Wit master Oscar Wilde visited the Brady Street area of Milwaukee in the late 1800s and supposedly said, “If what you want isn’t on Brady Street, you probably don’t need it.” His quote holds true today, as this strip on Milwaukee’s East Side remains one of the city’s most recognizable and feted small business areas. Full of bars, restaurants, clothing shops, and oddities like Art Smart’s Dart Mart and Juggling Emporium, Brady Street is a casually vibrant hodgepodge of eclectic stuff. After living just a few blocks away from all the bustle and dining at least once at most of the eateries, I’m presenting my Brady Street Restaurant Guide for Milwaukee.
[All numbered addresses are on Brady unless otherwise noted.]
Brady Street Restaurant Guide: Asian / Middle Eastern Foods
Dancing Ganesha. 707 E. This is your place for Indian food in a pleasant, non-shopping center atmosphere. Try the chicken hariali or the pork vindaloo along with the many appetizers.
Emperor of China. 1010 E. This may be the most overrated Chinese food I’ve ever had.
Oriental Coast.1230 E. Slightly better than Emperor of China, but barely so.
Casablanca.728 E. Falafel, hummus, kebabs, and other Middle Eastern foods are served here. Enjoy the lunch buffet or outdoor dining in the summer. See Middle Eastern Restaurants in Milwaukee.
Au Bon Appetit. 1016 E. Offering foods from Lebanon and the surround area, this place is a disappointment compared to Casablanca.
Brady Street Restaurant Guide: American / Euro / Latin Foods
Cempazuchi. 1205 E. Possibly my favorite Brady Street restaurant, Cempazuchi balances authentic Mexican foods with great service, colorful presence, and summer outdoor seating. See my review here.
Mimma’s Café. 1301 E. Mimma’s is a pastalicious delight – exactly what you’d expect for “the” Italian place on Brady Street. Their menu is long, the servers are swift, and the vibe is tidy but still relaxed.
Trocadero. 1758 N. Water. Think French cuisine presented in a funky, hipster setting just off of Brady Street. It’s popular for brunch, people-watching, and group brooding over wine, cheese, and pate.
Bella’s Fat Cat.1233 E. Bella’s is the only place on Brady Street for Wisconsin favorites like frozen custard and juice hamburgers.
Apollo Café.1310 E. Open late to accommodate the post-bar crowd, this is a pleasingly lit, inexpensive Greek grab-n-go restaurant with amazing gyros and souvlaki. See Best Gyros in Milwaukee.
Brady Street Restaurant Guide for Milwaukee: Pizza Places
Pizza Shuttle.1827 N. Farwell. Though it’s not quite on Brady, it’s justified for inclusion. Open late, this neighborhood landmark has better subs than pizza.
Zaffiro’s Pizza. 1724 N. Farwell. Just off the eastern edge of Brady Street is Zaffiro’s, a dark, mom-and-pop pizza bar with some of the best thin crust around.
Zayna’s Pizza. 714 E. At the western edge of the strip, Zayna’s is a get-it-and-go pizza place with a sort of dingier feel. Not my choice.
Vucciria.1323 E. Along with Cempazuchi, this is one of the neighborhood’s best (and relatively newer) restaurants. Vucciria’s hallmark, besides its aesthetically pleasing décor, is its wood-fired pizza menu. See details here.
Brady Street Restaurant Guide for Milwaukee: Fast Food
If you need to grab some quick and cheap east along Brandy, there are three sub shops: Cousin’s, Subway, and Jimmy John’s. You’ll also find a little hot dog nook cutely named The Dogg House (next to Starbucks).