Ann Christenson

Dining Critic

Ann Christenson is dining critic for Milwaukee Magazine and writes the Dish On Dining blog.

Twitter: @ann_christenson

djvass / Flickr

Not too long ago, a friend could call you up and ask if you wanted to get together for dinner at the Bel Air Cantina and you would have known exactly where to meet.  However now you’d have to ask which of three Bel Airs she’s talking about.

And that restaurant is hardly alone.  Many of Milwaukee’s best-known local restaurants have become local chains.  Good for their bottom line, but what does it mean for people deciding where to eat dinner?  Dining contributor Ann Christenson helps tackle the questions and concerns the spread of chains presents:

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Despite Miller’s merger with Coors and the subsequent move of its headquarters to Chicago, Milwaukee remains, solidly, a beer town.  But the difference today is that the beer landscape is no longer populated by monoliths.

In fact, it might be more like the early days of brewing here, when scores of smaller breweries competed to make the best brew.  This month, Milwaukee Magazine taps into the ever-expanding barrel that is beer in Milwaukee. 

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As the weather warms up, there's nothing more enjoyable than a cool beverage. Dining contributor Ann Christenson toured the city on a quest to find the best iced coffee and milkshakes Milwaukee has to offer.

Her features on iced coffee and milkshakes can be found in this month's issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Here are Christenson's five picks of each:

Chris Kessler / Milwaukee Magazine

What makes a sandwich? Does it need two slices of bread? Amidst the deep philosophical question of what makes a true sandwich, Milwaukee Magazine senior editor and dining critic Ann Christenson wrote the magazine’s May cover story on the best sandwiches in town.

Here's a few highlights from Christenson's list:

Best lobster roll: Buckley's Restaurant & Bar

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If cabin fever has you feeling a bit restless and you're not into outdoor winter sports, there are still activities that can get you out of the house - but keep you staying warm. Any guesses? How about a cooking class?

Kevin J. Mayazaki /

There’s been a lot that’s been written and said about the wealth of good new restaurants that have opened around the Milwaukee area in the past few years.

After you spend the holiday cooking, or spending time with people who were cooking, and eating.  What are you going to eat aft​er the leftovers are gone?

Drew Hubbard, Ben & Lisa Waters / Flickr

When it comes to the experience of eating out, everyone has their likes and dislikes.  


Over the summer many new restaurants have opened up around town. And if there is any area where that trend is especially concentrated, it is south of downtown.

Isabelle Hurbain-Palatin, Flickr

One could argue about the importance of eating breakfast, but most of us would agree that it’s one of the best, and cheapest, meals to go out to eat for. 

And as Lake Effect dining contributor Ann Christenson tells Dan Harmon, the greater Milwaukee metro area offers some wonderful options, even for weekday breakfasts.

Some restaurants on Christenson's breakfast list are: