Historic Bar Tour: Pre-Prohibition

Milwaukee Food & City Tours

Zerve Seller: MKEFoodTours
Activity #5623
  • Stroll the Third Ward to visit places like the Public Market, sample delicious foods, and learn about Milwaukee's unique culture.

  • Join us to tour Milwaukee’s best - from rich cultural history to delicious treats, you’ll be amazed by our city’s hidden treasures!

  • Experience a new twist on the progressive dinner concept while discovering the city’s German roots & new restaurants on the RiverWalk!

Available Dates & Times Price Duration
All times listed are Central time zone


Since 1847, Milwaukeeans have been quenching their thirst in Milwaukee's many historic bars. 

The Historic Bar Tour: Pre-Prohibition is a 3-hour bus tour into some of the most historic and famous bars in Milwaukee. Spending about 30 minutes at each location, you'll relax while learning some of our most interesting and colorful history through the tales of our taverns. 

We will visit four bars on this tour. You will enjoy four 6-ounce beers and one 6-ounce Old Fashioned. You will also receive a traditional German pretzel, discounts at some locations for return visits, a chance to win Milwaukee Food & City Tours trivia prizes, round-trip transportation and guided fun.

Only non-alcoholic substitutions will be offered for this tour. Please note that we also offer a discounted designated driver pricing.

  • All guests on our Historic Bar Tour must be 21 or older.
  • Although minimal walking is required, there is still walking involved. 
  • This tour is NOT handicap accessible and attendees will need to go up/down minimal stairs to get on/off the bus multiple times.
Food Allergies 
  • This tour is seafood/shellfish free. 
  • We do have a vegetarian option on this tour. 
  • We are not able to make menu adjustments for food allergies, dietary restrictions or preferences on this public tour beyond the vegetarian option.  This includes gluten, vegan, sugar-free and kosher requests. 
  • We are able to make allergy / preference accommodations on private walking tours for 8+ guests, or private bus tours for 12+ guests.

What Is Not Included?

Please bring extra cash with you if you'd like to purchase additional items during the tour. Please note: some stops do not accept credit cards.
Gratuities for your tour guide, although not required, are always appreciated.

Meeting Location

Bay View / South Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI) (Exact meeting location details will be provided immediately upon purchase of tickets.)
85 Reviews Rating: 4.6 4.6 out of 5.0
Verified Customer Reviews
Always from real, paying customers
# of Reviews Positive
= Overall
% Positive Average
Last 3 months 21 47 1 = 46 95% 4.5
Last 6 months 43 100 2 = 98 95% 4.6
Last 12 months 58 137 2 = 135 96% 4.6
All 85 210 2 = 208 98% 4.7
85 Reviews
Displaying 1 - 10
Sort by: Date Attended Gender Age Where From Group Type
Rating: 4
Fun day
Sat, May 21  2:00 PM Female 30-39 Local Family Without Children
The tour guide was very knowledgeable & engaging. Good amount of time spent at each bar
Rating: 5
Sat, May 7  2:00 PM Female 30-39 Local Group of Friends
Our tour guide was enthusiastic and informational. I learned a lot about historic Milwaukee and enjoyed the beverages/food. I would highly recommend this tour!
Rating: 4
Historic Bar Tour
Sat, May 7  2:00 PM Female 60-69 Local Couple on a Date
My husband and I enjoyed the tour and our tour guide, Robert. The drink tasting was just the right size. The time in each bar was a good amount of time. The knowledge gained was priceless.

On the con side, we did share the tour with a Bachelor Party. The guys were fun and I thought the tour was good for a Bachelor Party but . . . I would have enjoyed the tour more if Robert did not have to compete with the loud and sometime rude language. Perhaps 'party's' should have their own tours.
Rating: 4
Very informative and fun
Sat, May 7  2:00 PM Female 20-29 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
Learned a lot, had fun. There was a group of 8 from a bachelor party among the group who were very drunk but it was only a mild annoyance. Would prefer larger portions of beer/alcohol and less food. Would cut the deli platter entirely for a full sized beer at the holler house.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
Thank you so much for coming on the tour, and thank you for your feedback as we are always interested in improving and re-evaluating our food and menu choices. I hope you were able to discover some new places to visit again, and hope we'll see you on another tour soon!
Rating: 5
Fun and Beer and Historic Milwaukee
Sat, Apr 23  2:00 PM Unspecified 30-39 Unspecified Unspecified
Had a wonderful evening traveling around historic Milwaukee touring the bars, hearing the history, and having a great time. Our guide was really engaging and had lots of good ideas on what else to do in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
Fantastic! We are so glad that you had a wonderful time. Isn't it amazing how much there is to learn about Milwaukee? Thanks for joining us on a tour, and we hope that you had a chance to try some other great activities and places in Milwaukee!
Rating: 5
Awesome Tour
Sat, Apr 23  2:00 PM Male 40-49 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
The tour was great. Our guide, Lora, was very informative and, more importantly, FUN! Good food and drinks. I would highly recommend the historic bar tour. We plan to try other Milwaukee Food Tours.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
Our tour guides are amazing at their jobs, and they have so much information to share and love to have fun with our groups along the way. Thank you so much for joining us on a Historic Bar tour. Perhaps our Bloody Mary Brunch tour could be next on your itinerary with us!
Rating: 3
Bar tour
Sat, Apr 16  2:00 PM Female 50-59 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
Our guide was excellent!!!

