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Guests often ask us, "what's your favorite thing to do in Milwaukee?" and we always have the same answer, "it changes so often"! There is so much to do in Milwaukee and some many new and exciting things coming to the city every day that's it's hard to pick one! 

Last weekend we got the chance to gather up some of our favorite people, aka our tour guides, and take them on a tour of our current must sees in Milwaukee!

First, we loaded up our signature green bus for a city tour of some of Milwaukee's newest hot spots like the Fiserv Forum Plaza, the Northwestern Mutual Building and the future home of MooSa's! 

At Milwaukee Food & City Tours, our training sessions are “moving meetings” via our bus!

After taking in these great sites we needed something sweet so we headed down Brady Street to check out Glorioso's new bakery, Appetito. Holy Cannoli! We couldn't image a better spot to grab a cannoli and congratulate our friends on their new shop!

We were thrilled to be some of the first visitors to sample a cannoli at the new bakery at Appetito on delicious Brady Street.

Next we had a little celebrating to do! Looking for a spot to host a baby or bridal shower? Give Greige a call! Our bus pulled up, we hopped out and presto! Its time for a baby shower! Jessica at Greige helped us shower our good friend Caitlin with a little love and cake before she becomes a mom!

Baby o’ Baby! We’re getting ready to welcome Milwaukee’s newest foodie to town!

While there, Jill Hauck from VISIT Milwaukee shared with the team the greater impact of tourism in Milwaukee. Guides learned about our role in group travel and convention planning as well. But, we didn't have time to dawdle, we had more places to go!

Load 'em up! Next stop, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum! You heard that right! Milwaukee is now home to a bobblehead mecca! 

We had so much fun chatting with Phil, a co-founder of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum! We also took some time to spot some of our favorite local sports heros and even a few celebrities along the way! Our long time tour guide, Karen, was thrilled to be visiting the Bobblehead Museum, "Holy Tchotchke!  Visiting the Bobblehead Museums for the first time was fascinating and slightly unnerving at the same time.  I can’t wait to go bobbin’ in with a tour group". We could have stayed and wandered the more than 8,000 bobbleheads for hours but it was time to get on the bus again!

Really Maynard? I think there is only room for one Pizza Bus in this town!

Last stop! After all of this fun we needed some caffeine and a chance to relive our memories of the day! Stone Creek's Factory Cafe was the perfect place to grab a cup of Milwaukee brewed coffee, review best practices, and brainstorm the ways we will help create memories for our guests this summer! 

The Milwaukee Food & City Tours team ready to show off Milwaukee to you!

We cannot wait until the next time we can load up our besties and go for an adventure around Milwaukee! Looking for your own Milwaukee adventure? Talk to us about creating a custom Milwaukee tour just for you! 

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Is your dream to be in a Milwaukee photo shoot? This is your chance!

We’re excited to share that we will soon be unveiling a new website! One of the finishing touches is YOU - fans of Milwaukee Food & City Tours, and fellow Milwaukeeans.

Dates:
Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 10 am - 4 pm
Saturday, June 15, 2019 from Noon - 8 pm

All photo locations are in downtown Milwaukee. Most photo shoots will involve eating food or sightseeing via a bus or foot in downtown Milwaukee.

All models must sign a release providing permission for us to use your image on our website, social media platforms and in media outlet requests.

As a thank you for your time and to offset any parking fees you may incur by participating in the one-hour photo session, a $15 gift card to the Milwaukee Public Market will be provided. Food samples will be provided at most sessions as well.

Ready to sign up? Please submit your request below. We will be in touch by Monday with confirmation details.

Name * Name First Name Last Name Email * Checkbox Select which of the following timeslot(s) you are available to attend: Thursday, May 16: 11 am - 12:15 pm Thursday, May 16: 12:20 pm - 2:00 pm Thursday, May 16: 2 - 3 pm Thursday, May 16: 3 - 4 pm Saturday, June 15: Noon - 1 pm Saturday, June 15: 1:30 - 2:30 pm Saturday, June 15: 3 - 4 pm Saturday, June 15: 4 - 5:30 pm Saturday, June 15: 6 - 7 pm Saturday, June 15: 7 - 8 pm Message * Please tell us about yourself visually in 1 - 2 sentences. For example: "I'm 35 years old, caucasian, with tattoos on my arm, and I use a wheelchair." I could bring my 5 year old child as well." Favorite Tour Tell us what has been your favorite tour or the one you want to go on next. Thank you!
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The Village of Greendale pays tribute to Joe Bartolotta with the statue of Norman Rockwell painting the iconic restaurant operator. Joe Bartolotta started Joey Gerard’s - A Bartolotta Supper Club in the historic downtown Village of Greendale.

Joe Bartolotta’s impact on the Milwaukee community is clear, but his legacy is becoming even more evident as the tributes are spoken by those mourning him.

