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“Great tapas place for local, ethnic cuisine” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Merenda

La Merenda
125 East National Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53204
414-389-0125
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Ranked #5 of 1,431 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Entertaining clients, Doing business, Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Between 1st and Barclay
Mequon, Wisconsin, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great tapas place for local, ethnic cuisine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

Went here with my family recently, and the food was really delicious. La Merenda is a tapas place, but the small plates are not just from Spain -- there are dishes representing Italy, the Philippines, China, Colombia, Mexico, the Bahamas, Indonesia, Morocco, Chile, India, France, Russia, Argentina, and of course the USA (Wisconsin)! ;)

They use a lot of local ingredients, if that's something you especially look for, and even point those ingredients out on the menu, as well as where they were sourced! There are lots of vegetarian and gluten free items, and they are willing to work around any allergies or "aversions" you mention to them.

Our group of five adults ate about 8-10 of the regular menu items, plus four of the desserts. If we didn't care for something, it wasn't because it wasn't prepared well; it was just something that didn't appeal to our tastes.

Note: I wouldn't recommend this for a picky eater. The food is really great, but can seem a bit "adventurous" if you're not used to trying new things. I enjoyed it, but my sister had trouble finding something she liked.

Some items we really enjoyed:
- Patatas Bravas y Chorizo (from Spain): a potato and chorizo dish, and the chorizo in this is AMAZING. I'm going to try to track it down and buy some for myself, which should be easy because they list where they bought it!

- Hong Kong Beef: this was a special, so not on the regular menu, unfortunately. If you're lucky enough to go when they have it, order it!

- Beef Stronganoff (from Russia): very good; can taste the red wine in it, if you like that flavor in your stroganoff

- Desserts: I especially enjoyed the Créme Caramel, but the Car Bomb cake and Créme Brulée (which comes with blueberries IN it) were both delicious, as well. The Tres Leches was okay, but I'm not usually a fan of that, anyways, so that might be why I wasn't too enthused about it.

Reservations fill up quickly, so make them ahead of time. They keep a few tables open for walk-ins, but seeing as this place is pretty popular, if you can't get there early, you probably will wind up waiting. I'd recommend making every effort to get a reservation instead of leaving it up to chance.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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183 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Excellent place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

We celebrated our anniversary at La Merenda and loved the experience! The tapas were very tasty specially the duck and the chicken. Their collection of wines is good too. The location is not so good so I would recommend going early. Overall an excellent place!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Awesome experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

My husband and are are doing a 'stay-cation' this year and decided to try some of the restaurants that have been on our list, so we headed to La Merenda. This small plate restaurant has a wonderful menu filled with culinary delights. You choose 2-3 plates to start and add more depending on your appetite. We chose the Shrimp Escabeche, kale ravioli and duck confit crepes. The timing of the plates was perfect - finish one, the next one came. The food was out of this world and the service excellent. We finished with lemon blueberry creme brule. Delicious.
I also had their 'cola light' as they make their own soda. It was very unique, refreshing and tasty. They have outdoor eating, but it was 97 when we went so we opted for indoors. The decor is eclectic, e.g. none of the chairs or tables match, the space is cozy, however, they do have two tables that can seat 10. I would highly recommend this - we can hardly wait to go back to try more.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Green Bay, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Can't wait to go back!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013 via mobile

If you like tapas, this is the place for you!! The food was amazing, drinks were strong and the service was spot on!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

one of my favorites.
lively atmosphere.
excellent food
bit loud and crowded.
would overall highly recommend this restaurant.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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