There’s more to shopping in Milwaukee  than the requisite cheddar cheese foam wedge hat and cheese and bratwurst gift packs. (Though these are of course to be on your list!)
Virtually everyone starts at the economic (as well as geographic) heart of Milwaukee, the Grand Avenue Mall—a synthesis of old and new. Originally built in 1915 as the Plankinton Arcade, much of its architecture was retained when the four-block area was gentrified into a lower level of shops and an upper level of sidewalk cafés and people-watching heights.
From here, neighborhoods reach out for your wallet. To the immediate north, North Old World 3rd Street  has mostly good restaurants but a few long-standing shops, the highlight of which has to be Usinger ’s. Sausage as a souvenir—is that a Milwaukee gift or what? Other highlights include Ambrosia Chocolates and, of course, the Wisconsin Cheese Mart.
The Historic Third Ward , Jefferson Street, and East Brady Street  areas offer the most compelling strolls for shoppers. All are blocks-long areas of carefully gentrified Old World–feeling streets filled with art and antique galleries, specialty shops, and oodles of places to grab a cup of java or a quick bite in a chic setting to recharge the purchasing battery.