A quiet, northern suburb of Milwaukee, Mequon has recently undergone an economic development plan that resulted in a plethora of new, independent, and tasty restaurants in this formerly sleepy Midwestern town. What used to be filled with mostly residential homes is now becoming a hot spot for fun places to eat north of Milwaukee. If you find yourself visiting Wisconsin and heading north of downtown to this small suburb, be sure to check out the following best Mequon restaurants.
5 Must-Try Mequon Restaurants
6200 W Mequon Rd. Mequon // (262) 200-9909
You may not think of the Midwest as a seafood hub, but the towns along Lake Michigan’s shores are well known for a variety of fish dishes, including the traditional Wisconsin fish fry. The St. Paul Fish Company opened their first retail location and restaurant at the Public Market in downtown Milwaukee, and they’ve brought customer favorites such as their oyster bar and fresh fish counter to their new suburban Mequon restaurant.
This restaurant and fresh fish market is located in an old brick commercial building that has been expertly renovated to keep the industrial look of exposed brick and large windows while adding a large, modern bar area and good-sized dining room. As you enter the restaurant, you’re greeted by the fresh fish bar, offering an extensive variety of raw seafood sold by the pound. Favorites such as shrimp, scallops, and salmon are featured, as well as other fish such as cod, mahi-mahi, lake perch, and Chilean sea bass, all for customers to take home to cook.
Head through the doors to the restaurant itself and you’ll see a fun nautical and maritime décor surrounding a long bar and high-top tables. Stay for oysters and their happy hour, or proceed to the back of the bar to their dining room. The menu has an impressive variety of seafood options, both in variety of fish and the style of cooking. They don’t take reservations, so come early or expect a bit of a wait, as the restaurant is still new and popular.
For an appetizer try the hand-breaded fried calamari or shrimp cocktail. For dinner, you can sample the traditional Milwaukee Fish Fry, served with French fries and coleslaw. They have six different varieties of fish you can choose from. The Lake Perch and Schlitz-Battered Cod are Wisconsin favorites.
If fried food isn’t your style, not to worry. They have 14 different grilled fish and shrimp entrée options. Pick your fish, add a sauce such as beurre blanc, basil pesto, or fruit salsa, and enjoy with a side of jasmine rice and sautéed vegetables. Or go for their $18 Maine Lobster Dinner, which includes a 0ne-pound steamed lobster with drawn butter, fries, and coleslaw. The food is great, and so are their prices. You won’t be on the waterfront, but you’ll think you are in this Mequon seafood restaurant.
6300 W Mequon Rd, Mequon // (262) 643-4256
Newly opened in 2019, this multi-vendor market is filled with restaurants and a few specialty retailers. This one-stop-shop offers visitors dining options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as multiple dessert choices. Several restaurants have a small seating area where you order, but there’s also open seating on the second story loft where you can enjoy your meal while watching the hustle and bustle of the market below you.
One not to miss restaurant in the Public Market is Café Corazon, a Mexican farm-to-table restaurant with a menu that caters to vegetarians and vegans. In addition to a vegan menu, they offer non-meat options such as herb tofu and soy chorizo that can be swapped out for any of their menu items. They have a small bar area where you can order food, enjoy a cocktail (their margaritas are fantastic!), and eat your meal. Or, if you’re at the market with friends or family and everyone wants something different, you can take your food upstairs to the loft-style seating area.
If you’re looking for brunch, they open daily at 11 and serve Mexican breakfast options like tacos and burritos, chilaquiles (fried corn tortilla strips covered in eggs, cheese, meat or veggies, and either red or green sauce), and huevos rancheros (eggs, sautéed onions, and peppers smothered in ranchero sauce on corn tortillas). Vegan breakfast offerings are similar, with herbed tofu replacing the eggs.
If you’re visiting for lunch or dinner, I’d recommend the taco lunch or dinner plate so you can mix and match some of their delicious meat options like pork carnitas, steak asada, and pulled beef mechada. Of course, they have tasty Mexican classics such as nachos, quesadillas, and enchiladas, making this restaurant where to eat in Mequon.
1380 W Mequon Rd, Mequon // (262) 241-1999
Don’t let the simple name and unassuming location fool you; this is one of those hole in the wall places that you don’t want to miss. This hidden gem is tucked in the back of a strip mall and the menus are a little worn, but the place is squeaky clean and the food is phenomenal. They serve giant portions of pho, as you’d expect from a Vietnamese food restaurant, as well as an extensive menu of noodle and rice dishes, all in a fairly modern setting with beautiful murals on the walls and fun statement lighting fixtures on the ceiling.
