Milwaukee is a historic city, with a diverse culture and people, as well as a love of good food and great coffee. MKE has a long list of excellent cafes and coffee shops within city limits, from the quirky and eclectic, the strange, the nerdy, and the downright legendary. Whether you like your latte with blue Bantha milk or in the middle of an upscale biker bar, Milwaukee has you covered with locally-sourced produce, fresh food, and beans brought straight from origin by some of the biggest coffee geeks in the business.
© Alderaan Coffee
Established "a long time ago" in downtown Milwaukee, Alderaan is a quiet coffeehouse boasting fresh-baked goodies, a coffee lover's choice of drip, cold brew, or pour-over, and syrups made in house. There's work space with solid wifi and ample outlets for students and business types. With a simple, modern aesthetic with warm wooden accents, the average customer might not think twice about the name. But for the nerds, there are details like the Imperial blend coffee beans, blue Bantha milk that can get added to any drink, and Star Wars sound effects that sound off the hour. The owner maintains a photo album of customers in cosplay and also keeps a stash of dice behind the bar for pencil-and-paper adventures.
1560 N. Water St. Milwaukee, WI 53202, Phone: 414-395-9955
2.Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.
© Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.
Anodyne has been roasting coffee since 1999, claiming it's "the cure for what ails you." Located in the Milwaukee Public Market (as well as four other locations, including their brewery at Walker's Point), it's the perfect spot to pick up a cuppa before wandering the stalls and shops or sit and people watch the visitors at the market. With odd specials like "Bee Sting" iced latte, a turtle mocha and honey bee coffee, the eclectic, locally-brewed coffee is a favorite of locals. When the brewery moved from Bay View to Walker's Point, they converted the brew space into a Southern Italian-style pizzeria, so you can also hit S. Kinnickinnic for a "hunger remedy" as well as their legendary coffee.
400 N. Water St. Milwaukee, WI 53202, Phone: 262-888-3642
3.Bella Caffe Ltd.
© YURII MASLAK/stock.adobe.com
Started by two "IT Guys," Jim Nowlen and Tim Talsky, Bella Caffè is located in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee, and boasts not only beloved coffee, but made-from-scratch, never frozen soups, baked goodies like pies and cookies, and sandwiches that are perfect to sit and enjoy, or grab to go. The menu is constantly rotating to keep even a regular coming back to try something new, and the warm, cozy decor invites a chill, casual atmosphere that encourages guests to linger with a friend or a good book. Although the gorgeous corner entrance has a staircase, there's a handicap accessible elevator in the back, vegan alternatives, and they recently started carrying a locally brewed kombucha.
189 N. Milwaukee St. Milwaukee, WI 53202, Phone: 414-273-5620
© Brewed Cafe
Located on historic Brady St., Brewed Cafe boasts Anodyne Co. coffee, hot mulled cider, Italian sodas, micro beers, mimosas, mulled wine... Everything from a morning pick-me-up to an evening drink with friends. The homemade bakery features sweets like cookies and muffins, their wraps and sandwiches are fresh and delicious, their soup selection includes a signature vegan chili (and other vegan-friendly eats), and breakfast is served all day. They also offer CBD oil (for customers who are 18+) and kombucha, as well as details on the live music and local festivities hosted on Brady St., making it an ideal spot to meet up with friends and explore the city.
1208 E. Brady St. Milwaukee, WI 53202, Phone: 414-276-2739
5.Coffee Makes You Black
© Coffee Makes You Black
If soul food is more your style, look no further than the delightful gem, Coffee Makes You Black. This morning-only, black-owned establishment proudly boasts Southern-style favorites like grits and chicken and waffles, friendly service, an Afrocentric aesthetic of revolutionaries, artists and activists, and soft jazz music that attracts a diverse crowd here for the great coffee and amazing food, as well as little surprises like mango iced tea and salmon cakes. They feature live music every week, and also make a space for artists, writers, and speakers to meet and talk with the local community. The owners are big on giving back, and the fresh-cooked food is well worth the wait.
2803 N Teutonia Ave., Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53206, Phone: 414-562-5225
6.Colectivo Coffee Lakefront
© Colectivo Coffee Lakefront
Colectivo has been brewing coffee in Milwaukee for over 25 years and has spread all over the city, and into neighboring Madison and Chicago as well. Their Lakefront location is located right across from the marina and offers ample seating in their dog-friendly, outdoor beer patio or inside the two-story building that was once a water pump station, and the pumps are still there! A broad selection of rotating specials with interesting blends like hot pepper or blueberry coffee is served with Troubadour Bakery goodies, muffins and pastries, and during the summer they host live music and the Florentine Opera. This particular spot is always busy, but never fear! The baristas offer exceptional service and the line zips by.
