September 12, 2023

Discover Madison's Hidden Gems: Top Unmissable Brunch Spots in the City

Explore the culinary delights of Madison with our guide to the best brunch spots in town. Savor delicious pancakes, gourmet omelettes, fresh pastries, and locally brewed coffee. Discover why Madison’s brunch scene is a foodie’s paradise.

Richard Gargan
Richard Gargan
Reviewed from:
Discover Madison's Hidden Gems: Top Unmissable Brunch Spots in the City
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Experience the authentic flavors of Madison through our curated list of best brunch places. Whether you're a local or a tourist, these dining spots are guaranteed to give you a remarkable food experience. From lavish buffets to charming cafes, from classic American dishes to exotic international cuisine, these brunch places present a delightful variety of options. So prepare your palette and enjoy a mid-morning feast in Wisconsin's vibrant capital city, Madison.

Ogden's North Street Diner

560 North St, Madison

(608) 467-3930

Reviewed by:

Sergio Pierre

Ogden's North Street Diner is a top-notch brunch spot in Madison. The menu, offering fresh, flavorful food, is straightforward, and the customer service is excellent. Despite limited seating and potential wait time, the restaurant takes steps to keep customers comfortable, even offering call-backs when a table becomes open. The interior decor creates a warm, inviting, and stylish atmosphere that compliments the friendly staff. The food, notably the Denver omelette and sausage links, is high-quality and tasty. Although the hash browns are served in an unconventional style, they do not disappoint. The local diner is highly recommended, especially for the pancakes and cold brew. Despite limited parking, the personal and swift service, outstanding food, and homely ambiance make Ogden's a must-visit spot for breakfast or brunch.

Mickies Dairy Bar

1511 Monroe St, Madison

(608) 256-9476

Reviewed by:

Sarah Bentley

Mickies Dairy Bar in Madison is an exemplary brunch spot with delicious food and massive portion sizes. The Scrambler, the French toast and the single cornmeal pancake were all delectable. The sides, like bacon, were also generously portioned and well-prepared. The strawberry banana milkshake was a delightful treat. The eatery is cash only but there's an ATM upfront for convenience. The diner has a classic vibe with exceptional staff and speedy service. The griddle cakes and coffee cake were also noteworthy for their unique taste. This is a must-visit diner in Madison!

Original Pancake House

5518 University Ave, Madison

(608) 231-3666

Reviewed by:

Kyle Beat

The Original Pancake House in Madison is my go-to spot for a hearty, delicious brunch. Their gluten-free pancake offerings are fantastic - I highly recommend the blueberry. Their server, Kelli, is phenomenal, adding to the stellar dining experience. The food is delectable, especially the potato pancakes with apple sauce and sour cream, complimented perfectly by their thick, crispy bacon. I do miss their salami egg skillet, though. Their service is consistently good, with flowing coffee refills, all enjoyed in their comfortably remodeled venue. Despite some minor issues that arose during a previous visit, I still consider this place as my breakfast treat destination.


617 Williamson St, Madison

(608) 441-1600

Reviewed by:

Pavel Silva

Sardine has become my go-to place for excellent French cuisine in Madison. Their diverse and delightful menu accompanied by the warm, rustic yet chic interior has always been a great combo. The view of Lake Monona adds an extra charm, making the outdoor dining experience really endearing. Their brunch menu is simply fantastic! My top picks include the Croque Madame, Sardine Burger, Baked Creamed Eggs and their divine desserts. I've always received great service here, though I do wish they'd be a bit more descriptive with the dishes for those unfamiliar with French cuisine. However, the staff's friendly demeanor, the fresh, flavorsome food, and the welcoming ambiance bring me back every time. If you have guests in town or simply want to treat yourself, Sardine will not disappoint.

Marigold Kitchen

118 S Pinckney St, Madison

(608) 283-9758

Reviewed by:

Lazaro Melton

The Marigold Kitchen in Madison is definitely a place worth visiting for brunch, according to my personal experience. Despite being a busy spot, the staff were knowledgeable, accommodating, and capable of handling all our questions and dietary restrictions. The food was served promptly, well-prepared, and highly pleasing to the palate. The scrambler of the day and the iced chai with honey cold foam were particular highlights. One minor issue was that our coffee drinks arrived rather late, but the overall quality of the food made up for this slight hiccup. Though the restaurant can get quite crowded and compact due to its popularity, the food is excellent, making it a worthwhile visit or even a takeout option. Special recommendations include the french toast and the rosemary bread. Despite our discerning palates, my friends and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal and look forward to returning.

