So we drove up to Milwaukee a few weekends ago and were shocked and AMAZED at the amazing vegan options. I could go on and on but I'll break down the must stop places if you ever find yourself in town.
1. Strange Town
Seriously, step it up Chicago. This place is upscale but still kind of funky and casual. They are a self proclaimed plant-based bistro. Everything is small plates with cuisines from around the world. They also have an extensive wine list. This is definitely the kind of place to go for a nice birthday or anniversary dinner which is the kind of place we sometimes seem to be lacking in Chicago.
Their menu changes weekly but was fairly similar to the sample menu they had online. We had a Thai-spiced quinoa congee and arancini with smoked cashew cheese, salsa verde, and tomato confit. I hate tomatoes and all I wanted to eat was that tomato confit for the rest of my life. We also had an incredible salad and a vegan version of a crab cake that I can't remember the name of but seriously, everything rocked. We don't really drink but shared a glass of the BEST French red wine.
It isn't cheap, most plates are $9-11, which adds up when you want to try everything. But for all that we ate and a glass of wine, it all came out under $70.
The couple next to us heard us talking about our other food plans and they chimed in and recommended some of the places below to us. They were happy to hear how much we appreciated the vegan food in Milwaukee, especially since it seems like their city often feels like a "little sister" to nearby Chicago. They were super nice and helpful. I love vegans and I love the good old Midwest.
The Beerline Café is a very sunny and ~organic~ feeling cafe with a ton of unique vegetarian and vegan options. They have crepes and paninis, smoothies, fresh juices, Milwaukee's own Stone Creek coffee, and lots of local bakery items, most of which are vegan. I had a hard time deciding what to order, everything looked great. I was feely very crepey as it is almost impossible to find vegan crepes. So I ordered a savory crepe filled with tofu scramble, sautéed veggies, tempeh bacon, and vegan cheese. Tony got a tofu scramble sandwich and we shared a lemon blueberry crepe with vegan ricotta. The wait was long and it took a while for seating to open up, you order and then find a place to sit, but it was worth the wait and we will likely come back.
3. On The Bus
ON. THE. FREAKING. BUS. I want to live on this bus. Where do I even begin. On The Bus is a cute little mint green literal bus/counter located in the Milwaukee Public Market and they have it ALL. Smoothie bowls, avocado toasts, warm and cold sandwiches, date sweetened shakes, ice cream, ice cream in WAFFLES. All vegan. We literally went here four times within two days. We tried two avocado toasts, date shakes, smoothie bowls, a Jamaican jerk sandwich, and then we took home some birthday cake ice cream and ate it in bed while sobbing because there isn't an On The Bus in Chicago. There are no words. Just go there.
4. Ian's Pizza
On our first night we went to Ian's pizza on North Ave which had a fun college atmosphere and lots to choose from with an entire vegan menu. You can build your own vegan pizza or order one of their preset options. We got their mac and cheese pizza with vegan pepperoni and it was pretty damn good. We also got bread sticks with marinara because we're disgusting. No regrets. Check it out.
5. Holey Moley Doughnuts
The weekend we were there the Midwest got hit with over a foot of snow - LOL so we thought why not drive further north! Anyway, on Sunday morning in the thick of the worst snowfall that weekend, we got up at 8 am and drove from our hotel by the airport to Holey Moley doughnuts and holey moley am I glad that we did. I tried s'mores and pistachio and Tony had maple and a strawberry lemon flavor. YEAH we both had two doughnuts at 8 am and then, because what else do you do after eating two doughnuts at 8 am, we went and got juices at...
6. Urban Beets Cafe
This place is CUTE. Really cute. Like it pained me that I had just eaten two doughnuts and couldn't sit down and actually eat there. Their menu is amazing. Coconut bacon? That is the kind of thing I am IN. TO. They also have items like superfood hot cocoa, veggie packed wraps, and homemade vegan pesto cream cheese. Anyway, we got some really healthy juices. Were they good? No. Were they supposed to be? Definitely not. I am sure everything else is probably amazing and we will be back.
There are several more vegan places in Milwaukee we have yet to try. Seriously, what is going on? Why is there all of this vegan food in WISCONSIN? I'm sorry. I'll leave Wisconsin alone. I'm just impressed.
Milwaukee, we will be back when the snow melts to eat everything in sight.