I frequently update our tour scripts so that our tour guides have the most updated information to share with tour attendees. This week I had to make an update that I hoped to never make: Joe Bartolotta, who we saw so frequently while stopping into his many restaurants with tour groups, died in his sleep at age 60. I did not know Joe well but interacted with him often. By observing his values in action and seeing how he treated each of his 1,000+ employees as if they were family, I’ve learned lessons along the way that I realize now helped lay the groundwork for all that we have created at Milwaukee Food & City Tours.

Although I’ll never have the chance again to thank Joe personally, I did want to take a moment to share 4 lessons that I’ve learned from him.

 

Never. Say. No.

Prior to starting my company, I was a professional fundraiser in Milwaukee for 15 years. Every fundraiser has an informal list of business owners that always say no and there is the list of business owners that will always say yes. It was no secret in town – Joe Bartolotta was firmly at the top of the giving list. Joe donated to every single non-profit that made a request to his organization. As his organization grew, so did his charity efforts including the creation of Care-a-lotta which continues to make an impact in the community today. Joe’s philosophy of “never say no” has fundamentally shaped our own company. From being willing to implement unique tours to responding to every non-profit request from our community members, his value of never saying no has guided me in deciding what list I want to be on. 

 

Make a Difference.

Joe also gave so much of his time to Milwaukee’s non-profit community. I first met him when he was a volunteer at the American Diabetes Association, where he and Jennifer were willing to roll up their sleeves to do anything asked of them. He served on the board of directors of numerous non-profits, he took an active role in volunteering for local events, he enjoyed teaching students how to work in a kitchen, and how to interview to secure their first job in a restaurant. I was recently asked to serve on an advisory board for James Madison Academic Academy, the same school in which Joe started the ProStart culinary program for students. I regularly have seen the long-lasting impact of the program on participants and their families as students are graduating and then securing their first jobs within the hospitality industry.

He also gave to many, quietly, in their times of need and pain. In a Facebook post released earlier this week we were touched by what Derek Mosley shared. This is just one of many small but meaningful touches by Joe that we are learning of this week: 

“When I was preparing for my kidney transplant surgery, I basically cold called Jennifer & Joe Bartolotta for advice on what to expect, for Joe had a kidney transplant 3 years prior. They invited me and my wife for dinner and conversation at Lake Park Bistro. Joe & Jennifer were so forthcoming and shared literally everything we would encounter during the process. It was extremely helpful to be so prepared for life after transplant. He told me one of the hardest things after transplant, was getting up from a seated position. He told me to go purchase a recliner that goes from a seated position to a standing position, thus making recovery easier. I told him, although it would be helpful, there was no way I would be able to purchase one before the surgery. We finished dinner and I said I would be in contact post surgery. Two days later, a motorized recliner was delivered to my house, compliments of  Joe Bartolotta.”

 

The Customer Experience.

About 20 years ago, I sold gift certificates for Bartolotta restaurants at Christmas time at a mall kiosk. His training program for this part time and seasonal set of employees was incredible. He hosted our team to a dine-around on which we were taken to each of his restaurants. He was a storyteller and wanted to make sure that each of us saw the locations and tasted the food so that we could talk with customers at the kiosk with our own personal experiences. The most impactful moment was when he took a moment at his flagship restaurant in the Village of Wauwatosa, Ristorante Bartolotta, to talk to us about the importance of the customer experience. His talk cemented in me a career-long understanding of the importance of going the extra mile to ensure a flawless customer experience. I’ll never forget when he sat in the middle of the restaurant and began to point out 10 or 15 very minor observations that he deemed could negatively impact a customer’s experience. He spoke about a chair that had an ever-slight tilt to it, a worn menu, and a fly circulating the room. After he spoke and we began to eat, I took note that he was circulating the room and fixing each of these infractions before the restaurant opened to the public.

 

Make Milwaukee Better.

Thru and thru, it was evident that Joe loved Milwaukee. From his vision to grow his company, to heightening the dining options on the lakefront and all of downtown Milwaukee, to volunteering for a wide array of non-profits, to his most recent role in speaking on behalf of Milwaukee to the DNC 2020 selection committee, Milwaukee has always been at the heart of his work. In his passing, I regret that we will not be able to witness where that passion would have taken him, and Milwaukee, in the coming years. Together, we must each use our own love of Milwaukee to continue to make it the amazing place it is.   

Thank you, Joe Bartolotta. We are certain that the angels in heaven are enjoying the best pappardelle ever compliments of you tonight.

Service Details

The funeral service for Joe Bartolotta will be held this Saturday, April 27, 2019, promptly at 10:00 am at The Riverside Theater (116 W. Wisconsin Ave). The service will be open to the public. 

In homage to Joe’s bright disposition that he brought every day, it is requested that if you attend, no black attire be worn to the service. Additionally, in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to 

The Italian Community Center, Discovery World or the Wisconsin Humane Society.

