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The National-Cafe and Takeaway

The National-Cafe and Takeaway
  • Street 839 W National Ave
  • City Milwaukee
  • Region Wisconsin
  • Postcode 53204
  • Telphone (414) 431-6551
  • Opentime
  • Raging (215)
  • Website http://www.natinoaleats.com
  • Cuisine
  • Order     Views: 2
The National-Cafe and Takeaway introduction
Estimated average consumption of $6.85 - $13.7 per person. We offer 64 menus, including Coffee to Go, 16 oz. Iced Coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha, Americano and so on.
Map of The National-Cafe and Takeaway
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The National-Cafe and Takeaway reviews

By Katie S. at 2016-12-03

This place is amazing! The breakfast rice bowl was to die for, especially the bacon. A sign said everything was locally sourced and fresh, and you can absolutely tell! Also the americano I had was probably the best one I've ever had. Thank you for a great breakfast! :)

By Taigana T. at 2016-09-01

I've returned recently and there have been changes. The big, colorful and beautiful blackboard menu is no more. Bummer! I really enjoyed the menu right in your face when you walked in. Simple and to the point. Not overwhelming with so many menu items. Many of the items are also no more including my fav the Pork Belly sandwich. So sad. They have replaced a few items which are basically the same as any other café. Not spectacular. I truly loved their unique menu and now you're just another kid on the block.

Our food was not very good for some reason. The cappuccino I always get was not creamy and thick. Just another cup of coffee! The Ramen soup had a distinct flavor that I just couldn't stomach and hence, couldn't eat it. My new fav would be their scone which comes with jam minus the whipped cream for me.

Most likely I will not return. Their unique food menu is what caught my eye as well as supporting local vendors. The excitement has faded away folks.

By Alyssa J P. at 2016-08-15

Pretty good food with decent selection of vegan options on the menu. The set-up is of the order at counter and have your food delivered to your table variety, so not super fancy but not totally fast-food either.

I ordered the vegan huevos rancheros and other than I wished they'd used crunchy tortillas under the whole works, I enjoyed the meal very much. Just enough food without being super filling.

By Amy L. at 2016-07-06

My dad gets in these weird phases where he'll suddenly just be eating vegetarian or paleo. That's all fine and dandy, except he's one of those obnoxious dieters that constantly nags on you about what you eat. That being said, if it weren't for his strange eating habits, I would not have taken him to this cute little secret in Walker's Point.

If you blink, you'll miss it. I actually drove right by it and had to turn around. Among the barren stores and highway overpass that surrounds it, the restaurant blends right in with its brick corner exterior. Going inside, however, was a different story. Light and calm colors, cute window tables raised above the main floor, and a nice patio in the back, this place feels like a small town patisserie. Not to mention, the music they were playing was fantastic! Perfect for fathers to reminisce to on Fathers Day weekend. The menu had normal brunch fare as well as some unique dishes, and they were sure to tell you that everything is locally imported.

The only issue (which I found out later is posted on a sign, so they are very self-aware) was the wait. We ordered pretty simple meals (a breakfast sandwich, a salad, and a portobello burger), and we waited about an hour for them. Everything is made from scratch, and the wait was definitely worth it. If you're going to eat here, make sure you plan out enough time for yourself. I got anxious because I didn't know how long it would take, but now that I'm more aware, I'll definitely spend my time here in a more relaxed and leisured mood.

By Yess C. at 2016-12-23

Really good! I had the hot mess with veggies, hot chocolate with whipped cream, perfection in a cup! Nice atmosphere, fast service.

By Chelsie N. at 2016-02-22

Staff is very friendly and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. Tables are a plenty and if I've had to wait, it's typically been 10 minutes or so before someone's done. Food-wise, everything I've had here is delicious and homemade. Some options I would recommend are:

Soy Hazelnut Latte- not too sweet and love the big mugs they're served in!
Breakfast Slider- huge portion (split it 2 ways) and the bacon is always crisped perfectly
The Hot Mess- basically everything you could want: hollandaise, eggs, bacon, potatoes, veggies, cheese
BLT&A- love the sourdough and garlic mayo on this puppy (also, can you tell i like bacon?)
Random but their sides of fruit are always legit
Ham & Brie Baguette- the brie and dijon mayo pair great together

By Andrew S. at 2016-01-31

Needed a breakfast before going to the airport and this was a highly rated place on the way and close to the freeway.

