A foodie can be a variety of things, anything from someone who enjoys cooking a variety of food from home to traveling the world to try what’s authentic to that area to the social media influencer that knows how to capture the perfect picture (or video) to make their followers hungry. The commonality is the perceived love for food.
I accidentally found myself to be a foodie when I started sharing local restaurants (among other things) in Milwaukee on TikTok (@JMattMKE), one week I jumped up by 50,000 followers and started focusing on supporting local businesses. In my opinion, one of the easiest types of local business to support is a restaurant. Sure, we all have our preferences, but food can connect us to one another.
I stayed the course, largely around food content, and now have over 175,000 followers on TikTok. Since I don’t review or rank businesses I feature, I’m a very non-traditional foodie or as I like to think of it, simply a lifestyle content creator. That lifestyle is a city of Milwaukee local for fellow locals. Most people don’t think of TikTok as a place for local content, let alone foodie content, that’s expected more about Instagram (at least when it was predominately a photo-sharing app).
As someone that likes to connect people to each other (not just through food), I started wondering how many foodies were in Milwaukee. Could I figure out a list of 50? Beyond that, how do you define an influencer? Surely someone with 50 close friends can influence them on what and where to eat.
For the sake of this article, I looked to include accounts that have at least 1,000 followers and have been active in the past 12 months. There are a handful of accounts I knew of that have been inactive for over a year and others that relocated and are sharing food for their new home (such as @Frank_LikesFood who started in Milwaukee and has continued in Charlotte, NC).
I had looked into a list of Wisconsin foodie influencers but I quickly realized I could fill a list with people in the great Milwaukee area. No, I can’t confirm where people live, but their content does lean more heavily toward the southeast Wisconsin area. I suppose technically, a Milwaukee foodie is also a Wisconsin foodie.
On this particular list, I was looking for Instagram accounts that regularly feature food (or beverages) on their page. This list includes a variety of people, the customer wanting to share their latest eats, the home cook sharing their favorite recipes, the food critic (take that as you want to), and the professional chefs that have gained popularity on the platform.
One thing to note, this list isn’t for restaurant accounts specifically, however, if a restaurant owner has a personal account and mainly posts about food, they’re included. If I missed a favorite Milwaukee foodie of yours, DM me on IG (@JMattMke) to let me know, I surely don’t know everyone but wanted to start somewhere.
Nano Influencers (< 10,000 followers)
50. Erica – @EricaExploresMKE (1,040)
49. Kyle Swartz – @Four_One_Fork (1,054)
48. Nicole – @TheHungryGirlFoodBlog (1,055)
47. Nick Bailey – @BigGreenEgg_MKE (1,066)
46. Explore Milwaukee – @ExploreMilwaukee (1,124)
45. Dominic Dean – @DomTheFoodReviewer (1,124)
44. Milwaukee Foodie – @MKE_Food_Life (1,140)
43. Jade – @MKEFoodieLife (1,192)
42. Jamie – @JamiesEatsMKE (1,313)
41. Ryan Gill – @Chef_Ryan15 (1,343)
40. Cassie – @Cooking.Cassie (1,501)
39. Marc & Melissa Tantillo – @SiegeFoodPhoto (1,648)
38. Alexa Alfaro – @AlexaFAlfaro (1,660)
- Co-Owner of Meat on the Street, Family Restaurant Rivals (Season 1), + Guy’s Grocery Games (Season 18)
37. Donut Connoisseur – @DonutWhore (1,700)
36. Milwaukee Foodie Family – @Milwaukee_Foodie_Family (1,701)
35. Emma Thomas – @EmmaFckinThomas (1,706)
34. Kyle Knall – @KyleKnallYall (1,763)
- Chef & Owner of Birch and Stone Bank Farm Market
33. Zach Adams – @Chef_Zach_Adams414 (1,774)
- Next Level Chef (Season 1)
32. Olivia – @Oliv.Eat.A (1,806)
31. MKE Foodie – @MKEFoodie_414 (1,879)
30. Anne – @Weezie_Eats (1,945)
29. Carol Deptolla – @MKE_Diner (1,974)
- Dining Critic for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
28. Liz – @BiteOfLife_MKE (2,146)
27. Hangry [in] MKE – @HangryMKE (2,180)
26. Mad Love For All Things MKE – @MadAboutMKE (2,259)
25. Richard Winter – @MilwaukeeFoodKing (2,389)
24. Kelli Calkins – @Kelli_Calkins (2,391)
23. Eats MKE – @Eats_MKE (2,398)
22. Noel & Jennifer – @NoshMKE (3,592)
21. Elizabeth – @HowSheSeesMKE (3,812)
20. Judge Derek Mosley – @JudgeMosley (4,032)
19. Izzy Larini – @WisconsinGourmande (4,065)
18. Sam – @WisconsinCheesePlease (4,439)
17. Lori Fredrich – @LoFredrich (4,959)
- Dining Editor for OnMilwaukee
16. Tia – @MidwestGirlAdventures (5,171)
15. Jules – @JulesInMKE (5,248)
14. Two Sisters Munching in Milwaukee – @MunchingInMilwaukee (5,400)
13. Vegan Milwaukee – @VeganMilwaukee (6,866)
12. Anna – @TheMakeshiftLocal (9,035)
Micro Influencers (10K – 50,000 followers)
11. Adam Pawlak – @Adam_Pawlak23 (11,163)
- Owner of Egg & Flour + Hell’s Kitchen (Season 19)
10. Judy – @MKEeeeEats (11,349)
9. Jena Carlin – @LittleRustedLadle (13,308)
8. Philia Kelnhofer – @SweetPhiBlog (14,623)
7. Cathy – @LemonTreeCathy (15,004)
6. Meg – @MilwaukeePhoto (16,066)
5. Arthur Ircink (Creator + Executive Producer) – @WisconsinFoodie (22,961)
- Many features include the Milwaukee area. The former host of 11 years, Kyle Cherek, is of Milwaukee; the new host is Luke Zahm.
- Arthur is also the co-publisher of Edible Milwaukee Magazine (@EdibleMilwaukee | 3,149)
4. Maureen Fitzgerald – @WisconsinMommy (27,086)
Mid-Tier Influencers (50K – 500,000 followers)
3. Nick – @DudeFoods (54,037) – VERIFIED
2. Sara Nelson – @RealBalanced (82,015)
1. Erin – @WellPlated (181,134) – VERIFIED
Keep an eye on these Milwaukee Foodie Instagram accounts
- Noah K – @Noah_EatsMKE (992)
- He also works with @Epicurean Chronicles (10,982) out of Madison, WI which occasionally visits Milwaukee
- Laura – @CameraEatsFirst_MKE (988)
- Devour 414 – @Devour414 (956)
- Rachel Howe – @MKEFoodCritic (883)
- Milwaukee Food, Drink, & Fun – @Milwaukee.Foodie (861)
- Leah & Nic – @MKEFoodDuo (631)
Okay, when it comes to the Milwaukee foodie, that’s what I have for you. What do you think? Did I get the ones you know about or was there a big miss? Beyond Milwaukee, the Wisconsin foodie could be just starting out somewhere else within the state, enticing you to visit their hometown, but that’s a list for another day.
If you didn’t see your Milwaukee foodie on this list, I may not know about them yet – hit me up on social media at @JMattMke (same handle on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube Shorts, and Snapchat)!
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