Most of Wild Flour's loaves are crafted with traditional old-world European techniques, which exclude fat, oil, sugar, eggs, dairy, and preservatives and replace them with high-quality flours. Artisan favorites, such as the olive rosemary and cranberry walnut, complement any meal, while health-conscious selections such as the whole-grain flax-seed bread and the multigrain sourdough will allow nutrition-minded architects to nosh guilt free. Each of Wild Flour's four cozy stores serves hot lunch daily, with a rotating soup selection that pours the likes of Catalina chicken, cream of potato with bacon, and tomato red-pepper bisque alongside hot grilled sandwiches such as the zipper (ham, salami, provolone, tomato, onion, jalapeños, and mayo, $5.50) and the hot vegetarian (marinated eggplant, red peppers, portobello mushrooms, and pesto sauce, $4.90). Cold deli classics also sashay out of the kitchen, including egg salad ($4.90) and chicken salad ($5.50) and a wide selection of salads (starting at $3.25).
Larsen’s Bakery has crafted high-quality bakery goods from ingredients free of preservatives for more than 40 years. Chefs craft the popular Danish cake with layers of light chiffon cake interspersed between treasure wells of raspberry and custard filling ($22.50+). Rabbits and smooth-faced snowmen gawk at the carrot cake ($29.50+), and taste buds often ponder the meaning of a red-velvet cake, heavy with the taste of chocolate and enough moisture to garner interest from NASA ($29.50+). Larsen's Bakery also vends delectably fresh traditional cakes, including yellow, chocolate, and marble ($21+). Common cakes can strut under a host of creative topping options, such as photo imaging ($10) and candles ($0.75+), as well as themed cake kits with Packers, Disney, and 100-year high-school reunion themes ($7.50).
As a marble-top creamery and classic diner, Ferch’s Malt Shoppe & Grille satisfies hunger pains, ice-cream desires, and nostalgic longings with traditional American fare and fresh frozen custard within a throwback soda-shop setting. With 48 custard flavors and 40 toppings to choose from, Ferch’s treat specialists can create more than 1 million varieties of customized creamy concoctions. The malt shop’s black-and-white checkerboard floors, vinyl booths, and soda-fountain counters hark back to a simpler time when men wore hats and robot servants hadn’t yet begun their grisly uprising.
At Rich’s House of Cakes, cake designers create towering, artistic pastries for weddings and celebrations of all kinds. Cakes are made from scratch with all-natural ingredients and served as tortes, with fillings such as custard, chocolate fudge, or blueberry running between two layers of cake. Specialty fillings such as amaretto, Oreo cookie, and cream cheese add a personal touch to custom cakes without the hassle of making them into a life-sized mold of your face.
The owners of Sven's Café pride themselves on being ahead of their time—when Steve Goretzko and his business partner George Voglis began roasting in 1989, they were among the first in Wisconsin to specialize in fair-trade and organic coffee. After Sven’s Organic Coffee Company began to take off, Goretzko decided to open Sven’s Café in Bay View; eventually, he added another location in downtown Milwaukee.
Goretzko hails from Berlin, and Sven’s Café has a decidedly European feel; baristas use Probot and Gothot German roasters to brew fresh java, for example. Sven’s coffee beans hail from the world over, harvested in far-flung locales including Africa, Indonesia, South America, Hawaii, and the moon. The café also serves breakfast sandwiches, paninis, salads, and soups.
Due to their curious nature, dogs often come home dirty, whether from chasing squirrels through muddy fields or disassembling your car's transmission. Community Bark Dog Wash & Coffee Bar's dual locations provide specially designed stations for washing dogs of all sizes, whether for self-service sudsing or full-service washing by friendly groomers. The cleaners furnish all the tools needed to groom pups to perfection, including shampoos, conditioners, brushes, combs, and high-velocity hair dryers.
Whether returning from a walk or waiting for their pooch to dry, pet lovers can hang out in the dog-friendly Barker Lounge, where they can sip Alterra coffee and munch on pastries. The café also supplies treats for canine customers and free WiFi service for laptops and bark-activated phones.
More than 110 flavors of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream take turns guest-starring on Babe's monthly menu. This month provides more than 30 indulgent flavors, such as chocolate marshmallow and horchata, as well as alternative selections of sugar-free caramel ripple or espresso Oreo soy. Snag a sugar or wafer cone ($2.70 for a single scoop), or shoot for the sugary stars with a raspberry blast or piña colada smoothie ($3.75). Babe's also serves up specialty sundaes and shakes, while quarts of ice cream ($7.25) are available to be taken home in car-trunk freezers or stomach igloos.