4 Hidden Restaurants in Southern Wisconsin Worth the Drive

By Cherita Booker

May 15, 2023

Looking for a not-so-traditional dining experience? Blink and you’ll miss these hidden gems. 

Add a little adventure to your next date night or family fun day with these secret restaurants. 

Photo courtesy of SafeHouse



You’ll find the entrance to SafeHouse behind the door marked ‘International Exports, Ltd.’  in a discrete alleyway of downtown Milwaukee. And get ready for an entire experience because this restaurant is spy themed! When you walk inside, you’ll be greeted by a host who will ask you for a secret password. You’ll have to complete a ‘clearance test’ if you don’t know it. (Don’t worry, we didn’t either.)

While waiting for your food, diners are encouraged to finish a spy mission (a.k.a. a scavenger hunt) that includes investigating each room. The experience is open to kids and adults of all ages!

Photo courtesy of Dons TV Repair Speakeasy

Don’s TV & Repair Speakeasy


First you’ll enter Don’s Grocery & Liquor. Then, hidden behind the storefront of Don’s ‘TV and Repair,’ is the speakeasy. Like SafeHouse, you need a secret password to enter, and once inside, you’ll find an old school diner vibe, with pinball machines, old televisions, and magazine and newspaper clippings. Book your ‘service appointment’ online and once you enter the store, ask the clerk for an “Ice Cold 7up.” You’re welcome!

Don’s is known for its smash burgers, boozy shakes, all-day breakfast menu (which includes fruity pebble pancakes), and more. You can also catch really good deals like 99-cent burgers on Wednesday nights and 10-cent martinis on Thursdays. 

Photo courtesy of Nattspil



Even with no sign on the door, locals know just where to find this hidden gem. Nattspil is located in the heart of Madison’s First Settlement District, close to the Capitol. The restaurant calls itself “eclectic”, which is fitting since its menu spans from wood-fired oven pizza to mussels to fried wontons. 

Fans of the Italian-Chinese disco-tinged joint say Natspill has a welcoming atmosphere, attentive staff, excellent food, and standout cocktails.

Photo courtesy of Greenbush Bar

Greenbush Bar


This family-owned Italian restaurant is not quite hidden, but more of a hidden gem. Greenbush Bar is located in the basement of the historic Italian Workman’s Club building. It’s small, cozy, and lit with Christmas lights year-round. Word is, they have some of the best thin crust pizza in town!

Just be sure to time your visit around Badger game days, or expect a wait. It’s near both Camp Randall and the Kohl Center!


  • Cherita Booker

    Milwaukee native Cherita Booker attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has worked in various roles as a multimedia journalist since 2017. She enjoys photography, dancing, and spending time with friends and family.


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