Worth a return

The oldest restaurant in town (since 1902), Mader’s gives diners a peek into the German history that made Milwaukee Brew City. It is also one of the oldest and best preserved German restaurants anywhere in the New World. The kitchen offers a rare taste of classic Prussian-American cooking. The dining hall offers a glimpse of the vision of European settlers back when they were still forging their communities into the image of the old country. 

Reuben spring rrolls are the famous appetizer, appropriately Wisconsonian: filled with cured meat, sauerkraut, and cheese, then deep fried. They come hot from the fryer and actually taste satisfyingly close to a Reuben sandwich. 

French onion soup is a good indication of how the kitchen handles classics. It has a rich, beefy stock and loads of cheese, and is served piping hot. The crock is large enough to to be a meal.

For a crash course in German cookery, try the Sampler Plate: schnitzel, spaetzel, goulash, sauerbraten, and two kinds of cabbage. The schnitzel and goulash are sub-par, but the tasty spaetzel and sauerbraten are easy to eat. The sauerbraten is tasty in an eccentric way. It is half-marinated rump topped with almond slivers and sour cream to accentuate the tartness customarily provided by wine/vinegar marinade. It is a half-sauerbraten 

The food is good; atmosphere is a ten. Make sure to spend some time walking through the old dining room. Its decor rivals museums supervised by historic society preservationists, and the staff is in full Old World costumes. There are photos in the hall of the bathroom celebrating the various luminaries who’ve dined here, from the Three Stooges to Justin Bieber and several Presidents in between. On the way to the restrooms there are signed photos from every famous person who has ever visited Milwaukee, from the days of vaudeville to the days of YouTube. If you don’t have time for a full meal of nostalgic German-Great Lakes cooking, you should at least stop by Mader’s for a quick peek, a slow beer, and a plate or two of Reuben rolls. 

What to Eat
Mader’s, Reuben Rolls
Reuben Rolls
Reuben spring rolls are the stars of the meal.
Mader’s, German Sampler
German Sampler
Sampler: 2 kinds of kraut, sauerbraten, goulash over spaetzel, and schnitzel
Mader’s, French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup
Under a thick layer of cheese and bread, rich soup awaits.
Mader’s, Pretzel Bread
Pretzel Bread
Pretzel bread comes with the meal.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday11am - 9pm
Monday11:30am - 9pm
Tuesday11:30am - 9pm
Wednesday11:30am - 9pm
Thursday11:30am - 9pm
Friday11:30am - 10pm
Saturday11:30am - 10pm
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Kopp’s Custard

    Glendale, Wisconsin

    Milwaukee is a city of excellent custard, and Kopp’s is one of the top purveyors, offering a unique flavor every day. Precede it with a butter burger.

  • Serb Hall

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Milwaukee Wisconsin’s Serb Hall is the largest fish fry on earth: an eating stadium restaurant serving Friday-only cod or perch with all the trimmin’s.

  • O&H Bakery

    Sturtevant, Wisconsin

    O & H is home of the original giant Racine Kringle. Of many tasty fillings, the best is tart Door County cherries.

  • The Wurst Bar/Foltz Family Market

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    The Wurst Bar is a gem of a butcher in the Milwaukee Public Market making excellent sausage to fill buns or to top brick-oven pizza.

  • LeDuc’s Frozen Custard

    Wales, Wisconsin

    LeDuc’s is a good taste of Wisconsin favorites, including tasty burgers and silken custard. Sundaes are particularly recommended.

  • Uncle Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Milwaukee’s Uncle Wolfie’s is a modernized take on old-school breakfast and lunch, including one of the best burgers in the region.