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Best Neighborhoods in Milwaukee for Singles & Young Professionals

Moving to Milwaukee? Between its low cost of living, strong job market, and unique nightlife and festivals, it’s no wonder why young adults love living in the City of Festivals. Here are the five best Milwaukee neighborhoods for singles and young professionals!

Bay View

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  • Home Price: $185,616 median purchase price; $992 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 63% of Milwaukee neighborhoods

On the banks of Lake Michigan sits Bay View, one of the best neighborhoods in Milwaukee for singles and young professionals. This MKE neighborhood’s art galleries, live music, annual festivals, and nightlife spots are some of the biggest draws for local residents. There’s also plenty of green space with parks and outdoor recreation spots like South Shore Park and South Shore Beach.

Things to Do in Bay View

Take a weekly yoga class, get a massage, or test your Latin dance skills at the monthly First Friday Salsa Social at Delaware House. See a huge lineup of local bands during the annual Chill on the Hill. Pick up a new album, browse rare records, or ask about the “Vinyl of the Day” at Acme Records & Music Emporium. Bring your pup and take advantage of $3.50 Jameson shots all day at dog-friendly bar The Backyard. Enjoy Miller on tap and mouthwatering American fare like a Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwich, Milwaukee Melt, or Beer Battered Cod at South Shore Terrace. Order Italian entrees like Parmigiana, Picatta, Lasagna, and more at Tenuta’s Italian Restaurant. Try the signature dish, Burek, or other Serbian dishes like Grape Leaves and Musaka at Three Brother Restaurant. Or dig in to an ever-changing menu of unique New American plates like Champagne Battered Oyster Mushrooms, Tuna Chorizo Tostadas, or Spicy Crab Pasta at Goodkind.

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Brewer’s Hill

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  • Home Price: $213,775 median purchase price; $833 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 46% of Milwaukee neighborhoods

Just north of Downtown Milwaukee along the Milwaukee River, the Brewer’s Hill neighborhood is a laid-back option for young professionals and singles moving to Milwaukee in search of a fun place to live. Named for its ties to local bars and brewhouses, Brewer’s Hill is home to a variety of eclectic pubs, restaurants, shops, and events—particularly around the King Drive business district.

Things to Do in Brewer’s Hill

Attend Milwaukee’s Juneteenth, a two-day, block party-style festival with soul food, live music, and exhibits commemorating emancipation. Take a tour of the historic Lakefront Brewery to hear all about its history and try a few brews like the Lakefront Lager. Shop vintage decor, artisan-made jewelry, and more at Orange and Blue Co. Go bird-watching, biking, or jogging on over 135 miles of the scenic Oak Leaf Trail. Wake up right with a Spamelette, Johnny Cakes, or Biscuits and Gravy at Uncle Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern. Try authentic Jamaican cuisine like Salt Fish Fritters, Nuff Curry, or Brown Stew Chicken at Pepperpot on MLK. Find Latin-inspired eats like the Jerk Chicken Burrito or fusion food like the Mi Casa Mexican Burger Lunch and Pesky Chicken Lunch at Mi Casa Su Cafe. Or order unique pizzas like the Mexicali Pizza, Chicken Philly Pizza, or the New York Deluxe Pizza for pick-up or delivery at NYPD.

Historic Third Ward

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  • Home Price: $295,300 median purchase price; $2,255 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 22% of Milwaukee neighborhoods

Formerly a warehouse district along Milwaukee Bay, Historic Third Ward has a unique neighborhood aesthetic that blends contemporary and historic elements. Modern duplexes and apartment buildings are interspersed with businesses housed in converted, historic warehouses here, but what truly makes Historic Third Ward one of the best places to live in Milwaukee is its status as the city’s arts and fashion district. From the Third Ward Riverwalk to festivals like Summerfest, you’ll never run out of things to do in this Milwaukee neighborhood!

