves food and tasty cocktails, as well as local brews. Head back into the warehouse park to enjoy this hard-to-find gem along the river. You won't even feel like you're in the city anymore. 

10. Café Centraal: This patio is surrounded by vines and draped in lights. Tucked away behind the restaurant, this space makes their average food worth a trip. I would go back just to enjoy the space and maybe grab a drink or some frites.

***It should be known that while these are a few of my favorites, there are so many awesome patios in this city.



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