Staying in the downtown districts of cities we visit offer us plenty of chances to explore. Each destination has its own flavor and character. Often, we find nearby neighborhoods that are within walking distance, but offer a completely different taste of the city. This was certainly the case in Dubuque, Iowa. Just a few blocks from our stomping ground, we located the Millwork District. Made up of just over a dozen square blocks, this historic section is teeming with local life.  Breakfast at Inspire Cafe would give us an opportunity to mingle with some of the locals, while enjoying the industrial chic design.  

We want to thank Travel Dubuque and Inspire Cafe for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own. 

The industrial chic design is found in the heavy use of concrete and wood.

Heady Start

When we make our itinerary, we always try to find places where the local life shines. Usually this leads us to locally owned spaces. Quite often it opens up the door to new friendships, as well. Inspire Cafe is housed in one of the historic buildings of this area, and has done a good job of embracing the industrial space. Of course, since we hadn’t had our coffee yet, first things first. They offer up a nice choice of caffeinated drinks. We picked our drinks and waited patiently for our morning go-go juice.

Crystal enjoyed a tranquil moment during our visit to Inspire cafe.

Enjoying the Calm

While we were ordering, we picked our breakfast eats, as well. Since we had arrived right at opening time, we had the place almost all to ourselves. Of course, this would change by the time we finished. If you are an early riser, use it to your advantage to get the best service. We found the perfect seating spot and relaxed in this tranquil setting. Their space is a nice mix of Industrial Chic and Zen. With plenty of windows, it creates a bright and cheery atmosphere.

Even the coffee is served with an industrial chic flair, at Inspire Cafe in Dubuque, Iowa.

Industrial Chic

First things first, coffee. I’m sure Crystal can get a bit frustrated when I order a latte, and they wait to bring her cup with mine. Fortunately, since the place was just opening, she didn’t have much of a wait. We loved the way the cups are delivered, and the chocolate covered espresso beans were a nice touch. The use of woods really added a spark of industrial chic to the entire cafe.

Andie's Classic has plenty of flavor hidden behind its simple exterior.

Simple Start

You all know by now that our idea of a good start involves protein. With tons of exploring needing to take place before our next meal, it’s what keeps up running. Crystal decided to test the waters with the Andie’s Classic. While it looks simple enough in pictures, it is actually a fairly interesting flavor combination. Basically, it is an open-faced sandwich served on toasted wheat berry bread. Then it gets stacked with avocado, kale, pesto, pepper jack cheese, and the whole thing is crowned with a scrambled egg. Talk about a flavor packed dish!

The Forager Omelet is an interesting mix of flavors.

Time to Forage

I’m the kind that wants to see the variety, before I bite in. To get that, I ordered the Forager Omelet. Obviously, eggs are the base, but this particular version brought some new tastes into play. Wild mushrooms, Parmesan and goat cheeses, caramelized onions, greens, and a nutritional yeast were blended into the dish. A drizzle of Alfredo sauce brought another flavor to bear on this plate of awesomeness. Yeah, let’s just say it didn’t stay on my plate for long.

The authors laugh it up after a visit to Inspire Cafe.

Contagious Mood

During our visit, we had time to chat with some of the locals, who wandered in. Inspire Cafe is located in an area that has seen tremendous interest for revitalization. It has transformed from a manufacturing hub of the early 20th century, to its present day status as an upscale industrial chic neighborhood. Like many of the downtown regions we have experienced around North America, there is a buzz of positive activity. This creates a festive mood that can be extremely contagious with the local life. It certainly had us smiling. Now it’s time for you to explore this area for yourself.

the authors signatures.

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