Blooming Lotus Bakery – 2215 E. North Ave., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Open M-F 7:30am to 3:30pm – Saturday 8am to 2pm – Closed Sunday

Major issues and considerations, for me, with coffee shops are: is the coffee good, what are the hours, is it a good place to sit and write, and is there anything I can eat? The other morning, after the dentist, I stopped off at the new cat cafe (where there are cats!) but it wasn't yet open at 9:45am. Cats were already up and napping. So I then went over to Blooming Lotus, a place where I've had coffee and some delicious gluten-free bakery items many times. I've also come by too late on a Saturday (closes 2pm) and Sunday (not open Sunday). I understand that either church or the Packers might prevent you from opening on Sunday, but that is my favorite day for sitting in a coffee shop. Anyway, Blooming Lotus isn't strictly a cafe—it's first a gluten-free, grain free bakery. Everything I've eaten there is good. It's all a little pricy, but no more than any other gluten-free bakery. But even more than that, I find it to be a good place to spend a good part of an hour, sitting at a comfortable table, writing in a notebook. Most of their business is people getting things to go. The coffee (it's Valentine) is very good. There is usually music playing that is very good. The people who work there are nice. I wish it was open later, and on Sundays—but I guess you just have to keep up with who is open when, and where, and really, that is often what dictates where I'll go. Anyway, I'd highly recommend this place, and it's a bit hidden, so you've got to make a point of looking for it.