Every day, Breadsmith kneads and breeds made-from-scratch breads, honoring the practices of centuries-old French bakers. The delectable dough sculptures receive the royal treatment, with all delicate yeast bubbles bursting inside of a 6-ton stone-hearth oven. The oven's sweltering heat creates a cushy crust for American-style breads. In the presence of lightning-quick steam injections, European-style breads take on a crisp, crumb-dressed outer core. April's daily bread offerings range from $3.65 to $7.50 a loaf and include french baguettes ($3.65), pepperjack sourdough ($7.50), country buttertop ($5.05), raisin cinnamon ($5.55), and apple pie bread ($6.70). Use today's Groupon to fill up the family with lusciously leavened loaves fresh from the oven—or wait for them to go stale and then wield them as harpoons during the next potato-soup hunt.
Sweet Frog’s frozen-yogurt flavors go beyond the norm. In addition to cookies ‘n’ cream and greek yogurt with honey, the lineup of 75 varieties includes maple-bacon donut, cake batter, and dulce de leche. Patrons can sprinkle on toppings such as fresh fruit and candies, then savor their confetti’d confections in the lime-green-and-pink restaurant. Smiling frogs and funky white hanging lamps give the stores an air of fun, but founder Derek Cha is interested in giving more than that to the community; through Sweet Frog, he sponsors children in need and dispatches frog mascots to those who need encouragement.
Simma's Bakery has been a Milwaukee staple for 30 years, and its decadent desserts have shared more laughter and tears than a soap opera about birthday clowns. The mom-and-pop shop was founded by Simma Yundov, a woman who immigrated with her husband and two children to the United States from Russia in 1979. She built the bakery from the ground up, making a name for herself and touching the lives of countless people. After her death more than a decade ago, Simma's daughter carried on her mother's work and recently passed the brûlée torch to Mark and Peggy Carollo, who, Veil magazine, have years of experience in the family-run bakery business. Today, the walls are covered with awards and recognitions—tributes to Simma's legacy. The bakery was named one of the The Knot's Best of Weddings 2013 vendors, a top Wedding Cake Designer in the Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee 2012 awards, and has been a winner or finalist in CityVoter's Best Cakes category for six years running. The shop has also been voted the Best Place to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in 2012 by both the editors and readers of M magazine.
Paciugo specializes in sub-zero refreshment that contains 70% less fat than ice cream, thus making it 130% more justified to eat consecutive pints of the frigid stuff. A dessert that meets the FDA's standards for healthful foods, Paciugo's Turin recipes employ fresh and all-natural ingredients to craft the perfect scoops of sweet sustenance. The gelaterie's menu ushers taste buds toward small (piccolo) cups ($3.74) with three scoops and up to three different flavors, such as black raspberry, amaretto chocolate chip, chocolate black-cherry swirl, black-pepper olive oil, Mediterranean sea-salt caramel, chocolate orange saffron, and many more. The medio size includes four scoops and up to four different flavors ($4.60,), or opt for the grande ($5.35) for extra-empty stomach cavities. Each of Paciugo's rich, creamy delights is made from whole milk, soy, or water so that a suitable flavor can match with any dietary need, unless you're allergic to joy.
Those allergic to cute better bring an EpiPen if they're going to One Way. Exposed brick, low-key tunes, hanging lamps, and rotating artwork by local creative types give the place a chill charm easily inhaled or absorbed along with treats such as morning French toast ($6.75) and strawberry crêpes dolloped with whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar ($6.25). There's plenty of more substantial fare too, such as the café's famous homemade meatloaf sandwich topped with almond barbecue chutney ($6.75) and the Asian broccoli slaw with cabbage, carrot, peas, noodles, and cashews.
Art Bar, called a "Painter's Paradise" by Urban Milwaukee magazine, isn't your typical watering hole. In its enchanting interior, hundreds of soda bottle caps create an argyle pattern on pillars, wine corks stud an oval-shaped bar, and paint-by-number pieces—depicting everything from horses to the Virgin Mary—plaster a wall.
The kitschy aesthetic offers a glimpse into the creative mind of owner Don Krause. Krause left his former career as an interior designer for Ethan Allen to brave the trials of opening a bar in Riverwest. And he did it his way: His joint pours more than 40 microbrews by night and Alterra coffee by day in a space adorned with the rotating creations of local artists. The beer lineup includes seasonal brews from Bell’s, Founders, Lakefront, and New Glarus, as well as “mystery beers” served for three bucks cloaked in a crumpled brown bag—the way Wisconsin dignitaries drink. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel describes the venue as “a feast for all senses” and “one of the hottest spots in Riverwest,” thanks in part to its comedy, musical, or artistic events.