Milwaukee, Wisconsin

4.2 / 2 votes

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Famous coffee roasting company with a vegan-friendly shop/cafe

Restaurant, Coffee/Tea/Juice

Alterra is a Milwaukee-based coffee roasting company and this is their sweet lakefront cafe location, right across from the boat marina. They have a large patio outside, where they often feature free live music in the summer.

Unfortunately, none of the desserts are vegan (but keep asking for them!), but they have a number of vegan entrees, including a hummus wrap, roasted veggie wrap, and a Lousiana tofu burrito. They also have salads on the side, soups of the day, and baked oatmeal for breakfast.

As a coffee roaster, they have a ton of drink options, including hot coffees, cold drinks, teas, and most of them are fair trade. Not all of the items are labeled as fair trade but the employees will tell you that this is because only the smaller farms/orders can have that label, and due to the quantity they buy, it doesn't qualify. However, Alterra will assure you that they create relationships w/ all their suppliers and pay considerably more than the industry average.

Alterra also offers a discount if you bring in your own mug and gives refills for $0.50.

Added by Cass Danger on Aug 17 09 (last updated Dec 10 11)

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Most Recent Reviews

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Excellent coffee, and of course they have soymilk. The espresso drinks are just amazing here.

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This is probably one of the most pleasant locations in Milwaukee. It's right on the lake, has a huge patio, free outdoor music, and great tea (and coffee I'm sure, I just don't drink coffee). Alterra is located in an old pumping station historic building and they've done a great job preserving it.

I went here for a free summer salsa concert a few weeks ago and had a really great time. The patio was packed, as was the entire lawn area around the building, with everyone set up on blankets and lawn chairs. I'm sure they make a ton of money at this event but I'm glad they don't charge to attend.

I then went back a few days later to join a friend for tea. I tried the blueberry roibus, which was very good but I'm not enough of a tea expert to provide a deeper description. My friend and I also shared the louisiana tofu wrap, which had beans, veggies, and all sorts of goodness, including a slightly spicy dipping salsa.

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East Side



$ - inexpensive


  • American


  • Kid-Friendly
  • Live Music
  • Outdoor Seating


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6:30am - 10pm
7am - 10pm

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