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Cruisin' for cuisine


January 2013

Hop on board the bus for culinary adventures — and leave the driving to Milwaukee Food Tours. Theresa Nemetz and husband Wade will ensure a good time, grand fun and an exciting peek into the city’s history, all rolled into one jolly excursion.

The couple started their citywide ramblings as a hobby five years ago, combining Theresa’s love of Milwaukee and Wade’s love of food. Their community showcasing started as a walking food tour of the Brady Street neighborhood, but now offers 12 different bus or walking opportunities, in addition to many customized private tour options.

"We offer an opportunity to hear inspirational stories about those who started their businesses with nothing more than pennies and a dream," says Nemetz. "It’s a chance to sample top dishes from a variety of stops in a condensed time frame, and a chance to hear from locals about Milwaukee’s history."

Nemetz says several chefs and entrepreneurs who have taken the tour told her they enjoyed seeing the struggles and successes of other business owners. She points out that culinary instructors also bring their classes to experience what the city has to offer food-wise.

About half her clientele are repeats, especially during the holidays, with a Pizza Bus and Christmas Around Milwaukee bakery tours among the most popular. Nemetz points out Milwaukee is an ideal place for such culinary tourism because its foods have been influenced by the many immigrant groups that found a home here. She chooses restaurants, as well as the food served at each stopover, to build a story.

Milwaukee Food Tours has 40 of what Nemetz calls "restaurant partners," along an ever-changing route. Her greatest challenge is juggling the many food allergies and dietary requirements of visitors. But, somehow everyone appears to be accommodated. After all, this is Milwaukee.

For reservations, visit or call (800) 979-3370.

Next Stop: Food Nirvana

Check out these scrumptious culinary options by wheel or foot.

Milwaukee Pizza Bus — This three-hour culinary expedition ranges from old-school joints to gourmet pizza establishments, combed with drives through historic neighborhoods, beginning in West Milwaukee at 6 p.m. Hefty slices, dessert and transportation are included in the $55 per person prices. Beverages are provided at some stopovers. Dates: Jan. 12 and Feb. 2, 9 and 16.

Historic Third Ward Food Tour — This tour provides a variety of foods, tied together with some Wisconsin-brewed beers. Length is approximately one mile, with walking breaks and opportunities to sit down along the way. About 20 minutes is spent at each restaurant. Plan on spending up to two-and-one-half-hours, depending on whether guests are amblers or striders. Cost is $50 per person, departing at 5:30 p.m. Dates: Feb. 2 and 16.

Walker’s Point Dine Around — Tagged at $75 per person, expect to spend up to three hours chowing down around one of city’s trendiest dining neighborhoods. Be aware the tour is not handicap accessible because of stairs and an on-off bus route. Be sure to come hungry because of the beer/wine pairings and desserts. Included is a stop at Clock Tower Creamery, Milwaukee’s only urban cheese factory. Hit the road at 5:30 p.m. Dates: Jan.19, 26 and Feb. 23.


This story ran in the January 2013 issue of: