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Karl Ratzsch's Restaurant

320 E Mason St, Milwaukee, WI 53202-3604 (Downtown)
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Ranked #29 of 1,393 restaurants in Milwaukee
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: German
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Downtown
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170 reviews from our community

83% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
1,012 reviews 1,012 reviews
732 restaurant reviews
436 helpful votes 436 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

My wife and I had lunch here during a recent day trip to Milwaukee. We were told that this restaurant is more than a landmark in Milwaukee, as it was always one of the "big three" German restaurants in the downtown area; Ratzsch's, Mader's and the John Ernst Café. Only Ratzsch's and Mader's survived, and today still carry on the... More

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Half Moon Bay
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

We went on a Monday night so it was not crowded and street parking was easily available (they also have Valet). I haven't been here since the late 50's when I lived in Northern Illinois. I always remembered it as wonderful and after over 50 years could still remember the name (can't always remember mine, but remembered the restaurant). It... More

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Miami, Florida
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

Lots of German selections in this city but several reviews pointed us to Karl's which we are very happy about. It is downtown, so already you know you have to figure out parking. The place is so quaint, filled to the brim with German style decorations and waitresses dressed same way. Lovely table cloths, comfortable seating even right next to... More

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Plano, Texas
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

Us Texans don't get to experience places like Karl Ratzsch's, unless we come to Milwaukee. Authentic German restaurant, with real German food and real Bavarian atmosphere and... by the way... Good German Food served with pride. Go there

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Cleveland, Ohio
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

In a town known for German restaurants, this is the best by far. Even the German Potato Salad will impress you. The elegant decor, impeccable service and piano music adds to the special ambiance.

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Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2014

A friend and I went here instead of Maters. Wow! Valerie was our sever. And she was a gem! The icing on the cake. We each got different dishes to share. And she even subbed one component of my friends sampler platter when it was the same as my dish. Just so we could try more. And this was the... More

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Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

Expensive, yet...Excellent value! I've been and eaten in Deutschland, praising WestBend's BraisingPan, Gibs, Kewaunee, and other excellent German dining experiences in northern Wisconsin, BavarianInn, Lena. We used an buy one, get one(with conditions) EntertainmentBook coupon, went here for a unique German dining experience with my future wife and parents. The ambiance and food here was nearly as authentic as their... More

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portage wi
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

Karl Ratzsch's has been around forever but it doesn't disappoint - IF you like, or what to try, German food. They have a great "lighter fare" menu that is cheaper, with smaller portions for the early diner (4:30-6:00, Monday thru Friday) that is a great idea if the timing works for you. I'm partial to the Goose Shank and you... More

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

Great atmosphere, service and food. This is such a wonderful Milwaukee favorite and has the history to demonstrate its commitment to Milwaukee and all its traditions. I absolutely love this place~!

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Detroit, Michigan
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

Went on a recommendation of my coworker, who told me I couldn't leave Milwaukee without eating German food. This is his personal favorite, and has become mine, too. From the German decor to the waitresses in dirndls, this is the best place in Milwaukee for German - and worth paying for. Had a duck-goose platter (34.50) and a side salad... More

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