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Water Buffalo
Water Buffalo

Water Buffalo Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.waterbuffalomilwaukee.com
  • Email: info@waterbuffalomilwaukee.com
  • Phone: (414) 431-1133
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 5:00pm; Dinner: Sun - Thurs: 5:00pm - 10:00pm Fri and Sat 5:00pm - midnight
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food
  • Executive Chef: Alex Sazama
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Private space can accommodate up to 150 guests in the summer; great for group gatherings. No matter the occasion, Water Buffalo is the perfect spot for your event.
  • Private Party Contact: Erin Peschel (414) 455-2115

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Buffalo St.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Street and surface lots are plentiful; private parking lot also available near by.
A word from Water Buffalo
Milwaukee's newest riverfront bar and restaurant in the heart of the historic third ward. Fantastic outdoor riverfront seating as well as a dynamic, highly designed space with a varied casual menu. Plenty of parking via daily valet service, very unusual for the 3rd Ward. This may be the most unique Riverfront restaurant and bar in Milwaukee. Great late night too.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Diner Reviews
  • "Good food service. Better atmosphere for conversing."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Great food, lovely service and overall a wonderful night."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Very good staff provided excellent experience wrapped around tasty lunches. Nice menu with doe interesting dishes. Probably a must visit place in the summer as it is right on the river."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "We were impressed with the interior of the restaurant. Our appetizer was delicious (Goat Cheese), great drinks, and two out of the three of the meals were delicious . They were out of the house dressing, however, and the only dessert any of us wanted, which our server offered and then had to come back to say that they weren't serving it that night. The server was our biggest disappointment slow to greet us, drinks were slow getting there and he never walked around the table, just stood to one side and reached across everyone to put the food and drinks down. Took two plates away and tried to get us to order dessert while the third person in our party was still eating her meal! Might go again, might not."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "I come here once in a while, knowing that the restaurant has pretty good food, and works with people with food allergies. This time around, I was meeting with friends who were being introduced to a friend of mine, so it was going to be a nice leisurely dinner. It worked out great with the slow service, but if you have somewhere to be or are not a fan of taking a 2 hour dinner, then this place is not for you."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "My wife and I celebrated our 8th anniversary at Water Buffalo and the evening couldn't have been more enjoyable. Service and food both were excellent. We appreciated the flutes of a nice bubbly the house provided on hearing that we were celebrating. My wife ordered the filet skewer with Quinoa and I the grilled chicken on Mac 'n Cheese. I tasted her dish and in my opinion it was the best of the two. The beef was delicious but for me the grain was the hit. I travel a good deal and nice beef is available in any good restaurant. But I've never cared for Quinoa but theirs was just wonderful. "Wonderful" isn't a phrase I'd ever have used to describe Quinoa before. Amazing!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "Pretty view of the river. Very nice outdoor seating in summer. Good food and attentive service. Low lighting, exposed brick walls, multiple levels for dining and bars. Hard to find street parking, but there is a city parking garage nearby."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "We were very pleased with the food and drink options as well as the quality of the food and service. Perfect for our Valentine's date. Setting was chic and modern but with darker and wooded tones that felt warmer than your typical "urban lounge.""
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "The staff at Water Buffalo is outstanding -- very friendly and helpful. The food is excellent as well -- with great dinner choices to select from. But for me, a good staff makes dining out a better expereince. Will be going back often."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Food choices were extremely limited. Portions were very small"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We dined there thi summer and had a table outside near the docks. It was romantic , the service was good. Food was great."
    Dined on 9/11/2013
  • "We selected the restaurant based on the online menu. When we arrived, the actual menu was significantly different and not appealing to our group. So we went with just appetizers. Also, seated 20 min. After reservation time and had another event to attend and felt tight on time to enjoy ourselves."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "I loved the neighborhood and the location on the river was super cool. I bet it would be great in the summer. Our appetizer was seared ahi tuna and our server warned us it is cooked rare. Well it was more like medium. Not a huge deal. My wahoo main dish was not great; fish was overcooked and the pasta that came along with it was not good. Not only was it a strange match to the fish but also the pasta itself was stuck together in some spots like 'globbed' together, so it was overcooked, maybe? Our server, while very nice, was not very educated on the menu. when I asked if there were any nuts in the ravioli (which was good) she was clueless. Their menu is not that large, really, so I would expect you know. All in all, just fair."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "This restaurant really rocks. The food is awesome, the ambience is great with wonderful river views and a perfect location in the historic third ward of Milwaukee."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "I would place Water Buffalo in a sweet spot between the bar scene restaurants in the Third Ward and the higher priced "foodie restaurants." The atmosphere on the Milwaukee river is very nice, and the menu has a wide range without being overpriced. We enjoyed it quite a bit."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "The food was good, but the portion was small for the price. The service was fine, but not great. Loved the atmosphere, its just that the tables are right on top of eachother so if you want to talk to who youre with, you better whisper or the folks on each side of you will hear it all."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Excellent food, great service, and perfect ambiance. Went here on a first date recently and she loved it. It was a great place for conversation and the food was just perfect."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "We frequently come to Milwaukee for a weekend away from Chicago and we have found a few really good places that we return to each time we come to town. This was our first time dining at water buffalo and we were impressed! The food was great and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. We will definitely be back next time we are in town."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "Everything we had was pretty good, but not amazing. The service was very good however."
