Until public-transit officials make our dream of commuting to work by rollycoaster a reality, we'll have to settle for the adrenaline rush of traditional pick-me-ups. Percolate perkiness with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of fresh, local coffee, smoothies, and more at Sven’s Café, located on Kinnickinnic Avenue. Sven’s Café exists in the European mold of intimate, conversation-sustaining coffee spots, and its committed staff provides zombie-eyed Wisconsinites with a variety of fair trade and organic liquid human-stimulators. Sven’s serves only top-quality beans, and they eschew modern-day roasting methods in favor of Old World German roasters capable of warming 60–130 lbs. of coffee at once, which is the ideal weight range advertised by most Kiefer Sutherland one-man bungee-taxi carnival rides. Specialty drinks include refreshing italian sodas ($2) and the java float—iced coffee with two scoops of coffee ice cream ($3). Though not covered by today's Groupon, edible options include fresh sandwiches, salads, soups, and hearty paninis that complement Sven’s made-with-love java.
- Stepping inside the former gas station, guests penetrate a colorful mélange of flyers, posters, and business cards to enter a domain of wood, imbued by the distinctive aroma of Sven’s coffee. There’s an artificial fireplace in the side room. Eclectic objects-like a stuffed lion and giant James Dean poster-help make Sven’s feel at once inviting and uncommon. – Cara Slingerland, Bay View Compass
- Sven's is my absolute favorite place for coffee, working on my laptop and doing client meetings. The coffee, food and atmosphere are perfect. – Michael S., Yelp
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.
2699 S Kinnickinnic Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53207Get Directions