In an effort to minimize distractions at the funeral, the family requests that no photography, videotaping or recording of any kind on any device (including cell phones) take place inside The Riverside Theater.

If you are unable to attend the celebration of life for Joe Bartolotta, the entire event will be live streamed through The Bartolotta Restaurants’ Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/BartolottaRestaurants.

Complimentary parking from Interstate Parking is being provided from 9am - 3pm at the following locations:

  • Surface Lot at Grand Avenue (enter under "Street Level Parking")

  • Empire Lot

  • Gimbels Lot

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Looking to arrange for home plate drop off for your next outing? If you need to rent a shuttle bus to get your next corporate team, birthday party or Bachelor party to a game at Miller Park or Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee Food & City Tours is available for hire.

Nothing says summer in Milwaukee more than a brat, a beer and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Are you looking to rent a shuttle bus to drop off a group at Miller Park (or the Fiserv Forum)? If you are looking for a way to get your crew to a game for your next corporate team outing, birthday party or Bachelor(ette) party, Milwaukee Food & City Tours is available for hire! We offer bus rentals with no minimum time commitment. We offer pick ups from offices, restaurants and home residences in Milwaukee County and the surrounding counties.  To hire a private shuttle to take your group to the front door of the next game, call us at 414-255-0534 ext 4 or email busrentals@milwaukeefoodtours.com. Complete pricing details and photos of our buses are HERE as well.

Wisconsin is known for our great tradition of tailgating, but when the weather is less than ideal or you would like someone else to do the driving, Milwaukeeans fall back on another great Milwaukee tradition to get to a game - the bar / restaurant shuttle!

For decades, the city’s favorite watering holes and eateries have been offering a safe ride to and from major sporting events, concerts and festivals in downtown Milwaukee. Skip paying for parking at your favorite events and instead purchase a drink at a local bar and jump on their bus for a direct pass to Miller Park! 

Looking for a place to grab a drink and catch a ride to Miller Park? Check out our list of Top 10 favorite bar / restaurant shuttles to a game:  

1. Buck Bradley's

2. McBob's

3. Milwaukee Brat House

4. Glass & Griddle

5. City Lights Brewing

6. Miller Time Pub & Grill

7. Saz's

8. Oscar's Pub and Grill

9. Balistreri's Bluemound Inn

10. Camp Bar Tosa

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Friday Fish Frys are a long standing tradition for many Milwaukee natives but do you know what started this tasty ritual? We’ll give you a hint…..it involves a tasty brew!

Here at Milwaukee Food & City Tours, we love sharing the unique history of the Friday night Fish Fry with our guests and introducing them to some of our favorite places to grab a bite! Whether it’s cod, perch or Milwaukee’s favorite smelt, you’re in for a treat!

What does a typical Friday night on our Milwaukee Fish Fry tour look like? Pretty delicious if you ask us!Stop #1: Buck Bradley’s

Our first stop is home to the longest continuous bar in Wisconsin and a darn good fish fry! We love to pull up our bar stool and settle in for a classic cod fish fry at Buck Bradley’s located on Old World Third Street. Buck Bradley’s fried cod is reminiscent of the first fish frys the breweries served in the 1800s. We like to remember this history by toasting those famous Milwaukee Beer Barons that made Milwaukee famous with our favorite local brews too!

The building that houses Buck Bradley’s has a strong German heritage dating back to 1854 when the building was built to house a furniture store! Through out its lifetime the building has housed a hardware store, shoe store, a bakery and several retailers until becoming the Buck Bradley’s that we know and love today!

Heading to an event at the Fiserv Forum? Stop by Buck Bradley’s for a pre-event meal and then enjoy a short walk to the Fiserv Forum! Or, simply walk in with our Milwaukee Fish Fry tour ready to eat!

Buck Bradley’s has been serving it’s famous Fish Fry since 1992.

Stop #2: St. Florian’s

For many families, the Friday night Fish Fry meant gathering in the local church basement for a rip roaring good time with family and friends. We love to stop at St. Florian’s Church with our tour groups for some of their famous fried smelt, and a little church history! You’ll immediately feel like family when you walk through these doors!

Smelt was once a Milwaukee staple and easily caught off the shores of Lake Michigan. However, in recent years “smelting” opportunities in Lake Michigan have significantly decreased along with the number of restaurants offering Smelt.

Once the smelt are caught, they are fried up whole and served with the usual fish fry sides and accommodates. Foodies like to say that eating a fried smelt tastes like something between a traditional piece of fried fish and smoked fish. 

Bonus Fact: St. Florian is the patron saint of fire fighters and he must be watching over St. Florian’s because the church has miraculously survived three fires that should have burned the structure to the ground every time!

St. Florian’s, located on 45th and Greenfield in West Milwaukee, serves it’s homemade fish fry every Friday during Lent and on the first Friday of the month outside of Lent.

