Coffee shops are a crucial part of our everyday life, whether we simply want to enter and exit with our caffeine fix or we are putting up a temporary office for a few hours.
Milwaukee is fortunate to have many excellent local roasters who take the time to meticulously blend and source their beans in accordance with high standards.
So we’ve been on a journey to find the best coffee shops and cafés in Milwaukee. Read our list of 15 of the absolute best to find your next cup of Joe in Milwaukee.
Coffee, pizza, and wine; what more could you ask for?
This neighborhood roaster has five locations, but the one in Bay View is the best since it has a massive Italian wood-firing pizza oven that produces Neapolitan-style pizza with a liquor license to boot.
If you’re just looking for a snack, you can find five different types of crostini for a reasonable price, as well as everything from traditional Margherita pizza to one topped with multicolored potato slices, garlic, and rosemary.
But coffee will always be Anodyne’s first passion, and at their Walker’s Point site, they roast their beans in small batches.
Address: 2920 S. Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207 (click for map)
The cafe’s friendly and welcoming atmosphere creates the perfect setting for coffee lovers to relax, enjoy conversations, and savor their favorite beverages.
With a team of knowledgeable and skilled baristas, they take pride in crafting customized cups of coffee that cater to individual tastes.
Alongside their delicious and rich lattes, Canary Coffee Bar also offers a variety of mouthwatering treats, such as fresh and flavorful muffins. Experience top-notch customer service and a satisfying coffee journey at Canary Coffee Bar.
Address: 720 N Doctor M.L.K. Jr Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53203 (click for map)
Coffee Makes You Black, a diner-style coffee business on Milwaukee’s north side, attracts patrons from all walks of life.
Since it first opened in 2001, it has truly integrated into the neighborhood, and when business revenue last year sharply declined as a result of ongoing road work, the community stepped up to help the company in its hour of need.
It helps that the menu features hearty favorites like pancakes, chicken and waffles, and biscuits and gravy. The ambiance is relaxed and pleasant.
Address: 2803 North Teutonia Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53206 (click for map)
The locally owned coffee shop in Milwaukee has developed into a small business with many sites in the local area as well as others in Madison and Chicago.
The Lakefront Colectivo is a particularly unique location, with its 1888 River Flushing Station structure and its big, crowded patio where dogs and live music are welcome.
Since you’re only a few steps from the water, you’ll always enjoy the lake wind as you sip a cortado and munch on a salmon sandwich.
Visit The Back Room, a music venue in their Prospect Avenue location, for a genuine concert experience.
Address: 1701 N Lincoln Memorial Dr. Milwaukee, WI 53202 (click for map)
Dryhootch is a nonprofit organization devoted to assisting veterans with a smooth transition back to civilian life and is arguably the most underappreciated coffee shop in the city.
The Cafés, which are owned and operated by veterans, are places where veterans may go for support, employment, outreach, and whatever else they might need.
Here, you’ll meet civilians and veterans from all walks of life who are connected by a shared commitment to serving our nation and helping our veterans.
Address: 1030 E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202 (click for map)
Sometimes you want more than simply a cup of coffee; you want to spend some time relaxing in a Café.
That’s where Chicago-based Fairgrounds, a small company, comes in. It recently launched its first location in Milwaukee.
There is a wide variety of drinks available here, from matcha and kombucha on tap to those stunning, creamy cocktails in rainbow colors that beg to be posted on Instagram. Yes, there is also a lot of coffee.
However, unlike most local establishments, there is a wide selection of brands from around the nation, including Portland’s Stumptown. There is a sizable food menu and the area is sunny and cheerful.
Address: 916 East State Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202 (click for map)
Hawthorne started up a simple, no-frills coffee shop in an area that desperately needed one. Hawthorne was primarily a local provider of espresso and single-blend coffees to companies.
It immediately turned into a meeting place for locals thanks to its open layout and shabby chic furniture and decor.
The main attraction is pour-over coffee, but whiskey and mixed drinks are also offered.
In addition, The Foxfire food truck, which is constantly parked outside and serves some of the greatest chicken tenders, chicken and waffles, hot fried chicken sandwiches, and burgers in the city, is always available.
Address: 4177 S Howell Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207 (click for map)
Pilcrow is the place to go if you’re serious about quality coffee. Their espresso has won twice, and their cold brew won America’s Best Cold Brew Competition in 2017.
Their specialty is a cold brew which has been given a creamy flavor and a head that resembles beer by adding nitrogen gas.
