Milwaukee’s coffee culture: Coffee Shops and Bakeries to check out

Lynn Martelli
Lynn Martelli

Milwaukee, famous for its vibrant cultural and arts scene, also stands out for its thriving coffee culture. Several coffee shops and bakeries in this Midwestern city offer delicious beverages and baked goods, a cozy atmosphere, and a unique experience.

In this article, we invite you to tour some of the best coffee shops and bakeries in Milwaukee, perfect for an unforgettable food tour.

History and evolution of the coffee culture in Milwaukee

European immigrants, mainly German and Polish, brought their coffee traditions to this city, which have been fused with new trends and styles over the years.

Today, Milwaukee has many coffee shops and bakeries that reflect these communities’ heritage and innovative spirit. The city has combined the best of both worlds, creating an environment where coffee lovers can enjoy a perfectly brewed cup alongside a freshly baked pastry.

Must-See Coffee Shops in Milwaukee

Some of the coffee shops not to be missed on a Food Tour of Milwaukee are:

·      Colectivo Coffee

Founded in 1993 and with multiple locations in the city, Colectivo Coffee is one of Milwaukee’s most emblematic coffee shops. Their commitment to sustainability and quality coffee can be seen in every cup they serve. In addition, Colectivo Coffee is known for its cozy, artfully decorated spaces, which are ideal for relaxing or working.

·      Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.

With its focus on high-quality roasted coffee and a relaxed atmosphere, Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. is another Milwaukee gem that has earned a loyal fan base. Its locations, which include a former cookie factory converted into a spacious coffee shop, are perfect for enjoying great coffee in a unique setting. In addition, Anodyne often hosts live music events that make each visit an even more complete experience.

·      The Valentine Coffee Roasters

Located in the Washington Heights neighborhood, The Valentine Coffee Roasters is distinguished by its focus on roasting and brewing perfection. With various specialty coffees and a tasting experience, it is ideal for any coffee lover exploring new flavors.

·      Pilcrow Coffee

Pilcrow Coffee is famous for innovating in coffee preparation, including cold brewing. This boutique coffee shop in the heart of Milwaukee offers a modern, minimalist atmosphere ideal for those looking to relax and enjoy exceptional coffee.

·      Stone Creek Coffee

Founded in 1993, Stone Creek Coffee is distinguished by its dedication to transparency in the coffee supply chain and its focus on consumer education. At this coffee shop, you can learn about roasting and enjoy an exquisite cup of coffee. Their flagship location in a former malt factory is a must-stop for any coffee lover.

In addition to the many coffee shops, Milwaukee is home to exceptional bakeries, which offer a variety of high-quality baked goods. Among those not to be missed on your next Food tour of the city of Milwaukee are:

·      Rocket Baby Bakery

Rocket Baby Bakery is an artisan bakery that has earned an excellent reputation in Milwaukee for its focus on quality and use of local and organic ingredients in baking everything from sourdough pieces of bread to croissants and pastries.

·      Amaranth Bakery & Cafe

Amaranth Bakery & Cafe, located in the Walnut Hill neighborhood, is known for its delicious baked goods. It offers an unmissable selection of artisan breads, cakes, and cookies made with high-quality ingredients. Its cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make Amaranth a perfect place to enjoy a sweet break.

·      Grebe’s Bakery

With over 80 years of history, Grebe’s Bakery’s donuts and pastries are a Milwaukee institution. Their wide variety of products and focus on quality make Grebe’s an essential stop on any food tour of Milwaukee.

·      Canfora Bakery

Canfora Bakery, a family-owned bakery with over 90 years of history, is another Milwaukee institution. Known for its fresh bread, traditional Italian pastries, and famous cannoli, Canfora Bakery has remained a city favorite for generations thanks to the quality and taste of its products.

·      Troubadour Bakery

Troubadour Bakery, located inside Colectivo Coffee, is an artisan bakery that specializes in sourdough bread and innovative pastries. Their products are made with high-quality ingredients and traditional techniques, offering a unique bakery experience.

If you are a lover of specialty coffee and artisan pastries, other activities that may interest you:

·      Barismo Classes and Bakery Workshops

If you’d like to delve deeper into the culture of coffee and baking, Milwaukee offers many opportunities. Local schools, some coffee shops like Stone Creek Coffee, and bakeries like Rocket Baby Bakery offer barista classes and baking workshops where you can learn how to brew the perfect coffee and make different baked goods.

·      Coffee Tastings and Guided Tours

Participating in a coffee cupping is a great way to learn more about flavor profiles and brewing methods. Colectivo Coffee, Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co., and The Valentine Coffee Roasters offer coffee tastings where you can sample a variety of beans and learn about the roasting process. In addition, some of these coffee shops organize guided tours of their facilities, giving you an inside look into the world of coffee.


It is not for nothing that Milwaukee is considered one of the best cities in Wisconsin to live in. From its cozy coffee shops to its artisan bakeries, you can enjoy a perfectly prepared cup of coffee or the exquisite flavors of the local pastries in every corner of this city.

With this tour of the city’s best spots, you’re ready to enjoy the best that Milwaukee’s coffee and bakery culture offers.

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