Husband and wife team, Aleksandra and George have been sharing the Polish family recipes with guests since 1983.

Stop #3: Polonez Restaurant

Our Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour would not be complete without some potato pancakes! Polonez is Milwaukee’s last Polish restaurant and one of our favorite places to chow down on some breaded cod and potato pancakes! Polonez’s owners, Aleksandra and George will make you feel like family while you enjoy Polish dishes straight from George’s family kitchen!

Almost every ethnic group has their own version of potato pancakes. The Polish version is often referred to has a placki and is made with mashed potatoes as opposed to German or Jewish potato pancakes that are made with grated potatoes.

Although not included in the price on this particular tour, Polonez also offers a wide variety of Polish beers and cocktails available for purchase to enjoy with your meal!

There’s always room for a little custard!

Always Leave Room for Dessert with Milwaukee Food & City Tours!

Everyone who’s joined Milwaukee Food & City Tours for a tour before know how much we love our sweet treats, especially custard! An evening of Milwaukee history and Fish Fry stops would not be complete without a scoop of custard! We love to end the evening at a famous Milwaukee landmark, Leon’s Custard! A scoop of creamy custard is the perfect way to end any evening!

Reserve your spot today!

Are you up to eating at THREE of the best fish fries in Milwaukee, plus having custard for dessert, on this limited edition tour?  Offered every Friday during Lent – or available year-round for private tours - the Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour let’s you decide for yourself who offers the best Milwaukee fish fry! Our Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour visits 3 establishments during the 3-hour tour so that you can decide for yourself who offers the best Milwaukee fish fry. You’ll sample a half-sized portion of a fish fry along with sides such as potato pancakes, coleslaw and apple sauce at each stop that we visit. And as with all of our food tours, guests are encouraged to save room for dessert - in this case, a scoop of legendary Milwaukee-style custard. Reserve your seat before they sell out at https://www.milwaukeefoodtours.com/milwaukee-fish-fry

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Whether you find yourself dancing to a polka in a traditional beer hall while enjoying locally brewed beer batter delights, eating a fish fry with your family in a church basement, sitting in a local tavern washing fresh fried perch, or in a classic supper club when it comes to fish fry’s - Milwaukee does not disappoint. Milwaukee restaurants are serving up this Friday night staple during the Lenten season, and Milwaukee Food & City Tours is excited to help showcase a few of these classic Milwaukee Fish Fry hotspots on a special Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour this Lenten season.

What creates the best Milwaukee fish fry?

On our Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour, it quickly becomes clear that the ‘best fish fry” is a matter of personal preference. The star of the Milwaukee fish fry begins with a beautifully seasoned piece of fish, dipped in flour and often a secret beer batter recipe, and then either pan fried or deep fried to a delicious golden perfection. We asked recent food tour attendees what they love about a good fish fry, and Debra from Sheboygan, commented, “It’s that crunch - I love the crispy breading and then the flaky melt in your mouth tenderness of the fish.”

Iconic Milwaukee Not-to-be-Missed Fish Fry’s During Lent

1.      Clifford’s Supper Club: Serving up tasty All You Can Eat Deep-Fried Iceland Cod with homemade tartar sauce and crispy French fries. Perfectly paired with an old fashioned!

2.      Do you prefer a little polka entertainment with your beer battered cod? If that is the case, you can’t go wrong with Lakefront Brewery with its family style seating and serving. The batter is a secret blend of tasty Lakefront beers, battered and fried to perfection. If drinking locally brewed beer, polka and one of the best fish fries in town isn’t Milwaukee, I don’t know what is.

Relish tray at Dobie's Steak House in St. Francis, WI

3.      Dobie’s Steak House; established in 1954 in St. Francis, WI: There is something nostalgic about grabbing a Brandy old fashioned and cozying up on a Friday night while nibbling on pickled eggs, cucumber slices, radishes and green onions right off the relish tray as you wait for your battered fish fry of perfection to arrive.

Sampling both beer battered cod and smelt at St. Florian Catholic Church in West Milwaukee.

4.      St. Florian Catholic Church offers one of the most popular church fish fries in town, serving up not only fish, but salad and dessert bars with all of the fixings! (P.S. On our tour, when we have a chance to visit this churches, we also enjoy a church tour provided by Father Mike!)

5.      Mibb’s & Viv’s in Sussex, WI. Located in its original location since the late-1800’s and operated by great-grandson of its founders Mibb and Viv, this classic Wisconsin bar makes a fantastic breaded version of the classic fish fry. The side dishes are a standalone supporting cast of stars with perfectly seasoned potato pancakes, apple sauce, coleslaw, bread and tartar sauce. Upon arrival at Mibb’s & Viv’s, be sure to place your food order at the bar, then order a Milwaukee brewed beer and sit back to unwind to the weekend while waiting for your table and meal to become available and served.