Short Stack Eatery

301 W Johnson St, Madison

(608) 709-5569

Reviewed by:

Tessa Tillman

The Short Stack Eatery in Madison presents a delightful brunch experience. Their breakfast burrito was incredibly flavorful and well-cooked, a perfect start to the day. Even though the place was busy, the service was prompt and the staff was friendly. They offer a diverse and delicious menu, including fantastic gluten-free vegan pancakes. While the prices were a bit higher than other breakfast spots in Madison, the quality of food offered value for money. The decor was interesting with a political theme, which could be a bit overwhelming. Despite this, I would highly recommend the Short Stack Eatery for their top-notch food and service.

Lazy Jane's Cafe and Bakery

1358 Williamson St, Madison

(608) 257-5263

Reviewed by:

Amy Hamilton

Lazy Jane's Cafe and Bakery in Madison is a delightful spot for brunch. The staff is extremely kind and the atmosphere is nostalgic, unique and cozy, featuring two stories of dining space filled with quirky art. The food is simply amazing - the best BLTP and hash browns I've ever had, and my kids adored their fluffy waffles and perfectly cooked bacon and eggs. I particularly enjoyed the real maple syrup and waffle toppings with my French toast. The counter service was attentive and knowledgeable, especially when it came to dietary restrictions. Despite some minor seating issues and necessary table sanitation enhancements, the overall experience was wonderful. Shout out to their incredible scones - they're absolutely worth the visit alone. And don't worry about the 'Cash Only' rumors, they do accept credit cards. Definitely recommending to everyone and more than eager for my next visit.

Jet Room Restaurant

3606 Corben Ct, Madison

(608) 268-5010

Reviewed by:

Maggie Elpesao

The Jet Room in Madison has become a favorite spot for brunch for Maggie Elpesao and her family. She particularly praises their biscuits and gravy, and the classic eggs Benedict. The service is consistent and the food is always hot and well packaged. The family-friendly atmosphere is enhanced by the view of private jets on the tarmac and the appealing Disney-themed pancakes for kids. The food portions are generous and well priced, with special mentions for the skillets, omelette, crab cake Benedict, and various special pancakes. Although the restaurant can be busy with long wait times, especially on Sundays, Elpesao feels it's totally worth it and enjoys waiting in the lounge. Overall, she highly recommends the Jet Room for its excellent food, service, and atmosphere.

Cottage Cafe

915 Atlas Ave, Madison

(608) 221-4815

Reviewed by:

Dejurnett Hernandez

Dejurnett Hernandez highly recommends Cottage Cafe for brunch in Madison, describing it as fast, delicious, and affordable. The food exceeded expectations and the staff made Hernandez feel incredibly welcome. Despite the pandemic, the restaurant has managed to keep their prices reasonable. If there's a late-night breakfast craving, Hernandez is willing to wait until the next day just to enjoy the mouth-watering gravy at Cottage Cafe. The only complaint is the early closing time, but Hernandez understands as the cafe is busy and does more work between 6am-2pm than most restaurants. The coffee was also enjoyable, and they were prompt with refills. The cafe has become a favorite spot reminiscent of ones in Northern Wisconsin.

Monty's Blue Plate Diner

2089 Atwood Ave, Madison

(608) 244-8505

Reviewed by:

Navin Valladares

Overall, Monty's Blue Plate Diner provided a pleasant dining experience for my family. From the old diner atmosphere filled with memorabilia, to the kid-friendly environment complete with sidewalk chalk, this diner impressed us. The staff was attentive and quick, particularly our server Alma who checked-in often and kept our glasses refilled. We found the food to be quite average, however, the desserts, particularly the raspberry cheesecake and carrot cake, were outstanding. They offered plenty of options for all dietary preferences including vegan and vegetarian. The outdoor seating was a nice touch and the fact that this place is well-loved by locals and visitors to Madison gives it a unique charm. We appreciated the customization options on the menu and the accurate waiting time. I particularly enjoyed the Eggs Florentine with added mushrooms. Despite a slight delay in taking our order, the server was very amiable. We look forward to exploring more of their menu offerings in the future.

