By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Nov 18, 2021 at 11:03 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

Looking for a new spot for weekend brunch? The East Side’s newest vegan breakfast, brunch and lunch spot will be waiting for you.

The Lafayette Place opens today at 1978 N. Farwell Ave. (just off of Lafayette Place), offering an entirely plant-based menu, complete with coffee and brunch drinks, smoothies and more.

The Lafayette Place

Behind the new concept are Angie Wierzbinski and Amy Plennes, owners of The National Cafe, 839 W. National Ave., the welcoming Walker’s Point cafe that’s drawn a loyal audience with its eclectic menu of breakfast, lunch and brunch items.

And the two owners hope to make just as much of a splash at The Lafayette Place, a chic new East Side spot that offers up its own distinctive style, along with a completely vegan menu.

Bar at The Lafayette PlaceX

“We were going for something light, bright, airy and inviting,” says Plennes of the bright window-rich restaurant, which seats about 21 guests with low-top tables and bar seating.

Dining roomX

The restaurant, decorated in a palette of calming grey and deep blue balanced with tasteful tile and pops of bright color, is also filled with eye catching little details, like these fabulously fringey lighting fixtures.

Fringey lightsX

The overall look and feel came together with help from Jason Ludtke of Mild Tiger who established the venue’s logo and color scheme, friend and interior design guru Melony Pederson, who was able to meld both owners’ personal styles into one cohesive look and feel, and Jeremy Calteax, an electrician by trade, who brought the vision to life. 

Vegetables are delicious

Guests who pay a visit to The LaFayette Place will be treated to a menu of healthful, yet comforting plates, sweet treats and a long list of beverages (including brunch-worthy drinks, wine and coffee).

Offerings include a long list of smoothies from banana chai with flaxseed and cinnamon to peach basil, blueberry muffin and green machine, an invigorating blend of mango, bananas, spinach, flax seed and oat milk ($8 each).

From there, the menu runs the gamut from basic breakfast dishes like the Classic (house potatoes, Impossible sausages, tofu scramble, and Rocket Baby sourdough toast, $10) to breakfast sandwiches, including a bagel sandwich made with Ruby’s Bagels filled with tofu scramble, sausage, Violife cheese, tomatoes and garlic mayo ($10) and the Vegan Breakfast Sammie (a popular hold-over from The National) with Impossible sausage, a hashbrown patty, cheese, guacamole and chipotle sauce on a pretzel bun ($12.50).

Vegan Breakfast SammieX

Tasty breakfast burritos include the Chorizo Burrito featuring a soft tortilla stuffed with housemade cauliflower-based chorizo, hashbrown patties, beans, corn, chipotle sauce, pico de gallo, peppers and shredded Violife cheese ($11); and a Veggie Burrito chock full of roasted vegetables, black beans, corn, tofu scramble, Spanish rice and chipotle cream (served with pico de gallo and house potatoes, $13).

Veggie BurritoX

Guests will also find decadent Cheesy Hash featuring house potatoes and roasted vegetables under a shroud of housemade cauliflower chorizo, melted cheese, avocado and chipotle sauce (served with toast $12).  It's a downright delicious bowl of vegetables.

Cheesy HashX

Brunchworthy beverages include coffee, cold brew and Rishi Tea ($2.50 to $4.50) along with wine (by the bottle or glass), a house bloody mary ($9), mimosa ($10) and unique creations like the Brunch Old Fashioned featuring all ingredients in the classic Wisconsin drink rounded out by a splash of cold brew ($8).

Brunch old fashionedX

On the sandwich side, hungry lunch-goers will find a portobello banh mi with sesame soy marinated mushrooms, jalapenos, pickled slaw and cilantro Sriracha mayo (served with kettle chips, $10); a Chorizo Joe with housemade BBQ chorizo, pico de gallo, avocado and garlic mayo on toasted Rocket Baby Bakery sourdough (served with chips, $11); and a Southern Po’Boy featuring cajun fried tofu piled high on a baguette with pickled onions and cucumbers, arugula and remoulade (served with chips, $11.50).

Po'BoyX

A soup of the week will also be available for $6 per bowl, along with a variety of mouthwatering baked goods made by onsite baker, Kindra Meier, including banana bread, cheesy biscuits, cinnamon rolls, scones, chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes (including this seasonal treat made with pumpkin and cookie butter).

Pumpkin cookie butter cupcakeX

“We’re really excited to officially be a part of the East Side,” notes Wierzbinski. “It’s so great to see so much foot traffic and dogs in the neighborhood. We can’t wait to welcome people inside.” 

The Lafayettte Place is open Thursday through Sunday from 8:30 to 2 p.m. Both dine in and carry-out are available. Guests can check out the full menu and place an order at lafayetteplacemke.com

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.