From the Basement to the Top!

Before Gus’ Mexican Cantina owner Gus Hosseni launched one of Milwaukee’s best Mexican Restaurants in Franklin, Wisconsin, he thrilled the eclectic crowd in downtown Milwaukee when in 1980 he opened Milwaukee’s iconic nightclub: The Unicorn.

The Unicorn was located in the basement of the historic Sydney Hih building. Gus found his calling in Milwaukee by promoting up-and-coming bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, Greenday, and Nirvana. Being the first alternative, grunge and punk rock bar in Milwaukee made The Unicorn an enormous success.

The Smashing Pumpkins re-released “Pisces Iscariot”

The re-release of Pisces Iscariot included a cover of the Steve Miller Band classic “The Joker.” The track was recorded LIVE at the Unicorn. Click on “Watch Video” to open the actual live performance posted in El Blog.


Gus’ Mexican Restaurant and Cantina owner Gus Hosseini was presented the WAMI award for outstanding service and sincere appreciation of the commitment of the Wisconsin Area Music Industry.

Gus Mexican Restaurant 1990-1999


Gus opened his first Mexican Restaurant in 1990 just above his nightclub; The Unicorn, in the Sydney Hih building.

Business boomed and Gus’ Mexican Restaurant and Cantina quickly became synonymous with the Best Mexican Restaurants in Milwaukee serving tens of thousands locals and tourists at his Milwaukee location and Milwaukee’s major festivals including SummerFest, Irish Fest, Wisconsin State Fair and Zoo Ala Carte.


As business overflowed the original location, Gus expanded to open another Mexican Restaurant in Milwaukee when in 1995 he opened Gus’ Mexican Cantina on Historic Old World 3rd Street.

Remaining true to authentic dishes, cleanliness and friendly service, almost overnight his 2nd location appeared on many food critiques lists of “The Best Mexican Restaurants in Milwaukee.”


Gus’ enterprise grew even larger with the opening of Gus’ Deli.

The deli was a popular gathering place for rockers and punkers of a decade ago, now turned yuppies, packing in during the work week for some of Milwaukee’s best lunch selections.

Keanu Reeves and Dogstar eat at Gus Mexican Cantina one of the best Mexican restaurants in Milwaukee

About Mexican Restaurants Milwaukee Southside Franklin Wisconsin Gus Cantina

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves frequents Gus’ Mexican Cantina when on tour with his band Dogstar.

Mexican Food Milwaukee

Gus’ Mexican Cantina

Voted the best Mexican restaurants in Milwaukee


“Milwaukee’s Best Mexican Restaurant”

– by the Weekend Cue

Mexican Food Milwaukee

Gus Mexican Restaurant Today is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Milwaukee

2008 Re-Grand Opening!

Gus merged and moved the now famous Gus’ Mexican Restaurant and Cantina downtown locations to Milwaukee’s south-side suburb of Franklin, Wisconsin.

Now serving all of the Milwaukee Metro Mexican Foodies, Gus, his wife Debbie, son Shaun and the servers, bartenders an chefs that make up “Team Cantina” work hard every day to offer everything a full-service restaurant should including;

Indoor Dining, Patio Dining, Carry-Outs, Rewards Program, Cantina Style Bar,

Banquet Room, Catering, Private Party’s, and Special Events.

Gus’ Mexican Cantina was again honored by the Weekend Cue when selected as “The Best Mexican Restaurant in Milwaukee.”

The Real Housewives of Orange County filmed on location Gus Mexican Cantina


Real Housewives


Orange County

Bravos hit series “The Real Housewives of Orange County” was filmed on location at Gus’ Mexican Cantina. And you thought everything was filmed in Orange County, didn’t you?

Break Time

Gus’ is “the place” to try Margaritas blended or on the rocks. No mixes or containers, Gus’ “Margees” are made from his own secret recipe. One customer wrote on Google Reviews; “Gus’ margaritas are worth a special trip!” Come in today, order your favorite Mexican food or appetizer and …

Best Margarita Recipe - Gus Mexican Cantina Milwaukee

Banquet Hall, Wedding Receptions, Party’s and Dance Floor

The Party Destination for all of Milwaukee

When searching for Banquet Rooms in Milwaukee, Gus’ is a wise choice for wedding receptions, family reunions, class reunions, bachelor and bachelorette party’s, corporate celebrations or any large group gathering.

The space is thoughtfully designed with a dance floor, a private bar and plenty of room for seating and dancing. Party planners can also satisfy the appetites of everyone with a beautiful spread selected from our catering menu.

