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Water Buffalo

$$ - $$$
Historic Third Ward
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249 North Water Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202-5787 (Buffalo St.)
+1 414-431-1133
11:00 - 21:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 10:00 - 21:00
Mon - Thu 11:00 - 21:00
Fri 11:00 - 22:00
Sat 10:00 - 22:00
More Info
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233 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
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Time of year
Showing 231: English reviews
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I went with a group of 10 friends to Water Buffalo to celebrate a friends birthday on a Saturday at 5pm. Our table was ready right away. The atmosphere, view of the river and decor is great. Our waitress was amazing especially because we tent to be a needy bunch. We all ordered drinks and appetizers right away. Drinks were... More 

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
JoeSorge, Owner at Water Buffalo, responded to this review

Hey, thank you so much for reviewing us. We'll look into what happened at the bar, and I appreciate your patience and understanding of the pacing of your entrees. Hope to see you again soon! - Joe More 

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

I just went to Water Buffalo recently for brunch. I can say that the poached eggs with root vegetables and goat cheese was very good but I found the service disappointing. It is also SHOCKING to me that a restaurant (in Wisconsin no-less) would run out of CREAM for COFFEE on a Sunday, during brunch hours. Seriously? Don't you have... More 

Thank KarlaFantastic
JoeSorge, Owner at Water Buffalo, responded to this review

Hi Karla, Thank you for your review! You're right. Joke's aside, we were not prepared for the busy weekend, and I'm sorry this affected your experience with us. I hope you join us again on a Monday for Wine & Bovine Night - chef's choice steak and wine pairing for $25 per person. This is Wisconsin, after all! - Joe More 

Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2017

This is fun spot with great views. The food is fine. This would be a hot spot in the summer. Brunch is standard on the weekends. The warm chocolate chip cookie bake is treat.

Thank Alyssa B
JoeSorge, Owner at Water Buffalo, responded to this review

Hey, thanks, Alyssa! Brunch on the Riverwalk can't be beat. Hope to see you again when it's warmer! - Joe More 

Level Contributor
265 reviews
172 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2017

Read all the great reviews and decided to go here on date night. We sat along the water which I would highly recommend. Our service was terrible. We were left alone for ever, our server changed mid-meal and nobody seems to be stationed outside to keep an eye on riverside diners. The worst part of the evening came with the... More 

Thank jojoishere
JoeSorge, Owner at Water Buffalo, responded to this review

Hi there, I'm so sorry about this. As you can imagine, this is NOT the way we built our reputation, and I hope you can let us prove it to you. Email me at joe@waterbuffalomilwaukee... and we would be happy to make it right. - Joe More 

1 review
Reviewed 17 February 2017 via mobile

I ate at the Water Buffalo many years ago and remember it being much better. When we arrived there were many tables available but we were seated awkwardly close to another couple. It was uncomfortable. Our waitress was nice and did a good job. The food was just okay. It was a tad bland and overpriced. I doubt we'd go... More 

Thank Jennifer D
Level Contributor
36 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2017 via mobile

Great food at great prices. Food this good usually costs 30% more. Example... Massive pork chop over mashed potatoes, super tasty glaze... 20 bucks! Over looks the river, nice casual vibe, big bar.

Thank Robert M
JoeSorge, Owner at Water Buffalo, responded to this review

Thank you, Robert! You can't beat fresh ingredients that are prepared right. Hope you join us again soon. - Joe More 

Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviewed 4 January 2017

The food here was average. They had some interesting dishes, but the flavors of the food didn't stand out to me. Aside from that, the food was too expensive for the flavor. The inside of the restaurant was really nice and larger than expected. I enjoyed the design.

Thank Jessica C
Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
272 reviews
227 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2016

Great brunch menu offering egg dishes, sweet breakfast items and sandwiches. We had a Buffalo Hero, Corned Beef Hash and a Black Bean Burger. All were delicious and served quickly.

Thank Denise A
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 October 2016 via mobile

Fabulous food and service. Group of six. We ate outside and all of our meals were excellent. The wait staff was attentive even with all the rumning back inside that was required

Thank renewedbyme
JoeSorge, Owner at Water Buffalo, responded to this review

Thanks for coming in! Glad you enjoyed everything, and happy to host you anytime. More 

Mequon, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
35 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2016

Six of us dined at Water Buffalo on a Wed night the first week of Oct. There was a 45 minute wait but asked if we could eat outside (it was really nice out) when they had not planned on serving outside. They were very accommodating and seated us outside (after we were seated a number of other people asked... More 

Thank K2861VNthomass
JoeSorge, Owner at Water Buffalo, responded to this review

Hi there, Thanks for joining us for dinner! I'm glad enjoyed the meal and the river views. Joe More 

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
USD 12 - USD 30
American, Gluten Free Options
Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining Style
Casual Dining
Good for
Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, View
Open Hours
10:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 22:00
10:00 - 22:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 249 North Water Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202-5787
    (Buffalo St.)
  • Location: United States  >  Wisconsin (WI)  >  Milwaukee>  > Historic Third Ward
  • Neighbourhood: Historic Third Ward
  • Phone Number: +1 414-431-1133
One of the best views in the city; perfect for outdoor riverfront seating or in one of our two dynamic, highly designed spaces. The varied casual menu is priced for everyday dining and a variety of tastes. Come in on a weekday for Happy Hour or Date Night, come in on the weekend for Brunch and bottomless mimosas.

Plenty of parking via surface lots and parking garages within one block. This may be the most unique Riverfront restaurant and bar in Milwaukee. We hope to serve you soon.

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Water Buffalo staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?