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Best of Milwaukee Winners 2015: Retail Food

Jan. 20, 2016
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bestofmilwaukee2015

Beer Selection

Liquor Store

Wine Selection

First Place:

Discount Liquor

Multiple locations

discountliquorinc.com

The aisles are narrow and crowded at Discount Liquor’s original South Side location across from Serb Hall, the shelves tightly stocked with beer, brandy, wine and hard spirits from across the world. A perennial winner in the Shepherd Express’ Best of Milwaukee contest, Discount Liquor is a one-stop supermarket for all things alcohol from the U.S. and overseas. You name it: If it’s accessible to American distributors, chances are you’ll find it at Discount Liquor. And yes, the prices are as good as the store’s name. (David Luhrssen)

Runner Up Beer Selection:

Woodman’s Markets

Honorable Mentions

Beer Selection:

Ray’s Wine & Spirits

Whole Foods Market

Runner Up Liquor Store:

Otto’s Wine & Spirits

Honorable Mentions

Liquor Store:

Ray’s Wine & Spirits

Avenue Wine & Liquor

Runner Up Wine Selection:

Ray’s Wine & Spirits

Honorable Mentions

Wine Selection:

Thief Wine Shop & Bar

Sendik’s Food Market


Cheese Selection

Grocery—Gourmet

Produce Selection

First Place:

Sendik’s Food Market

Multiple locations

sendiks.com

Few grocery store chains in the Milwaukee area are as qualified as Sendik’s to earn three Best Of categories. Since the earliest days of Sendik’s, dating back to 1926, quality produce has always been a priority. Luscious fresh fruits and colorful vegetables of all varieties are readily available year round. Cheese selection varies at each location, but if you are looking for something rare or unusual, they are bound to have it. Sendik’s superior stock and consistently top-notch service have made them the go-to shop for gourmet cooks all around the city. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

Runner Up Cheese Selection:

West Allis Cheese

& Sausage Shoppe

Honorable Mentions

Cheese Selection:

Wisconsin Cheese Mart

Whole Foods Market

Runner Up Grocery

—Gourmet:

Glorioso’s Italian Market

Honorable Mentions

Grocery—Gourmet:

Outpost Natural Foods

Whole Foods Market

Runner Up

Produce Selection:

Outpost Natural Foods

Honorable Mentions

Produce Selection:

Whole Foods Market

Woodman’s Markets


Chocolatier

First Place:

Indulgence

Chocolatiers

Multiple locations

indulgencechocolatiers.com

UW-Milwaukee graduate and self-taught chocolatier Julie Waterman founded Indulgence in 2007. She and her husband currently co-own three locations, with the East Tosa shop proving a favorite for its selection of Purple Door Ice Cream offered with homemade toppings. In addition to selling beautiful handmade truffles, bars, toffee, s’mores kits and cocoa mixes, Indulgence hosts very popular chocolate and wine, beer, cheese and liquor pairings. The community has spoken: Each luxurious morsel is worth every penny. (Amanda Sullivan)

Runner Up:

Buddy Squirrel

Honorable Mentions:

Red Elephant Chocolate

Chocobella


Donut Shop

First Place:

Grebe’s Bakery

5132 W. Lincoln Ave.

414-543-7000

grebesbakery.com

The moment you catch a glimpse of Grebe’s classic ’50s-style neon sign, you’ll sense you are about to experience a bit of Milwaukee history. Since 1937, Grebe’s well-stocked shelves have drawn generations of fans to the freshest of baked goods. The main case is chock full of a tantalizing selection of donuts. Glazed, iced and topped with sprinkles, long or round, filled with custard or jelly, or a “Milwaukee-style” cruller—Grebe’s will probably have it. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

Runner Up:

Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts

Honorable Mentions:

Cranky Al’s

Chubbys Cheesesteaks/

The Drive Thru


Farmers Market

First Place:

West Allis

Farmers Market

6501 W. National Ave.

414-302-8600

westalliswi.gov/farmersmarket

The West Allis Farmers Market has provided Greater Milwaukee with fresh Wisconsin produce for close to 10 decades. Structured like the open-air markets of Europe, shoppers can enjoy time outdoors in beautiful West Allis while selecting from the area’s largest variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, bedding plants, fragrant herbs, and fresh eggs and chickens. The market begins the first weekend in May and runs Tuesday and Thursday, 12-6 p.m. and Saturday, 1-6 p.m. through Thanksgiving. (Amanda Sullivan)

