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Best of Milwaukee 2016 Winners: Retail Food and Drink

Jan. 18, 2017
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Beer Selection

FIRST PLACE:
Discount Liquor
multiple locations
DiscountLiquorInc.com

Year after year, Discount Liquor takes first place among Shepherd Express readers for beer selection, liquor store and wine selection. And while there are other stores that offer great selection and knowledgeable service, the crowded shelves at Discount Liquor are hard to beat for variety. The original location on Oklahoma Avenue across from Serb Hall is like an old-fashioned supermarket with narrow aisles, shelves tightly stocked with beer, brandy, wine and hard spirits from around the world. (David Luhrssen)

RUNNERS-UP
Otto’s Wine & Spirits
Ray’s Wine & Spirits

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Butcher Shop

FIRST PLACE:
Bunzel’s Old-Fashioned Meat Market
9015 W. Burleigh St.
414-873-7960
Bunzels.com

A Milwaukee institution for four generations of owners, Bunzel’s Old-Fashioned Meat Market has gained generations of fans in that time. Early in 2016, this family-run business moved into new and bigger digs down the road from their previous location. They still have a huge meat selection, excellent homemade sausages and the friendliest service you’ll find. But now, Bunzel’s has much more space and expanded grocery options. If any long-time customers feel nostalgic and miss the charming, homey details of the old space, look closely, because many of those items have been incorporated in the new store. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

RUNNERS-UP
Bavette La Boucherie
Kettle Range Meat Co.
Ray’s Butcher Shop

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Cheese Selection

FIRST PLACE:
West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe
multiple locations
WACheese-Gifts.com

Tucked away in a residential neighborhood of its namesake city, West All Cheese & Sausage Shoppe made itself visible in recent years through a booth at the South Shore Farmers Market and a stand at the Milwaukee Public Market. The shop stocks a good selection of Wisconsin and imported cheeses, fresh cheese curds, summer sausage and more and runs an excellent deli-café serving an array of breakfast dishes, hearty sandwiches, daily specials, poutine, good strong coffee and one of metro Milwaukee’s best Bloody Marys. (David Luhrssen)

RUNNERS-UP
Clock Shadow Creamery
Larry’s Market
Wisconsin Cheese Mart

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Chocolatier

FIRST PLACE:
Indulgence Chocolatiers
multiple Locations
IndulgenceChocolatiers.com

With three locations each tailor fit to the neighborhoods they serve, Indulgence Chocolatiers provides not just a tasty treat, but a full experience for their customers. In Walker’s Point, enjoy chocolates paired with craft beers, wines, cheeses and whiskey. In East Tosa, locally made ice cream can be topped with Indulgence’s high-end creations. Shorewood’s location is a beautifully designed chocolate boutique. Each brings something special to the table, but one thing they all share is delicious chocolate, and that’s what’s most important. (Rob Hullum)

RUNNERS-UP
The Chocolate Factory/Blommer’s
Red Elephant
Tabal Chocolate

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Farmers Market

FIRST PLACE:
West Allis Farmers Market
6501 W. National Ave.
414-302-8600
WestAllisWI.gov

The largest and longest-operating farmers market in Southeastern Wisconsin, the West Allis Farmers Market is a local landmark. Their season runs from the first Saturday in May through the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Being open on select weekdays and on Saturday afternoon allows customers more opportunities to purchase the freshest fruits and veggies around. The market mostly consists of produce stands with some prepared foods, garden plants and cut flowers, as well as fresh meat and poultry. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

RUNNERS-UP
Fondy Farmers Market
South Shore Farmers Market
Tosa Farmers Market

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Fish Market

FIRST PLACE:
St. Paul Fish Company
400 N. Water St.
414-220-8383
StPaulFish.com

Beyond their fantastic fish fry, catfish po’ boy and fried shrimp tacos, the Public Market’s St. Paul Fish Company offers one of the city’s best selections of fresh seafood. From salmon, grouper and walleye to lobster, oyster and calamari, St. Paul’s items are flown in fresh daily from more than 20 national and international suppliers. It’s nice to see a fish market doing so wonderfully in the heart of the old Italian Third Ward’s commission row. (Matthew J. Prigge)

RUNNERS-UP
Center Street Fish Market
Empire Fish Company
Sendik’s Food Market

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Grocery-All Purpose

FIRST PLACE:
Sendik’s Food Market
multiple locations

It should come as no surprise that Sendik’s has received honors for more than one “best-of-grocery” category. Whether you are searching for a rare or unusual ingredient or doing the weekly shopping, Sendik’s customers know they are getting the very best quality food a grocery store can offer. Every department at Sendik’s, from meat to floral, wine to deli, is well maintained to ensure superior selection. The addition of the curbside pick-up “Sendik’s Express” program this past year has made it even easier for Milwaukeeans to experience the outstanding service and selection available at Sendik’s. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