The point is the coffee, thus it doesn’t matter if the warehouse site on the north side is small and minimal.
Visit the Pilcrow-owned Interval on the East side for a more conventional, tranquil café experience. It has a lovely, homey, nostalgic atmosphere.
Address: 416 W. Walnut Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212 (click for map)
If you asked a hippie to create a new-age, French-inspired arthouse café, the result would be Rochambo.
On Brady Street, where creativity and individual expression are encouraged, it fits in wonderfully.
Here, Valentine coffee is available, made with a special blend. The highlight is the alcohol, though there are other teas, juices, and items to purchase like “healing balm” and local kombucha.
There are many other coffee and alcoholic beverage combinations, but the Irish coffee with Tully Dew and freshly whipped cream is legendary. That is definitely a good way to start the day.
Address: 1317 E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202 (click for map)
10. Stone Creek
Many people are unaware that this particular chain is local. They began here in Milwaukee, but because of how well-designed and polished their brand is, it has the appearance and feel of a large chain.
This makes it the ideal place if you want to support local businesses but can’t give up your Starbucks habit.
The spacious, two-story factory café location in the city has several peaceful nooks and diverse seating options, including giant tables that resemble desks where you can spread out documents and plush couches next to a fireplace above.
Address: 422 N. 5th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53203 (click for map)
11. Story Hill BKC
Head to Story Hill BKC for a great Milwaukee brunch spot with top-notch coffee.
It offers the best choices in town, including brunch burgers with bacon, eggs, and jalapeño mayo, and shakshuka (baked eggs in tomato sauce) topped with goat’s cheese.
With a few unique blends to try, the coffee is roasted nearby at Valentine Coffee Roasters. For a sweet kick, try the Mexican mocha with chocolate syrup and custom-blended spices.
Address: 5100 W Bluemound Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53208 (click for map)
Interval is a charming and inviting cafe that serves as a hub for the community to gather, unwind, and connect. With a focus on locally sourced ingredients, their menu showcases a delightful array of Scandinavian-inspired dishes and homemade pastries.
As you step into this lovely and clean cafe, you’ll be greeted by a warm ambience and friendly staff, making you feel right at home.
Be sure to indulge in their ever-changing selection of coffees and specialty drinks, crafted with care by a local coffee roaster.
Address: 1600 N Jackson St, Milwaukee, WI 53202 (click for map)
It’s not surprising that Valentine Coffee Roasters’ two founders term the little café affixed to their roastery “the tasting room,” just like a winery would.
Like sommeliers investigate wine, they examine their beans and roasts to find the ideal combination.
For coffee lovers, this is a terrific place because it offers many single-source, small-batch kinds from around the globe.
There are accessible traditional Italian coffee drinks like the macchiato, but to properly appreciate the variations in their blends, try a straightforward pour-over.
Address: 5918 W Vliet St, Milwaukee, WI 53208 (click for map)
14. Sprocket Cafe
A hidden gem nestled in the heart of Milwaukee, Sprocket Café is a haven for coffee enthusiasts. With a blend of carefully sourced beans from Guatemala, Sumatra, and Brazil, their drinks boast a robust and full-bodied flavor that embodies the essence of the city.
The café’s rustic bicycle-themed decor, adorned with bookshelves and board games, creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
With an excellent cold brew, paired with a delightful bagel and a warm and friendly staff, Sprocket Café is an ideal spot to unwind and savor the taste of Milwaukee.
Address: 3385 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207 (click for map)
Beer and coffee are the two types of brewing done at Vennture. It’s typical to see someone at the bar working their way through a beer flight while sipping an espresso made using Tanzanian coffee beans.
The straightforward layout successfully combines a warm coffee bar and brewery tasting room, replete with a collection of board games.
There is a quick honor coffee bar where you can even pay electronically if you’re in a hurry. Check out the community cup wall, where you may pay it forward and purchase a future cup for anyone who needs it, to really get a sense of the community here.
Address: 5519 W North Ave, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53208 (click for map)
There are some amazing Milwaukee coffee shops and cafés you need to visit, and these are just a few of the best! Give them a try and find your next favorite place to grab that all-important cup of coffee.
Check out the best coffee shops in Wisconsin in the other places we cover in the state.
What to see in Milwaukee
My name is Dana Dupree and I am an avid coffee lover. Since I began college and realized what a heavy load writing majors took on, I have been a fan of the bean juice.
My job has taken me all over the US on book tours and press conferences, and my favorite part about the trip is exploring the best places to grab my cup of Joe.