Wisconsin’s capital city, Madison, is a friendly midwestern destination that’s filled with natural, historical, and cultural attractions.
You could spend a week just visiting Madison’s many museums. There’s even a mustard museum! Wisconsin is home to fifteen thousand lakes, and Madison offers plenty of lakes for swimming, ice skating, or admiring.
Before a full day of sightseeing, a leisurely morning of coffee and brunch will fuel your activities and set a fun mood.
I throw in a mimosa or two with my weekend brunch to celebrate my vacation. I had no trouble finding a wealth of excellent brunch spots during my time in Madison. Read on to explore my picks for the best brunch in Madison.
444 W Johnson St, Madison, WI 53716
Teetering between State-Langdon and Capitol, Bassett Street Brunch Club is a quaint and whimsical brunch restaurant and espresso bar.
It has a diner-like interior with a semi-circular soda fountain, vinyl booths, and fantastical paintings lining the walls. The fun atmosphere is a favorite for families and friends to share brunch.
Their menu has interesting and inventive dishes like chicken fried brussels sprouts and green goddess grilled cheese.
I satisfied my sweet tooth with their Fool’s Gold waffle drizzled with peanut butter ganache and topped with bacon and banana brulee.
617 Williamson St, Madison, WI 53703
You’ll get brunch with a view at Sardine, a picturesque French restaurant inside an old tobacco and icehouse in Machinery Row, overlooking Lake Monona.
Owned and operated by Chicago transplants, long-time friends, and seasoned chefs John Gadau and Phillip Hurley, Sardine offers authentic French bistro-style dishes with an emphasis on seafood.
Their weekend brunches offer my favorite list of brunch cocktails to accompany a rich French-inspired meal.
I had a Sun Salutation gin cocktail with limoncello, Aperol, lime, and crème de cacao alongside a Croque Madame with Wisconsin ham, gruyere, bechamel and a sunny side up egg.
118 S Pinckney St, Madison, WI 53703
Overlooking Capitol Square in downtown’s First Settlement District, Marigold Kitchen is a bright and airy breakfast and lunch eatery and craft coffee shop.
Its country chic interior sets a cheerful atmosphere to enjoy colorful, farm-fresh dishes. Their weekend brunches cover every American comfort food with a healthy, farm-to-table twist and vibrant presentation.
Weekend brunch is served all day on Saturdays and Sundays, so even late sleepers can get their fix. Their espresso drinks are top-notch. I loved their café Cubano, espresso poured over raw sugar and steamed milk.
In keeping with the Latin theme, I delighted in an extravagant breakfast burrito stuffed with chorizo, eggs, cheddar, sweet potato, roasted red peppers, black beans, pepitas, cilantro, cabbage slaw, and salsa Verde.
4124 Monona Dr, Monona, WI 53716
Located in Lake Edge, a block from Lake Monona, Crema Café is a friendly and casual neighborhood bakery, coffee shop, and eatery, serving brunch all day, 7 days a week.
The humble storefront reveals a cozy interior with a local vibe, serving a myriad of American breakfast and lunch dishes using environmentally friendly ingredients.
Crema has a full espresso bar and a smoothie bar to accompany a scratch-made breakfast dish. They make all their bread on-site, supplying a robust menu of breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
My favorite sandwich is the Blue Bird, with chicken salad, dried blueberries, walnuts, white cheddar, and greens on a fresh baguette.
1358 Williamson St, Madison, WI 53703
Lazy Jane’s Café and bakery is a homey breakfast spot inside an old 40s-style home in the Marquette neighborhood.
The exterior is a fun green and purple, while the inside has brightly colored rooms and striped staircases for a funky and friendly vibe.
There’s a counter-service bakery and coffee bar with the daily menu written in colorful chalk above the counter. They make heaping portions of scrambles, sandwiches, and waffles with the best prices in town.
I especially loved their crispy hash browns, which come with most brunch entrees. I had them alongside their B.E & Biscuit sandwich with scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheddar.
131 E Mifflin St, Madison, WI 53703
Owned and operated by head chef and three-time James Beard Award finalist Dan Fox, Heritage Tavern is a high-end, globally inspired bistro with an old-world atmosphere.
