Vegan Guide to Milwaukee Wisconsin

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

In a place known for its meat and cheese, who knew there were so many delicious vegan options?

Wisconsin isn’t exactly known for vegan food. Gourmet cheese and brats are beloved by many living in Milwaukee. However, vegan and vegetarian options are widespread in the city. It’s very easy to comfortably dine as a vegan in Milwaukee. There are a few entirely vegetarian restaurants, and a plethora that offer several vegan items on the menu. Even in the land of dairy, I didn’t experience any odd looks when asking for pizza without cheese or soy milk in my oatmeal. During my four days in Milwaukee, I barely scraped the surface of vegan offerings. I’ll outline what I ate while I was there, plus give a few more suggestions for places that I’d like to check out on my next visit. Here’s my vegan guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH

Colectivo Coffee

1701 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive // Website

Did someone say coffee? This historic building, built in 1888, was the Milwaukee River Flushing Station. There’s even an entire space in the coffee shop dedicated to the building’s history. Colectivo Coffee serves coffee and espresso beverages, and even sells their own roasted beans. It’s also a great place to dine for breakfast and brunch. I was able to find several vegan options here, including oatmeal with soy milk, peanut butter on a bagel, and fresh fruit. For lunch, they have a vegetable hummus wrap that’s vegan. We dined on the outdoor patio, which was the perfect place in town on a sunny morning.

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Blue’s Egg

317 N. 76th Street // Website

This restaurant is technically in Wauwatosa, so it’s a short drive from downtown Milwaukee. It’s worth the trip! While it might look like only your standard American fare is available, you’ve gotta try the hash browns. The EVOO hash browns are delicious. They contain olive oil, arugula, frisee, onion, and vinegar syrup. I ordered mine with a side of fresh fruit. It was a great start to the day!

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Engine Company No. 3

217 W. National Ave // Website

While Engine Company No. 3 isn’t known for their vegan options, I was able to make a couple of menu items work here. I was able to order my oatmeal with soymilk, and it also came with fresh blueberries on top. I added a side of potatoes to that, and it was a very filling breakfast meal. The gluten-free items are marked clearly on the menu. Engine Company No. 3 is committed to providing fresh, sustainable, and locally sourced food and drink. It’s also in a renovated firehouse, which is pretty cool.

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Other Breakfast and Brunch Options:

  • Beans and Barley offers a tofu scramble, pancakes, a tofu burrito, and vegan biscuits with gravy
  • Comet Cafe has a tofu scramble, vegan sausages / Field Roast can be substituted
  • Riverwest Co-op has vegan pancakes, tofu scramble, vegan french toast, vegan biscuits and gravy, and more.

 

LUNCH

Harbor House

550 N. Harbor Drive // Website

The Harbor House doesn’t have any vegan items listed on the menu, but that doesn’t mean that the chef won’t whip up something amazing for you. Inquire in advance, and you’ll enjoy one of the tastiest vegan dishes in town! I ate a ratatouille with potatoes in a delicious sauce, topped with fresh greens. I really could have eaten this dish for every meal in Milwaukee and left happy. The restaurant offers a waterfront dining experience. We caught glimpses of the Milwaukee Art Museum when its movable “wings” slowly flapped up and down.

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

 

 

The National Cafe

839 W. National Ave // Website

Nearly everything at The National Cafe is made in house, and there are several vegan items on the menu. I ordered a hummus wrap (House-made hummus, cucumbers, carrots, red onion, tomatoes, red pepper, greens, and lemon caper dressing in a whole wheat wrap). The vegan items are clearly marked on the menu, and there’s also a breakfast menu with a few vegan meals.

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Beerline Cafe

2076 N Commerce St // Website

Beerline Cafe is an entirely vegetarian restaurant with many vegan and gluten-free options. There were so many dishes to choose from – it was a tough decision! In the end, I decided to go for the comfort food. After all, it was my first afternoon in Milwaukee and I was really hungry after my early morning flight. I ordered the Beerline Mac n Cheese and the Horseradish Potato Salad, along with a Grapefruit Banana smoothie. The Beerline Cafe also does breakfast and brunch, including many crepes (savory and sweet), paninis, and other mains (tacos!).

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Other Lunch Options:

  • Vanguard has two vegan house-made sausages
  • Urban Beets Cafe and Juicery has sandwiches, smoothies, and juices – and the menu is all vegan
  • Palomino has a veggie burger, a falafel, and fried pickles

 

DINNER

Wolf Peach

1818 N. Hubbard St // Website

We dined on the outdoor patio, which offered beautiful views of the city. Located near the Lakefront Brewery, it’s the perfect stop for dinner after your beer tour. The vegan options were really exciting and it was difficult to decide what to order. I ate a pizza (cooked perfectly in their wood-fired oven), a crispy cauliflower side dish, and a pineapple cake for dessert. The menu is always changing, and there’s always new vegan food to try.