Runner Up:

South Shore Farmers Market

Honorable Mentions:

Fondy Farmers Market

Walker Square Farmer’s Market


Fish Market

First Place:

St. Paul Fish

Company

400 N. Water St.

414-220-8383

stpaulfish.com

We Americans don’t have enough fish in our diets. Here’s the remedy. The St. Paul Fish Company offers a gorgeous array of the best, freshest seafood from around the world at its shop, restaurant, deli and oyster bar in the Milwaukee Public Market. The cozy corner restaurant offers daily specials, salads, soups, sandwiches and entrées. Try fish tacos or the luscious lobster roll on buttery brioche and savor oysters and beer outdoors in good weather. (John Schneider)

Runner Up:

Empire Fish

Honorable Mentions:

Sendik’s Food Market

Whole Foods Market


Grocery

—Ethnic Take-Out Deli

First Place:

Glorioso’s

Italian Market

1011 E. Brady St.

414-272-0540

gloriosos.com

Brady Street icon Glorioso’s has six decades of experience and four generations of family ownership behind its name. A frequent winner in the Shepherd’s Best Of contest, the establishment offers fine imported Italian goods, including cheeses, San Marzano tomatoes and Balocco cookies. The award-winning deli features everything from panini, flatbreads and calzones to fresh soup, sandwiches and pasta. Call ahead to have your order waiting, or dine in Glorioso’s pleasant indoor or outdoor seating areas. (Selena Milewski)

Runner Up Grocery—Ethnic:

El Rey

Honorable Mentions

Grocery—Ethnic:

G. Groppi Food Market

Cermak Fresh Market

Runner Up Take-Out Deli:

Koppa’s Fulbeli Deli

Honorable Mentions

Take-Out Deli:

Jake’s Deli

Sendik’s Food Market


Grocery—Natural Foods

Juice and Smoothie

First Place:

Outpost

Natural Foods

Multiple locations

outpostcoop.com

When it began in the 1970s, Outpost was truly an outpost in Milwaukee—one of the few places in town stocking foods that could be descried as “natural” or “organic.” The popularity of healthy eating has since gone mainstream, allowing Outpost to expand across the metro area with its carefully curated selection of produce, dairy items, deli selections, packaged goods, meat, frozen foods, beer and wine. Outpost also operates market cafes at Aurora Sinai Medical Center and Rite-Hite Family YMCA. (David Luhrssen)

Runner Up Grocery

—Natural Foods:

Trader Joe’s

Honorable Mentions

Grocery—Natural Foods:

Whole Foods Market

Riverwest Co-op Grocery & Cafe

Runner Up Juice

and Smoothie:

Beans & Barley

Honorable Mentions

Juice and Smoothie:

Jamba Juice

Refuge Smoothie Café


Meat Selection

First Place:

Bunzel’s

Old-Fashioned

Meat Market

8415 W. Burleigh St.

414-873-7960

bunzels.com

For more than 40 years, Bunzel’s Old-Fashioned Meat Market has been a Milwaukee institution. The freshest meats, incredibly delicious homemade sausages and top-notch service are only some of the many reasons this family-run business has been such a success over the years. Bunzel’s popularity is sure to increase in early 2016 when they expand into a new, larger building down the road from their current location. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

Runner Up:

Ray’s Butcher Shoppe

Honorable Mentions:

Sendik’s Food Market

Whole Foods Market


Milwaukee-Made Cupcake

First Place:

Classy Girl Cupcakes

825 N. Jefferson St.

414-270-1877

classygirlcupcakes.com

Classy Girl Cupcakes—a retail bakery, catering company and official birthday cupcake maker of the Milwaukee Admirals—offers big flavor in many forms, all freshly baked and made from scratch with natural ingredients. Goodies include more than 25 flavors of cupcakes in regular, mini, cheesecake, jumbo filled, push pop and bomb/truffle form; wedding, special occasion and layer cakes; and other treats such as cupcakewiches, bars, mousse parfaits and chocolate-covered strawberries. If you want a chance at setting the price on a batch of homemade buttercream-frosted morsels, watch for Classy Girl’s cupcake auctions on Facebook. (Amanda Sullivan)