Breaded haddock with apple sauce, potato pancakes, cole slaw and rye bread at historic Mibb's & Viv's in Sussex, WI

Travel anywhere else in the United States and ask a local, “Where can I find the best fish fry?,” and you may be met with mixed reactions. Sometimes a blank stare, a clarifying question such as “you mean fish and chips?,” or my personal favorite, “do you mean like a Fillet-O-Fish?” Here in Milwaukee though, one could argue that outside of a controversial referee call during a Green & Gold football game, there are few things that can spark more passionate conversation than comparing favorite fish fries in the city.

Are you up to spotting the best fish fries in Milwaukee?  Join our tour! Offered every Friday during Lent beginning at 5:30 pm – or available year-round for private tours - the Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour offered by Milwaukee Food & City Tours let’s you decide for yourself who offers the best Milwaukee fish fry! Our Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour visits 3 establishments during the 3-hour tour so that you can decide for yourself who offers the best Milwaukee fish fry. You’ll sample a half-sized portion of a fish fry along with sides such as potato pancakes, coleslaw and apple sauce at each stop that we visit. And as with all of our food tours, guests are encouraged to save room for dessert - in this case, a scoop of legendary Milwaukee-style custard. Reserve your seat before they sell out at https://www.milwaukeefoodtours.com/milwaukee-fish-fry

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Milwaukee has long been considered a hidden gem for reasons ranging from its location on Lake Michigan to its world-class cuisine.

For the last 12 years, Milwaukee Food & City Tours has proudly played a role during the recruitment process by providing private city tours for local companies during their interview processes. Milwaukee is so much more than beer and cheese! Our team loves showing families the many reasons to move to our city.  

Overwhelmingly, in post-interview surveys conducted by companies using our services, corporate recruiters consistently share great results.  They find that a city tour while in Milwaukee for the candidate’s interview positively impacted their impression of the city and desire to potentially re-locate.

Everything we do for recruitment tours is customizable to best suit the needs of the client and their recruits. We can pick up groups directly from campus, take interviewees to key neighborhoods or school districts, and even stop for lunch or a scoop of custard along the way. 

Recruiting a prospective employee to Milwaukee and need to show off the town? Call us at 414-255-0534 x 5 or email theresa@milwaukeefoodtours.com.

Considering a move to Milwaukee? Our top 10 reasons to move to Milwaukee are:#1 Nearby to Nature

Milwaukee is a thriving city located adjacent to Lake Michigan, with beautiful views part of the daily life for city dwellers. And the sunrises, with the Milwaukee Art Museum in the background, are breathtaking. For those looking to completely escape the urban landscape, getting out of the city and into nature is simple. Crunchy leaves and changing colors are the highlights of an autumn hike in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Park, just forty miles from downtown. Campsites underneath the stars at Devils Lake State Park are less than 2 hours from the city. These are just a taste of the nature that Wisconsin has to offer, the state is filled with places to adventure all year long.

Sunrise on Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee

 #2 Festivals, Festivals, Festivals

From the largest music festival in the world, to the 9th largest film festival in the country, to smaller neighborhood festivals or niche festivals such as Garlic Fest, there is no shortage of celebrations in Milwaukee. The unofficial kickoff of a summer in Milwaukee is marked by the first day of Summerfest located on the historic Henry Maier Festival Grounds. Nearly every weekend in summer Henry Maier hosts a different festival. During the fall, theater-goers can partake in a choice of over 300 films screened at five different venues. Foodies will find joy in the annual Garlic Fest where local restaurants feature all things garlic. Many of the neighborhoods around the city also have their own festivals with music, street vendors, and entertainment. Milwaukee’s festivals are an easy way to constantly quality things to do. 

Jazz in the Park happens weekly throughout the summer in Cathedral Square

 #3 Brew City, USA

Brewery tours abound in a city that loves beer enough that locals often refer to it as “Brew City.” With a history steeped in brewing, Milwaukee has both legacy breweries such as Miller Brewery, as well as modern micro-breweries such as MKE Brewing Company. Milwaukee Food & City Tours explores beer in several of our tours including its Craft Breweries & Cocktails bus tour. The four-hour tour visits 4-5 different locations offering flights of beers or a cocktail at each location. Learn along the way with history on each location as well as an understanding of how breweries function.

There are more than 30 breweries in the greater Milwaukee area, in addition to summer biergartens to enjoy a craft beer.

 

#4 All Good in the Neighborhood(s)

Moving to a new city can be daunting and figuring out where to live is one of the biggest challenges. Fortunately, Milwaukee has a diverse set of options. Milwaukee Food & City Tours offers private tours for those new to the city to explore the different areas. Here are just a few options for newcomers,

1.     Wauwatosa, a historical suburb located about 10 minutes west of the city is a desirable location. The downtown village is filled with restaurants, parks, and shopping. Charming, well-preserved historical houses are on tree-lined streets.

