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First Trip to Milwaukee

New Haven, CT
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First Trip to Milwaukee

We are in our 50s and it's our first trip to Milwaukee. We're coming from a stay in Chicago. Is it better to rent a car and stay in a hotel outside the city (saving downtown hotel parking fees), or stay downtown (and pay the fees)? Also, does anyone happen to have some great restaurant recommendations? Thanks very much.

Milwaukee
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1. Re: First Trip to Milwaukee

It's usually best to figure out what you want to do in Milwaukee to determine if you will need a car. If you just want to see the downtown museums you can get by without a car, but it's not that easy to get around outside of downtown without a car.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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2. Re: First Trip to Milwaukee

What kind of food do you like and how much do you want to spend on a meal?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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3. Re: First Trip to Milwaukee

I believe the Irish Inn County Clare still offers free parking to guests. Most other DT hotels will charge. I would prefer downtown as that is where the action is. Depending on when you are coming to Mke, events that are occurring DT could mean you incur additional parking or valet fees, or have to park longer distances from your destination, and in the case you might end up paying almost the same as overnight parking downtown.

I'm not sure what Hyatt, Hilton, Intercon and Doubletree are charging these days, but I know Aloft and Iron Horse are about $25.00 a night. I also know Aloft has some serious construction going on outside their hotel.

New Haven, CT
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4. Re: First Trip to Milwaukee

We're looking for food that is local and unique. Are there any good German restaurants still around? Price is not an issue, but we're not looking for upscale or fancy. Thanks for your help.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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5. Re: First Trip to Milwaukee

Mader's and Karl Ratzsch's are still around, but German food is way too heavy for us, so we don't eat there anymore.

For Thai, our favorite is Singha Thai.

For Mexican, Botanas.

For Indian, Mayura or Maharaja.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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6. Re: First Trip to Milwaukee

I'd vote for Karl Ratzch's for german. It is fabulous food and I think tastes better and less heavy than Mader's. My favorite is the chicken schnitzle. Others unique to Milwaukee I would suggest perhaps Comet Cafe www.thecometcafe.com/ (they have a wonderful meatloaf with beer gravy-and no, it doesn't taste like beer), Motor at Harley Davidson museum would get you a nice lunch (the food is not special to mke really, but it is good...it is the atmosphere and touring the museum that make it worth it). You could also do dinner there. harley-davidson.com/en_US/.../motor-bar-and-… If you like italian, you could go a little more nice at Mimma's cafe www.mimmas.com/ , or lower scale and get some awesome thin crust pizza at Zaffiro's zaffirospizza.com/ . All of these places will require a car unless you want to figure out the city bus or take a taxi. Although, if you stay downtown, depending on which hotel, you could walk to Karl Rasch's or Motor.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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7. Re: First Trip to Milwaukee

Karl Ratzsch's--yuck! The entrees are in the $25-$37 range, and not worth it at all.

Milwaukee
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8. Re: First Trip to Milwaukee

Kegel's is another good option for German food. You would probably need a car to get to it. It is a few miles west of downtown. It is an old place, and it's good but not as fancy as the downtown German restaurants.

Coerpers Five O'clock club is an old supper club style steak house that is unique and worth a visit.

The Milwaukee dining scene is changing all the time and there are lots of new trendy places, but there are still some old traditional places if that's what you are looking for.

Edited: 20 April 2012, 02:03
New Haven, CT
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9. Re: First Trip to Milwaukee

Thanks, everyone. Great suggestions. We're looking forward to our first trip to Milwaukee.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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10. Re: First Trip to Milwaukee

We recently ate at Roots, and I believe it was the best meal I've had out in a couple of years. Local products are their focus. It was wonderful.