Milwaukee’s Northern suburbs offer a boon of eateries, lounges, boutiques, green spaces and even a “witch’s house.” But the best part about tooling around the North Shore is wherever you go, you’re never far from magnificent Lake Michigan.
Recently, we spent the day revisiting some of our favorite Shorewood-Whitefish Bay-Fox Point-Bayside spots and discovered a couple of new ones in the process.
Where to eat
Breakfast: Benji’s Deli and Diner
4156 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood, (414) 332-7777
Benji’s is home to the famous Hoppel Poppel egg scramble – a “rite of passage” meal for all Southeastern Wisconsinites – but the corned beef hash, lox plate, fried matzo, blintzes and omelet are always on point.
HIYA is a North Shore newbie serving up classic and original tacos in a setting that’s ideal for a quick bite or a lingering hang. For Mexican comfort food, try the steak asada, or if you’re having a week of living on the edge, might as well go for the sweet & sour tofu, a taco made with – get this – Pop Rocks.
This cozy, women-owned restaurant features a diverse menu with an emphasis on fresh seafood dishes, upscale Italian, ribs and comforting sandwiches. The shrimp mista with pork belly salad is particularly good.
Where to drink
Cocktails: Camp Bar
4044 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood, (414) 962-5182
It’s the best time of year to snuggle into a booth or belly up to the bar in your favorite flannel at the cabin-esque Camp Bar. Although a newer establishment, their Camp Bar Classic Old Fashioned rivals any supper club in the state. They also have a regal Old Apple Fashioned made with Jim Beam Apple that’s a seasonal favorite.
Pandl’s is best known for its German food and fish fries, but don’t overlook it as a place to stop by for drinks during Happy Hour or after dinner. The bar is laden with Old World charm, including dark, polished wood, vintage crafted backbar, Stein collection, mounted antlers and top-notch service.
Coffee: Donut Monster
5169 N. Elkhart Ave., Whitefish Bay, (414) 988-2110
Donut Monster offers delectable Pilcrow Coffee – regular, nitro cold brew or sweet and creamy nitro. And, as the name suggests, this biz knows its way around a donut, too.
Where to shop
4451 N. Oakland Ave, Shorewood
This small but well-stocked shop features Fair Trade items and handmade pieces by Wisconsin artisans. It’s fun to browse the unique, colorful items – and even more fun to buy.
Winkie’s Toys and Variety
629 E. Silver Spring Dr., Whitefish Bay, (414) 964-2130
Winkie’s, which has been around since the 1930s, is an upscale gift shop meets a vintage variety store. There’s nothing else quite like it in the city, and both floors are worth a visit. The old-timey candy counter is always a draw for us.
Where to enjoy nature / snap a selfie
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
1111 E. Brown Deer Rd., Bayside, (414) 352-2880
This gorgeous nature preserve is a 165-acres of land with six miles of hiking trails and a 60-foot observation tower. Memberships are available, or it's just $8 for a day pass.
4000 N. Lake Dr., Shorewood
This lakeside park offers five acres of open space, a sandy beach, a playground and Jaume Plensa's sculpture "Spillover II.”
3565 N. Morris Blvd., Shorewood
After a walk through an echo-y pedestrian tunnel, Hubbard Park appears. The lush park has a lodge, playground, seasonal beer garden and lovely views of the Milwaukee River.
The Witch’s House
7328 N. Beach Dr., Fox Point
It’s not actually legal to stop in front of Mary Nohl’s magical, sculpture-filled property – known as The Witch’s House – so take this recommendation at your own risk. There’s also a breathtaking spot next to the house that’s directly on the lakeshore.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.