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. 

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.)
50 Reviews Rating: 4.7 4.7 out of 5.0
Verified Customer Reviews
Always from real, paying customers
# of Reviews Positive
= Overall
% Positive Average
Last 3 months 8 15 1 = 14 88% 4.3
Last 6 months 16 35 1 = 34 94% 4.5
Last 12 months 33 80 1 = 79 97% 4.7
All 50 125 1 = 124 98% 4.7
50 Reviews
Displaying 1 - 10
Sort by: Date Attended Gender Age Where From Group Type
Rating: 4
Sat, Jan 30  2:00 PM Male 50-59 Local Couple on a Date
Good fun
Rating: 2
Sat, Jan 30  2:00 PM Female 40-49 Local Group of Friends
The tour guide, Tyler, was nice, but lacked in his ability to share history of the places we went to. When we arrived, all but The Holler House, treated us like regular customers versus a group that has never been there before and might come back if they like it. The establishments, except for The Holler House, lost an opportunity to engage new customers by highlighting their bars. It was a very expensive tour and not worth it at all. I have been on three other MKE food tours and they were all well worth the cost. This one was not. It was a 30th birthday gift to my son and a huge disappointment.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
We are SO sorry for your disappointment. Tyler typically gets fantastic reviews, and so we are sorry that he was not better prepared for your tour. We will address this immediately with further training and review of his presentation before he leads a future tour. Our sincere apologies that this tour did not live up to your expectations!
Rating: 4
Great tour! Tour guide not so much.
Sat, Jan 30  2:00 PM Female 30-39 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
The tour itself was great! The tour guide was not so great. He started out telling us he was a teacher as well as a comedian. I thought we were going to have the best tour guide ever. Boy I was wrong. He had a hard time remembering what to tell us about each place and would fumble over the facts he did tell us. At one point he even looked in a notebook for stuff to tell us about each place. He said it was too hard to remember so much information. Isn't that a tour guides job? I have been on numerous tours across the county and never had such a disappointing guide.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
We are SO sorry for your disappointment. Tyler typically gets fantastic reviews, and so we are sorry that he was not better prepared for your tour. We will address this immediately with further training and review of his presentation before he leads a future tour. Our sincere apologies that this tour did not live up to your expectations!
Rating: 5
Great for a bday !
Sat, Jan 23  2:00 PM Female 20-29 Local Group of Friends
I was a little hesitant at first because it Beas $60/person but once we got going I was very happy with our purchase. We ended sufficiently tipsy and I was happy to know that our money also covered tips for all the bartenders too
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
Awesome- we are glad to hear that you were happy with your purchase. You should check out our Craft Brewery and Cocktail tour next!
Rating: 5
Robert was the best.
Sat, Jan 16  2:00 PM Unspecified 50-59 Local Family Without Children
Even though I am a lifelong resident I was shocked at how much history I didn't know. I highly recommend this tour to locals and visitors alike. Roberts enthusiasm with "his city" is truly refreshing. We will definitely be doing other tours.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
There is a lot to learn about Milwaukee, and it is our goal that our tours and tour guides really showcase what Milwaukee has to offer. You should try our Bloody Mary tour, or our Pizza Bus tour next!
Rating: 5
Sat, Jan 9  2:00 PM Female 40-49 Local Group of Friends
Our tour guide was knowledgeable and flexible with our group. We just wished there was more time at each of the four bars and at least one more bar to tour. We didn't want the fun to end.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
It sounds like you had a great time on your tour! You should check out our new tour, Craft Beer and Cocktails, as it will be a more in-depth, 3.5 - 4 hour tour!
Rating: 5
Interesting Tour
Sat, Nov 28, 15  2:00 PM Female 40-49 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
Enjoyed the history and sights of Milwaukee on this tour. Our tour guide was very informative and proud of his city. He also made great dinner reservations for us. We look forward to another tour !
Rating: 4
Great fun
Sat, Nov 28, 15  2:00 PM Female 20-29 Local Group of Friends
Tour guide was fun and very interesting! Can't wait to try more tours!
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
Awesome, thanks for the review! Our Bloody Mary Brunch Tour and Milwaukee Pizza Bus Tour both run every weekend throughout the year and are always a great Milwaukee time!
Rating: 4
Great educational experience
Sat, Oct 24, 15  2:00 PM Male 40-49 Local Couple on a Date
This was awesome to learn some culture about the Milwaukee area that we (my wife and I) had no knowledge of. Our daughter was at a concert at the Rave and we needed to kill some time so this was an awesome way to do so.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
Thanks for your review! The Historic Bar tour captures a really unique portion's of Milwaukee's history, and we're so glad you found it an awesome way to learn Milwaukee culture! The Milwaukee Fish Fry tour is another fun tour very unique to Milwaukee. We hope to see you on another tour!
Rating: 5
Sat, Sep 26, 15  2:00 PM Female 40-49 Domestic Tourist(s) Group of Friends
Very fun day,great tour guide, educational with a fun twist! Made new friends. Overall excellent experience.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours responded:
We appreciate your positive review! If you like tours full of history, you should try our Old World Third street tour next time. It's Milwaukee's old German neighborhood and we take you along the river sampling cheese and sausage. We would love to have you back!
Displaying 1 - 10 of 50
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?
We will do our best to accommodate any dietary restrictions provided we are aware of them in advance. Please notify us of any dietary restrictions you have upon purchasing your tickets. If you have further questions, please click on the "Contact MKEFoodTours" link to inquire.
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 and delicious neighborhoods with a gift certificate for a Milwaukee Food Tour experience! These make perfect gifts for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or simply to say "Thank You" or "Welcome to Your New Home." The recipient selects their tour route of choice plus schedules the tour at a time convenient to their schedule. For complete details and to purchase a gift certificate, please email info@milwaukeefoodtours.com
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
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