I felt the price was high for the tiny tasting supplied by a couple bars.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
Thank you for your feedback. On the tour each guest enjoyed four, 6-ounce beers and one, 6-ounce Old Fashioned, along with a deli platter and a giant German pretzel. We hope that you were able to discover some new locations that you can visit for continued drinks in the future as well!
Rating: 2
Sat, Apr 9  7:00 PM Female 20-29 Local Group of Friends
It was really expensive for what was included. $60 to go to 3 bars on a bus and a pizza place....the old fashioned was poorly made and the beers were not good either. There wasn't much history explained to us from the tour guide. Also, the large soft pretzels we were given were cold and didn't come with any dipping sauce. The pizzas we received were tasty but were not enough for a large group of adults. We had a blast on the bus, much due to great company and alcohol we brought ourselves. Our tour bus driver, Deena, was fun and fantastic at her job. I wouldn't go on another tour again, but it was an experience.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
We are so very sorry that you didn't have a good experience. When the party chose to drink heavily prior to arrival and then throughout the tour, it was a challenge for us to effectively capture the attention of your group. We're thankful that our wonderful driver was able to drive an extra two hours in order to provide a safe ride home for the group as we wanted to make sure that everyone on the road was safe. .
Rating: 5
Great evening to celebrate a family birthday!
Sat, Apr 9  7:00 PM Female 60-69 Local Group of Friends
It was fun to go bars that had activities only wished we had more time! Especially at the bar with bean bag throw, and bowling. The bus driver was awesome and so was our guide. Wished his microphone could be heard in the back of the bus. Just an idea; how about cup holders to help prevent spillage. It was really bumpy in the back of the bus other than that the ride was very comfortable. the bus was clean, it was a real fun evening for all. thanks for a great evening.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
We appreciate you joining us on a tour, and we are so glad that you enjoyed your experience at all the bars. There are some incredible gems around Milwaukee, and we love when our guests get a chance to appreciate what Milwaukee has to offer. Thank you for your feedback about the bus. You might really enjoy one of our walking tours that happen during the summer. Our Brady Street or Old World 3rd Street tours are always a fan-favorite!
Rating: 5
Great Experience
Sat, Apr 9  7:00 PM Female 30-39 Combination Group of Friends
Really enjoyed the tour! Robert was awesome and had some great knowledge.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
Great! Thank you so much for joining us on a tour, and for spending a Saturday afternoon with us. Our tour guides have so much insight and knowledge about the city of Milwaukee, and they love being able to share it with guests on their tours. We hope to see you on another tour! Perhaps, a walking tour this summer for a different tour experience.
1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 9
Displaying 1 - 10 of 85
Ratings and Reviews for:
Is advance purchase required? Is cash accepted?
Tickets must be purchased in advance, as space is limited per tour. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Cash is not accepted.
What happens if it rains or snows?
The tours are held rain, shine or snow! In the extremely rare event that the tour has to be canceled, you will be able to reschedule to another time or get credit for a future event.
If a tour is sold out, is there a waiting list?
If a date/time is sold out or not listed as an available tour date, there is always a chance that if requested, we can add an additional tour on that date/time. Please click on the "Contact MKEFoodTours" link to let us know what date you are interested in.
What is the maximum number of people per tour?
As this is a bus tour with limited seating, the tour is limited to 22 attendees per tour.
What sort of food will I be sampling?
The tour provides an authentic German pretzel for guests to nibble on between visits to historic bars.
Are beverages provided?
You will enjoy 4 6-ounce beers and 1 6-ounce Old Fashioned. Only non-alcoholic substitutions will be provided. If you are purchasing a ticket that does not include alcohol tastings, the beverages included are lemonade, root beer and soda. Remember to bring cash with you if you want to purchase extra items.
Does this tour have anything to offer someone who will not be participating in the alcohol tastings?
Definitely! You'll enjoy learning about the history, architecture and entertainment destinations of the city, as well as be able to participate in trivia games. We offer a discounted rate if you will not be drinking alcohol.
What about dietary restrictions?
With the exception of the Fish Fry Tour, all tours are seafood/shellfish free. ​We do have a vegetarian option on all tours. ​We are not able to make menu adjustments for food allergies, dietary restrictions or preferences on this public tour beyond the vegetarian option. This includes gluten, vegan, sugar-free and kosher requests. We are able to make allergy / preference accommodations on private walking tours for 8+ guests, or private bus tours for 12+ guests.
Do we just drive around and drink?
Absolutely not! Milwaukee has a wonderful, rich history. Visitors learn the history of the city and learn about the many ethnic influences that shaped our great city. The tour is fully narrated by your guide, who will discuss history, culture, architecture, and entertainment offerings, and introduce you to newer establishments.
What bars do we visit on the tour?
It's a surprise! We will visit a variety of historic bars, but do keep in mind that the tour routes and thereby the exact places we visit may vary from tour to tour.
How much walking is included?
Although our specialty tour is via bus, please note that some walking is still required - we encourage you to wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing. These special holiday tours are NOT handicap accessible and will require attendees to go up/down stairs.
Can I bring children on the tour?
No, all participants on this tour must be 21 or over with a valid ID.
Does the tour end at the same place we meet?
Is the tour wheelchair and baby stroller accessible?
Are bathrooms available during the tour?
Yes, bathrooms are available during the tour at selected bars.
Is there parking near to the tour's meeting point?
Yes, there is parking located near the meeting point. Specific parking details are included in the meeting location directions after purchasing.
Does this tour have anything to offer a native Milwaukean?
Definitely! Many of our attendees live right here in Milwaukee. Locals often attend to learn about the neighborhoods and the city in which they live. Our knowledgeable guides will tell you exciting secrets about the city and perhaps introduce you to new favorites!
Are cameras allowed?
Yes, visitors are allowed and encouraged to take pictures at any of the establishments we visit.
Are pets allowed?
Due to the policies of the various food establishments we visit, pets are not allowed on this tour.
Are tours offered only in English?
Yes, we only offer tours in English at this time. Please click on the "Contact this Seller" link if you would like to make arrangements for your own interpreter to join the tour.
Does the tour leader accept gratuities?
Gratuities are greatly appreciated, although not mandatory.
Do you offer gift certificates?
Give the gift of exploring the sights and flavors of Milwaukee's most historic neighborhoods and delicious eateries with a gift certificate for a tour experience! These make perfect gifts for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or simply to say "Thank You." The recipient selects their tour route of choice plus schedules the tour at a time convenient to their schedule. To PURCHASE, visit www.milwaukeefoodtours.com/gift-cards and order online. To REDEEM your gift certificate, please email us at info@milwaukeefoodtours.com​ with your desired tour route, date, time and quantity of tickets needed along with booking code.
Do you offer private tours?
Yes! Private tours and step-on guide service is available for large groups. Please click on the "Contact MKEFoodTours" link to inquire further.


