It’s no news to residents of Mequon and Thiensville that two of the most popular coffee shops in town are Starbucks and Fiddleheads. These two local favorites are huge competitors and if you’re like most folks, you’ve probably developed a strong loyalty to one or the other.
Well, I am here to tell you that you don’t have to choose a side, and that both cafes are great places to go; you just need to understand their differences and what each offers.
You may be surprised to know that since 1996, Fiddleheads has been a family-owned and operated wholesale and retail coffee business.
And where are three of Fiddlehead’s four cafés located? Right here in Mequon and Thiensville!
Fiddleheads actually started out with the café in Thiensville, located in a historic 1830’s cobbler’s cottage on the Milwaukee River just off Main Street. They have since expanded to three more locations — another store in Thiensville, one in Mequon off of Port Washington Road, as well as one in Cedarburg.
The name, Fiddleheads, actually refers to a fern’s young, unfurling fronds, and the company uses it’s significance and imagery to represent the growth of their business. And clearly, their business has been doing just that.
With multiple coffee cafés, Fiddleheads attracts a lot of business. Although you can easily get coffee to go, Fiddlehead’s is known as a relax-and-sit-down place. Because the environment is so cozy and inviting, people tend to want to stay to enjoy their coffee.
You can also order tasty food at Fiddleheads cafés. They serve delicious soups and sandwiches, widely craved artisan breads and pastries, and, of course, their fresh coffee.
The two Fiddleheads in Thiensville have hours of 6:30 a.m to 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m. The one in Mequon is open until 8:00 p.m.
The original Mequon Starbucks was first located across from Mequon Pavilion on Port Washington Road. But, a lightning strike in June 2010 caused that location to burn down, so, the current Starbucks relocated a half-mile north in a commercial strip at 11301 North Port Washington Road.
As an international business, Starbucks is, obviously, a much bigger company than Fiddlehead’s. Although physically smaller in size than most of the Fiddlehead’s cafes, Starbucks makes up for it with speed and convenience. Unlike Fiddleheads, Starbucks is known to serve at a faster pace and customers are usually in-and-out of the café quickly.
Another key difference is Starbuck’s drive-thru, which winds around the back of the building. This is a highly convenient feature, especially during those December snowstorms when getting out of your car for a cuppa Joe is less than appealing. Drive by on any weekday morning and the drive-thru always seems to be full of traffic. Plus, don’t forget, it’s less than a quarter mile to the on-ramp for I43.
Along with its convenience, Starbucks also serves up many different kinds of coffee drinks, both hot and cold. They offer up more variations than Fiddleheads, which is to be expected. They have 26 different flavor varieties of their icy Frappuccino’s alone, which are so sweet and perfect to enjoy during the summer. Add in macchiatos, espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, and you have the works!
So, regardless of your loyalty, remember to consider each of these local favorites for what they offer. Fiddlehead’s for it’s old-world family-owned charm, cozy relaxing environment and delicious soups, sandwiches, artisan breads and pastries. And, Starbucks, for its quick, efficient service, convenient access and wide-variety of corporate tested coffees, flavors and treats.
Fiddleheads Cafe in Thiensville
192 S Main St
Thiensville, WI 53092
Fiddleheads Cafe in Mequon
10530 N Port Washington Rd
Mequon, WI 53092
Starbucks in Mequon
11301 N Port Washington Rd
Mequon, WI 53092
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