Eat More Fish, Dance More Polka

Brew House Polka Kings

People in Wisconsin love fish. Fishing from piers, by boat, on the ice. With lakes Michigan and Superior forming two of its natural borders, you can hardly fault the fisherman.

Every Friday night between 4pm and 9pm the Milwaukee’s very own Lakefront Brewery welcomes throngs of fish-hungry families for some of the best fish fry Wisconsin has to offer.

Our family visited the Lakefront Palm Garden on a Friday night during Lent. We arrived promptly at 5:00PM and already parking spots and empty tables were a hot commodity. And among the chaos, multi-generational families were easily smiling, conversing, eating, and loitering around the bar. There by ourselves, we felt immediately at home. No one seemed in a hurry to go anywhere else.

In the same category as a  good fish boil, Wisconsinites plan their Friday evening around a fish fry. Beer battered cod and breaded perch, our choices, are coincidentally the most-popular menu items. For $4.50, kids can enjoy a fish plate served with fries or potato cakes.  After two baskets of rye bread and butter, our kids still managed to wolf down their meals when they arrived. Still drunk from the beer battered cod, we can’t say enough good things about our experience at the Lakefront Palm Garden.


Wisconsin fish fry.

If you’ve never been to the Lakefront Palm Garden before, consider arriving closer to 5:30PM. This is the magic polka hour; when the Brew House Polka Kings take the stage and the ooom-pa-pa’s begin. Now, if only every restaurant could have a wooden dance floor and an outlet for kids to build an appetite before their meal. If you have a group of eight or more, the only time the restaurant takes reservations is between 4PM and 5:30PM.

Full details here:

Whatever your plans, why not roll out the barrel and stay for the food and fun!

About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine,, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at

1 Comment on "Eat More Fish, Dance More Polka"

  1. The Milwaukee fish fry is a great tradition that you won’t really find outside of Wisconsin. The traditional fish fry has fried perch, rye bread, cole slaw and potato pancakes or fries but many types of fish can now be found like bluegill, catfish, smelt and even grouper. Many tiny taverns and bars have a fish fry as well as bigger places like Serb hall and Lakefront Palm Garden.

    In order to find a fish fry near you go to You can search for a fish fry by location, type of fish or the Milwaukee favorite All-You-Can-Eat.

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