Milwaukee Patio Series: Cafe Hollander

In our ideal world, we would be living in Denmark, and sitting in a tiny cafe overlooking the streets of Copenhagen, munching on some Smorrebrod. But since we're obviously not there, it's always great to have a place here in Milwaukee that feels like you may just be in Europe. 

Cafe Hollander has been a go-to spot for beer and brunch in Milwaukee for many years, so it would be foolish if we didn't include it in our Milwaukee Patio Series. 

With four different locations in the Milwaukee area, we hit up the Downer location the other night for some beer, frites, and salad (it's all about balance, right?) 

Cafe Hollander has an entire book dedicated to its beer list featuring beer from all around the world. If you can't find a beer you like on this menu, then you probably don't like beer at all. We decided to sip on some Hoegaarden, a Belgian beer that's over 500 years old. 

The frites are a must at Cafe Hollander. Definitely get it in a cone (because you'll need it) and try some of their fabulous dipping sauces. We highly recommend the siracha mayo, garlic aioli, and basil aioli. The rest of their menu is inspired by the European lowlands and has other Dutch and Belgian staples.

Cafe Hollander's patio feels like it was taken directly out of Amsterdam and plopped into the middle of Milwaukee. With a cobblestone floor and aged fountain, it truly has a magical quality to it. At night, there are also stringed patio lights that add to the magic. 

Needless to say, Cafe Hollander is a go-to spot for many locals and tourists for a reason. And plus, look at how happy River is. 

Do you have any suggestions on patios that we should review next? Are you a restaurant that would like us to write about your patio? Email us at