My two favorite things in the world are cheese and glitter. Living in “America’s Dairyland,” cheese is a much easier topic to incorporate on this website than glitter (but, please direct me to any and all sparkly foods). All joking aside, Wisconsin is known as the cheese state after all, so what would a visit to this beautiful state be without tasting some lovely cheese snacks? The answer is “pointless”, but that’s why I’m here to help! I’ve done a bit of a “self-guided food tour”, or restaurant hopping, to find some of the best deep fried cheese curds, mac & cheese, and grilled cheese in Milwaukee Wisconsin.
P.S. Not sponsored in anyway. I just love cheese; I love Wisconsin; and I love Milwaukee. Also, this will probably be an ever-growing guide, and I’m always taking restaurant suggestions!
Waterstreet Brewery – Deep Fried Cheese Curds
These are in no way, shape, or form in any order of being the best to the least best (let’s face it. there’s no such thing as bad cheese curds right!?). I’m simply writing these cheese snacks in the order that I eat them! First off is Waterstreet Brewery located on Water Street in downtown Milwaukee. They have several other locations in the surrounding Milwaukee County area, but this one is probably the best choice if you’re poppin’ in for a weekend visit.
Waterfront Brewery is on this list because the batter on their curds is the EPITOME of flaky. I haven’t had deep fried cheese curds with this level of flakiness, and boy was it fantastic. Y’all, I may be drooling again while reminiscing.
Milwaukee area locations:
- 140 W Town Square Way, Oak Creek
- 1101 N Water St, Milwaukee
Lakefront Brewery – Deep Fried Cheese Curds
After you go on their brewery tour, you really MUST order their deep fried cheese curds while you sample their beers. My eyes and stomach are really sad I actually had to share these (though my arteries aren’t!). I don’t know what seasonings are in this batter that Lakefront uses… but it is WORKING FOR THEM.
Location: 1872 N Commerce St
Cafe Centraal – FOUR Cheese Grilled Cheese
Amongst some of the best Milwaukee fried cheese curds and mac and cheese lies one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in Milwaukee! “The Kulminator” might possibly be the ultimate grilled cheese of my dreams! Smoked gouda, dill havarti, American, and Muenster were the four cheeses that made up this gooey, drool-worthy sandwich, along with bacon and oven-roasted tomatoes. I actually stumbled upon Cafe Centraal while wandering around looking for a place to eat and get a drink at with some girls after we passed a few jam-packed bars. Aren’t some of the best places the ones you never planned to go to? I definitely WILL be back, especially to try their Rosemary Goat Cheese Mac. How creative is that?!
Even better, this place has EIGHT Bloody Marys on their drink menu: A local Milwaukee staple.
Location: 2306 S Kinnickinnic Ave
Merge MKE – Kimchi Mac & Cheese
It’s a must for me to throw in something a little different; you absolutely read that right: Kimchi Mac & Cheese! Merge MKE is a bar/restaurant serving up snack-style bar food with a Korean twist! Though their specialty is Korean Fried Chicken, I NEED to give an honorable mention to their fantastic mac & cheese. It’s incredibly flavorful, superbly cheesy and gooey, and has a wonderful spicy kick to it! Even if you’re typically not a fan of spicy foods, it’s worth the try. It’s not overwhelmingly spicy, Get it for yourself, or to split with a friend while you have a specialty cocktail.
Location: 1932 E Kenilworth Pl
Drink Wisconsinbly Pub – Deep Fried Cheese Curds
For those unfamiliar, Drink Wisconsinbly is an “unofficial” lifestyle brand for Wisconsin, and their restaurant pub is located in Milwaukee. It’s a smaller pub, located a bit more “off to the side” than some of these other restaurants, but extremely well loved. This place was packed when I visited! This true Milwaukee, Wisconsin restaurant has all the classics: the Old Fashioned, a plethora of locally brewed Wisconsin beers, the Backwards Bloody Mary, bratwurst, fish fry, and (featured here) fried cheese curds!
In this Milwaukee food guide, I’m highlighting their beautiful fried cheese curds! The delicious crispiness of the batter is what helped them rise to the top as one of the best fried cheese curds in Milwaukee. These cheese curds are fried in Eastside Dark beer, made at Lakefront Brewery. Beer batter really is the proper way to make fried cheese curds (or should I say the only way?) They are perfectly light and flaky (my personal favorite) and not the least bit greasy. We’re all winning here.
Location: 135 E National Ave
Milwaukee Burger Company – Cheese Curd Cheeseburger
This is the epitome of American food, Wisconsin food, and Milwaukee food here at Milwaukee Burger Company. I had what was possibly the cheesiest meal of my life, which is why I had to include it as a top place to find cheese snacks! I ordered the fried cheese curds as an appetizer, had beer cheese soup as a side with this burger you see pictured above. The Cheese Curd Cheeseburger. Yes, their cheese curds ARE the size of golf balls. They are seriously that big, and the cheese is perfectly melty. I used to hate burgers until I tried this delicious beast.
Location: 6421 S 27th St. Franklin
Sobelmans – Fried Mac & Cheese Bites
Someone tell me WHY it took me so long to get my ass to Sobelmans?! Though they’re known for their incredible bloody mary’s and burgers, I’m highlighting their Gouda Mac & Cheese bites. (Though, there is no reason you cannot get all three..) My two favorite things: fried (anything..) and mac & cheese. These babies came out to the table PIPING HOT. Which is totally a bonus, and even though I personally have to wait until they cool down, I appreciate hot and fresh fried foods.
Other cheesy honorable mentions:
- Classic Mac & Cheese Bites
- Half Naked Cheese Balls
- Jalepeno Cheese Balls (bacon wrapped or not)
- Cheese Balls
Though I haven’t tried the above honorable mentions, I’m sure they’re all delicious. You really can find some of the best cheese in Milwaukee.
- 1900 W St Paul Ave
- 1601 W Wells St
Comet Cafe – Mac & Cheese
I definitely think more people should be talking about Comet Cafe; it’s a damn shame they’re not! They are a fabulous little cafe that makes food from scratch, which is a fantastic treat in this day and age. They have a variety of vegan-friendly options, AND have a full gluten-free menu: appetizers, salads, burgers and more. It doesn’t get much cooler than this.
But, I’m here to talk about their mac & cheese. They have my favorite (classic, i.e. without add ins, etc) mac & cheese BY FAR, maybe one of the best mac and cheese dishes in Milwaukee? (Another post for another day…) I don’t know what sorcery they use to make the cheese sauce so creamy, but it’s basically a bowl of heaven on earth. No picture because I’m terrible and forgot to take a picture of it.
Location: 1947 N Farwell Ave
Now.. wipe the drool off your face and go enjoy some cheese! Or book your trip to Milwaukee, and let me come to dinner with you.