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In Dining

Coffee houses and cafe guide

Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on April 16, 2010 at 3:01 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.

These days, coffeehouses and cafes aren't just places to down a few mugs of mud and catch a few poetry readings. They've quickly become a hub of social activity and, with the addition of Wi-Fi, like an office away from the office. This might not be Seattle, but Milwaukee does pretty well for itself when it comes to coffee options. Here's a guide to some of the city's best.

Allegro Coffee (at Whole Foods Market)
2305 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 223-1500
Located within Whole Foods, this national chain prides itself on high quality coffee. The cafe has a small counter as well as larger lounge style seating area in a pocket of the store.

Coffee Roasters
East Side: 2211 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 273-3753
At the Lake: 1701 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., (414) 223-4551
Bayshore: 5900 N. Port Washington Rd., (414) 964-4290
Foundry: 170 S. 1st St., (414) 765- 9873
Mayfair: 2500 N. Mayfair Rd.,(414) 453-9202
U.S. Bank Tower: 777 E. Wisconsin Ave., (414) 225-8970
Humboldt: 2999 N. Humboldt Blvd., (414) 292-3320
Wauwatosa: 9125 W. North Ave., (414) 259-7948
Grafton: 1211 Washington St., (262) 377-5183
Mitchell International Airport
The ever-expanding Alterra is the city's premier coffee roasting company and its café on Prospect Ave., with the great mural painted by Scott Darrow, is possibly the best place to sip and be seen.

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company
2920 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 489-0765
This Bay View cafe is bright and quiet and the perfect place for reading, studying, intimate conversation or a date. The clientele is young, the coffee is strong and roasted on-site by a friendly staff.

Bella Cafe
189 N. Milwaukee St.,(414) 273-5620
This Third Ward café is in the ground floor of a beautiful restored, historic building at the locus of Milwaukee and Chicago Streets. The standard coffee and espresso options are augmented with a range of bakery, salads and desserts. Bella also offers an extremely relaxing environment with high ceilings, big windows and a range of seating choices: a bar, low tables, tall bar-style tables and inviting padded window benches.

Borders Books & Music
Downtown: 101 W Wisconsin Ave., (414) 225-9977
North: 8705 N. Port Washington Rd., (414) 225-9977
Greendale: 5250 S. 76th St., (414) 421 4290
Yes, it's a chain bookshop, but the café on the lower level has a good feel, especially during the day when it isn't terribly crowded.

Bremen Café
901 E. Clarke St. (414) 431-1932

A cozy spot in Riverwest, Bremen Café is not only a great place to sip some coffee, but also the place to be for open mic night (Thursday) and trivia night (Mondays).

Brew Bayou (Inside Marquette's Alumni Memorial Union)
1442 W. Wisconsin Ave.
This campus café is a great hang out for students and those that just missing looking at college gals or guys, depending on your preference.

1208 E. Brady St., (414) 276-2739

This Brady Street cafe has changed names over the years from Anodyne to Brewed. Despite the new name, this cafe still serves Anodyne coffee and delicious sandwiches.

Brewing Grounds for Change
2010 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 273-9777
This Farwell Avenue café claims to be the only place in the city to serve 100 percent fair trade coffee. The intimate, artsy space is comfortable, the coffee is strong and the staff is knowledgeable.

The Broad Street Coffee Company
5635 S. Broad St., Greendale, (414) 423-5810
Located in the quaint downtown of Greendale, this cafe is often packed with regulars of all ages. The staff is friendly and the coffee hot and tasty.

Caribou Coffee
Bayshore Town Center, (414) 962-6198
Wauwatosa: 418 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 777-0280
Brookfield: 12455 W. Capitol Dr., (262) 373-1657
With three area locations, Caribou Coffee serves a quality cup of joe.

Cedarburg Coffee Roastery
W62 N603 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, (262) 375-4321

Milwaukee Public Market, (414) 431-4199
Open since 1999, they offer coffee, tea, espressos, chai and Italian sodas. We also like their no punch card policy that keeps track of your drinks so you don't have to carry around another card.

Coffee Makes You Black
2803 N. Teutonia, Milwaukee, (414) 562-5225

The community's only coffeehouse with all African coffees.

Coffee with a Conscience
Milwaukee Art Museum: 700 N. Art Museum Dr.,

Schlitz Park: 1555 N. River Center Dr., (414) 276-4341
The Downtown location is inside the central library and the coffee is augmented by a great selection of used books.

Comet Cafe
1947 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 273-7677

Comet started out as a cool coffee house with great food and a hip vibe, and has recently been converted into a half-cafe/half-bar hybrid with equally great food and hip vibe. And yes, they still serve a mean cup of coffee, courtesy of Anodyne.

Cranky Al's Bakery
6903 W. North Ave., (414) 258-5282
Originally a small bakery, Cranky Al's expanded into a full service restaurant and added a complete pizza menu to their already delectable baked goods.

Espresso Christoph
825 N Jefferson St., (414) 271-4400
Located on Cathedral Square Park, Espresso Christoph serves local coffee, bakery and wine.

Fiddleheads Espresso Bar
W62 N605 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, (262) 376-1366
192 S. Main St., Thiensville, (262) 238-8737
10530 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon, (262) 241-8819
Fiddleheads is a family-owned wholesale and retail coffee shop with three cafe locations in the North Shore.

Fire Escape
819 N. 27th St., (414) 935-1100
This non-denominational Christian coffeehouse, an outreach ministry launched by Heart-Fire Ministries, is located just west of Downtown.

Fixx Coffeehouse
3558 E. Sivyer Ave., (414) 482-0919
The cafe is spacious and comfortable, with ample seating for large groups. It serves Door County Coffee in several flavors, as well as homemade bakery and sandwiches. It also has a drive though.

Fuel Cafe
818 E. Center St., (414) 374-3835
Fuel is the undisputed coffee spot in Riverwest. The staff goes head to head with the clientele in the hipper-than-thou sweepstakes, and the Fuel bumper sticker and T-shirt have become de rigeur items for cool cats nationwide. Also, just as Comet has undergone recent renovation, Fuel's future includes a bar area, outdoor patio and even (gasp!) a non-smoking section. Page 1 of 2 (view all on one page)

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Daniel | Jan. 31, 2015 at 12:46 p.m. (report)

New to Milwaukee is Alderaan Coffee They are a multiroaster thrid wave espresso and pour over bar on the corner of Water St and Pleasant. Great lattes and they make their flavors in house. Some interesting flavors at their pour over bar.

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MilwaukeeRocks | April 22, 2010 at 9:50 a.m. (report)

Unfortunatley Mocha is no longer open late...unless closing at 1030 everynight is the new hip thing to do

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duhawk05 | April 19, 2010 at 11:59 a.m. (report)

I don't know if you've heard, but most word processing programs come with a feature called "spell check." Use it.

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eclarke | April 18, 2010 at 6:51 p.m. (report)

I miss Node which was on North Avenue. I don't think there is a 24 hour coffee place anywhere in Metro Milwaukee....

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InTheView | April 17, 2010 at 6:10 p.m. (report)

I totally miss Rory's Cafe on Locust that closed down about ten years ago. Since the place left us, the thought of any other coffee house in this area is a joke to me :( Rochambo, Bremen Cafe and Brewed Awakenings seem to carry on what Rory's left behind. I just wish there were still poetry readings in the area like there used to be.

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