This is a hipster looking place. Clean and lots of unique menu items. Friendly staff.
I had the stuffed avocado toast with arugula and a scrambled egg add-on. The avocado was stuffed with onions, tomatoes, and other veggies that I can't remember. The only protein was the add-on egg. The toast also had goat cheese. The whole meal was good and healthy. Decent portion size too for $10.

About 8 tables or so inside. Looked like only street parking as I had parked across the street.

By Chelsie L. at 2015-12-12

One of my favorite cafes in Milwaukee. So yummy, all of the food is high quality and a good portion is local, great for lunch and brunch! I have had several menu options and to be honest, I'm not sure you could go wrong here. I've had the Full English, a Breakfast slider and a Bacon, turkey, brie sandwich, The sandwich was definitely my favorite. It came with turkey, bacon, brie and a cranberry jam of sorts on a large (I believe french bread) roll and MAN was it delicious. Cozy atmosphere (the outside it the cutest teal color!) it does get busy on the weekends so note that you may have to wait a little bit for a table, but if you can, totally snag an in the window seat! They are so adorable!

I would highly recommend checking this spot out.

By Rick R. at 2015-12-07

I've dined here or grabbed take-out several times over the years. The food is all made in-house and ingredients come from various local providers listed on a board in the cafe.

The story behind how Chef Nell Benton acquired the space is great, and she has paid it forward with letting Amilinda host pop-up dinners last year. Now Amilinda has it's own space.

Weekends are very busy here and they do a lot of catering in the summer. It's a very popular spot and for good reason.

Some of the hits I've enjoyed include the corned beef hash, the Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich, and recently the Tonkotsu style ramen.

The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich was added to the menu after one of the employees suggested Chef Benton add it, considering she made it for herself so often. It's filling and really delicious. The name is fitting.

The ramen recipe has been overhauled since the first time I had it a couple of years ago, and the recipe (toppings anyway) has been tweaked slightly recently. The ramen I had on Friday was in the top 3 Tonkotsu style ramen dishes I've had. I think I've had Tonkotus style at 7 or 8 restaurants in Milwaukee and one in Minneapolis. The broth is rich, the house made noodles hold the flavor of the broth, the egg was perfectly cooked, and the pork was tender with nice flavor.

If you go on the weekend, prepare to wait. Otherwise go during the week or get your order to-go.

By Dan L. at 2015-11-23

I first had their ultimate breakfast sandwich at the Bay View Farmer's Market in the summer, and thought it was outstanding. The olive tapenade spread made it unique, and I really enjoyed it.

I went to their location recently, which is a quaint little corner diner over on National in Milwaukee. Their lunch menu seems way bigger than their breakfast menu, and I've already picked out a few sandwiches I want to go back and try.

This time around, I went for breakfast, so I settled on the breakfast burrito, which really to me, was just ok...nothing special. The breakfast sandwich definitely topped it. The potatoes that came with the burrito were pretty plain too.

4 stars for the atmosphere of the diner, and the breakfast sandwich. Also the anticipation of their lunch items.

By Lauren A. at 2016-08-04

Awesome little brunch/lunch cafe. The chai iced coffee was delicious. The friendly staff prepares the day's items fresh in the morning and it shows. They have vegan baked goods and ramen noodles!

By Morgan M. at 2016-03-01

I'm so very excited that I finally got out to The National! I had high hopes for this place and from the moment I pulled up outside, I knew that it was about to exceed all expectations. The look of the place is very cozy, hip, and rustic. Basically everything that's on the menu sounds amazing and all the dishes that came out of the kitchen looked fantastic. For my first time here I wanted to give the ramen, that I'd previously heard about, a try. The broth of the ramen was some of the best that I've had and in general the dish was made up of a few high quality ingredients. Just nice and simple. For dessert I went for the lemon polenta cake because lemon desserts are my jam! The cake was moist and flavorful. Finally, there was my delightful cafe au lait which was prepared perfectly and served in a bowl-sized mug! I can't wait to come back here several times over!

By Josh B. at 2016-05-18

A cozy deli/restaurant in Walker's Point, I've walked past here quite a few times without realizing there's a full fledged restaurant in here!

The atmosphere is warm, open, and welcoming, with a giant board/menu easily visible when you walk in.

The service is a bit confusing, I was unsure if I should sit and wait for one of the servers to come to me, or if I should wait to be seated.

Turns out I was supposed to go up to the counter and order, and THEN be seated. I may have missed it, but if there was a sign near the door saying to order at the counter, that would have helped a nice touch to keep me from stalling by the door for a few minutes.

The food was good across the board, it's fresh and well put together, and the portions are generous. Definitely loved that sandwiches can come with hummus on the side, instead of fries or something greasy.