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Bounce Milwaukee

2801 S. 5th Court // Website

It might be an inflatable sports arena with laser tag, a rock climbing wall, and video games…but they also serve vegan pizza! It’s some of the best vegan pizza in the city, using vegan cheese. I was really excited to see vegan options available here. Grab a drink at the bar and some vegan pizza after you bounce around for a while – yes, adults can bounce in the bouncy arena, too!

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Other Dinner Options:

  • Bombay Sweets is an Indian vegetarian restaurant with vegan options
  • Elephant Cafe is a Thai restaurant where any vegetarian item can easily be made vegan
  • Cafe Corazon is a Mexican restaurant with vegan ingredients, including soy chorizo, tofu, and beans

VEGAN AT THE MILWAUKEE PUBLIC MARKET

There were several places to find vegan food and treats inside the Milwaukee Public Market. The Green Kitchen has a tempeh wrap and a veggie wrap, as well as a huge variety of juices for a wholesome meal. Anodyne Coffee has many vegan desserts to take away with you, all clearly marked. You can also order coffee with plant-based milk. Even Kehr’s Candies has vegan chocolate bars in their display window. And though not vegan food related, I picked up an awesome Milwaukee t-shirt at Brew City Brand.

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

So much yummy vegan food in this vegan guide to Milwaukee!

I hope you enjoyed this vegan guide to Milwaukee. Not only did I find vegan food there, but it was delicious. There are so many vegan options in town that I didn’t even try a fraction of the meals that I could have! Thankfully, I am set to return to Milwaukee in 2017 for the Women in Travel Summit.

So, the question is…

What do you recommend? Where should I dine? What did I miss?

Vegan Guide to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

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9 Responses

  1. Suzanne (PhilaTravelGirl)
    | Reply

    Wow all of that food looks amazing! To hear it tastes good too is a bonus. It’s so hard to find food traveling when you have allergies (dairy, gluten, etc) like I do so a vegan guide is fantastic – more cities need to have healthy focus and easily available options for those who choose to be vegan and those who find it easier to eat without problems
    Suzanne (PhilaTravelGirl) recently posted…The Logan Hotel Philadelphia Review: A Boutique Beauty by Curio CollectionMy Profile

  2. Jenna
    | Reply

    I love that you found so many great vegan options in Milwaukee! It is surprising, but awesome, how many vegan options there are in the land of meat, beer and cheese 🙂 I really loved Wolf Peach and was super surprised how good the food was at Bounce! So many great options–I’d love to try Beerline Cafe next time I’m in town. Also, I’m tempted to join in on WITS next year, as well–would love to do more exploring in Milwaukee!!

  3. Colleen
    | Reply

    Great article! I love how you figured out vegan meals at places that didn’t traditionally have many (or any) vegan options. I would recommend checking out Cafe Corazon next time for some fantastic Mexican food!

  4. Peggy
    | Reply

    There is also Classic Slice, the best vegan pizza in Milwaukee. I love eating in Milwaukee because there are so many vegan options.

  5. Katy
    | Reply

    Lazy Susan Mike!

  6. Bruce
    | Reply

    You missed some essential basics like:
    • Blooming Lotus (grain-free, dairy-free, processed sugar-free bakery) blbmke.com
    • Colour Palate (excellent fresh salads & wraps)
    colourpalate.com
    • Classic Slice (vegan pizza) Bayview
    • Ian’s Pizza (vegan slices Tues-North Av, Thurs-Juneau Av, whole vegan pies every day)
    • Cafe Manna (admittedly not in the City, but worth the drive to Brookfield) cafemanna.com

    You listed a seafood restaurant, but not Thai, or Indian, or… restaurants which have so many more vegan options w/o depending on understanding chefs or wait staff.
    • Jow Nai Foquet (Thai) jownai.com
    • Bollywood (Indian)
    • Casablanca (Middle Eastern)
    • Mexican (Cempanzuchi)

    I could go on about vegan friendly, but you see you did miss some as, undoubtedly, have I.

  7. Carol
    | Reply

    There’s two great Ethiopian restaurants in Milwaukee that both have many vegan options. Alem is downtown and Ethiopian Cottage is on the east side. I live almost a hour away and make the trip down to Milwaukee frequently just to eat Ethiopian food.

  8. Marci
    | Reply

    Are you sure the oatmeal at Colectivo is vegan? I asked them about it once, and they said that it is not, although I’m not sure if it was due to butter or egg.

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