Located in downtown Madison overlooking the Capitol building, Heritage Tavern’s farm-to-table cuisine earned Chef Fox Madison Magazine’s Chef of the Year Award.
The food at Heritage Tavern runs the global gamut of cuisines, from Asian to French. Chef Fox raises Heritage pigs to supply the highest quality pork dishes.
I chose to sample the pork in a decadent plate of classic eggs benedict with spinach, rosti potatoes, and perfectly poached eggs smothered in Hollandaise.
916 Williamson St, Madison, WI 53703
Located in Madison’s far east side, Madison Sourdough is an artisanal bakery, café, and flour mill with breakfast and lunch service.
Their wide variety of bread, pastries, and cakes are made from scratch each morning. The casual, bright bakery space always has the most intoxicating smell of freshly baked goods and roasting coffee.
Madison Sourdough sources its ingredients locally, using expert baking skills in every dish. I recommend the Quiche Lorraine with bacon, gruyere, and onion. Don’t forget to grab a loaf of their signature sourdough bread on your way out.
20 W Mifflin St, Madison, WI 53703
From the same restaurant group as Bassett Street Brunch Club, The Coopers Tavern is a casual gastropub in Mansion Hill, overlooking the state Capitol.
They have a large tap beer offering and a long wooden bar lined with TVs playing popular sports channels. Weekend brunch puts a morning twist on classic European pub fare.
You can grab a beer with your brunch, and you can get many of the pub’s most famous bar food like Belgian Frites, Poutine, and Beer Cheese pretzels, too.
If you went too hard the night before, I’d go for the Coopers Cure, a hearty plate of eggs, house-made chorizo, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, and hollandaise sauce.
117 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Madison, WI 53703
On the opposite lawn of Capitol Park from The Coopers Tavern, DLUX is a modern and family-friendly New American bar and restaurant known for its incredible burgers and shakes.
They offer a large menu of craft cocktails, beer, and elevated American comfort food plates. The fast-paced atmosphere is a favorite for happy hours and family meals alike.
Their luxurious weekend brunch menus are the height of decadence, so if you’re on a diet, make them your first pick for cheat day.
They make their own donut holes with strawberry glaze, which are a perfect appetizer to share before a rich maple sausage “brunchwich.”
2701 Monroe St, Madison, WI 53711
Everly is a family-friendly New American restaurant in a large, modernized warehouse space with industrial-chic décor and a pet-friendly patio.
Located across from Wingra Par on Wingra Lake in Dudgeon-Monroe, Everly is a neighborhood favorite for gourmet cuisine and attentive service at fair prices.
Their weekend brunch menu is highly creative, featuring novel takes on regional American breakfast dishes.
I had a hard time deciding between the Challah Espresso Custard French Toast and the Brunch Fried Rice.
In the end, the savory craving got the best of me, and the brunch fried rice with shrimp, bacon, scallions, kimchi, poached eggs, and Fresno chiles was amazing.
638 State St, Madison, WI 53703
Located in a modest space in downtown Madison, Sunroom Café is a counter-service coffee shop, bakery, and eatery, specializing in globally inspired dishes.
They’re a favorite for vegetarians and vegans as most of their menu items are meat and dairy-free. Sunroom Café is locally owned with friendly midwestern service.
Their craft coffee at Sunroom is delicious, whether you like espresso or drip. If you’re not a vegetarian, the lox and bagel platter is as authentic as a New York deli.
I also sampled their vegan egg scramble, made with tofu and mixed veggies. It was flavorful and refreshing, so I highly recommend trying it, even if it’s not something you’d commonly have for brunch.
Madison’s brunch scene is diverse, offering a wide range of coffee shops, bakeries, and brunch eateries to supply you with a delicious mid-morning meal.
Whether you want a Mexican breakfast, a fine-dining European meal, or a diner-style comfort meal, you’ll find it on my list of the best brunch in Madison.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
- Bassett Street Brunch Club
- Marigold Kitchen
- Crema Cafe
- Lazy Jane’s Cafe and Bakery
- Heritage Tavern
- Madison Sourdough
- The Coopers Tavern
- Sunroom Cafe
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