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The Best of West Allis: Local Scenes of a Thriving City

February 29, 2024

To all the foodies out there! Get ready to join our Discover Wisconsin team for a CULINARY ADVENTURE, highlighting the Best of West Allis. This summer Apurba, our DW host, West Allis resident, and a natural foodie, invites us along for a tour of West Allis. Joined by Mayor Dan Devine, the two explore and showcase the city’s culture through the local culinary and business scene.

The two West Allis locals begin their summer with a chat at Greenfield Park while enjoying a Sunday must- donuts and crullers from Grebe’s Bakery. Here we learn about Mayor Dan’s role in cultivating the West Allis business and restaurant scene which have inspired a thriving culture.

We head to Chef Paz where we meet restaurant owner Maritza Paz. Maritza describes her background growing up in Peru and reveals how learning recipes from her mother as a child has influenced her own cooking. While Maritza shares her love for her restaurant and some of the popular, yet unique, dishes Chef Paz offers, she also sheds light on her love for West Allis and its family-like culture.

Just down National Avenue, we meet Citlali, the owner of Antigua, who shares a similar story of finding a home in West Allis. Apurba and Mayor Dan sit down to a delicious spread of Yucatan style braised pulled pork, Chicken with Mexican Mole sauce and Sun Dried Tomato & Roasted Pumpkin Seed Guacamole. We discover that many of Antigua’s latin-inspired dishes are modifications of old family recipes. Catering to the growing South American community, Citlai created cuisines with a combination of flavors including Mexican, Puerto-rican, Peruvian and Ecuadorian.

Next, we explore the West Allis farm to table scene. Thi and Carly, the owners of Wild Roots, teach Apurba how to forage for morels, one of many items Thi hunts and uses in his recipes. From the forest, we head over to the West Allis Farmers Market, another hot spot for local ingredients. Made up of local vendors selling local produce from May through November, this is definitely a gem amongst the West Allis community. Did we mention that their Farmers Market is over 100 years old!?

With ingredients in hand, we head over to Wild Roots. Natural and upcycled decor confirm the rustic farm-to-table ambiance of the restaurant. In the kitchen, we discover Thi’s magic as he brings his fresh pickings to life. Wild Roots underlines the importance of sourcing food locally and minimizing waste by upcycling products into decor and using most (if not all) parts of a meat source.

Next up? Sauce. Cheese. Meat. Veggies. A touch of herbs. And finally, a steamy brick oven fired pizza. Apurba and Mayor Dan meet up at Flour Girl and Flame. Here they chat with owner, Dana Spandet, about the sustainably sourced ingredients for their two beloved foods – Pizza and Ice Cream. Flour Girl and Flame’s utilizes locally sourced flour, vegetables from their garden, and honey made on their very own rooftop! This also aligns with their mission to support women growers in the farming community. Their motto of inclusion extends to their second business, Everyone’s Ice Cream.

We change up the scenery just down the road at Pete’s Pops. Pete Cooney shares how the business started, the novelty of each location, and how the business has grown. While enjoying their pops, Dan and Apurba also learn of the fresh ingredients used in the rotating flavors including fresh rhubarb and Georgia peaches!!

We can’t leave West Allis without a history lesson. First up, Layman Brewing to chat with Kyle, owner and head brewer. Apurba, Mayor Dan and Kyle sip classic beers which they learn are simple modifications of Kyle’s great grandpa’s recipes. An extremely laid back atmosphere with phenomenal burgers, Layman’s is a hidden and historic gem within the West Allis community.

Finally, Apurba celebrates West Allis’s progress at yet another successful business in town, Ope Brewery, where she shares her love for this city with the people who have made it such a success.

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