Just a Taste: New Shorewood location of Fiddleheads


Natasha Davis

Fiddleheads Coffee on the corner of Oakland Ave and Lake Bluff Blvd.

Yet another coffee shop has taken root in Shorewood, adding a new option to serve your caffeine needs. Fiddleheads Coffee Roasters opened on January 11, replacing the Sherwin-Williams paint store on the corner of Oakland Ave and Lake Bluff Blvd. The franchise started in Thiensville, Wis., before expanding to other locations in the state. Obviously, a new spot demanded a review to determine if it’s worth a visit, so I made it a goal to walk over and try it out. 

This shop features a small breakfast and lunch menu, as well as your typical coffee drinks. You have a choice of sandwiches, including a side of chips or salad with lunch. They also have a soup of the day and featured coffee drinks for winter. 

The outside of the cafe was obviously newly renovated with a very welcoming sign. Inside, tables were spaced out according to COVID regulations. The entire space looked nicely decorated and clean –– everything a coffee shop needs. 

It didn’t take long to order and the employees were more than happy to help in any way they could. I was surprised and happy to find out they were having a 30% off discount per item ordered for the first week of opening. I thought that was a nice touch to show they were looking out for new customers in the community. 

My family and I ordered things to go, and in no time they had our food and drinks ready to go in a brown paper bag. The food was wrapped up very nicely to keep it all warm. Side salads came in little plastic bowls while soups came in a paper bowl. You have the option to order online for pickup to save time as well. 

I ordered the Veggie Frittata breakfast sandwich with root vegetables, spinach and melted pepper jack cheese served on a white english muffin. The egg was cooked sous vide style but didn’t have any standout flavors. The muffin was a little chewy and I wish it was toasted a bit more. The melted cheese was a nice touch and didn’t cause any greasiness, which I greatly appreciated.

My sister got the Sausage and Cheese breakfast sandwich featuring a sausage patty, an egg patty and melted pepper jack cheese served on a white english muffin. As per usual, she offered little details on the flavor. Her only take on it was it was a decent sandwich but nothing special. 

As for lunch selections, my parents were the guinea pigs. Each of their orders came with its own side salad which was laughably small. They kept it simple with just a lettuce mix, matchstix carrots, a few cucumbers and unknown dressing. 

The Southwest Hummus sandwich included black beans, hummus, pepper jack cheese, avocado, lettuce, cucumber and red bell pepper served on white bread. Despite the fillings, the lettuce wasn’t wilted and created a nice crunch. The vegetables were fresh and the cheese gave it a nice flavor. The best part of the sandwich was hands down the hummus. Creamy and just a little bit spicy, it complimented the ripe avocado slices very well. My only problem was the white bread. The sandwich contains many healthy and fresh ingredients, so I think whole wheat would be a better carbohydrate. It was also very soft but my mother would have preferred it to be toasted for an elevated texture combination. 

The Turkey and Gouda Melt Sandwich has turkey, smoked gouda cheese melted on the bread, bacon, honey mustard, served on a toasted whole wheat bun. My father was quick to praise the honey mustard and turkey combination and appreciated the lightly toasted bread. Everything seemed delicious and fresh and he didn’t have any complaints about his order. 

I did take note of the higher prices. A simple cup of the daily soup is $5.50 which seemed expensive for such a small portion. They also did not specify what flavor soup they had when my dad ordered some to go along with his sandwich. His best guess was something to do with potatoes and corned beef. 

Breakfast sandwiches range from $6.25 to $8.50 while lunch sandwiches are anywhere from $10 to $11. You don’t get quantity for your money, but I could see how some people could argue that the ingredient quality is what drives the prices. 

If you look closely at the drink menu, you might notice that they have smoothies available under the blended section. They offer three different kinds: strawberry banana, mixed berry, or mango. We opted for a taste test of a classic strawberry banana, but were unfortunately disappointed. From the first sip, you could tell they used a syrup to make it which left it way too sweet. The presence of fresh fruit was sorely missed.

The star of Fiddleheads is their coffee. Comparing it to others in the Shorewood area, I found it to have very deep notes, very similar to Stone Creek Coffee. However, I warn you not to try the syrups, as it left a bad aftertaste in my mouth afterwards. Thankfully, they do have an option of oat or almond milk for people who are dairy-free. 

As for food restrictions, I liked that they included an option for a gluten free bun. There were three delicious looking vegetarian sandwiches, however there was not any vegan food except for the kid-friendly peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

Fiddleheads Coffee Roasters provides a good spot for a coffee date with friends and family. They have great coffee selections with an option if you want a quick meal. The prices are okay, but definitely could be better. I found many similarities with pricing between this franchise and City Market Cafe on Capitol Drive. 

My only notes are that their breakfast sandwiches aren’t very special. Other sandwiches may include more flavors but it seemed very similar to McDonald’s Egg McMuffins: always good but nothing you would seek out. The lunch sandwiches my parents tried were delicious and had fresh components. Lunch seems to be the meal to go for. As for the mornings, I would get a sandwich with coffee but it wouldn’t be my first place for breakfast food.