2.     Shorewood, located a few minutes north of downtown and close to the lakefront this neighborhood is filled with beautiful homes and easy access to restaurants and theaters.

3.     Bayview: Blue collar roots juxtaposed with hipster bars, this corner of Milwaukee located just south of downtown has seen major growth in the last decade. Bowling alleys butt up against fine dining establishments, Bayview is a great example of the working class history of Milwaukee meeting up with modern amenities.

#5 Food: Fine Dining to Quick & Casual

Known for casual fare such as bratwursts and cheese curds, there are plenty of classic dishes to enjoy in the city. For those looking for an elevated option, Milwaukee has burst on the fine dining scene in the past two decades as chefs around the city have started to gain national attention. Farm-to-table is a way of life in the city with a location so close to farms large and small. Enjoy a hot dog on the lake or a James-Beard award-winning meal, Milwaukee offers it all.

Guests enjoying a casual meal at Bel Aire Cantina in Wauwatosa. They also have locations in downtown Milwaukee and Oak Creek.

#6 All Four Seasons

Milwaukee is a city of seasons swiftly moving from Spring to Summer to Fall and of course, long winters. It might be a turnoff to live in a climate that is freezing a large chunk of the year but fortunately, the beauty of the state makes it bearable with plenty of activities from snow-shoeing to ice fishing on Lake Michigan. While the winters are long they are more often than not a great way to explore new activities outdoors or cozy up in one of many bars in the downtown and surrounding areas.

 

Just because it is chilly doesn’t mean you can’t chillax outdoors in Milwaukee at an ice bar along Broadway Street, while sipping coffee in Red Arrow Park, or while eating appetizers in a Lux Dome in the Historic Third Ward.

#7 Cheese-head Pride

Milwaukee pride is tangible, the city is overflowing with citizens who are passionate about community and supporting the city. Milwaukee has its own flag that is proudly found throughout homes and business across the landscape. Swag and merchandise with 414 (the city’s area code) or MKE (the city’s shortened moniker) can be found on a daily basis. It is wonderful to live in a city where the people are proud of what has and is being built.

 

#8 Musical Magic

Nashville, Austin, Memphis, these are likely cities that people think of when they ponder up great live music scenes but Milwaukee is right up there as well! With a variety of different venues from large to small as well as local musicians who are rocking it, Milwaukee is a small giant when it comes to musical talent. There is even a dedicated radio station to Milwaukee music called 414 live. Big acts such as Fleetwood Mac and Justin Timberlake have played as recent as this year at the new Fiserv Forum, venues such as Turner Hall or the backroom at Collectivo Coffee on the eastside welcome smaller artists. If pop culture isn’t of interest, Milwaukee is home to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra as well, the Orchestra recently broke ground on a new state-of-the-art building to open in 2019.

Attendees getting ready for a show at the Pabst Theatre in downtown Milwaukee

 

#9 Wisconsin Wine Country

78 different wineries sprinkled through Wisconsin offer wines ranging from sweet wines made from cranberries or apples grown in Wisconsin soil to wineries experimenting with imported grapes from Europe and then fermenting to make their varietals.  Wine technology has come a long way opening up opportunities to make great wines in a region not typically known for viticulture. Visit www.wiswin.org to get the lay of the land.

Enjoying a drink at Thief Wine in the middle of the Milwaukee Public Market

 

#10 The Big Leagues

Sports are a big deal in Wisconsin and for those considering a move to Milwaukee worried that they won’t be able to find a good place to watch their favorite teams, Milwaukee is a town that won’t let you down. Move to the city and become a new fan, there is a team for almost every sport – baseball, hockey, soccer, and basketball all have teams at some level in Milwaukee. Alternatively, catch up with the old hometown team at any of the stadiums as Milwaukee teams take on franchise from across the country.

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Milwaukee has long been considered a hidden gem for reasons ranging from its location on Lake Michigan to its world-class cuisine.

For the last 12 years, Milwaukee Food & City Tours has proudly played a role during the recruitment process by providing private city tours for local companies during their interview processes. Milwaukee is so much more than beer and cheese! Our team loves showing families the many reasons to move to our city.  

Overwhelmingly, in post-interview surveys conducted by companies using our services, corporate recruiters consistently share great results.  They find that a city tour while in Milwaukee for the candidate’s interview positively impacted their impression of the city and desire to potentially re-locate.

Everything we do for recruitment tours is customizable to best suit the needs of the client and their recruits. We can pick up groups directly from campus, take interviewees to key neighborhoods or school districts, and even stop for lunch or a scoop of custard along the way. 

Recruiting a prospective employee to Milwaukee and need to show off the town? Call us at 414-255-0534 x 5 or email theresa@milwaukeefoodtours.com.

