“Eat Like a Local: Restaurant Edition” – Inspire Café  

It all began with coffee.

Inspire Café opened a little over 3 years ago as a large coffee shop in Dubuque’s Millwork District.  As its name suggests, the place hopes to be a source of inspiration for its patrons, from coffee they serve to the food they offer.  The art on the walls features local artists and the overall ambiance of the coffee shop gives a modern, but cozy feeling.  Larger than most traditional coffee shops, Inspire Café is large enough to host events, speakers, book signings, and other community activities.  Yet, the ambiance and layout of the café also makes it a great location for an intimate coffee date, or a quiet place to do some afternoon work.  This winter they are even starting a book club and will be reading and discussing Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food starting on January 21.

The café prides itself firstly on its coffee, which is directly sourced from farmers in Africa and roasted at a hometown plant near Saint Louis, Missouri.  This roaster has formed relationships directly with the coffee farmers they purchase from, which is rare in the domestic coffee community.  Inspire Café takes pride in sharing these farmer’s stories, and the hard work and pride they have for their coffee, with their customers.  It has resulted in a growing business.

But Inspire Café quickly became more than just coffee.  Soon they started offering other items like baked goods, muffins, scones, and bagels from local bakeries.  Then, they began offering whole sandwiches, flatbreads, soups, and salads.  They currently offer a full menu, and this fall released their popular ‘Buddha Bowl’: an all vegan bowl offering rice or quinoa, and an assortment of wholesome nuts, veggies, salad greens, and dressings.

As we move into 2018, Inspire Café hopes to include more fresh, local ingredients on their menu.  While some ingredients are locally sourced, Inspire Café hopes to expand their local offerings and include new and seasonal items on their menu.  An all new menu for the café will be coming out early this year featuring vegan and vegetarian items as well as offerings for food allergies and specialty diets, including gluten free options.

You can expect great things to come from this downtown café.  Connect with them on social media @inspirecafedbq to stay up to date for what’s new and for the release of the new menu items.  Stay tuned and be inspired!

Happy eating!

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