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Cafe Hollander, Milwaukee

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Cafe Hollander, Milwaukee

Cafe Hollander's patio on a summer evening.

Photo by Carrie Trousil

The Bottom Line

Cafe Hollander is a must if you're into specialty beers, particularly those brewed in Belgium or the Netherlands. Others will definitely appreciate the old-European feel of the patio or the comfortable indoor seating. The cuisine ranges from inventive comfort food (Benelux Meatloaf) to higher-end appetizers. This is a great spot to eat a full meal, an appetizer, an after-dinner drink, or to meet friends for cocktails -- Cafe Hollander also has a full bar that stays open until 2 a.m.

Pros

  • The beer selection is phenomenal.
  • There is an enourmous outdoor patio for summer dining.
  • The atmosphere is very inviting and relaxing.

Cons

  • Prices may seem steep if you're not into $6 beers.
  • The bar selection and atmosphere trump the food itself.
  • The wait can be long on weekend nights.

Description

  • Cafe Hollander is at 2608 N. Downer Ave.
  • Phone: 414.963.6342
  • Dress is casual, though the Downer Avenue crowd can skew rather trendy.
  • Major credit cards are accepted.
  • Open daily 8 a.m. - 2 a.m., kitchen closes at midnight; brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Guide Review - Cafe Hollander, Milwaukee

Cafe Hollander boasts an extraordinary beer selection, and a set of glasses to go with each brew (one of their cardinal rules is that a beer must be served in its proper vessel). If you're a beer-lover, your night (or day) will be made by browsing the beer list alone.

If you're not so into the suds, Cafe Hollander still has a lot to offer. Situated on a commercial stretch of Downer Avenue, Cafe Hollander could make a great date restaurant, with proximity to a few low-key, higher-end bars and the Downer Theater, on of the city's few venues for independent films. The atmosphere definitely achieves the laid-back, European vibe that you'd expect from the restaurants name.

The only potential drawback to Cafe Hollander is the food itself. While generally quite good, a dish can occasionally fall short of the restaurants other attributes. Despite this, the menu is interesting enough, with offerings such as beet salad, bitterballen (fried meatballs) and a wide array of dipping sauces for the ubiquitous frites (french fries), that it warrants the benefit of the doubt.

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