Water Buffalo
Water Buffalo

Water Buffalo

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.waterbuffalomilwaukee.com/
  • Phone: 4144311133x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Open Daily at 11:00am.
  • 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 414-455-2115x

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 favorite 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 street parking, nearby structures and valet on Fridays and Saturdays. This may be the most unique Riverfront restaurant and bar in Milwaukee.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Water Buffalo reviews from OpenTable diners
56 reviews since June 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (31)scenic view (31)fit for foodies (21)great for lunch (17)neighborhood gem (15)good for groups (15)special occasion (13)romantic (10)hot spot (9)vibrant bar scene (7)notable wine list (7)great for brunch (6)late-night find (4)Show More
  • Small portion
    gopack4
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    Had been a few years since we've been here, and won't likely return soon given the many options now in 3rd Ward. Small tuna entrée. Ordered carafe of Sangria. Was quite watered down w/ ice.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Experience
    TrevorLBrooksVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    The Water Buffalo was wonderful, the service and food was perfect, the setting and décor only add to it. Definitely someplace I would go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful dining experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    The water buffalo was a great way to cap our trip to Milwaukee. Despite arriving early for our reservation, they sat us quickly. Everything on the menu sounded wonderful so our very helpful waitress helped us decide what fit our mood that evening. The scallops were cooked perfectly and the filet was tender and cooked as asked. When we return to Milwaukee, we will definitely be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for gathering and dining
    LauraM
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    We always enjoy Water Buffalo on visits to Milwaukee. The food is well-prepared and satisfying and our service this time especially was exceptional!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Value
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Excellent value on a Tuesday night. 4 people ate 3 course meal with wine for $100. You don't find that in the third Ward. Tender cuts of meat too.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great location with a dramatic view
    CulinaryDignitary
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Food was excellent and Chimeny Rock was sublime. Keith was our wait person and he made Water Bufalo proud.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice atmosphere& staff, okay food.
    mbfoodie12
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I've been here one in the past and the food was really good, but I just was not thrilled this time. The staff was nice, but the food was not memorable. I wish the ahi tuna salad had a little more substance to it, maybe more avocado or something. My friends said their dishes were okay too. With that said, it was really good in the past, maybe I just ordered the wrong thing. The atmosphere is very cool, staff was nice, so I will be back to try it again.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was very good, but service not
    jjv104
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We had an outside table on a beautiful evening. The server came immediately. So far so go. We had drinks from the bar, but he pressed us for an appetizer and we hadn't even had a chance to look at the menu. After that it was all down hill. Constantly had to wait for him and additional drinks. Food was delivered by staff. Table was bussed correctly but silver ware was not replaced and we had to find someone to get a fork when the entrées were delivered. The food was very good and reasonably priced. I will go back and hope we have a different server.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • crystalmompa5
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Nice ambiance. Food bland and very pedestrian. Missing the mark... when it comes to culinary skills. A real shame, as I think the location on the water gives it great potential.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • first time visit
    lifechanges
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    I was very disappointed with the food selection, the long wait for food that had to be sent back. Half of our party was finished before the other half even got their food. very inattentive server. we wont go back
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Weekday lunch
    dineExpert09
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Me and my girlfriend went there for lunch Friday afternoon. We sat outside on the patio and it was pretty nice. I wish they had more umbrella shades though because it got hot pretty fast being in the sun. Our server was okay. He wasn't bad but definitely not the best. He forgot to bring out silverware and a soup spoon with our soup. Not very talkative at all. We both had the pulled pork sandwich and OMG was it delicious! Overall very good place to eat lunch. We'll probably go back soon.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice before performance
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Went to Phantom of the Opera. The staff was attentive to our schedule and gracious to our needs. We really count on the consistent quality of our experiences here.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very warm inside...
    Bland
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Apparently there wasn't outdoor seating available, so we sat inside. The food was great, but it was extremely warm inside.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great evening out!
    GlutenfreedinerVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    First we did a brief happy hour and the bartenders were friendly and knowledgable. Following we ate dinner outside. The wine list has unusual and moderately priced wines. Again the staff was knowledgable about those too, and we loved our selection. The food was very good, especially the kale salad. I will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really nice
    Sean
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Excellent spot on the Milwaukee River Walk. Lots of outdoor and indoor seating. Very urban views on the river. Food was very good, with lots of options. Plenty of comfort food, but also some more gourmet choices. Service was good, but there were a couple of times where our waiter disappeared for a while and we had to go to the bar to refill our drinks, but this was minor. Service was friendly and food was very well prepared. Great place
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Casual dining but menu not casual. Should at least offer a burger.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • sweet spot
    bini
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    just off the main street, with a lovely river view - very diverse menu, and a waiter who was SO kind... i was with my sons, the table next to us was on an obvious "match" date, and beyond them a table of 8 women... the scene seemed to fit for everyone!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Romantic Spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Really tasty food. I had the steak, my wife had the shrimp salad. Both dishes had great taste. Very quiet for a Saturday night, but it is just what we wanted. Close proximity to the riverwalk. Great time!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best feature is outdoor seating
    DinerVIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Nice location and lots of interesting options on the menu, but our food choices and service were just okay.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 37 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4.4
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 467 reviews are from the Water Buffalo reviews archive.
  • Annydinner
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    The outside seating is a great setting with a great view! Our service was very good. Our food was wonderful,- appetizers, salad and our dinner all came out perfectly timed. The menu is on the small side but lots of amazing food to choose from. We've been here a few times and will go back again!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic Food, Okay Service
    natalie2303
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    We were seated in a back corner, which wasn't very appealing since I had asked on my reservation for the best view available. We had the chicken puffs which I would totally recommend. Very good and a nice size of appetizer. Between courses, my husband had ordered a 2nd beer. When our main course came, the beer still hadn't arrived, so he asked again. She did bring it and said since we waited so long for it she would put it on the house. That was nice. I had the beef kabobs and my husband had the pork chops. Both were very good both in taste and presentation. We didn't order extra sides and had plenty to eat. The waitress seemed very slow with us, not quick to fill waters or get us what we needed. But overall great experience.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overall Good
    OrganicGirl
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Nice Historic Third Ward restaurant...service could have been better, but was't the worst we've had either. A little loud inside, but some like that! Food was good, but not outstanding. Over all good though and we would go back.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food..
    Candace
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    First time visiting. Great place! Beautiful location and decor. My husband and I will be back soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food Good Service
    kmacmilw
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Tried Water Buffalo for the first time during Milwaukee's Downtown Dining Week and it was definitely a great choice. Started with the lobster rangoon which was very delicious. For the main course I had the beef kebab, and the beef was very good, and the mashed potatoes were some of the best mashed potatoes that I have ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love it or Leave it
    Wobbly
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    This location is wonderful. The setting is beautiful cream city brick with a warm urban flair. The food was fantastic, but the service and customer service could use a little work. Flexibility is a must to accommodate your guests. If your one that needs to eat and run, this might not be your best option. If you have several hours to chat and enjoy the time at your table, then this is a true gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Downtown Dining
    knockitout
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    Took advantage of their Downtown Dining deal. The food was really good and the service was very attentive. Would like to try on a nice day and experience the outdoor seating area.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Downtown Dining Week
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Went for a late lunch during Downtown Dining Wekk, the menu was excellent and everything was prepared perfectly. The only complaint is that the food came too quickly for each course. Our server (Chelsea - who was very friendly and attentive) said that earlier the kitchen had been struggling to keep up.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just a great place to go.
    Klinki
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Crab cakes and shrimp tacos were delicious. Bloody Mary the best I've had in a restaurant.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Summer spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Great for summer outdoor dining. They do allow dogs on the patio. Great find!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrible experience
    MrBeau
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    We had a terrible experience on Sunday 5/25. The bar was not full but service was slow, tap beer not available, bottled beer selection had many unavailable items. Had requested outside seating in res. No note in reservation when arrived delayed seating (they should read notes if some are provided). Slow service, bar order lost said waiter, inexperienced waiter seemed to be struggling but trying. 1/2 hour for drinks at table to arrive. Apps > 1/2 hour. Then waiter lost tray of drinks on the mesh table soaking me and one other guest (I caught the red wine headed for our wives). We left before apps served. really unfortunate.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food!
    mamaleetz
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    The food was great, as always, but the waiter was extremely inexperienced. Had to ask twice and wait 15 minutes for a booster chair, when it was indicated on the reservation and noted with the hostess.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrible service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    It was Mother's Day. Our server was rude, apathetic, and barely spoke to us. I've dined here twice before and had great food and service. I won't be returning.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Week night visit
    Winelover29
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    In town a year ago and enjoyed the experience so gave it another try this week. We were not disappointed as we all tried "different" things on the menu and were very satisfied. Our server was very accommodating and even allowed me to swap out drinks at no charge. (initial wine choice was not what I had hoped) With a son in school nearby, we will make sure to stop by again when in town, hopefully when the weather is nicer to enjoy the river view.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely anniversary dinner
    globalfoodie
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    It was our anniversary and my husband and I had a great time. The only complaint I would have is that there are not many options for vegetarians. Otherwise the food was fresh and very flavorful. The ambience was also great and we had a very good time on a sunday evening.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place along the river
    diningout
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    I called to confirm our reservation and the hostess was incredibly friendly and that friendliness continued throughout the dining experience. Our waiter was attentive, but did not hover, and the food was wonderful! I had the steak kebob, my husband had the fried chicken sandwich, and our son had a burger - all was great! The location in Milwaukee's historic Third Ward along the river was beautiful.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Fish Fry
    MexicanaddictVIP
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Great food, lovely service and overall a wonderful night.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    Good food service. Better atmosphere for conversing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Menu / Great Service
    pcb1107
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mixed reviews
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food always good, but service slow
    mssnappy
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.