1701 N Lincoln Memorial Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202, Phone: 414-223-4551
7.Full of Beans Cafe
© Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
If you're looking for a quiet and quirky spot in Walker's Point, Full of Beans Cafe is a locally-owned and operated coffee shop owned by a couple of coffee fans who enjoy things a bit on the silly end. Featuring maker nights, book clubs, and an impressive library of board games and books to enjoy, Full of Beans also makes hot and filling panins, soup du jour, and amazing pastries and pies. There's an early bird special for early risers, and a wide selection of not only coffee and tea, but also fruit smoothies and the intriguing hobberdoodle, a cookie sandwich made with cream cheese frosting. They also serve a waffle special only on the weekends that locals rave about.
184 S. 2nd Street Milwaukee WI, 53204, Phone: 414-539-6448
8.Grace Place Coffee
© Grace Place Coffee
Owned by Historic Grace Lutheran Church (which has been in downtown Milwaukee for almost two centuries now), this quiet little cafe is in their Grace Center and hosts locally-brewed Stone Creek coffee, free wifi, and a variety of board games for visitors to relax and commune with each other. As part of the church, it also shares community events and outreach opportunities, as well as a place for parishioners to congregate in a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere. The baristas offer knowledgeable skills and a wide variety of coffee offerings, as well as tasty, fresh pastries for a wandering bite or to sit and work or study for a while.
250 East Juneau Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53202, Phone: 414-271-3006, ext. 112
9.Hawthorne Coffee Roasters
© Hawthorne Coffee Roasters
Hawthorne is owned by long-time baristas, and husband/wife duo Steve and Kendra Hawthorne, and the love they have for their craft is evident in every detail. Each cup is made fresh to order by pour-over, a treat well worth the wait. There are also 'adult' options from an extensive bourbon and whiskey list, sumptuous treats from savory burgers and fried chicken to fresh-made donuts on the weekend. Indecisive (and adventurous) patrons can try a "Hawthorne Flight" that features their signature pour-over, an espresso and their bourbon barrel-aged cold brew (no, you read that right) to get a true taste for what this place can offer.
4177 S Howell Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207, Phone: 414-331-1382
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10.Kickapoo Coffee - Milwaukee Cafe
© Kickapoo Coffee - Milwaukee Cafe
If organic and ethical growing is important to you, look no further than Kickapoo Coffee. Named for a neighboring watershed, this Wisconsin-based coffeehouse prides itself on frequent trips to origin to maintain an intimate relationship with its growers, resulting in a deep knowledge of the beans, the process of how they're made and processed into amazing coffee, and turn around to put their profits back into the community. On the Ground sponsors building pipelines to bring clean water to remote parts of Mexico, while the Project Congo sponsors wealth education and gender equality in coffee-growing Africa. They also run their roastery off a solar relay and sponsor local farms while serving organic, ethical coffee for their guests.
232 East Erie Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202, Phone: 414-269-8546
11.Miss Molly's Cafe & Pastry Shop
© Miss Molly's Cafe & Pastry Shop
Miss Molly's Cafe is home to the eponymous Molly, a pastry chef that started her business making cakes and baked goodies on the side, and grew a rather successful catering business out of it, which became the cozy, adorable little cafe that now sits on Center Street. The shop is usually busy with happy families and betrothed couples testing out their myriad desserts for an upcoming wedding, but it's also the perfect spot for a guilt-free brunch with healthy options, compostable cutlery, and bottomless coffee. The service is fantastic, the decor with that touch of feminine sweetness, and the seasonal menu features locally sourced produce, eggs, dairy, and even sodas!
9201 W. Center Street, Milwaukee, WI 53222, Phone: 414-249-5665
12.MKEing Coffee - Sharehouse Cafe
© MKEing Coffee | Sharehouse Cafe
Nestled in the heart of uptown, MKEing Coffee was started when two neighbors got together and started talking: two things their neighborhood lacked were local jobs and a good cafe. So began MKEing Coffee, whose slogan is "Good Coffee For A Good City." Trained to sell Stone Creek's legendary coffee, MKEing Coffee not only builds jobs, but their profits go to creating work for high school students, the ex-incarcerated, and other job-inhibited citizens. On top of stellar coffee, books and games to give guests a place to rest their feet, they also offer a Neighbor Discount to locals who stop in to visit and share the space with Sharehouse Goods, a shop in the back that collects old books and media for resale.
