We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

The Essential Cafe & Bistro

Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
21 S Wisconsin St, Elkhorn, WI 53121-1738
+1 262-723-1500
Tue 11:00 - 05:30
Thu 08:00 - 03:00
Fri 08:00 - 05:30
Sat 08:00 - 02:00
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

21 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 21: English reviews
Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviewed 26 September 2016

Unusual recipes that are delicious-and healthy. Pricey for what you get but oh so good. Very easy to find in downtown Elkhorn

Thank elkhorneva
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviewed 13 July 2016 via mobile

I have yet to try something I haven't loved! Fresh, clean dishes that are incredibly delicious. I love eating here!

Thank Kristine P
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2016

The owner of this establishment has a burden to feed the needy, and she not only does that out of her kind and generous heart, but also at her own cost....even if people don't donate..she feeds family and does it all by herself, She is a one woman show, making outstanding organic restaurant menus for her patrons and then sharing... More 

Thank Healingcuisine
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2015

Passing through Elkhorn from Kenosha to Madison, googled restaurants in Elkhorn....this place came up, we gave it a try....can't wait to visit again. Food was fresh, organic and delicious.

Thank Kathleen D
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2015 via mobile

I stopped into this adorable little cafe for coffee and a snack. My Americano was great, and the banana bread pudding was absolutely phenomenal. The owner was very nice and welcoming, great customer service.

1 Thank sgavin83
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2015

I have visited this place multiple times for coffee, and the drinks never fail to impress. The espresso is fantastic and drawn very well... one of the best espressos I have had in the U.S.! Have not eaten here yet but the use of all organic and locally sustained foods is impressive in a small town. Great decor and ambiance.... More 

1 Thank dgermai1
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2014

We started with a light, flavorful chicken polenta soup. I had the sockeye salmon, and it may have been the best I have ever tasted. The salmon was moist and the skin was deliciously charred. Served on brown rice cakes with a delightful lemon-dill sauce. Service is very attentive. The drive from Racine to Elkhorn was worth it.

1 Thank multeataskr
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2014

Love this place! Sit at the counter, watch Joanne prepare the soup of the day, whip up a cup of cappuccino by Nathan; oh yes it's a family restaurant which make it all the more appealing. I had the vegetable soup and it was delicious. Hint: Don't use any salt or pepper until you taste the meal, Joanne adds just... More 

Thank Craig B
Lakeville, Indiana
Level Contributor
27 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014 via mobile

From the coffee to the breakfast sandwich it was very good . A must stop while in Seattle . Took some of the pastries with us as we go down the coast.

Thank jahalasz
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

Perhaps a small town finds this place wonderful, but having great food choices in Milwaukee I find that this restaurant falls flat. Small portions for the price!! And they weren't small plate! Be prepared to sit a tables designed for two or sit at the bar. Very limited seating for larger groups. The side of the day was Salsa made... More 

3 Thank SouthSideSockMonkey

Travellers who viewed The Essential Cafe & Bistro also viewed


Been to The Essential Cafe & Bistro? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$12 - US$25
Cafe, Healthy, Vegetarian Friendly
Breakfast, Lunch
Restaurant features
Waitstaff, Seating, Parking Available, Street Parking, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for
Open Hours
11:00 - 05:30
08:00 - 03:00
08:00 - 05:30
08:00 - 02:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 21 S Wisconsin St, Elkhorn, WI 53121-1738
  • Location: United States  >  Wisconsin (WI)  >  Elkhorn
  • Phone Number: +1 262-723-1500
"New and Unique" that is what others are saying about The Essential Cafe & Bistro; from our organic and natural selections on the menu, to the classic modern decorating and the quaint court yard outside. It was our goal to bring a healthy, fresh, and nutritious alternative in comparison to the other restaurants here in the area.

In addition, my business side wanted to create an intellectual, comfortable atmosphere where you can be proud to bring business colleagues or just catch up on some of your own work using the free WiFi. We hope you will come in and try one of our homemade hearty soups, or a refreshing salad made with fresh fruit or vegetables; or a freshly brewed cup of Colectivo coffee, or Rishi tea along with some homemade organic and non-organic desserts and bakery items.

Our cafe/bistro is based on the belief that our customers' needs are of the utmost importance. Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals - if your experience here was worth talking about - please post a testimonial to our website and "like us" on Facebook!

We would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service in the industry.

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from The Essential Cafe & Bistro staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?