The Best Coffee Shops in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee has an excellent coffee scene, as you’ll find out in this guide
Milwaukee has an excellent coffee scene, as you’ll find out in this guide | © Clem Onojeghuo / Unsplash
Photo of Michelle Schmid
29 April 2021

Wisconsin’s largest city often goes by the nickname Brew City. While usually referring to the great beer selection available, this name also touches upon the variety of top-notch coffee shops waiting on Lake Michigan’s western shore. Whether you’re looking for a dawn pick-me-up or a top brunch spot, check out the following list of top cafes in Milwaukee.

Colectivo Lakefront

Cafe, Coffee, $$$
Map View
This coffee shop brings all the familiarity of the Colectivo brand to a classic location. It has many delicious coffee and tea drinks available, including a fine quality espresso and freshly brewed coffee. All of its coffee beans are prepared right in Milwaukee, so everything has a local taste. Colectivo Lakefront offers a distinct venue for coffee drinkers; the shop resides in the 1888 Milwaukee River Flushing Station and hosts many events, such as the Florentine Opera and Musica del Lago outdoor music series during the summer.

Valentine Coffee Roasters

Cafe, Coffee
Map View

Valentine Coffee Roasters believes that coffee beans are like fruit – unique to their time and origin. With such a sentiment, this shop imports coffee beans from all over the world, including Asia, the Pacific, Central America, South America and Africa, and roasts them in small batches. In its chic tasting room, you can try different espresso shots or learn more about the various roasts.

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co

Cafe, Coffee, $$$
Map View

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co is a small-batch roaster striving to prepare quality and consistent results with each cup of coffee. Inside, the wooden floors and sparsely decorated walls bring a sense of rustic Wisconsin to the coffeehouse. You can chill at the bar while enjoying organic coffees from Ethiopia, Brazil and Mexico, to name a few. It’s also an environmentally friendly coffee provider, using energy-efficient roasters.

Stone Creek Coffee

Cafe, Coffee
Map View

Stone Creek Coffee brings beans from the farm straight to the cup, consciously participating in the process of creating a delicious product. It offers a spacious and naturally lit spot to enjoy its fantastic brews, and you can also learn more about the coffee-making process here. It runs public classes ranging from how to create latte art to the best home-brewing methods. It even has a team of technicians who help local cafe owners fix their coffee machines when they break.

Story Hill BKC

Cafe, Coffee, $$$
Map View

If you want a top Milwaukee brunch spot with excellent coffee, then head to Story Hill BKC. It serves up the tastiest selection in town, including shakshuka (baked eggs in a tomato sauce) topped with goat’s cheese and a brunch burger with bacon, egg and jalapeño mayo. The coffee comes from nearby Valentine Coffee Roasters, with a couple of unusual concoctions to sample. Try the Mexican mocha with chocolate syrup and house-blended spices for a sweet kick. At night, it’s a popular dinner spot with an on-site bottle shop.

Rochambo Coffee and Tea House

Cafe, Coffee
Map View

Looking for the best Irish coffee in town? Head to Rochambo Coffee and Tea House. You can’t miss the brightly colored exterior on East Brady Street. High-quality ingredients are at the center of its beverages; for example, the Irish coffee is made with triple-distilled Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, house blend coffee and hand-whipped organic cream. A lot of effort has gone into its house blend, comprising three beans that are 100 percent organic. You can also grab some local honey and baked goods from Bunny’s Bites here.

Urban Joe Café and Bar

Bar, Cafe, Coffee, $$$
Map View
For organic, sustainably harvested, Fair Trade coffee, head to Urban Joe Café and Bar. Here, it’s all about food made from scratch with good quality ingredients – whether it’s the home-made loaf used in the sandwiches or the farm-fresh organic eggs in the breakfast burrito. You might have a hard time deciding which drink to pair with your meal, as there’s a large variety of iced and hot coffees.

Brewed Cafe

Cafe, Coffee
Map View

On Brady Street, Brewed Cafe is a quirky hangout located inside an old house, brightly painted pink and green. The vegan options here are abundant, as well as meat and vegetarian dishes – the veggie chili is legendary. Coffee beans come from the Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co, with brews ranging from your regular latte to the Hi-Jolt iced coffee, known as “Milwaukee’s strongest energy drink.” In summer, you can sip your drink on the cute patio strung with globe lights.

Alderaan Coffee

Cafe, Coffee
Map View

A multi-roaster coffee bar, Alderaan Coffee invites you to taste quality coffees from around the world in its sleek interior. This shop gathers coffee from Ethiopia, Mexico and Guatemala, to name a few, and many of the beans come from roasters all around the country, including New York, Chicago and Portland. In addition to favorite coffee drinks made with artistic skill and creativity, the syrups used for lattes and other specialty drinks are all created in-house.

Dryhootch Coffeehouse

Cafe, Coffee, $$$
Map View
Created by a national non-profit organization that strives to create a healthy and substance-free environment for veterans, this coffee shop in Milwaukee brings a particular sense of community. The coffee here is quite delicious, but it’s the promotion of friendship, the arts and music that sets Dryhootch Coffeehouse apart. Whether convening within the comfortable indoor setting or enjoying a cup of joe in the garden, it’s a great place to come and relax.
These recommendations were updated on April 29, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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