The Curve

653 S Park St, Madison

(608) 251-0311

Reviewed by:

Ronnie House

Despite a few initial issues including a cash-only policy and a restroom in need of attention, The Curve offers a unique and wonderful brunch experience in Madison. The service has consistently been friendly and efficient, with waitress Kathy deserving a special mention for her excellent service. The food, from their corned beef hash to their pancakes and French toast, is superb. The classic diner atmosphere and the familiarity between staff and regular customers add to the homey feel of the place, a rarity in today's restaurant scene. The Curve stands out for not only serving outstanding food but also creating a welcoming environment that makes you want to revisit. It offers an authentic Americana atmosphere with great prices and an impressive breakfast and lunch menu. I wholeheartedly recommend The Curve for a memorable and enjoyable brunch experience in Madison.

The Old Fashioned

23 N Pinckney St #1, Madison

(608) 310-4545

Reviewed by:

Carmen Diaz

The Old Fashioned in Madison deserves a 4.7-star rating for its excellent service, casual and welcoming ambiance, and delicious food. The cheese curds and salmon salad are must-try items. Although the wait time can be a bit long on busy nights, it's worth it. The Door County Cherry Salad and the combo fish and fries are also commendable. The waitress was attentive and great with kids. Overall, it's a great place for brunch and one of the highlights of visiting the state capitol.

Café Hollander Hilldale

701 Hilldale Wy, Madison

(608) 237-3168

Reviewed by:

Daniel Catalan

I highly recommend Café Hollander Hilldale for a great brunch experience. The food is absolutely delicious, varied, and very affordable for the quality. The drinks are also a highlight, with a good selection of cocktails and beer full of flavor. The staff are friendly and provide quick service. The atmosphere is very inviting and fun, which makes it a great place to enjoy time with family and friends. However, I would advise you to book in advance to avoid a wait. Despite a few minor hiccups, my husband and I were very impressed and we'll definitely be coming back!


2701 Monroe St, Madison

(608) 416-5242

Reviewed by:

Alex Moore

Everly is a fantastic spot for brunch, and is especially accommodating for dietary restrictions such as vegan and gluten-free options. It has a vibrant, energetic atmosphere with a beautiful interior often bathed in natural light. Both the service and food are consistently excellent. The forbidden rice burger and curry are particularly noteworthy, while the SoCal bowl offers a more kale-heavy option. Even the drinks menu is varied, with the blueberry matcha latte with almond milk being a standout option. Service is prompt, friendly, and always considerate of dietary needs. All in all, Everly is a must-visit for those in Madison, whether you're a local or just passing through.

Graze Restaurant

1 S Pinckney St, Madison

(608) 251-2700

Reviewed by:

Elizabeth Genusa

While my first attempt to dine at Graze was thwarted by a packed house, I was fortunate enough to secure a reservation for my return visit. From the moment I walked through the door, I was charmed by the friendly atmosphere and welcoming staff. Though our table wasn't quite ready, the impeccable service at the bar from Jay-Z more than made up for the wait. His attentive nature paved the way for a delightful evening, even if our waitress fell a bit short in comparison. Despite a slightly limited menu, the food was delectable, absolutely enhanced by the stunning view of the Capitol Building from our seats. Though I was a bit let down to discover their gluten-free options weren't as numerous as promised, I can't deny the dishes we had were delicious. The intimate portion sizes didn't lend themselves well to sharing as suggested, but they didn't mar the overall experience too much. The feeling of being somewhat out of place didn't settle too well with me or my mother, however, the outstanding food and atmosphere somewhat balanced it out. Despite the peculiar service and minimal diversity, I must say the food was tasty, even if it didn't blow me away. The distinct atmosphere of Graze is matched by their intriguing dinner menu, and while they don't offer takeout, the dine-in experience was quite enjoyable, especially with the fantastic house wine on offer. In conclusion, despite a few hiccups, Graze offers a satisfying brunch experience with a great ambience, excellent food, and superb house wine.

