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.
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).
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.
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.
Jennifer Nowicki really loves produce; she's named her third restaurant Verduras, the Spanish word for vegetables. The completely vegetarian menu employs ingredients such as grapefruit, beets, and teriyaki-infused carrots to insulate sandwiches, salads, and soups, many of which are also vegan or gluten free. However, the ever-shifting curls of steam that tickle the hardwood floors, exposed rafters, and large windows hint at Verduras' primary focus: teas from all across the globe. Beneath the ivory-hued exposed bricks, white, green, rooibos, and local Rishi teas steep in hot water, filling mugs with the flavors of wild rose, hibiscus, or chai. The floral aromas of darjeeling fill the air as patrons gaze at the art on the walls, rendered in crisp black and white like a zebra’s yearbook page.
At Milwaukee Cupcake Company, visitors can appease sweet-tooth flare-ups with a variety of delectable cupcakes crafted from scratch and high-quality, pure ingredients. Fusing Wisconsin butter, Madagascar vanilla, and Callebaut Belgian cocoa and chocolate, these cupcakes pack a flavorful wallop into a pint-sized form. Patrons can pick up a box of palate-percolating cupcakes such as the chocolate and coconut Fox Points, salted caramel and pecan Tosas, cookie dough South Siders, and green-tea and crystallized ginger Rishi Matchas. Additionally, Milwaukee Cupcake Company offers a new flavor every week (this week's flavor is piña colada) and gluten-free options for those who suffer from gluten allergies or gluten-induced nightmares involving professional baseball players singing Frank Sinatra songs.