What are the best restaurants in the Historic Third Ward in Milwaukee, WI?

At one time an unfortunate victim to a devastating fire and some bloody history, the Historic Third Ward is now one of the most beautiful and most frequently visited neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Once-empty factories and vacant lots now house delicious restaurants, enticing boutiques, and lavish condos…and an official plaque recognizing the birthplace of pizza in Milwaukee!

To hear more about that great story and so many others, join Milwaukee Food & City Tours for an in-depth experience with a local tour guides on the Around the Ward in 90 Minutes tour complete with a sweet treat along the way! Join a public tour on select Fridays in the summer, or schedule the outing any date or time all year round for your private party of 8 or more guests.

Photo Credit: Milwaukee Food & City Tours
Don’t have time for a tour? Here are excellent downtown dining places to eat in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee, offering a variety of cuisines and dining experiences:


Italian for “honest,” Onesto is honestly among the best Italian restaurants in Milwaukee… and no wonder! Handmade pasta, an outstanding wine and craft cocktail list, elegant service, and a unique menu puts a modern twist on Italian cuisine that’s fresh and flavorful.

Swingin’ Door Exchange

Located in the historic Grain Exchange building, Swingin’ Door Exchange offers American pub food in a unique and historic atmosphere.


Arguably the most authentic Chinese food in Milwaukee, Jing’s is located on the first floor of the Marshall Building in the Historic Third Ward.

Milwaukee Public Market

Not just one restaurant, but a collection of various local food vendors offering everything from seafood to sweets. You can visit the Milwaukee Public Market on the Around the Ward in 90 Minutes tour and also on the Bloody Mary Brunch Tour.


Saffron‘s modern take on traditional Indian cuisine elevates the dining experience by using new-age culinary techniques, artful presentation, contemporary design, and all the palate-pleasing spices and flavors that are the hallmark of Indian cuisine.

The Edison

The Edison is a warm and inviting neighborhood restaurant featuring new American cuisine that is thoughtfully prepared, including coal-fired butcher’s cuts and seafood, as well as other classic dishes. The Speakeasy-inspired bar highlights a curated selection of distilled spirits, offering expertly crafted cocktails, local draft beers and an approachable selection of wine.


This modern Korean restaurant is known for its creative fusion dishes and upscale yet cozy atmosphere. A deliciously interactive dining experience awaits- don’t pass up the chance to order from the Grill and Ssam menu in which delicious Korean BBQ meats are seared on sizzling lava stones! Char’d is proud to feature locally sourced, seasonal products to create ‘New Korean’ dishes as an homage to traditional Korean culinary recipes.

Café Benelux

Inspired by the grand cafes of the Low Countries (BElgium + NEtherlands + LUXembourg = Benelux), you can enjoy delicious European cuisine and an extensive selection of beers. Café Benelux offers extensive streetside seating, views of the Third Ward from the rooftop deck, and a cozy Grand Café.

Tre Rivali

Located inside the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, the first hotel built in the Historic Third Ward in 100 years, this Mediterranean-inspired restaurant has a menu with various flavorful options. Tre Rivali is the place to go for Mediterranean-inspired cuisine in Milwaukee and is consistently rated as one of the top restaurants in the Third Ward.

Smoke Shack

Don’t let the small size of the restaurant fool you- powerfully good barbeque is produced in the Smoke Shack! The process: dry rub certified humanely-raised meats and smoke in small batches, all-day, every-day, sometimes starting the day before to ensure the highest quality barbeque.


Dandan: a noodle dish with origins in Chinese Sichuan cuisine. DanDan: two guys named Dan who grew up eating Chinese food and love cooking it. DanDan is the Third Ward’s Chinese-American restaurant with a Chinese soul and a Midwestern sensibility and the place to go in Milwaukee for dim sum, noodles and rice, dumplings, pancakes and standout Peking duck.

Screaming Tuna

Here, you’ll find beautifully presented sushi and a variety of other Japanese dishes, with a fantastic view of the Milwaukee River. In addition, Screaming Tuna is a Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch partner, and they are committed to a menu composed of sustainably sourced seafood.

Photo Credit: Screaming Tuna

Lucky Ginger

A pan-Asian restaurant offering dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, China, and more. From the Tom Yum soup to the house-made dumplings, each bite is prepared to perfection at Lucky Ginger.

Photo Credit: Lucky Ginger