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Milwaukee Bar Guide

A Guide to Bars in the Milwaukee Area

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Milwaukee is also known as Brew City, and for good reason. It's not hard to find a place to belly up to the bar in this town. So while finding a bar is easy, finding the right bar to suit your tastes can be a little trickier if you're not so familiar with the Milwaukee nightlife scene. Your mom-and-pop corner bar is usually a great bet for laid-back conversation with the locals, while Water Street is where you go if you're freshly 21 and in the mood to party with thousands of new, inebriated friends.

1. North Avenue Bars

The stretch of North Avenue the runs from about the Milwaukee River east toward the lake is one of the most popular entertainment spots in the city. Smack in the middle of the East Side, this bit of North Avenue is close to the UW-Milwaukee campus and Brady Street, and features a number of bars and restaurants. The watering holes on this street definitely appeal to a younger crowd on the whole, especially on weekend evenings, but there are enough offerings here to appeal to every taste, age and demographic if you know where to look.

2. Milwaukee Irish Bars

There are a lot of Irish bars in Milwaukee. Actually, there are a lot of bars in Milwaukee, period. While it would be almost impossible to give you a fully comprehensive list -- many bars in this city fly Irish colors -- this includes some of the most popular places to belly up to the bar to order a Guinness or shot of Jameson. From the chill corner pub to Water Street mayhem, you'll find something on this list to suit your taste.

3. Water Street Bars

Milwaukee's Water Street definitely has the well-earned reputation of being a nightlife hot-spot. Is it for everyone? No. For the most part, consider this strip as one catering to the college crowd -- think cheap drinks, dancing on tables and the like, and most likely crowded conditions on weekend nights. Of course, there are always exceptions, but do be forewarned if you're looking for fine dining, high-end cocktails, a hipster hang-out, or quiet conversation on this street. Consider Water Street the Disney World of drinking in Milwaukee.

4. Bars Along the Milwaukee RiverWalk

The RiverWalk has played a role in the revitalization of Milwaukee's downtown, which over the past few decades has bee turned from an industrial corridor to an accessible and popular area for recreation, nightlife, performing arts and dining. Today, the RiverWalk is home to several restaurants and breweries, many of which utilize this valuable riverfront area for warm weather seating and outdoor dining.
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