Considering a move to Milwaukee? Our top 10 reasons to move to Milwaukee are:#1 Nearby to Nature

Milwaukee is a thriving city located adjacent to Lake Michigan, with beautiful views part of the daily life for city dwellers. And the sunrises, with the Milwaukee Art Museum in the background, are breathtaking. For those looking to completely escape the urban landscape, getting out of the city and into nature is simple. Crunchy leaves and changing colors are the highlights of an autumn hike in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Park, just forty miles from downtown. Campsites underneath the stars at Devils Lake State Park are less than 2 hours from the city. These are just a taste of the nature that Wisconsin has to offer, the state is filled with places to adventure all year long.

Sunrise on Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee

 

#2 Festivals, Festivals, Festivals

From the largest music festival in the world, to the 9th largest film festival in the country, to smaller neighborhood festivals or niche festivals such as Garlic Fest, there is no shortage of celebrations in Milwaukee. The unofficial kickoff of a summer in Milwaukee is marked by the first day of Summerfest located on the historic Henry Maier Festival Grounds. Nearly every weekend in summer Henry Maier hosts a different festival. During the fall, theater-goers can partake in a choice of over 300 films screened at five different venues. Foodies will find joy in the annual Garlic Fest where local restaurants feature all things garlic. Many of the neighborhoods around the city also have their own festivals with music, street vendors, and entertainment. Milwaukee’s festivals are an easy way to constantly quality things to do. 

Jazz in the Park happens weekly throughout the summer in Cathedral Square

#3 Brew City, USA

Beer Tours abound in a city that loves beer enough that locals often refer to it as “Brew City.” With a history steeped in brewing, Milwaukee has both legacy breweries such as Miller Brewery, as well as modern micro-breweries such as MKE Brewing Company. Milwaukee City Food Tours explores beer in several of our tours including the Craft Breweries & Cocktails tours. A four-hour bus tour visits 4-5 different locations offering flights of beers or a cocktail at each location. Learn along the way with history on each location as well as an understanding of how breweries function.

 

#4 All Good in the Neighborhood(s)

Moving to a new city can be daunting and figuring out where to live is one of the biggest challenges. Fortunately, Milwaukee has a diverse set of options. Milwaukee Food & City Tours offers private tours for those new to the city to explore the different areas. Here are just a few options for newcomers,

1.     Wauwatosa, a historical suburb located about 10 minutes west of the city is a desirable location. The downtown village is filled with restaurants, parks, and shopping. Charming, well-preserved historical houses are on tree-lined streets.

2.     Shorewood, located a few minutes north of downtown and close to the lakefront this neighborhood is filled with beautiful homes and easy access to restaurants and theaters.

3.     Bayview: Blue collar roots juxtaposed with hipster bars, this corner of Milwaukee located just south of downtown has seen major growth in the last decade. Bowling alleys butt up against fine dining establishments, Bayview is a great example of the working class history of Milwaukee meeting up with modern amenities.

#5 Food: Fine Dining to Quick & Casual

Known for casual fare such as bratwursts and cheese curds, there are plenty of classic dishes to enjoy in the city. For those looking for an elevated option, Milwaukee has burst on the fine dining scene in the past two decades as chefs around the city have started to gain national attention. Farm-to-table is a way of life in the city with a location so close to farms large and small. Enjoy a hot dog on the lake or a James-Beard award-winning meal, Milwaukee offers it all.

#6 All Four Seasons

Milwaukee is a city of seasons swiftly moving from Spring to Summer to Fall and of course, long winters. It might be a turnoff to live in a climate that is freezing a large chunk of the year but fortunately, the beauty of the state makes it bearable with plenty of activities from snow-shoeing to ice fishing on Lake Michigan. While the winters are long they are more often than not a great way to explore new activities outdoors or cozy up in one of many bars in the downtown and surrounding areas.

 

#7 Cheese-head Pride

Milwaukee pride is tangible, the city is overflowing with citizens who are passionate about community and supporting the city. Milwaukee has its own flag that is proudly found throughout homes and business across the landscape. Swag and merchandise with 414 (the city’s area code) or MKE (the city’s shortened moniker) can be found on a daily basis. It is wonderful to live in a city where the people are proud of what has and is being built.

 

#8 Musical Magic

Nashville, Austin, Memphis, these are likely cities that people think of when they ponder up great live music scenes but Milwaukee is right up there as well! With a variety of different venues from large to small as well as local musicians who are rocking it, Milwaukee is a small giant when it comes to musical talent. There is even a dedicated radio station to Milwaukee music called 414 live. Big acts such as Fleetwood Mac and Justin Timberlake have played as recent as this year at the new Fiserv Forum, venues such as Turner Hall or the backroom at Collectivo Coffee on the eastside welcome smaller artists. If pop culture isn’t of interest, Milwaukee is home to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra as well, the Orchestra recently broke ground on a new state-of-the-art building to open in 2019.

