Taps: 24 / Bottles: 130
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 10 | Reviews: 6 | Show All Ratings:
5/5 rDev +18.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
Drove past Centraal around lunchtime and noticed it, based on BA reviews I was heading for Palm, a bit further out the street. Palm was closed, so I turned around and came back to Centraal, and I am glad I did. Beer list impressive, maybe 25 beers on tap. Did not look at bottles because taps so impressive, but there were a lot of them (contained in the "Bier Book," a nice touch. Had a Karmeleit Tripel, I can never resist that when it is on tap, and another beer called Confession Grand Cru, which is one of their private label beers from Belgium. Both very good, sadly had to drive to airport so could not sample more. Had a rosemary goat cheese macaroni for lunch, truly excellent. I sat at the bar, and the young bartender was well informed and obviously eager to learn more, and as the place was uncrowded we chatted about beer and Belgium quite a bit. Bar and restaurant are excellent rehabs of an old drug store, the bar is quite long and it is hard to imagine that it fills up very often. The back patio looked very nice as well. A great place, particularly if you are fond of Belgian beers. Then there is American craft beer "Sugar Maple" next door, at least later in the day.
08-05-2011 15:04:34 | More by BelgieScott
4.39/5 rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
A cool looking corner bar from the outside. Upon entering I immediately got the belgian vibe that oozes out of this place. It definitely has some solid square footage in here. We did not eat, however the food looked and smelled absolutely amazing. What I liked about Cafe Centraal is that it stuck to the belgian theme with the beer. All of it is true authentic imported stuff that you can get either on tap or by the bottle. All 3 of us ordered something different, yet they were served to us in the exact corresponding and proper glass straight from that brewery.
The service was good as can be expected, yet despite being very full and busy, were were helped almost immediately.
Overall, this was my personal favorite bar we visited. I would love to go back and try the food as well. A top notch destination.
04-27-2011 02:49:57 | More by sweemzander
4.15/5 rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
hit up cafe centraal for dinner, in between stops at Sugar Maple, and before the LCD Soundsystem show
very open and bright, much unlike Dutch bars that i've been to. The menu and beer list attempts to reflect Dutch/Belgian cuisine.
We started with some bitterballen, which were great, and brought back nostalgic memories of eating these fried meatballs in dark amsterdam taverns. i had the green curry mussels and frites for dinner - the green curry broth was really awesome, but i prefer the tradition serving vessel of a steel pot rather than a bowl. The frites were above average and there were lots of sauces - cilantro/cumin aioli and curry ketchup were both good.
tap selection was about 30 deep - almost all belgian and ameri-belgians. I went for the tripel karmeleit which was served in the proper oversized glass.
Atmosphere was kind of a letdown (bright, more of a restaurant) but hard to complain about anything else. Go here, then go next door to Sugar Maple.
10-23-2010 16:57:38 | More by dirtylou
4.45/5 rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Located on the intersection of 2 decently sized roads it is easy to find. It is next door to Sugar Maple. I stopped in for lunch.
They have 23 taps and a special where you can have 4 of their tap brews for 12$. They also have maybe 50-60 bottles/cans.
The beer is always poured into proper glassware and served at a nice temperature, with nice clean taplines.
The wait staff was extremely nice and gave me a free meal for not having one of the beers I wanted despite it being on the menu.
Overall a nice place, food was good, so was the beer.
02-06-2010 21:38:43 | More by crossovert
3.78/5 rDev -10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
Stopped in tonight on a mega-tour of Milwaukee...
This place seems to ride the trend-wave of craft beer without really going in the deep end. Conceptually it sounds great, unless you've been spoiled by the Hopleaf, Brasserie V, or similar Belgian-inspired establishments. Don't let that dissuade you though.
The atmosphere was more restaurant than tavern... open, airy, with a hostess station at the front. Inside there were stone tile floors and rough hewn wooden tables with wicker chairs. behind the bar there were some cool horizontal lighted signs screened with some Belgian beer logos like Delirium and Cuvee de Trolls. The bar itself was a combo of brick and surfaced with slick wood. Mismatched chairs lined the bar. Lots of Belgian beer gift packs dotted the coolers. In the large dining area, there were the typical bar signs, with a large Tripel Karmeliet sign visible when you walk in. Some urban bicycle-themed photos, keeping with the Dutch theme.
Beer wise, the most obscure beers were Cuvee de Trolls and Bottresse Noire, yet there was a "rarities/oddities" section of the menu that listed less-rare Pere Jacques and Blanche de Bruxelles. No Rodenbach? There was a lack of traditional lambics besides Cuvee Rene (listed as "unflavored lambic"), yet they rip off the Cantillon logo on their menu as a "drunk monk" symbol for trappist beers. The selection is available online, what you see is what you get, save for a few new seasonal beers. Our server was friendly and very prompt.
Food wise, we only had the frites, which should be a standard measure for a Belgian/Dutch cafe. Basically they were the same as frozen fries anywhere, not fresh-cut, served with a miracle whip blend of "aioli". Menu had some Belgian items, healthy turkey options, and good vegetarian options too. I know they have a broad audience to please, but is a burger or fish fry really Belgian?
As it's next door to Sugar Maple, I would pass by Centraal every time for a beer at SM instead. The selection doesn't even compare. Check out Palm Tavern nearby or Comet on the east side for some good Belgian beers... i'll have to check out the menu again here though to give it a 2nd chance, and adjust scores if necessary.
11-28-2009 06:21:10 | More by emerge077
4.2/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I've been here many times and I must say this is the finest combo of craft beer and food I've ever experianced.
The place is enormous for bar standards. The large wood/stone bar wraps around the entire building to point where you can't see the patrons on the other end.
The beer is the co star here along with the food.
The selection is outstanding. 23 taps to choose from mostly true belgians. The bottle selection is rediculous. All beers poured into the proper glassware.
The food is off the charts. They have a vast array of everything from sandwiches and soups to homemade meatloaf and some the most unique bloody mary's as well.
The service is always outstanding. Everyone from the servers to to the bartenders are very knowledgable about all their beers.
I've spent many days and nights eating and drinking at this fine establishment. I highly recommend this place if you are in the Mlwaukee area.
07-16-2009 18:16:25 | More by beerwolf77
Cafe Centraal in Milwaukee, WI
92 out of 100 based on 10 ratings.