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10 of the Best Bars in Milwaukee

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Your guide to finding the best place to drink in town.

Man pouring a drink at a bar in Milwaukee

Whether you're a craft beer connoisseur, a cocktail enthusiast, or simply in search of a cozy neighborhood watering hole, the Cream City has something to offer for everyone. From historic taverns steeped in tradition to chic rooftop lounges with stunning skyline views, the best bars in Milwaukee are as diverse as the city itself.


1) Bryant's Cocktail Lounge

dimly lit cocktail bar in Milwaukee

Bryant's Cocktail Lounge, a Milwaukee institution since 1938, is a timeless speakeasy-style bar renowned for its meticulously crafted cocktails, intimate ambiance, and impeccable service. Step into this cozy and dimly lit haven, where expert bartenders mix classic and innovative libations to perfection. With its retro charm and a hint of mystery, Bryant's Cocktail Lounge offers a unique and unforgettable drinking experience that harks back to the golden age of cocktails.

2) Draft & Vessel Wauwatosa

old rustic bar

Draft & Vessel in Wauwatosa is a craft beer oasis that beckons beer enthusiasts with its welcoming atmosphere and an ever-rotating selection of exceptional brews. Tucked away in the heart of Tosa's charming Village district, this neighborhood gem offers an intimate and cozy space to discover, sip, and savor the finest craft beers from local breweries and beyond. With a knowledgeable and friendly staff, Draft & Vessel is the perfect spot for beer aficionados to explore new flavors, share stories, and revel in the camaraderie of the craft beer community.

3) Burnhearts

"Milwaukee Beer" sign hanging over a bar

Burnhearts is a Milwaukee gem, a beloved neighborhood bar that takes the craft of cocktail-making to a whole new level. Nestled in the heart of the vibrant Bay View community, this cozy and unassuming establishment packs a punch with its inventive cocktails, curated beer selection, and an ambiance that's both hip and inviting. With a commitment to quality and creativity, Burnhearts has earned its reputation as a go-to destination for those seeking handcrafted libations and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Come for the drinks, stay for the local camaraderie – Burnhearts is where cocktail dreams come true.

4) Buckley's

a fancy dark lit bar

Buckley's is Milwaukee's quintessential neighborhood bar with a twist of sophistication. Situated in the heart of the Historic Third Ward, this beloved establishment offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, where rustic charm meets modern elegance. Immerse yourself in an impressive selection of craft beers, curated wines, and expertly crafted cocktails while savoring a menu of elevated comfort food. Whether you're gathering with friends for happy hour or looking for a cozy spot for date night, Buckley's is where you'll find the perfect blend of hospitality and culinary delights in a welcoming, neighborhood setting.

5) Vennture Brew Co.

a brewery and coffee shop

Vennture Brew Co. is Milwaukee's destination for coffee and craft beer connoisseurs alike. Located in the vibrant Washington Heights neighborhood, this unique establishment seamlessly blends the art of brewing and coffee roasting. Sip on meticulously crafted, small-batch beers, and savor single-origin coffees with distinct flavors from around the world. With a warm and inviting ambiance, Vennture Brew Co. is not just a place to enjoy exceptional beverages but also a hub for community, culture, and the exploration of flavor. Whether you're seeking a caffeine boost or a brew with character, Vennture is where the journey begins.

6) Bittercube Bar

a couple sitting at a bar in Milwaukee

Bittercube Bar is a craft cocktail oasis in the heart of Milwaukee, where cocktail artistry is elevated to a new level. Located in a stylish and intimate setting, Bittercube Bar is renowned for its meticulously crafted cocktails that showcase a passion for flavors and ingredients. With a team of skilled mixologists and an array of house-made bitters and syrups, every drink at Bittercube Bar is a unique masterpiece, inviting you to embark on a flavorful journey. Whether you're a cocktail connoisseur or looking to expand your palate, Bittercube Bar promises an unforgettable experience where innovation and taste collide. surely it is one of the best bars in Milwaukee.

7) Boone & Crockett

an old rustic bar

Boone & Crockett is Milwaukee's go-to destination for craft cocktails and elevated libations. Nestled in the vibrant Bay View neighborhood, this stylish and inventive bar pays homage to the spirit of exploration and adventure. Immerse yourself in a menu of carefully crafted cocktails, innovative mixology, and an extensive selection of spirits that cater to all tastes. With its rustic yet contemporary atmosphere, Boone & Crockett provides the perfect setting for a memorable night out with friends or a cozy date night. It's where the art of cocktail crafting meets the thrill of discovery in every sip.

8) Good City Brewing

a modern design bar

Good City Brewing is a craft beer haven in the heart of Milwaukee, where passion meets innovation. Located in the lively East Side neighborhood, this brewery is dedicated to crafting exceptional brews that captivate the senses. With a commitment to quality ingredients, creativity, and community, Good City Brewing offers a welcoming space to savor a diverse range of beer styles, from classic ales to bold experiments. Whether you're a beer enthusiast, a casual drinker, or simply seeking a laid-back atmosphere to relax with friends, Good City Brewing invites you to raise a glass and savor the taste of local craftsmanship.

9) The Outsider

an indoor and outdoor bar with a fireplace

The Outsider is Milwaukee's premier rooftop bar, where sky-high sophistication meets stunning city views. Perched atop the historic Kimpton Journeyman Hotel in the trendy Third Ward, this upscale oasis invites you to elevate your social experience. Sip craft cocktails and savor delectable bites while enjoying panoramic vistas of the city's skyline and the Milwaukee River. With its chic ambiance, attentive service, and a rooftop patio that captures the essence of urban elegance, The Outsider is the ultimate destination for those looking to indulge in a luxurious rooftop escape in the heart of Milwaukee.

10) Estabrook Beer Garden

outdoor seating at a brewery

Estabrook Beer Garden is a beloved Milwaukee destination, nestled within the scenic Estabrook Park along the tranquil shores of the Milwaukee River. This iconic beer garden offers an authentic taste of Bavaria, with communal picnic tables, lively music, and a diverse selection of local and imported brews served in traditional glassware. With its stunning natural backdrop, Estabrook Beer Garden is the perfect place to savor a cold beer, savor bratwurst, and connect with friends and family in a vibrant, outdoor setting that captures the spirit of community and relaxation.

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