    Dined on 1/9/2014
  • "Water Buffalo was an excellent decision for a girl's night dinner. The dining area inside is small and intimate, yet accommodates a decent amount of guests. The menu had a variety of options for all appetites, and the decor and atmosphere were very welcoming and comforting. The service was a little slow, but it wasn't a bother at all as it gave us time to enjoy each other's company. There were two larger groups in the restaurant at the time, and with the space being as small as it is, it was a bit odd to have such large parties. I wouldn't recommend for groups over 5 or 6. When there are groups, it becomes very loud for other guests who are only there with one or two other people!"
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "Great food and atmosphere. Wonderful service. Would recommend to those who need gluten free options!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We parents treated our daughter and her BF (20 somethings) to a night out at Water Buffalo and the Skylight. While the food was very good at Water Buffalo, I was most disappointed that the sandwich menu was not available at night. (I had perused online at home and knew just what I wanted to order!!!, but alas, it was not on the menu when we got there! And I don't think they stated that online?) I'm not sure why they wouldn't have sandwiches at night? Such a simple thing and if you are taking younger people out, a very logical menu choice...something they are familiar with. Might go again, but early enough to get sandwiches?"
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "I would have rated this trip higher were it not for a single bartender who made the end of the night a lot less enjoyable. It was a slow night with very few people in the restaurant (was a weekend during the holidays, that should be expected) and apparently the bartender was in a hurry to get home. She continually asked us to close our tab after each drink was ordered - which wasn't that many, maybe 8-9 in total for a group of 6 - before it was even 10 p.m. Having been a bartender, I tip much more than I should, but in this case, she got next to nothing because of her attitude. I should also mention that I proposed to my girlfriend after dinner (which we were celebrating), and even in our great mood, she still managed to drive us out."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Was a nice place for dinner before the Nutcracker!"
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "I loved that the owners combined historic feel of the building with the feel of today. The finished product created a "wow" factor as we walked in. The view was amazing and I can't wait to get back during nicer weather so that I can enjoy the outdoor river view seating. The food is like advertized- "comfort food". My scallops with squash risotto were delicious. My fiends also loved their 3 cheese ravioli and truffle mac and cheese. My only complaint was the amount of risotto was disproportionally large to the number of scallops. Since we did not order a salad (a la cart), I missed having a few veggies on the plate. Maybe that is the "comfort food" part of the menu- lots of carbs! We definitely will return to try other menu items."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "We had a great time at your restaurant-drinks and food were delicious-we will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "Menu is not what it used to be. Used to be known for some of the best quality food for the price. Now it's just poor food for reasonable prices. Good bar scene. Fun place to hang out. I prefer the old staff and menu."
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "Alway a wonderful experience. I love the chicken tortilla soup and the shish kabob"
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "Took a date here and found the atmosphere and experience to very welcoming. Service was very attentive and the decor was beautiful. It would recommend it, especially for parties of two."
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "These guys made me very happy I ordered drinks and the filet. Drinks were stout and the filet was excellent. They sure now how to treat a Marine. Cheers!"
    Dined on 11/11/2013
  • "Always great food, very good service. Excellent choice when you have plans downtown. But make sure you add extra time to find parking. Very tough."
    Dined on 10/25/2013
  • "Everything we had was delicious, from the martini to the lemon cheesecake for dessert. The mashed potatoes were fabulous."
    Dined on 10/19/2013
  • "Water Buffalo feels like a sophisticated pub, right on the river in the third ward. Nice urban decor, small enough (upstairs) not to be too loud, even though it was completely full on a Sunday night. We were glad to have made a reservation because we were seated right away. I had the seared ahi which didn't look at all like the description the server gave me. It tasted good but was a cool dish, not made clear to me but I should have guessed with a cucumber-corn "gazpacho" (served under the fish, not over as the server claimed). The biggest flaw was the service - it was slow but we weren't in a rush so that was OK. Soup came at the same time as the entrees, dishes not described accurately, server could have been a bit friendlier."
    Dined on 10/13/2013