 

#9 Wisconsin Wine Country

78 different wineries sprinkled through Wisconsin offer wines ranging from sweet wines made from cranberries or apples grown in Wisconsin soil to wineries experimenting with imported grapes from Europe and then fermenting to make their varietals.  Wine technology has come a long way opening up opportunities to make great wines in a region not typically known for viticulture. Visit www.wiswin.org to get the lay of the land.

 

#10 The Big Leagues

Sports are a big deal in Wisconsin and for those considering a move to Milwaukee worried that they won’t be able to find a good place to watch their favorite teams, Milwaukee is a town that won’t let you down. Move to the city and become a new fan, there is a team for almost every sport – baseball, hockey, soccer, and basketball all have teams at some level in Milwaukee. Alternatively, catch up with the old hometown team at any of the stadiums as Milwaukee teams take on franchise from across the country.

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Shopping in the original Glorioso’s Italian Market on Brady Street with my family since I was a child, and then introducing customers to this Italian delight on tours for the past decade, I have been impatiently awaiting for Glorioso’s Appetito, the repurposed deli space, to open.

We officially had our first look at the space, and we are certain that the space will quickly become THE spot for Milwaukee wedding rehearsals, corporate outings, cooking demonstrations and of course, a stop on our tour! The space is divided into 3 sections including:

Scoula

You may remember standing in this space waiting for Eddie Glorioso to take your order for calamari or salami. Now this section is known as Scoula, or school, for cooking classes, demonstrations, or guest chef events.

The demo kitchen at Glorioso’s Appetito is a perfect space to enjoy Italian fare Glorioso’s Italian Market including Finocchiona and Cranberry Crostini, cheese trays, prosciutto, olives, polenta, and Prosciutto Arancini.

The demo space will be available for workshops beginning February 2019

Cheese, Cheese, Cheese!

Demo space at Glorioso’s Appetito

Eventi

Pasta aisle no more, Eventi, or Events, is a space for private gatherings from corporate events to family gatherings.

Michael Glorioso talking with guests about Glorioso’s Appetito

It was Valentine’s Day n 1946, that the three Glorioso brothers opened an Italian grocery business on Brady Street.

Cucina

We fondly remember checking out on the store with Joe Glorioso bagging groceries and talking with customers. Now this space is known as Cucina, or the kitchen. It is a production space to expand Glorioso’s catering division, but also a space for private lessons and a chef’s counter .

Ted Glorioso enjoying beef spiedini in the cucina


Congratulazioni to the Glorioso family on this beautiful reimagination of space. We look forward to many more years of introducing our tour attendees to Brady Street and your new culinary center!

Looking for a unique tour experience with a delicious stop at Glorioso’s Appetito? Call us at 414-255-0534 - we are happy to make that itinerary come to life!

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Penny Marshall, forever earning a place in the hearts of Milwaukeeans for her role as Laverne in “Laverne & Shirley,” died on December 17, 2018. At Milwaukee Food & City Tours, we frequently have guests from around the world ask us about Laverne & Shirley. We love sharing stories about where Laverne & Shirley worked (Shotz Brewery) and visit their main squeeze, The Bronze Fonz, too. And no moment is more fun than talking about the real meaning behind “schlemiel schlimazel” and then singing the opening theme song together!

The Milwaukee County Historical Society displayed a fitting and touching tribute to Penny Marshall by putting her name in letters overlooking the Milwaukee River. These were the very same letters that used to be on Milwaukee’s City Hall and featured so famously in the opening credits of “Laverne & Shirley. “

Tribute to Penny Marshall at the Milwaukee County Historical Society

As excerpted from the Milwaukee County Historical Society:

Milwaukee’s City Hall was designed by architect Henry Koch in the Flemish Renaissance style and was dedicated December 23, 1895.

Made of over 8 million bricks, it was one of the tallest buildings in the world when it was completed. In 1906, a lighted message system was added to the south side of the tower facing the intersections of Wells, Water, and Market Streets. It was installed by City Electrician David McKeith and consisted of wood letters that were forty-two inches tall, painted white to stand out against the terra cotta building, and lit with fifteen twenty-five watt bulbs. Behind the sign was a catwalk so that workers could easily change the letters.

Messages were rotated depending on events taking place in Milwaukee. It generally read “WELCOME” and often included organizations that were holding conventions in the city. Other messages included congratulations for sports teams, support for soldiers fighting in World War I and II, national and local anniversaries and celebrations, and various other things of note. The letters developed a widespread reputation and were even featured in the opening credits of the Laverne & Shirley television show.

Milwaukee’s City Hall adorned with messages

In 1988, Mayor John O. Norquist and the Historic Preservation Commission dismantled the framework and stopped using the letters, citing the increased costs of maintenance.

City Hall gave the letters to the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) where they were put in storage.

In 2012, MIAD chose to give the letters to the Milwaukee County Historical Society. MCHS now has over one hundred of the original letters, some of which will be restored and made operational.

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