RUNNERS-UP
Metro Market
Outpost Natural Foods
Woodman’s Markets

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Grocery-Ethnic

FIRST PLACE:
Glorioso’s Italian Market
1011 E. Brady St.
414-272-0540
Gloriosos.com

This big, busy grocery store and deli rich with Italian imports and local artisan foods is, along with Peter Sciortino’s Bakery down the street (whose cookies and breads are also sold here), the great surviving testament to the Italian immigrant history of the neighborhood it anchors. Imaginative gelatos—whiskey cream, pistachio, Italian cookie, Venetian tiramisu, Tahitian vanilla—come in scoops, cones and cartons. Aisles and aisles of cheeses, olive oils, wines and sweets lead to an expansive deli offering sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, calzones, paninis, flatbreads, salads—some exotic, all authentic, all fresh. There’s ample indoor seating and even more outdoors. (John Schneider)

RUNNERS-UP
Asian International Market
Cermak Fresh Market
El Rey

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Grocery-Gourmet

FIRST PLACE:
Sendik’s Food Market
multiple locations

It should come as no surprise that Sendik’s has received honors for more than one “best-of-grocery” category. Whether you are searching for a rare or unusual ingredient or doing the weekly shopping, Sendik’s customers know they are getting the very best quality food a grocery store can offer. Every department at Sendik’s, from meat to floral, wine to deli, is well maintained to ensure superior selection. The addition of the curbside pick-up “Sendik’s Express” program this past year has made it even easier for Milwaukeeans to experience the outstanding service and selection available at Sendik’s. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

RUNNERS-UP
Glorioso’s Italian Market
Metro Market
Whole Foods Market

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Grocery-Natural Foods

FIRST PLACE:
Outpost Natural Foods Co-op
multiple Locations
Outpost.coop

With four store locations and two markets, Outpost Natural Foods has, for more than 45 years, provided an alternative to the processed, genetically modified foods you’ll find across many of the large chain grocery stores, without skimping on variety. Their selection of naturally farmed, organic foods is a godsend for the rapidly growing community of health-conscious consumers in the city. It’s no secret that organic has gone mainstream, and in Milwaukee, Outpost is leading the way. (Rob Hullum)

RUNNERS-UP
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
Good Harvest
Whole Foods Market

Back to Top | See All Awards

 

Liquor Store

FIRST PLACE:
Discount Liquor
multiple locations
DiscountLiquorInc.com

Year after year, Discount Liquor takes first place among Shepherd Express readers for beer selection, liquor store and wine selection. And while there are other stores that offer great selection and knowledgeable service, the crowded shelves at Discount Liquor are hard to beat for variety. The original location on Oklahoma Avenue across from Serb Hall is like an old-fashioned supermarket with narrow aisles, shelves tightly stocked with beer, brandy, wine and hard spirits from around the world. (David Luhrssen)

RUNNERS-UP
Downer Avenue Wine & Spirits
Otto’s Wine & Spirits
Ray’s Wine & Spirits

Back to Top | See All Awards

 

Meat Selection

FIRST PLACE:
Bunzel’s Old-Fashioned Meat Market
9015 W. Burleigh St.
414-873-7960
Bunzels.com

A Milwaukee institution for four generations of owners, Bunzel’s Old-Fashioned Meat Market has gained generations of fans in that time. Early in 2016, this family-run business moved into new and bigger digs down the road from their previous location. They still have a huge meat selection, excellent homemade sausages and the friendliest service you’ll find. But now, Bunzel’s has much more space and expanded grocery options. If any long-time customers feel nostalgic and miss the charming, homey details of the old space, look closely, because many of those items have been incorporated in the new store. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

RUNNERS-UP
Kettle Range Meats Co.
Ray’s Butcher Shop
Sendik’s Food Market

Back to Top | See All Awards

 

Neighborhood Bakery

FIRST PLACE:
Peter Sciortino’s Bakery
1101 E. Brady St.
414-272-4623
PeterSciortinosBakery.com

Sciortino’s wins in this category every year and, since I live nearby, I’m always assigned to write about the delicious rolls, breads and cookies made here. They’re never taken for granted in my house, but treasured as markers of holidays and those happy, out-of-the-blue, let’s-have-Sciortino-rolls days. Each year, I mention the heavenly scent this historic bakery provides our neighborhood—from St. Hedwig’s church to the Brady Street fire station—exciting my dogs as we walk by. You can see, smell, touch and taste the neighborhood’s Italian-Sicilian history here. Like good bread, it grounds you. Grazie! (John Schneider)

RUNNERS-UP
Grebe’s Milwaukee Bakery
National Bakery & Deli
Rocket Baby Bakery

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Organic Produce Selection

FIRST PLACE:
Outpost Natural Foods Co-op
multiple Locations
Outpost.coop

With four store locations and two markets, Outpost Natural Foods has, for more than 45 years, provided an alternative to the processed, genetically modified foods you’ll find across many of the large chain grocery stores, without skimping on variety. Their selection of naturally farmed, organic foods is a godsend for the rapidly growing community of health-conscious consumers in the city. It’s no secret that organic has gone mainstream, and in Milwaukee, Outpost is leading the way. (Rob Hullum)

