Within the last few years, Milwaukee has souped itself up, with several restaurants opening their doors to focus on a family favorite: soup. These specialty soup shops each have a different atmosphere and clientele, but they all serve several soups each day (with sandwiches or bread to boot). Though none of them are open late into the evening, these soup stores are great for casual lunch or early dinner.
Soup Restaurants in Milwaukee: Soup’s On
221 N. Water, Milwaukee, WI
MCTS Routes: 11 and 15
Of Milwaukee’s soup spots, Soup’s On is most definitely the “Souperstar” – a standout among peers. Very much a Third Ward establishment, attracting a mix of lunching graphic designers, salon attendants, art dealers, and other hiply dressed alterna-professionals, Soup’s On is adjacent to a gallery and provides diners with a quaint view of the Milwaukee River. The owner and soup creator, Mary Krimmer, whips up a diverse array of hot AND could soups, including the occasional vegan option. The robustly delicious white chili is a hearty helping of hot goodness, and the pumpkin basil soup is perfect for a breezy autumn day. I’ve been consistently impressed by Soup’s On staff, selection, and stellar soup. It’s the best soup restaurant in Milwaukee, spoons down!
Soup Restaurants in Milwaukee: The Soup Otzie’s
3950 S. Howell, Milwaukee, WI
MCTS Route: 11
Named after the owners (The Otzelberger family) but also playing on the Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” character, this slightly out-of-the-way soup restaurant might be a turn off for East Siders who’ve never even seen this part of Howell, but it’s convenient for people on the South Side, including Bayview residents. The place seems to see a lot more regulars than the other soup stores profiled here, and the soups are yummy but a little less creative than at Soup’s On. The creamy potato soup is top-spud, however, and the portions are hearty for the price.
Soup Restaurants in Milwaukee: The Soup Market
2211 S. Kinnickinnic, Milwaukee, WI
MCTS Routes: 15 and 51
Perhaps the least remarkable of the several soup restaurants in Milwaukee, the Soup Market, sits on the slowly livening stretch of KK between Becher and Lincoln with a banner beckoning patrons to visit during a brief window on Saturdays (in addition to weekday hours). I’ve tried their chicken and dumpling soup, and I was underwhelmed by its near can-style consistency. And while staff were pleasant, the atmosphere was sorely lacking and sterile. Knowing better places to queue up with a bowl in hand, I’d recommend The Soup Market to Oliver Twist – but not to friends. That said, they’ve opened a second location in the Milwaukee Public Market, so apparently somebody’s buying this soup.