Dining & Nightlife

Downtown Shines at Night

Gather your friends for a downtown night out in one of the city's bustling entertainment districts. Whether you're a visitor, conventioneer, or downtown resident, we've broken down our neighborhoods for you. From steakhouses to gastropubs, and speakeasies to whiskey bars, there's something for everyone's taste, around every corner.

Business Directory By Neighborhood

The Hop Streetcar Connects Downtown Nightlife

Getting around for your night out just got a whole lot easier. The Hop streetcar system accommodates more than just downtown’s daytime population. It also seamlessly links entertainment districts, making it easy to get from one hot spot to another. Enjoy dinner in the Historic Third Ward, then take The Hop to sip on a cocktail near Cathedral Square Park. Not ready to go home? We have you covered. Take The Hop to Milwaukee Street and dance the night away. The Hop passes through several nighttime entertainment districts while also bringing you within a short walk to a few others. So, leave your car at home, grab some friends, and take The Hop to make your visit to downtown’s bars and restaurants as easy as ever.

View The Hop Nighttime Entertainment District Map

Cathedral Square

The Heart of East Town 

A vibrant green space anchors this neighborhood, bringing the community together all year. It's named for the elegant Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and characterized by culture, events, and sidewalk dining. Summer brings lively music during popular Jazz in the Park concerts. In winter, catch the sparkle of 100 holiday trees adorned by local students. Year-round, Cathedral Square offers dining options for both a quick lunch and a relaxing dinner. Plus, a brief walk east brings you to major lakefront attractions like the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World. 

Milwaukee Street

East Town's Restaurant Row 

One block west of Cathedral Square Park, the well-established Milwaukee Street entertainment district is lined with some of downtown’s most recognized and stylish restaurants. Featuring everything from Italian and Cuban food to steakhouses and seafood establishments, it's the perfect place for lunch and dinner before a night on the town!

Milwaukee Street is also home base for downtown’s club and lounge scene, attracting a fashionable crowd that enjoys dancing while grooving to their favorite local, and sometimes national, DJs spinning their favorite jams. Located near major hotels like The Pfister, Hotel Metro, and the Marriott, it's common to find locals intermingling with visitors in this vibrant entertainment district. Refined restaurants and a trendy bar scene collide here to make Milwaukee Street a place to be seen! 


Water Street

High-Energy Fun

It's one of Milwaukee’s oldest and most popular gathering places for the younger, more adventuresome crowd. Widely known for its wide array of pubs, clubs and patios, Water Street knows how to have a good time. This neighborhood is a favorite for happy hour or as a place to stop and grab a bite before catching a performance in the Theater District. You can find whatever you have a taste for on Water, from pizza to burgers and peanuts. It's the place to be seen if you’re in the mood for late-night fun and high energy.  

Old World 3rd Street Entertainment District on King Drive

Historic Charm, Modern Energy 

Old World Third Street Entertainment District on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive gives you a taste of a little old, a little new. Milwaukee’s German roots can be explored by eating traditional German food or grabbing a pint at any one of the pubs on the block. If beer and brats aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other restaurants to satisfy your palate along the famous street. The modern twist of the Old World Third Street Entertainment District comes alive through the variety of bars and clubs. Whether you’re looking for a sports bar, a dance floor or just a casual drink, you'll find it on Third. The cobblestone street is a destination for locals and visitors alike due to its close proximity to Milwaukee’s many sporting, concert and theater venues. Plus, the district is easy to spot, with new roofline lighting installed in 2018. Click here to learn more.

Milwaukee Theater District

Milwaukee's Most Entertaining District

Whether you're a conventioneer, theater-goer, or sports fan, the Milwaukee Theater District  is where Milwaukee plays! You'll find some of city's most popular venues here like the Baird Center, Marcus Performing Arts Center, the Milwaukee Rep, Bradley Symphony Center, the Miller High Life Theatre, Riverside Theater, and Turner Hall Ballroom. The new home of the Milwaukee Bucks, Fiserv Forum, anchors a vibrant block filled with restaurants and retail establishments in the Deer District. It's also home to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, where the Milwaukee Admirals play. For history buffs and kids alike, experience the Streets of Old Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Milwaukee County Historical Society, or the grandeur of the Milwaukee Public Library. Hotels in the area range from ultra-elegant and chic-boutique, to quiet-comfort. You'll rest easy and play hard in this vibrant, walkable cluster of entertainment offerings. 

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