Custom requests are gladly accepted as well. Just talk to our chef about your custom menu ideas! Cantina Club members can rent the Banquet Room or the Entire Restaurant for Free.Cantina Club Membership

Milwaukee Banquet Halls Milwaukee Southside

Pride in Premises Award!

Gus’ Mexican Restaurant and Cantina has been awarded the “Pride in Premises” award. Presented to Gus by the city of Franklin, Milwaukee County supervisor Steven V. Taylor, Governor Scott Walker and US Congressman Paul Ryan.

Pride in Premises Award Paul RyanPride in Premises Award Scott Walker

Are you ready to take the challenge?

Gus’ 6 Foot Burrito Challenge

Gus’ 6 Foot Burrito was featured on The Food Networks popular TV Show “Outrageous Food” with host Tom Pizzica.

Now you and a friend can dive into this 72″ master piece just like the one featured on TV!

Team up to devour it in 40 minutes and Gus will pick up the tab!

You and your friend will also be presented with a gift card, t-shirt and the two of you will be featured on Gus’ Burrito Challenge Wall of Fame for you to show-off to all your friends and family!

Gus’ 3 Foot Burrito Challenge

Dining Solo?

No problem, Gus will prepare a 36″ Burrito just for you. Same rules apply. Down it in 40 minutes and it’s free, plus all the goodies and your own featured spot on the Wall of Fame.

C’mon, take the challenge. We dare you!

Gus Mexican Restaurant Cantina featured Outrageous Food The Food Network

Gus Hosseini and Tom Pizzica on the Food Networks Outrageous Foods

Live shot of Owner Gus Hosseini and Tom Pizzica during the broadcast of “Outrageous Food.”


“Gracias’ Milwaukee! We love you and hope you visit again soon.”


Matt H
Matt H Yelp!
I’ve had nearly everything on the menu and I have never been disappointed.
Flyinsolo City Search
I love the atmosphere here! … very welcoming and aesthetically pleasing.
Mona Gudgeon
Mona Gudgeon Google Places
My family and I have eaten at Gus’ Mexican Cantina several times and we always leave with a smile.

Milwaukee Best Mexican Restaurant Read More

Carmelita Pati
Carmelita Pati Urban Spoon
…if you are looking for the best customer service, the nicest owners and Mexican food, then Gus’ Mexican Cantina is the best place to eat!
Susan Urban Spoon
We highly recommend the place to watch sporting events on TV and enjoy a wonderful meal.
FranklinGuy City Search
Gus’s Mexican Cantina has the best food and Margaritas. … fresh and delicious!

Milwaukee Best Mexican Restaurant Read More

We’ve frequented Gus’ since they opened, we’re never disappointed!

– Mary Beth

Mexican Restaurant Reviews Urban Spoon

Milwaukee Best Mexican Restaurant Read More

James Trying
James Trying Google Places
Definitely known for the margaritas and great chips and salsa! Great atmosphere and the food was great!
RandyN123 Urban Spoon
Gus’ margaritas have kick! Enchilada Plate: DELICIOUS! I’ll be back with the wife real soon to hit up the Happy Hour!
KT Urban Spoon
Our family has tried several menu items and we liked them all! My personal favorite is the chicken enchiladas!

Milwaukee Best Mexican Restaurant Read More

DBGP Google Places
The chips and salsa are a wonderful. Gus’ Margaritas help me forget about the days’ troubles while I wait for my Steak Fajitas. We will definitely be coming back for dinner and bringing back our friends and family!
Franklinrez Urban Spoon
Spent many vacations in Mexico and Gus’s food is very similar to the “real stuff.”
Jake Urban Spoon
I split the 36 inch burrito with 3 of my buddies it filled us up for a great price. I thought this was the best tex-mex place I have been too and all fresh!
Milwaukee Best Mexican Restaurant Read More

Adam Hobach
Adam Hobach Google Places
We have been going to Gus’s for years and enjoy every minute of it. The food is great!
Matt H
Matt H Yelp
Great margaritas, great nachos, great seasoned chips. One of my Favorite times to go to Gus’ is for car shows every Wednesday during the summer!
Ann H
Ann H Urban Spoon
One of my favorites places. … Good tex-mex food with a more authentic flair. The cheese enchiladas or fish enchiladas are some of the best in the area.

Milwaukee Best Mexican Restaurant Read More

The Mexican Food Lovers Club

Cantina Club

Join Now... It's Free

On your next visit, just tell your server or bartender; "I want to be a Cantina Club member," register with your name and email address and start receiving your membership perks the same day!

Gus' Mexican Cantina last day of business will be on Saturday, September 23th
Thank you for your business and kind support over the past 10 years!