This Mequon restaurant serves regular and large size portions of pho (when in doubt get a regular size, two people can easily share it). With meat options like rare and well-done steak, meatballs, and tripe, as well as chicken, dumpling, and vegetarian options available. The Vietnamese eatery even has a separate vegetarian broth for their vegetarian pho. The noodle soup is served with bean sprouts, basil, lime, and jalapeno peppers on the side so you can customize your bowl at your table.
If the soup isn’t your thing, try an item off the noodle or rice menu such as their Soft Egg Noodle Stir Fry or any of their fried rice with your choice of meat or vegetables. They also serve Boba Smoothies in fun flavors such as mango, strawberry, or banana. For a taste of the exotic flavors of Vietnam, this is one of the best places to eat in Mequon.
5900 W Mequon Rd, Mequon // (262) 236-0107
Based on European Grand Cafés in the regions of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, this brewpub is a great place to chat with friends, sample some of Wisconsin’s favorite dishes, and try one or more pints off their extensive beer list. Their huge outdoor patio is inspired by Dutch street-side cafés and is the perfect place to relax in summer. The corner location is also a bonus, giving diners a glimpse of the Milwaukee River. Just note that there isn’t a ton of parking, so come early to grab a space in the parking lot, or plan to walk a few blocks to the restaurant.
Café Hollander is known for its extensive beer list and glassware collection. According to them, specific types of beer need their own style of glass to enhance the aromatics, carbonation, and head formation. They have over 40 different types of glasses, so whatever beer you choose is served in the optimal glassware. The beers we sampled were all delicious, so they must be on to something!
They have their own brewing collaborative – Lowlands Brewing Collaborative – that works with some of the world’s best brewers to create their own line of proprietary beers. These range in styles from the rich, creamy, caramel-laced Tandem Dubbel and the hoppy Hollander IPA, both from Belgium. They also collaborate with local WI brewers to bring in exclusive beers, as well as import some of the finest European varieties. With over 30 beers on draught (and many more sold by the bottle), it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Luckily, they offer tasting flights for $12 of some of their favorite options. If you’re not a beer person, they have plenty of hand-crafted cocktails, award-winning Bloody Marys, and an impressive wine list.
For appetizers try the house-made cheese curds, a Wisconsin staple, which are fried white cheddar cheese curds served with a sriracha ranch dipping sauce. Or get in the Belgium spirit with a Big Soft Pretzel, a salted soft pretzel with bier cheese dipping sauce. Or, the Frites Cone which are French fries or sweet potato fries served in a traditional paper cone with your choice of any of the nine different dipping sauces. You can also dine at Café Hollander for brunch and indulge in one of their amazing, gigantic waffles made from traditional brioche-based dough. If you are looking for places to eat in Mequon with the flair of the Benelux area, Café Hollander is one of the best restaurants.
1340 W Towne Square Rd, Mequon // (262) 241-9589
Harvey’s is a chic bistro in the suburbs that still gives off a swanky downtown vibe. The contemporary bar and décor of the restaurant’s interior give way to a comfortable garden-party style setting in their screened in patio. The upbeat music playing softly over the speakers adds just the right amount of class without being stuffy. If the weather’s good, definitely check out their fireplace patio outside.
They have a great happy hour every Monday through Friday from 4-6 pm and offer a wonderful selection of classic cocktails like sidecars, gimlets, and Moscow mules. Their menu changes seasonally and they really shine in their small plate menu. But if you’re in the mood for entrees, try the Wolfgang Puck’s Seafood Stew – a tomato-based broth infused with saffron and fennel with onions, mushrooms, peppers, and seasonal seafood. Or try the Sesame Duck Fettuccini, which consists of tender pulled duck and stir-fried vegetables in a balsamic plum sauce over fettuccine pasta. They also have a classic Wisconsin Friday Fish Fry with panko-crusted lake perch, updated with an avocado tartar sauce.
For dessert don’t miss the tiramisu, with its layers of soft espresso infused ladyfingers, creamy mascarpone and topped with a bit of shaved chocolate. They occasionally have live music, so be sure to check their website for the lineup. We highly recommend this classic bistro as one of the best places to eat in Mequon.
Which of these Mequon Restaurants do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
Sarah Cribari is a freelance travel writer and blogger based in Arizona who specializes in food, wine, and RV travel. She loves hitting the road and looking for the best culinary adventures, wine experiences, and quirky historical activities. You can follow her adventures on her blog farbluemountains.com or see her attempt to cook in a tiny RV kitchen at thecamperkitchen.com.