5507 W North Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53208, Phone: 414-395-2712
13.Roast Coffee Company
© Roast Coffee Company
Roast is a local staple of Locust Street and a favorite of locals and college students alike. With locally sourced goods like Anodyne's Coffee, Rishi's tea, and fresh, local produce, the coffee is amazing, the food is fantastic, with breakfast and "baller" sandwiches, and all of it is available for a great price. All of the specials are named after local brands, inspired by a love of the area, and there's quite a bit of controversy on the name of the beloved "Crackhead", a caramel and white chocolate mocha, as well as a sign out front warning passersby of the dangers of unavoidable coffee addiction.
2132 E Locust St, 53211 Milwaukee, WI 53211, Phone: 414-963-6363
14.Rochambo Coffee & Tea House
© Rochambo Coffee & Tea House
Located on Historic Brady St., Rochambo is a staple of the area in its topsy-turvy Victorian home-turned-tea house. Nooks and crannies galore make for the perfect place to sit with a book, work on a novel, study for class or accidentally find an old friend. Featuring locally sourced coffee and tea from Rishi teas, this "oasis on Brady" is open until midnight every night of the week, and serves amazing food, phenomenal customer service and the best Irish coffee in town. The decor is colorful and quirky, and the staff is always smiling and happy to serve. Vegan and gluten-free alternatives abound for those with allergies!
1317 E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202, Phone: 414-291-0095
15.Sherman Perk Coffee Shop
Located in the heart of Sherman Park—there's a Friends joke in there somewhere—this little hole-in-the-wall cafe was once a gas station that has since been renovated and restored and is now a historical landmark. The aesthetic respects the vintage backstory, with vinyl records supplying the music, 50s stool chairs, and a barista that seems to know everyone in the neighborhood. Great food, fantastic coffee, and for a good price, it's a favorite with the locals, and wheelchair accessible! Locals say it's perfect for a quick cup of coffee, to get out of the snow with the kids, or even for a sweet date night, and they host events (like "Coffee With A Cop") all the time!
4924 W. Roosevelt Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53216, Phone: 414-875-7375
16.Stone Creek Coffee - Factory Cafe
By now, you might have noticed a repeated theme in the Milwaukee coffee scene—trained Stone Creek baristas. Stone Creek doesn't just roast coffee, they're geeks about it. Not only do they travel to origin to make sure they know where those beans come from, from farm to cup, they are also fanatics about the latest in the science and chemistry that goes into every cup. Their original factory location features, of course, their flagship cafe, but it is also home to their barista training center, and coffee quality center. Visitors can sit and sip a cup, take a class on the science behind the bean, or even take a tour of the facility to see how it's made.
422 N. 5th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53203, Phone: 414-431-2157
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© Ivan Kurmyshov/stock.adobe.com
Located on the corner of Oakland and North, this quick little drive-thru is a favorite of locals for their freshly made-to-order mini donuts, covered in a customer’s choice of cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar. The donuts come in quantities of 8, 12, 36 or 60, so customers can grab enough to share or choose to eat them all themselves. The Drive-Thru also offers Collectivo coffee, sloppy joes and other messy snacks like burgers and nachos, and it's the perfect spot for late-night munchies after a trip to the bar—they're open as late as three in the morning, and do delivery, too!
1801 E. North Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202, Phone: 414-287-9900
18.Valentine Coffee Co.
© Valentine Coffee Co.
Valentine is a big name in Milwaukee, a roaster that specializes in pour-overs from a vast variety of destinations, teaching patrons the subtle nuances of beans from each nation, the flavor and palate of each. The tasting room covers the gamut of beans available, with a display on the flavor profiles for each. Knowledgeable baristas can help customers find a cup that will suit their tastes, be it black or a specialty roast. The sheer variety demands that any guest will find a bean that they can fall in love with, and their beans are served all over the city, as well as available ordered online. In the early mornings they even have a grab-n-go service for folks on the run.