I had a bit of confusion on trying to get water, after getting a servers attention, I was told that I could get my own water (politely!) by the counter, however there were no glasses. Turns out the server had gone to get water, and we had kept missing each other.

Worth checking out on a slow afternoon if you're nearby!

By Erika K. at 2016-04-26

I'm basing this 5 star review off of the amazing Ramen and coffee that I've had here a few times.

The first time I visited The National was solely to find a warm and delicious bowl of Ramen. It was around 2, maybe 2:30 on a weekday and the place was packed. Seating is somewhat difficult since there are only a handful of tables and chairs which suggested to me that their business was half takeout/half dine in. The Ramen on their menu is only offered for customers who dine in, so we quickly snagged a table and approached the counter.

The service was warm and efficient. There are no servers but a person at the counter where you order and someone who drops off the food. The woman at the counter told us they were out of the normal noodles they use but that they were replacing it with udon noodles instead. At this point, it didn't matter to me what kind of noodle it was. I needed my Ramen!

The bowl is huge, and comes with a thick piece of pork and a heaping amount of noodles along with other traditional Ramen garnishes. I've had the traditional Ramen noodles and the udon ones and definitely preferred the classic noodles. Both times I dined here the broth was delectable, savory, flavorful, and not overly salty. My boyfriend and I licked our bowls clean and were happy and full.

I ordered a cappuccino both times and enjoyed them immensely. I'm somewhat picky when it comes to a good cappuccino and it was one of the better ones I've had in Milwaukee. Regular coffee comes in funky mugs and is dispensed in a large pot near the water station.

The decor and overall ambiance of the restaurant is really nice. I could see the table availability and closeness of tables bother some, but I really didn't mind.

The menu looks amazing and hopefully one day I can try something other than the amazing Ramen.

By Brett S. at 2016-02-29

Just by looking at the charming exterior of this place, you know it's going to have good feels on the inside. And yeah, this place is great. Delicious menu with a wide range of choices. I had the ramen and it was very good. Killer broth, especially with the Thai chili sauce that the dish is paired with, and simple ramen fixings. Their philosophy of preparing quality food with care, while having a commitment to local businesses, is something I can always support. I will definitely be making a point to come back many times.

By Joanna T. at 2016-01-09

After my previous review went up, I received a message from the chef acknowledging that they had an issue with the noodles that day (a regular mentioned it to her) and apologizing. I thought it was worth a retry since so many people like the National. So we went back today and it was a completely different experience.

First, clean tables! Employees were definitely making sure that tables were cleaned in between people so that made me very happy. When we ordered, we were told that they'd changed their noodle to a thicker, udon type of noodle. The heads up was a nice touch for sure.

Anyway, my ramen was a FAR better bowl this go round! The chefs message mentioned that the pork belly is served in a large piece but the Mister and I both agreed that this week's version was less flabby and fatty - definite improvement. The noodles they're currently using aren't as thick as a true udon - more of a spaghetti thickness. In any case, they weren't overlooked this time - again, a definite improvement. National's broth is good too - not overly salty, with a rich, meaty flavor. Red Light is still my favorite Ramen but National's is good and something I'd get again.

I'm glad we went back, and really happy to update to a better rating. It says a lot when business owners read and respond to reviews in a constructive way. Since the National is pretty close to the new job, I want to come back in for lunch and try some of the other stuff on the menu.

By Christina L. at 2016-08-29

Adorable place! I love that everything is made from scratch, fresh, and organic! I came here twice after loving it so much the first time. The first time, I ordered an arugula avocado salad and have to say the avocado was the highlight of it all. There's definitely more sophisticated options on the menu, so I should have tried something different. My one guest ordered the blackened salmon sandwich- wow that thing was as big as a football! He loved it and managed to finish it all. My other guest tried the portobello melt and said it was one of the best. I had to try a nibble and loved it! I would definitely order that next time. The second time I dined here, I came around breakfast time and tried their mint mocha. It was quite good, but my guest ordered the vanilla latte and I thought that was far better. He also tried the hot mess- rosemary potatoes, ham, sauteed peppers, caramelized onions, cheddar, grilled tomatoes, sunny-side eggs, and hollandaise. Again, devoured it. This is no doubt one of my favorite spots in MKE!

By Kev H. at 2015-12-07

From the outside, this place is totally nondescript. It is located in an area that is far from trendy, and the exterior facade seems bland as can be.