Bassett Street Brunch Club

444 W Johnson St, Madison

(608) 467-5051

Reviewed by:

Frank Carvalhas

My experience at Bassett Street Brunch Club was a mixed bag. We appreciated the dog-friendly patio, the speedy service, and the diverse drink selection. The breakfast potatoes were a standout and it’s also worth noting that they offer vegetarian and vegan options. The food prices were quite reasonable too. However, the rest of the food had room for improvement. The toast was served cold and the avocado toast lacked in generous spread. The pork hash potatoes lacked crispiness and the tofu scramble, while a good idea, was lacking in flavor. Despite these shortcomings, it wasn't a dreadful experience. We encountered a bit of a delay in placing our order, but I choose to believe it was an isolated incident and not discrimination. There were other aspects that slightly took away from the experience, like one of our dishes coming with a surprise dollop of chocolate sauce and the distinct lack of convenient parking. However, the service was generally agreeable and our server was candid and pleasant. In a nutshell, while Bassett Street Brunch Club may not be the perfect brunch spot, it does have some redeeming qualities such as its tasty breakfast potatoes, variety of drink options, and a welcoming ambiance. While our visit wasn't flawless, it was an experience nonetheless, and there is potential for improvement.


1 W Dayton St, Madison

(608) 294-3031

Reviewed by:

Feras Cordero

I cannot praise Circ enough for their exceptional service, delicious food, and comfortable ambiance. Our group of 19 was handled with utmost care and efficiency, from being conveniently seated in a private room to our server Cae managing to attend to all of us single-handedly. Special mention goes to their magnificent hollandaise on the eggs benedict, easily the best we've ever tasted. Circ also made our stay at the Concourse Hotel extra special with their wonderful dinner and breakfast options. The seasonal cheese from the cheese board and the perfectly made lamb dishes left us absolutely delighted. Their quick and friendly service makes them a top choice for any meal. Their weekday salad bar and beef barely soup were a pleasant surprise, adding to the variety and quality of the food offered. As a mid to upscale restaurant, both their service and food quality are top-notch. Whether it's just for a meal or during a hotel stay, I would highly recommend Circ. The Sunday brunch is an experience not to be missed. In summary, Circ offers good, affordable food with excellent service, regular surprising delights like their salad bar, and special commendation for their Sunday brunch. I am definitely looking forward to our next visit.

The Post

24 S Carroll St, Madison

(608) 327-1101

Reviewed by:

Diego Campbell

The Post in Madison offered an exceptional brunch experience. From the delicious Turkey Cobb salad to the rich New England clam chowder, every dish was prepared with care and an attention to detail that didn't go unnoticed. The service was friendly and sincere, with the staff treating me like an old friend. The bar offers a variety of new beers on-tap with a manager that has a clear passion for his craft. The Post also serves as a great location for events, with a dedicated staff and flexible food and drink options. The beautiful and convenient location rounds out this fantastic brunch spot. I highly recommend The Post and can't wait to return.

Sunroom Cafe & Machiques Venezuelan Restaurant

638 State St, Madison

(608) 286-1640

Reviewed by:

Jane Kahlon

My visit to Sunroom Cafe & Machiques Venezuelan Restaurant in Madison was an experience filled with a cute ambiance, great view, and delicious food. This unpretentious brunch spot offers good variety, from classic breakfast staples like potato wedges and parfaits, to authentic Venezuelan dishes like tequeños and patacón. The recent management change to a family-owned operation creates a refreshing vibe and brings more diversity to State Street. Their prices are affordable, portions generous, and the spot offers a quiet, cozy, and warm environment for conversation. I won't hesitate to return for another visit if I'm in the vicinity. A great spot for brunch in Madison for both the classic and adventurous foodie!

Pancake Café Madison | Breakfast, Brunch, & Lunch

724 S Gammon Rd, Madison

(608) 819-6865

Reviewed by:

Victor Linke

I had a wonderful dining experience at the Pancake Cafe in Madison. The staff was cordial and well-trained, with our server Natalia M. standing out due to her friendly demeanor and excellent service. The menu is flexible and caters to all tastes - I particularly enjoyed the corned beef hash breakfast. The place itself could be busier and the interior could use more attention, but these are minor caveats. I appreciated the quick table times and friendly atmosphere. I'll definitely be returning to this diner, and I recommend it for anyone seeking a good breakfast or brunch spot in Madison.

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