Runner Up:

Gigi’s Cupcakes

Honorable Mentions:

Miss Cupcake

Baked Custom Desserts

 

Milwaukee-Made Soda

First Place:

Sprecher Brewing

Company

701 W. Glendale Ave.

414-964-2739

sprecherbrewery.com 

Sprecher Brewing Company’s most popular soda is its root beer. To the delight of Milwaukee, the company fittingly commemorated its 30th anniversary last year with a limited batch of Sprecher Honey Root Beer, the first ever root beer brewed with 100% raw Wisconsin honey. The brewery’s year-round soda flavors are beloved, yet Sprecher further impresses consumers with its unique seasonal flavors, such as strawberry, red apple, raspberry and blueberry. In addition to gourmet soft drinks, Sprecher also crafts “malternative” beverages, recently releasing Hard Apple Pie, and brews award-winning craft beers, with 2015 competition victors including its Dopple Bock and gluten-free Shakparo Ale. (Amanda Sullivan)

Runner Up:

Black Bear Bottling Group

Honorable Mentions:

Lakefront Brewery

Top Note Tonics


Neighborhood Bakery

First Place:

Peter Sciortino’s

Bakery

1101 E. Brady St.

414-272-4623

petersciotinosbakery.com 

This perennial Best Of winner, established by Peter and Grace Sciortino in 1948, is a lovely, living piece of Milwaukee history. The Italian breads and rolls are legendary and the Italian cookies, sold individually, are exquisite to view and to taste. Cream puffs, éclairs, cakes, tiramisu and cassata are specialties. Flavored breads include sun-dried tomato with Asiago cheese and raisin-walnut. Homemade frozen pizzas and luscious gelatos are offered now, too. (John Schneider)

Runner Up:

Rocket Baby Bakery

Honorable Mentions:

Canfora Bakery

Blooming Lotus Gourmet Bakery


Sausage Shop

First Place:

Usinger’s

1030 N. Old World Third St.

414-276-9105

usinger.com

Founded in 1880 when apprentice wurstmacher Frederick Usinger bought his employer’s butcher shop, Usinger’s has long been Milwaukee’s go-to place for fine sausage—all the meat for which comes from the Midwest. Usinger’s bratwurst is certainly famous, but their deli case also offers Italian and Polish sausage, kielbasa, summer sausage, salami, Andouille spicy Cajun sausage, chicken and cilantro sausage, Braunschweiger liverwurst and more. (John Jahn)

Runner Up:

West Allis Cheese

& Sausage Shoppe

Honorable Mentions:

European Homemade

Sausage Shop

Scardina Specialties


Urban Farm

First Place:

Growing Power

5500 W. Silver Spring Drive

414-527-1546

growingpower.org

Growing Power was the modern urban farm in Milwaukee that paved the way for all of those that have sprung up since. Their educational programs have taught many aspiring growers how to succeed at growing foods to sustain and support. In addition, Growing Power’s produce can be found all around the city. You’ve probably sampled their fare at one of your favorite restaurants or grocery stores in the area, perhaps without even realizing it. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

Runner Up:

Alice’s Garden

Honorable Mention:

Walnut Way Conservation Corp.


Wedding Cake Designer

First Place:

Simma’s Bakery

817 N. 68th St.

414-257-0998

simmasbakery.com

It should come as no surprise that Simma’s Bakery, known for their highly acclaimed cheesecake and other sweet treats, tops Milwaukee brides’ lists for wedding cakes. A popular choice for many weddings is Simma’s signature classic cheesecake, made up of chocolate cake on the bottom, a layer of raspberry filling, the creamy cheesecake layer, and then topped with a decadent final layer of chocolate ganache. Cake is the sweetest part of any wedding and Simma’s really knows how to do it right. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

Runner Up:

Aggie’s Bakery & Cake Shop

Honorable Mentions:

Make Cake Milwaukee

Baked Custom Desserts

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