Upon entering though, you'll feel like you've entered one of those coffeeshop/brunch places that all the Yuppies enjoy going to. The place is replete with blackboard with menus written, describing the various items on hand for breakfast or for lunch. There is also a display case containing various baked goods such as brownies, to entice you further.

Upon closer inspection, you'll see go further than the rabbit hole, and begin seeing the little nuggets of uniqueness that this place has on offer. Breakfast plates and sandwiches that skew both towards the hedonistic piggish side and others that skew towards the herbivore in you.

For those who dare to delve further in the depths of their soul, a bowl of tonkatsu ramen is available for consumption, for breakfast if you dare.

Another blackboard highlights the simple coffee options available, courtesy of Anodyne coffee.

This is one of those places where you order at the counter, get a number, find a table to sit and your order gets brought out to you.

I did elect to have ramen for breakfast. Although it was not the same as the authentic Japanese ramen I have had at other ramen places, it is still quite delicious. The broth had good flavor but didn't quite reach the levels of umami of other places. The ramen noodles were flavorful with a good amount of chewiness.

I did try another dish as well, but for the life of me, the ramen has occluded my memory of the other dish.

As a coffeeshop, this place also has some good food options.

As a brunch place, this place has some eclectic food options.

As a place to work and study, I think you'd best look elsewhere, as this is more a low key conversation place.

All in all, a diamond in the rough with additional surprises to be found.

By Amy X. at 2016-10-06

I got a portobello melt. The mushroom was really salty. The bun was super soggy. (Not a fan of soggy bread especially for a hot sandwich .) I also got the salad with arugula, which they didn't have the buttermilk dressing so I just changed to a vinaigrette which is fine. The only thing not okay with it was everything. Nothing went well together. The pickled jicama killed the taste of everything. Parmesan cheese has unique strong taste that just cannot be paired with arugula. So disappointed for what I got for lunch. I probably will give this place another try to try other things. Two stars - one for this place was amazing when it opened & two for having vegetarian and vegan options for those out there...

By Daniela C. at 2016-02-24

There are only a handful of places in Milwaukee that serve ramen, and this is one of the places that does it on a daily basis, unfortunately only before 3/3:30 PM. I have a relatively short lunch and don't really go out much, but this morning I woke up craving ramen and my go to ramen place isn't open during the day, or most days, actually.

Remembering that Rick R. had mentioned this place and that the head chef here made her own ramen cook book, I decided to try it out. I called ahead and they told me that they don't do carry out ramen due to the size, and that I could order ahead and eat it when I got there.

I walked in and was immediately greeted by the nice folks behind the counter. The space itself is beautiful and from what I could tell, clean and well decorated. They have a food case in front of various pastries, including some items I normally can't find else where since they are out of season (think: Strawberry rhubarb pie and pumpkin cream cake). In addition to my ramen to eat in house, I ordered a few different pastries to go (strawberry rhubarb pie, the pumpkin cream cake, a peanut butter rice crispie treat, and the polenta lemon cake). They were all for me. No shame.

The ramen came out quickly. It was definitely appealing to the eye, though less of a portion than most other places, with less "frills" than I expected considering the price ($12) (think: bamboo, greens, other stuff you might find in ramen) - it came with two huge pieces of pork belly and two halves of egg lightly soyed. I didn't have any nori in my portion, which was a little disappointing since they did state it on the menu. The broth itself was tasty and rich. There were various levels of flavor there, which I appreciated and enjoyed. I do think that the spice (as in, level of hot spicy) they added was a bit of a disservice to the broth as it didn't really add anything to it and took away from the true nature and many levels of flavor and texture in it. I didn't add any of the hot sauce they had on the side, either. The noodles weren't really anything special. They had a taste and texture more like spaghetti than ramen noodles/egg noodles. I normally get a hint of the egg it's coated or created with and didn't really get it from this one. While this bowl of ramen does fit into one of the top five bowls of ramen I've had (from at least 10 different places in and out of MKE) - I don't know that I would come here for it, alone.

I think that the true value in this place would be the pastries. At least from those I have tasted, they are FABULOUS. The pumpkin cream cake was the perfect moist texture and consistency. Rich in flavor and tasted fresh! The Strawberry rhubarb was also excellent and have a wonderful taste. The restaurants has a good sized menu of sandwiches, etc. that ALL seemed delicious. Between the pastries and the other options on the menu, as well as the friendly service, I do anticipate being back here!

Tips: These are the details of the The National-Cafe and Takeaway, This restaurant is located in 839 W National Ave, Milwaukee, WI
Reminder: Online ordering when the price to the actual consumer price shall prevail.