Refund/Rescheduling Policy

Non-refundable, cannot be rescheduled.
Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded and cannot be rescheduled because your space is being guaranteed at the event.

Weather Policy

Activity takes place rain or shine.
The activity runs regardless of weather conditions. In the rare situation where the seller is forced to cancel the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule to another time (subject to availability).

Other Policies

All guests must be 21 or over with a valid ID.
Each attendee must be 21 or older and have proper government-issued ID.

Milwaukee Food & City Tours

My name is Theresa Nemetz, and I combined my love for Milwaukee and my husband's love for great food to create Milwaukee Food & City Tours. I was inspired to do so by my great-grandparents, Guiseppi and Rosa, who 100 years ago immigrated to Milwaukee from Santa Flavia, Sicily. Milwaukee has a rich Italian, German, Irish and Polish immigrant history, its an honor to be able to share the stories of the exceptional immigrants that brought our city to life. 

We are Milwaukee's original, premier and award winning food tour. I am a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA), an alumna of Future Milwaukee and have served as a culinary speaker at a number of tourism-related conferences. We even won the Governor's Rising Star in Tourism Award, and the Dear MKE Award through VISIT Milwaukee. Credentials aside, at Milwaukee Food & City Tours, our passion is firmly rooted in food and in Milwaukee and Wisconsin. 
We are proud of two pieces of commentary often provided by our attendees: “I’ve lived here my entire life and never explored Milwaukee like I did today” and “I was expecting a tasting but this was a full meal!” Whether you are a Milwaukee native, visiting the city on your own or traveling as part of group, you will not be disappointed.  We consider our tours a progressive meal with a side of history. 
Stories from Milwaukee's culinary scene are plentiful, and I invite you to immerse yourself into our culture in a fun and intimate way by experiencing Milwaukee Food & City Tours. Come hungry, and be inspired! 

Bon Appétit!
Please call Zerve at
1 (800) 979-3370
to get more information or
book this activity now
Dismiss this message forever close