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Dig into these summer food staples in Milwaukee

people getting ice cream
Sara Stathas
Milwaukee Magazine
Joy Ice Cream Social is located in Wauwatosa.

Summertime in Milwaukee means plenty of festivals, concerts and hot dining spots.

Ann Christenson covers dining for Milwaukee Magazine and for this month’s issue, she wrote about some of the best sausages, taco trucks and summer drinks in the city.

Sausage Shops

Christenson says sausages aren’t just a summer staple, they’re part of Milwaukee’s cultural fabric. Here are a couple of the best shops to find all your sausage needs:


Shoppers can find over 70 varieties of old-world sausage at Usinger’s, including brats, blood sausages, knackwurst, bockwurst and so much more.

“They know everything about sausage," Christenson says. “Just ask them any question, and they have the answer to it!”

Bavette la Boucherie

If you’re looking for a modern butcher shop, Christenson says Bavette is the place to visit. In addition to its restaurant, Bavette also sells sausages made in-house, including Polish, Italian and brats.

Taco Trucks

La Taqueria Gueleguetza Oaxaca

Christenson says this taco truck’s, which is usually parked near South Division High School, signature dish is its Alambre.

“This wonderful dish is made of [grilled] meat and it has melted cheese and avocado on top,” she says. “It comes in a platter, and it can easily feed four people, and they give you tortillas with it, a little blistered chili pepper and a roasted potato. … It's absolutely delicious.”

El Taco Veloz

Christenson says her favorite item on the taco truck’s menu is their quesadillas made with handmade corn tortillas — just add al pastor meat to it and you’ve got a taste of heaven. It's usually parked off 82nd Street and Brown Deer Road.

Summer Drinks

Joy Ice Cream Social

This Wauwatosa ice cream shop offers 16 different flavors served in cups, waffle cones and shakes. It also serves summer drinks like house-made cold brew, lemonade and flavored teas — and adult beverages like wine and beer.

“Joy Ice Cream Social is about the most charming ice cream place that I've been to in a really long time,” Christenson says. “There's something about the mystique of this place that draws people in. It's just so cute. It's so well done. And the ice cream is great.”

Stone Creek Coffee

Christenson says all nine cafe locations have at least two cold brews on tap, but her go-to location in Whitefish Bay offers a different third option every month.

“If you want a cold brew that is just a little bit different and has just so many interesting flavors that you can just kind of discover — that's a great way to do it,” she says.

Xcaret is a WUWM producer for Lake Effect.
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