RUNNERS-UP
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
Good Harvest Market
Whole Foods Market

Back to Top | See All Awards

 

Produce Selection

FIRST PLACE:
Outpost Natural Foods Co-op
multiple Locations
Outpost.coop

With four store locations and two markets, Outpost Natural Foods has, for more than 45 years, provided an alternative to the processed, genetically modified foods you’ll find across many of the large chain grocery stores, without skimping on variety. Their selection of naturally farmed, organic foods is a godsend for the rapidly growing community of health-conscious consumers in the city. It’s no secret that organic has gone mainstream, and in Milwaukee, Outpost is leading the way. (Rob Hullum)

RUNNERS-UP
Cermak Fresh Market
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
Sendik’s Food Market

Back to Top | See All Awards

 

Sausage Shop

FIRST PLACE:
Usinger’s Famous Sausage
1030 N. Old World Third St.
414-276-9105
Usinger.com

The story is now legend. Apprentice wurstmacher Fred Usinger departed Wehen, Germany, for Milwaukee in the late-1870s, arriving here with $400 in cash, sausage recipes and a lot of ambition. The Usinger family has been a cornerstone of Milwaukee ever since, serving some of the highest-quality sausage for more than 130 years now. Many of its 70 varieties of sausage are still made from recipes carried in Fred’s pocket, and even the store remains where it was originally. Yes, you can find Usinger’s products in your local grocery store today, but nothing beats a trip to that classic Old World Third Street home base. (John Jahn)

RUNNERS-UP
Bunzel’s Old-Fashioned Meat Market
Kettle Range Meat Co.
West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe

Back to Top | See All Awards

 

Take-Out Deli

FIRST PLACE:
Glorioso’s Italian Market
1011 E. Brady St.
414-272-0540
Gloriosos.com

This big, busy grocery store and deli rich with Italian imports and local artisan foods is, along with Peter Sciortino’s Bakery down the street (whose cookies and breads are also sold here), the great surviving testament to the Italian immigrant history of the neighborhood it anchors. Imaginative gelatos—whiskey cream, pistachio, Italian cookie, Venetian tiramisu, Tahitian vanilla—come in scoops, cones and cartons. Aisles and aisles of cheeses, olive oils, wines and sweets lead to an expansive deli offering sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, calzones, paninis, flatbreads, salads—some exotic, all authentic, all fresh. There’s ample indoor seating and even more outdoors. (John Schneider)

RUNNERS-UP
Benji’s Deli & Restaurant
Bunzel’s Meat Market
Jake’s Deli

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Urban Farm

FIRST PLACE:
Growing Power
5500 W. Silver Spring Drive
414-527-1546
GrowingPower.org

He was unknown to most people before the Shepherd Express profiled him in a 2005 cover story, but Milwaukee’s Will Allen soon came to enjoy the national spotlight for his revolutionary agricultural innovations. Allen, who received a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” in 2008, launched the urban farm Growing Power on Silver Spring Drive in 1993 as a means to produce healthy, locally grown food in a city setting. It has since become a model for similar efforts around the U.S. in providing training for urban farmers and an “idea factory” for making healthy food accessible. (Morton Shlabotnik)

RUNNERS-UP
Alice’s Garden
Big City Greens
Pinehold Gardens

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Wedding Cake Designer

FIRST PLACE:
Simma’s Bakery
817 N. 68th St.
414-257-0998
SimmasBakery.com

Simma’s Bakery, well known for top-notch bakery and outstanding cheesecake, is also a popular choice for Milwaukee-area brides choosing a wedding cake. Simma’s own signature cheesecake—made up of chocolate cake on the bottom, a layer of raspberry filling, creamy cheesecake layer and topped with a decadent final layer of chocolate ganache—makes for a memorable and perfectly delicious bridal dessert. If cheesecake isn’t your thing, Simma’s offers a host of other cake options from red velvet to banana and a whole lot in between. Brides will rest easy knowing they can count on Simma’s high-quality baked goods. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

RUNNERS-UP
Aggie’s Bakery & Cake Shop
Eat Cake!
Make Cake Milwaukee

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Wine Selection

FIRST PLACE:
Discount Liquor
multiple locations
DiscountLiquorInc.com

Year after year, Discount Liquor takes first place among Shepherd Express readers for beer selection, liquor store and wine selection. And while there are other stores that offer great selection and knowledgeable service, the crowded shelves at Discount Liquor are hard to beat for variety. The original location on Oklahoma Avenue across from Serb Hall is like an old-fashioned supermarket with narrow aisles, shelves tightly stocked with beer, brandy, wine and hard spirits from around the world. (David Luhrssen)

RUNNERS-UP
Downer Avenue Wine & Spirits
Ray’s Wine & Spirits
Thief Wine

Back to Top | See All Awards

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