Why Food Matters to Millennials & What That Means for Milwaukee Dining

Nov 1, 2016

There have been a lot articles written, and a lot of interviews conducted, about how millenials are shaping life in the U.S. and Milwaukee in particular.

Our discussions of real estate and residential patterns, public transit, employment, and even shopping delve into the newest generation of adults who call Milwaukee home. Gen X-er and Wisconsin Foodie host, Kyle Cherek, says we should add food and food culture to that list. 

The image of young people taking photos of their food is, by now, a well-known cliche. But Cherek says that taking photos at restaurants may be more about nostalgia than distraction. 

"Through social media there's all these apparati now that basically redeliver those pictures to you one year, three years, five years hence," he says. "So it's the same aspect of enjoying that moment that I live through... through photo albums." 

Cherek notes that Milwaukee was once the place that national food chains came to die. But that has changed in recent years. Milwaukee's homegrown dining option have expanded not only throughout the city, but into the suburbs as well. 

"What's happened most recently in Milwaukee dining is that we're creating our own brands," says Cherek. "Whether it's the BelAir folks and that expansion, or Pizza Man now on its third restaurant... It's really intriguing to me that these are all homespun and they're also all urban restaurants."