Outdoor drinking guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Sept. 16, 2013 at 10:09 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
Milwaukee Ale House
233 N. Water St., (414) 226-2337
The Ale House, with its picturesque location on the Milwaukee River, gives diners and drinkers a spectacular backdrop to conduct the pursuit of merriment. (The craft beer selection doesn't hurt, either). It's a perennial favorite in OnMilwaukee.com's annual Best Patio survey and a great place to soak up the sun or watch it set.
Milwaukee Sail Loft
649 E. Erie St., (414) 223-0100
Our own Bobby Tanzilo has raved about the patio behind Sail Loft, where the Milwaukee River meets the waters of Lake Michigan in the shadow of the Hoan Bridge. With – or despite – the plaints of the seagulls, this deck – which welcomes boaters – offers urban views but the serenity of the seaside.
Nomad World Pub
1401 E. Brady St., (414) 224-8111
Why do we all love The Nomad? Maybe because we can sit outside on their tiny patio during the summer and watch the hustle and bustle of Brady Street while we sip a microbrew. Maybe it's their dangerously delicious Bloody Marys? Their happy hour specials? The $5 prix fixe? Whatever. We like it.
2339 N. Murray Ave., (414) 223-3496
This is undoubtedly one of the city's finest outdoor drinking experiences. The beautiful – and large – patio is adorned with natural foliage, small white lights and ornate stonework. The music is lively and authentically Irish and the snacks are, of course, free and plentiful.
Port of Call
106 W Wells St., (414) 273-7678
Located in the Cawker Building on the Milwaukee River, Port of Call is home to a large patio 1,300 square foot patio and it's the docking home boat cruises including The Edelweiss.
Rock Bottom Brewery
740 N. Plankinton Ave., (414) 276-3030
With good bar food and an awesome setting on the Milwaukee River, Rock Bottom is a great Downtown place to turn happy hour into dinner into an evening of fun.
Stubby's Gastrogrub & Beer Bar
2060 N. Humboldt Blvd., (414) 763-6324
Comfort food and more than 50 beers on tap combine with a great riverside patio to create an inviting vibe that's walkable from the bar zones on North Avenue and Brady Street.
Trinity Three Irish Pubs
125 E. Juneau Ave., (414) 278-7033
When things get crowded inside, it's nice to have a patio to escape to and get some fresh air. But, Trinity's is so nice that it's worth a stop all on its own. With stone accents and scores of nooks and crannies for you and your friends to sit and relax, Trinity's patio is practically a separate bar all on its own.
1758 N. Water St., (414) 272-0205
The extensive remodeling work at this popular spot made the outdoor area larger and there is a spot protected from the elements. The menu is revamped, but the patio is still the same lush, cool place to hang out.
2235 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 272-1775
The small, triangular beer garden at Von Trier is cozy and enclosed, making you feel like part of an exclusive beer-swilling club on a warm summer evening.
249 N. Water St., (414) 431-1133
Water Buffalo's two-story terrace is one of the restaurant's biggest draws. Perched along the RiverWalk, the large patio offers great views of the city at night while providing the perfect sanctuary to enjoy your drink.
788 North Jackson St., (414) 312-8566
A great spot for before or after Jazz in the Park – or any time. You'll see plenty of movers and shakers hanging out under the torches' firelight.
The Wicked Hop
345 N. Broadway St., (414) 223-0345
The Wicked Hop might just be the perfect spot for a Third Ward happy hour. In the warm months, there's plenty of outdoor seating under the huge metal awning and plenty of people-watching, yet, since it's on Broadway, it's off the path of Water Street enough to still feel calm and relaxing after a long day at the office.
500 W. Florida St., (414) 831-4615
More than one guest has soaked up the atmosphere outside the Iron Horse Hotel and exclaimed "I feel like I'm in another city!" With nearly 5,000 square feet of space featuring upholstered sectionals and a comfortable upscale vibe, this is a place to sip tasty, creative (and expensive) cocktails and watch the beautiful people.
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A great Milwaukee area patio is Three Cellars - 7133 S. 76th Street Franklin, WI 53132 With great beers on tap and wines by the glass, along with a seemingly infinite number of bottles that can be chilled and served, there is something there for everyone. I tend bar there, so stop and say hi! Also be sure to check out patios at The Irish Pub - 124 N. Water Street - Milwaukee, WI 53202 Attebury's - 3807 South Packard Ave., St. Francis, WI 53235 If it's raining there is always the enclosed patio at O' Lydia's 338 S 1st St Milwaukee, WI 53204
Port of Call has a huge patio on the river great for watching boaters and kayakers on the river!
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