For the 10th straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2016."
Last year, the best coffee category provided one of Dining Month's biggest surprises, as for the first time in best of dining poll history, a company not named Colectivo, Alterra or Stone Creek came away as the master of the morning joe. Instead, thanks to a strong cup of coffee and an even stronger social media campaign, retail newcomer Hawthorne Coffee Roasters and its beans bested those past winners to earn the title of king of cups.
That was last year, however, and if you were looking for another shocker, you're in the wrong category as Colectivo fans woke back up in 2016 and helped the brand reclaim its title as Cream City's best coffee. Quite handily as well, scoring almost twice as many votes as the very worthy silver medalist, Anodyne Coffee Roasters. Valentine, Stone Creek and Boom Brothers then wrapped up this year's top five, while last year's winner Hawthorne fell well out of the running.
So while Colectivo is saying goodbye to its airport locales in 2016, it's at least returned to the top of the Milwaukee coffee podium.
Lori Fredrich's pick: Anodyne Coffee Roasters
For me, picking "best coffee" is like picking a favorite child. If you know me, you know I get my cortado on at a wide range of coffee shops around the city, and I enjoy most of the ones I drink. But when it all comes down to it, there’s one little coffee guy who wins my affection – and that guy is Anodyne. Your coffee is strong, bold and flavorful, and your honey bee latte is a thing of exceptional beauty.
This year we also asked a variety of prominent Milwaukeeans to weigh in on their pick for specific categories. For this category, we consulted Gene Mueller, morning radio show host at 620 WTMJ.
Mueller's pick: Sven's Coffee
Coffee is more than a warm, tasty, eye-opening option when one's daily commute wakes you up at 1:30 a.m. It's a life-inducing, awareness-invigorating fluid upon which your professional existence hinges. Hence, Sven's variety, including lighter beans, a solid breakfast blend – and then the inject-this-straight-into-my-veins-but-wait-it-tastes-too-damn-good French Blend. Solid, never bitter or acidic. Unlike lesser grade coffee that leaves my throat scratchy and raspy after a third cup, any of Sven's blends provide all of coffee's positives sans any of the negatives, the medicinal boost without causing blindness or terminal indigestion, with a fulfilling flavor that always has me craving for just one more cup, even when it's time for my afternoon nap.