Mix It Up Downtown

If you haven't tried curbside, here's why you should

March 20, 2020 /   Curbside Milwaukee Downtown

Five days ago, Milwaukee Downtown staff shifted to working remotely. Most of my day is now spent at home, like many of us. Since that adjustment, I’ve tried to order out once daily from a different downtown restaurant. I frequently refer to OnMilwaukee and Milwaukee Magazine’s running lists of restaurants with adjusted serving options.

Curbside service quickly emerged as a safe, convenient way to continue enjoying downtown favorites. Here’s what I’ve loved about curbside:

It's easy


If you’re not sure what to expect when ordering curbside, my experience has been that it’s seamless. At most places, you simply:

  • Call with your order
  • Share payment info over the phone
  • Give the restaurant a call again when you pull up outside. They’ll bring your order out to you.

If you pop your trunk, some restaurants will stick the order right in your vehicle. The City of Milwaukee has also made it easier to pick up by offering curbside loading zones.

Supporting Milwaukee businesses


Patronizing downtown restaurants is a natural way to support Milwaukee businesses right now. In addition to food and beverage, some offer the option to add on merchandise, gift cards or donations to support their business and staff. Also, tip generously – you can usually add a tip at the pickup point, or request to add one when you place your order on the phone.

Try something new


There are a few spots on my restaurant bucket list that I hadn’t been able to try yet, often because of long waits on weekends. Ordering curbside has been an opportunity to enjoy those menus without the typical wait (and I’ll definitely return to dine in person once operations are back to normal).

Outstanding food


Curbside hasn’t affected the quality of food from our downtown restaurants. Last night I picked up one of the best burgers of my life from Buckley’s. Wednesday’s French toast from Uncle Wolfie’s was fantastic. Milwaukee has a truly top-notch culinary scene, and curbside service gives Milwaukeeans a safe way to continue enjoying it.

Friendly staff


While calling in an order this week, I found myself smiling in response to the kind woman on the phone taking my order. Even more than delivery, curbside provides the opportunity for restaurants to continue safely offering their signature brand of hospitality to guests.

A safe change of scenery


Drives and outdoor walks are an opportunity to safely get out of the house. If you live within walking distance of a restaurant offering curbside, stretch your legs on a walk to the pick-up point. I’ve walked and driven to curbside and found both to be a refreshing break. Speaking of which…

Something to look forward to


Ordering out for dinner (or breakfast, or lunch) provides a welcome bright spot amidst the monotony of staying home. Knowing you’ll be enjoying an incredible meal cooked by a local chef is something to look forward to – right now, simple joys like that mean the most.

Erica Chang is the Marketing, Events & Social Media Director for Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

Posted in:  Dining & Nightlife