Guide to S. 5th Street
Just in time for 5th St. Festival in Walker's Point, with places to eat, drink, see and be seen.
The 5th St. Festival is returning to Walker’s Point for its second annual year on Saturday, September 22. The festival blocks off 5th St. between West Virginia St. and National Ave. from noon until 10:00 p.m. That stretch — and beyond — has become a booming urban strip, with a multitude of places to eat, drink, and see. Here’s the first Urban Milwaukee guide to all the street contains.
Places to Eat
Hungry for Mexican food? You’re in luck: 5th St. offers anything from small fares like tapas and spirits from Snifters (606. S 5th St) to larger menus of Mexican cuisine like at Botanas (816 S. 5th St).
Or, if you want to meet in the middle of those two (literally), Nomad Nacional is a pop-up bar which offers a variety of drinks and Mexican favorites, like tacos, all you can eat taquitos during happy hour, and of course, margaritas. But don’t wait too long, the vibrant Nomad Nacional will be gone by November, and so will its outdoor tropical-themed patio with sand underneath a variety of lounge chairs.
Other spots include Hamburger Mary’s (730 S. 5th St), an American bar and grill chain which offers burgers and cocktails. Next door to Hamburger Mary’s is Mary’s Arcade Bar (734 S. 5th St), where you can play a variety of arcade games for free, watch sports on TV, and enjoy craft beer and flatbread pizza.
A more sedate place to hang out is Fuel Cafe (630 S. 5th St). They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offer not only coffee and tea, but specialty cocktails, draft beer, and wine. Just be careful not to mix too much coffee with your cocktails.
If you run out of places to eat, consider a few more spots near 5th St: Bodegon at Hotel Madrid (600 S. 6th St.) offers a classy atmosphere with Spanish cuisine and plenty of protein ranging from scallops to rack of lamb to choice cut steaks. Perhaps just as classy is Greige Patisserie (408 W. Florida St), which is a small cafe that offers a variety of French pastries and wines— a perfect spot for breakfast, or a drink after dinner.
Places to Drink
If you’re looking for distinctive beers, look no further than MobCraft, your go-to brewery and taproom at 505 S. 5th St. With a wide selection of craft beer and plans to add pizza to the menu, there’s plenty of options to choose from. If you’re more of a Sprecher fan, the Sprecher Walker’s Point Tap Room (706 S. 5th St.) is just across the street.
Speaking of taprooms, Urban Harvest Brewing (1024 S. 5th St.) is another small brewery and taproom on the southern end of the street, offering a small variety of its beers in a relaxed and simple tavern.
Other spots to drink? For the party freaks, 5th St. offers The Local Club Anything (807 S. 5th St.) and Jynx Nightclub (715 S. 5th St), where you can be sure to find plenty of drinks and a lively atmosphere. Although not the biggest clubs in town, these two spots keep 5th St. alive at night on the weekends with special events and live performances.
Want to avoid a hangover? Try Juiced! (640 S. 5th St. #2), the fast-casual juicery right next door to Fuel Cafe. Their cold-pressed juice could be a pleasing alternative to the endless bars and tap rooms.
If none of the spots on 5th St. are to your liking, there’s still hope: Lost Valley Cider Co. (408 W. Florida St.) and Great Lakes Distillery (616 W. Virginia St.) are also great spots to find unique drinks ranging from craft beer to an array of different ciders.
Places to See
Eating and drinking aren’t all there is to life. As you make your way down 5th St., you’ll notice the artistic culture of Milwaukee come to life with a variety of murals, antique shops, and art venues.
Look up to the sky above the Coakley Brothers building (400 S. 5th St.) and you’ll find the “water tower” sculpture, covered with vibrant colors made of stained glass.
If you’re coming from the northern end of 5th St., it’ll be hard to miss the 6th St. Viaduct, right next to the Iron Horse Hotel (500 W. Florida St.) just by the roundabout.
Walking down 5th St., including neighboring streets and alleyways, you’ll notice a few different colorful murals: one that sticks out is a portrait of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez which was unveiled last year at 625 S. 5th St., honoring the life of the “Queen of Tejano Music”.
Others include a variety of vividly painted walls in an alley between 5th and 6th St., just between Nomad Nacional and Hotel Madrid. Heading south underneath the freeway interchange at the intersection of 6th and Washington will lead you to the “Wonders of Latin America” mural, painted in 2002 with the help of local youth to depict various themes of Latin America.
Last but not least is the striking “Mural of Piece” facing a small parking lot at 611 W. National Ave., which displays an immense image of an eagle and a dove.
Aside from street art, 5th St. and the surrounding area is also full of craft and antique shops. You can find FORM Fine Goods, a boutique shop located at 700 S. 5th St.; Specter (713 S. 5th St.), a craft shop specializing in fiber and clay products; Farm Girl Art and Antiques (803 S. 5th St.), which has rustic-style crafts; and BC Modern (900 S. 5th St.), offering more modern furnishing and decor.
And don’t forget Brew City Salvage at 524 W. National Ave., which is renowned for its finely crafted wooden furniture.
Finally, you can show your appreciation for the arts by visiting Arts@Large (908 S. 5th St.), a small location for the non-profit organization that offers art education for local youths. The location also features a small cafe, making it easier to stick around and support the local arts community.
In short, S. 5t St. is packed with cool things to do.