Things to Do in Historic Third Ward

See stunning performances by the Milwaukee Ballet at the Baumgartner Center for Dance. Browse paintings, sculptures, and art installations from local artists at Gallery 218. Pick up sculptures, paintings, and more from 150 artists at the Third Ward Art Festival every Labor Day weekend. Grab brunch at The Wicked Hop, where you can dig into a plate of Fonzarelli French Toast, Sixto Lezcano, or Hoodoo Voodoo Hash. Share a charcuterie board with friends with menu items like Grilled Corn Bread, Jamon Iberico, and Pate Grandmere at Bavette La Boucherie. Find Chinese cuisine like Sesame Chicken, Shrimp Lo Mein, or Ma Po Tofu at Jing’s Chinese Restaurant. Eat your fill of rib-sticking comfort food like a Pig Mac sandwich, Texas BBQ Nachos, or a 1/2 Pound Plate of Brisket at Smoke Shack. Or experience outdoor-themed nightlife at Camp Bar, which features a large menu of microbrews, wines, and signature cocktails like the Midwest Manhattan, The Camp Bar Classic, and Big Ol’ Bloody Mary.

Lower East Side

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  • Home Price: $253,908 median purchase price; $965 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 52% of Milwaukee neighborhoods

Lower East Side is a hip, active Milwaukee neighborhood situated between the Milwaukee River and Milwaukee Bay. Outdoorsy people moving to Milwaukee will find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fresh air in Lower East Side—from fishing and jogging at McKinley Park to boating off the shore of Bradford Beach. This Milwaukee neighborhood is especially popular among local singles, thanks to its thriving bar scene, which includes everything from cool cocktail lounges to homey pubs.

Things to Do in Lower East Side

See new releases and events like Hitchcock Retrospective and Pride Weekend at The Oriental Theatre. Test your axe-throwing skills during date night or an evening out with friends at AXE MKE. Visit the Charles Allis Art Museum, a historic Tudor mansion housing a collection of art from around the world carefully curated by the home’s original owner. Take an art kit home and paint your latest masterpiece or stay in the studio for an instructor-led session at Splash Studio Painting Bar. Order authentic Middle Eastern plates like Falafel, Mosakhan, and Dawalee at Taqwa’s Bakery & Restaurant. Unwind with simple American cuisine like the Crunchy Chicken Sandwich, Seared & Blackened Ahi, or KT’s Buffalo Chicken Dip at the saloon-themed Swingin’ Door Exchange. Make reservations at Dorsia, where you can sample modern Italian meals like Duck Carbonara, Pomodoro, or Medi-Veggie Rav. Or savor Crispy Tofu Bao Buns, Miso Ramen, Okonomiyaki Fries, and other Asian-fusion food at Easy Tyger.

Riverwest

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  • Home Price: $174,923 median purchase price; $953 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 49% of Milwaukee neighborhoods

Bordered by the Milwaukee River, Riverwest is among the best places for singles and young professionals to live in MKE. This artsy Milwaukee neighborhood is well-known for its strong sense of community, thanks to organizations like Riverwest Co-Op and the Riverwest Radio station, which broadcasts daily on topics ranging from Milwaukee’s social climate to neighborhood events and beyond. Cycling is another community favorite in Riverwest, as the area is home to annual cycling event, Riverwest 24.

Things to Do in Riverwest

Browse house plants, sustainable vegetables, and gardening products at family-owned Riverwest staple Kellner Greenhouses Inc. Head to Riverwest Film & Video—once the subject of an indie documentary—and experience the nostalgia of renting movies on VHS. Bike down the Beerline Trail to take in the sights of the city. Peruse the current Art Show or attend a Falling Star Comedy Night at Art Bar & Wonderland. Sample vegan-friendly dishes and weekly specials like the BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich, Port-O-Milly, or Phamous Philly at iconic neighborhood hub Riverwest Co-Op Grocery & Cafe. Chow down on farm-to-table food like Tilapia Tacos, Corazon Burrito, or Huevos Rancheros at Cafe Corazon. Order the Smashburger, Vegan Chili, or the Garden of Eatin for lunch at Fuel Cafe. Or find Italian-inspired bites like a Portobello Panini, Ciccio, or some Traditional Bruschetta for an appetizer at Nessun Dorma.

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Moving to MKE? Extra Space Storage has several storage facilities throughout the Milwaukee metro that can help with your transition. Find a storage facility near you!

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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.