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Permanently Closed - Water Buffalo

4.3
883 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Waterfront (31)
  • Scenic View (22)
  • Good for a Date (20)

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Milwaukee's favorite riverfront bar and restaurant in the heart of the historic third ward for nearly 10 years.

Fantastic outdoor riverfront seating as well as a dynamic, highly designed space with a varied casual American menu.

Plenty of parking via street parking and nearby structures.

This may be the most unique Riverfront restaurant and bar in Milwaukee.

If you don't happen to find the reservation time that you're interested in, please do call the restaurant: 414-431-1133
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Comfort Food, Vegetarian
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Hours of operation
Weekdays: Lunch from 11 am to 4 pm; Dinner starting at 4 pm
Weekends: Brunch from 10 am to 3 pm; Dinner starting at 3 pm
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Phone number
(414) 431-1133
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Alex Sazama
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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.
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Private party contact
Chrstine Bradford: (414) 585-8934
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Buffalo St.
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Parking details
Street and surface lots are plentiful; private parking lot also available near by.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 883 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3
  based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OpenTable Diner 
5.0
Dined on January 1, 2018

Our server was such a sweet girl and really on top of everything.

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ScubaSteve 
2.0
Dined on January 1, 2018

We had a reservation at 8:30 on New Years Eve and arrived around 8:25 pm. We were told there were several groups ahead of us but we should be seated in the next 5-10 mins, which I totally understand since it was New Years Eve. So we sat at the bar that was less that half full and did not receive service for about 10-15 mins, even after I acknowledged the bar tender. It seemed as if there was only a single bar tender (inexperienced) servicing the entire restaurant. It was honestly kind of a joke. After a while we were seated (around 9 pm), and a server came by and introduced herself twice and both times said she’d be with us in a few mins. We eventually had a different server that was very nice. The food came out pretty quickly. We had two appetizers and two entrees. The lasagna is a little heavy, but for the most part the food was pretty good. I think the restaurant is beautiful with an unbelievable location, and maybe it was a bad night due to the holiday, but I did expect a little more. It was a special occasion dinner with a significant other that was less than stellar, but I have heard good things about the restaurant in the past.

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OpenTable Diner 
5.0
Dined on January 1, 2018

We went to Water Buffalo on New Years Eve. Our reservation was for 2 instead of 4. They were able to accommodate even though it was incredibly busy.

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OpenTable Diner 
2.0
Dined on January 1, 2018

We did not have a very good experience. Waitress was very annoying. Kept telling us how busy she was having to waitress and tend bar at the same time. When we selected a drink or entre' selection she always tried to get us to change it. Very strange. Food was average at best. My steak was burned and portions we relatively small for the price. It was a cold evening and several people in our party sitting next to the windows froze.

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DeeH 
4.0
Dined on December 30, 2017

Service very good. My husband loved the ribs. My ahi tuna...not so much. I get tuna almost everywhere I go. This was my least favorite I’ve ever had. There was No flavor to this dish. Was supposed to come with quinoa, but it was unflavored couscous.
My friend and I were drinking wine....one of her glasses was about 3 oz.

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Shai 
5.0
Dined on December 29, 2017

Our server, Molly, was great. Even though she was becoming increasingly busy she took the time and energy to be really present when she was answering our questions or making recommendations. The tone was set with the poblano chicken in puff pastry which where stellar. The puff pastry was like buttery cashmere with a super soft crunch. I had the lobster ravioli in a perfectly nappe white sauce with almost a garnish of arrabiata, which was a nice touch. I have to say I’m in LOVE with the fact they use fresh pasta. It speaks to a real commitment happening in the back of the house. My friend had the lasagna (more fresh noodles 😍) with sausage and artichoke. It came topped with a super fragrant pesto and while it was a little on the salty side it wasn’t enough to detract from the overall flavor of the dish. We shared the carmelized Brussels sprouts. Many places drop the ball on dessert. That’s not the case with Water Buffalo. The almond pound cake almost ruined our friendship because I didn’t want to share. It came out toasted and warm and divine and inspired an audible moan. We also had the Swiss roll, an endearing little twist on a childhood favorite. The coffee was even great! They could have served that meal to me in a cardboard box fort and I would have left happy so the overall ambiance of the place was just the icing on the cake. There was enough attention to detail happening that it kept me surprised and delighted for the entire meal. An appetizer, wine, 2 entrees with a side and 2 desserts with coffee for under a hundo? Stick a fork in me. Thanks Water Buffalo! You’re my new “go to” watering hole whenever I’m in Milwaukee.

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vipTHeTs (Milwaukee)
4.0
Dined on December 29, 2017

Nice place for a casual meal. Went on a quiet weeknight so the service was prompt and attentive. Food was good. Liked the fried chicken sandwich. The only complaint I would make is they were out of two of our parties choices. Considering it was a slow weeknight it seemed odd they would have sold out of two items.

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KarrieT (Tampa)
5.0
Dined on December 17, 2017

There were 7 in our group and all of us loved the food. Prices were reasonable and most of us went home with leftovers because the portions are pretty big. Would definitely go back.

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sudsr 
4.0
Dined on December 16, 2017

This is a very attractive restaurant with a fabulous view of the river. The food was very good - not necessarily special or unique but very good. We don't visit the Third Ward often and we were expecting something a bit more special. We were there for dinner on a Friday night and I was happy the place wasn't packed. We (group of four) sat comfortably at the bar for drinks before and after dinner and were able to all converse without yelling.

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Sarah 
5.0
Dined on December 8, 2017

Excellent! I had the Kansas City Strip and absolutely loved it. I wanted to try Water Buffalo for a long time-I'm so happy I finally did!

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