5918 W Vliet St, Milwaukee, WI 53208, Phone: 414-988-8018
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19.Velobahn Coffee and Cycle
© Velobahn Coffee and Cycle
Velobahn is a coffee and bicycle shop. Sharing a space with Wisconsin Bike Fed, this little cafe is a great spot to rest and rehydrate after a ride through the Hank Aaron Trail, and even features bike maintenance during the spring and summer months, when bicycling season is in its prime. The venue is a minimalistic, industrial space with bikes hanging from the rafters, welcoming bicyclists and coffee aficionados alike. Live music and other events can rent the space, which serves locally sourced Anodyne coffee and Rishi tea. They also boast homemade cookies and baked sweets in a chill atmosphere that makes it a gem in the Silver City neighborhood.
3618 W Pierce Street, Milwaukee, WI 53215
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20.Fuel Cafe 5th St
© Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
Fuel Cafe is so named for the engine-revvin', upscale biker bar aesthetic. With a breakfast-all-day menu, ample vegan options, pub-style grub and an impressive beer list, this place is more than just a cafe. There's a dog-friendly outdoor patio, mimosas for brunch, solid coffee options and locally-sourced Rishi tea, and homemade jam along with burgers, sandwiches, and a local favorite, the Korean Bowl. Locals rave about the fried cheese curds. They also feature a happy hour with "$3 taps and $5 apps" to show off their impressive beer list and munchie options, located in Walker Point.
630 S 5th St, Milwaukee, WI 53204, Phone: 414-847-9580
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21.Outwords Books Gifts & Coffee
© Farknot Architect/stock.adobe.com
This quiet little bookstore and gift shop specializes in LGBTQ+ literature, books, music, videos, magazines and greeting cards. The cafe brews locally roasted Stone Creek coffee and the legendary baked goodies of City Market, while offering a safe space for LGBTQ+ patrons to sip coffee, read a book, and maybe stock up on Pride gifts and gear. They host a lot of events throughout the month, and are especially involved in the local LGBTQ+ community, including book clubs, film projects, and offers space for private events in the quiet little shop in Milwaukee's East Side.
2710 N. Murray Ave Milwaukee, WI 53211, Phone: 414-963-9089
22.Urban Joe Cafe
© ALF photo/stock.adobe.com
Simple name, simple concept. Urban Joe is an earnest little cafe with rich, dark wood accents that give the place a warm, homey kind of feel. With cheap breakfast specials (a sammy and a cup of joe are only $5!), amazing, locally-sourced food, and stellar customer service, Urban Joe's is an oasis of indulgence. Everything is organic and made to order, and the owner makes a point of serving food that not only tastes good, but has a spectacular presentation and is delivered in a timely manner. Urban Joe’s also offers discounts for students and veterans, and is a favorite amongst locals.
7028 W Greenfield Ave West Milwaukee, WI 53214, Phone: 414-266-1500
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22 Best Milwaukee Coffee Shops
- Alderaan Coffee, Photo: Alderaan Coffee
- Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co., Photo: Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.
- Bella Caffe Ltd., Photo: YURII MASLAK/stock.adobe.com
- Brewed Cafe, Photo: Brewed Cafe
- Coffee Makes You Black, Photo: Coffee Makes You Black
- Colectivo Coffee Lakefront, Photo: Colectivo Coffee Lakefront
- Full of Beans Cafe, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Grace Place Coffee, Photo: Grace Place Coffee
- Hawthorne Coffee Roasters, Photo: Hawthorne Coffee Roasters
- Kickapoo Coffee - Milwaukee Cafe, Photo: Kickapoo Coffee - Milwaukee Cafe
- Miss Molly's Cafe & Pastry Shop, Photo: Miss Molly's Cafe & Pastry Shop
- MKEing Coffee - Sharehouse Cafe, Photo: MKEing Coffee | Sharehouse Cafe
- Roast Coffee Company, Photo: Roast Coffee Company
- Rochambo Coffee & Tea House, Photo: Rochambo Coffee & Tea House
- Sherman Perk Coffee Shop, Photo: Jorge/stock.adobe.com
- Stone Creek Coffee - Factory Cafe, Photo: chayathon2000/stock.adobe.com
- The Drive-Thru, Photo: Ivan Kurmyshov/stock.adobe.com
- Valentine Coffee Co., Photo: Valentine Coffee Co.
- Velobahn Coffee and Cycle, Photo: Velobahn Coffee and Cycle
- Fuel Cafe 5th St, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Outwords Books Gifts & Coffee, Photo: Farknot Architect/stock.adobe.com
- Urban Joe Cafe, Photo: ALF photo/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Alicia/stock.adobe.com