Blooming Lotus Bakery is one of the most unassuming bakeries in town. Tucked in the corner of Prospect & North, this vegan, soy-free, dairy-free and grain-free bakery also might be one of the healthiest. (relatively speaking, of course) This spot serves cinnamon rolls, pies, cupcakes, scone bites, soups and specialty items including pizza on Saturdays. Carly (@crueltyfree.foodie) and I recently visited this spot and braved the snow, and here is a quick rundown of this warm and inviting bakery.
The Blooming Lotus teddy bear might be my favorite part about this spot. Once you enter, it’s really hard to miss this giant 4-foot teddy bear that’s donning a restaurant-labeled apron, waiting for you to join him at a table to eat. It’s a comedic and warm touch to a space that already elicits a homey feel.
Given that this was my first time at Blooming Lotus, I had a lot of questions and wanted recommendations. I knew I wanted scone bites after seeing them appear on my Instagram feed, but I needed more options. The employees at this spot were more than happy to answer all of my questions (which tend to be a lot). They also did not pressure me to order as I waited for Carly to arrive, something I also appreciated. Some places tend to do that, but here, you go and order as you please.
This spot feels part Secret Life of Bees with its decor and part suburban cafe. It’s hard to put a finger on the ambiance other than a few descriptors, but it feels comforting nonetheless. The soft yellow walls with turquoise and softer pastels make for a friendly and easy going experience. I was told lot of families come to Blooming Lotus and it’s easy to see why that is the case, as there are a lot of tables and room for children to run around.
After much contemplation (at least for me), Carly and I opted for the cinnamon roll and scone bites. As for beverages, I went with a Rishi English Breakfast tea while she went with coffee.
The scone bites we decided to try were the lemon blueberry and another sweeter option that included dark chocolate and dates. We also tried an apricot scone bite that was complimentary! Speaking of apricots, a photo on the wall next to our table displayed an orange shaped fruit that could not be correctly named. Let’s just say there is a little bit of education needed on naming fruits that aren’t bananas or apples. I wonder how their large scones taste given that the smaller ones are probably a bit moister. The scones were much lighter fare and for a dollar each, that made a lot of sense. I enjoyed each bite, the flavors inside these confections and the texture of the scone. The apricot scone was my least favorite, but I did not pay for it so I wasn't too salty.
The cinnamon roll was very dense, but it was decent in taste and texture. I had to remind myself when eating this that it would not taste like a cinnamon roll from Celesta that is slathered in some sort of I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-vegan-icing and the dough derived from some ingredient that probably is not at Blooming Lotus. Instead, it had a much drier consistency and was not as moist. The inside part of the roll was my favorite, but I am sure that is the case with most cinnamon rolls. I still can’t decide if I’d get again, but it is worth trying for those with a sweet tooth that might be looking for something that is not too sugary. I would have liked to see more icing atop this cinnamon roll but again, this spot seems to have a much healthier spin on its treats.
While I did not get any donuts, that is on my list of things to get next time. As you can see below, there are a lot of treats to try. Saturday specials range from pancakes, pizza to a soup that is served starting at 10 AM. I feel like I should have already have visited Blooming Lotus as a vegan in Milwaukee, but I plan to go back a few more times to devour more sweet treats. Stay tuned.
I hosted a food meetup at Celesta on the east side of Milwaukee, and it was spectacular. There were zero cancellations, and everyone was just great. I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday and hope to have future meetups with a lot more of the same people!
Going vegan was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Hands down, no questions asked. I tell people all the time that going vegan is not hard as you think. Trust me. I feel good, eat better (you've seen my Instagram posts) and enjoy the many health benefits that a vegan diet provides. Simply put, it takes research, an open mind and preparation to take the plunge into this lifestyle. Here is a quick rundown of why it might be a great time to go vegan starting next year.
There Has Never Been a More Convenient Time
Take a stroll around your nearest grocery store, and you will quickly find that there are plenty of healthy plant-based options available. The produce department has always been a staple for plant-based diets, but now other areas of the grocery store assist with this lifestyle change. Metro Market makes it easy for vegans and vegetarians to find specialty items including vegan mayonnaise, Tofurky products and seitan in their specially marked vegetarian section. Head to to the center aisle and you'll find items like Bush's Baked Beans' Vegetarian option and other easy-to-understand labels. Not to mention, it is cheap. I bought $100 worth of groceries last week, and I do not plan on going back to the grocery store for at least three weeks. Want to give this method a try? Check out "How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America's Cheapest Family " by Steve and Annette Economides.
Don't want to cook every day of the week but want to enjoy delicious vegan food? Most big cities have a couple vegan options available, and if you are lucky to live in Milwaukee, there are a ton of options including Beerline Cafe, Celesta, Cafe Manna, Urban Beets, On the Bus, Impossible Burgers at numerous restaurants and Comet Cafe. Need I go on?
Helping the Earth Is More Important Than Ever
I opted to follow a plant-based lifestyle for health and wellness reasons but quickly realized the positive impact that my lifestyle was having on our planet. The amount of water, trees and animals that are being saved are astronomical. Not having a car is one way to save the earth, but not eating meat or dairy is an even more efficient and impactful way to help the environment. Rising sea levels, pollution and other environment issues are the direct result of our food choices and stress these meat and dairy companies can put on the environment. While I personally don't believe in shaming people who aren't vegan, I do believe there is something to be said about helping the same earth you explore and live on everyday.
There Are So Many Opportunities to Meet More People
Going vegan opens up a whole new world of spices, foods and people to connect with about this lifestyle. Without making it sound like you are joining a cult, you truly can meet a lot of people and learn about their journey and why they decided to give up animal products. There's nothing better than bonding over a common interest with someone. Think working out, sports, religious gatherings and of course--food. Plant-based food. The app Meetup is a great way to meet like-minded people, and the Milwaukee vegans is a prime example of a group to consider joining. I have also hosted meetups throughout the city like the one I recently had at Urban Beets Cafe in late November. At the end of the day, I just want to have fun with food, meet great people and live a happy life. Once I became vegan that became even easier. I'd love to share more tips, recipes and anything that might be helpful as you embrace this plant-based lifestyle. Interested in more eats? Consider signing up for my newsletter! Here's an example of one I've done in the past.