The Very Best Brunch and Breakfast Restaurants in Madison

From bloodys and mimosas to morning munchies and hangover food, Madison Wisconsin is full of delicious breakfast and brunch restaurants to start your day. You can find an eclectic array of hole-in-the-wall diners and upscale eateries that specialize in high-quality AM food. In this blog post, I will highlight my favorite breakfast and brunch spots in Madison after living there for 8 years and returning for regular visits since moving. 

Whenever I travel to Madison (which is somewhat often thanks to a number of friends who still live there), I always make time for breakfast. Madison is a bit of a hub when it comes to brunch cuisine in Wisconsin, stemming from its weekly farmer’s market. The market brings in an abundance of fresh ingredients and local growers every week, plus a large number of visitors coming to shop at the market. The result is a diverse assortment of restaurants to satisfy any craving you have in the morning.

Mint Mark Restaurant Madison Wisconsin

Monty’s Blue Plate Diner 

Walking into Monty’s feels like walking into the 1950s. It truly has that classic diner feel with the chrome counters and bright vinyl chairs. Plus, they serve breakfast all day! You’ll find all the breakfast classics, like scrambles, eggs and griddles, but what I really appreciate about Monty’s is how many vegan and vegetarian options they’ve added to the standard breakfast fare. There is a whole separate section on the menu, so this inclusive dining space is perfect for groups with all sorts of different dietary restrictions. 

    • Address: 2089 Atwood Ave
    • Days for Brunch: 7 days a week

Sardine 

Sardine offers the best brunch in the city. Without fail, I eat here every.single.time I visit Madison. The ambiance inside Sardine is to die for–very French chic–thanks to the airy white subway tile, open shelves, and art deco glass light fixtures. Sitting on the edge of lake Monona, it is easy to let the hours slip away over drinks with friends. I am in love with the bacon crab cakes and I order them pretty much every time I visit Sardine. I’ve also had the brie omelet and the baked eggs, both of which are delightful. Make sure to order frites on the side — they are delicious!

    • Address: 617 Williamson Street
    • Days for Brunch: Saturday & Sunday

Eldorado Grill 

For something a little bit different, start your day at the southwestern themed Eldorado Grill. I think this is one of the most underrated brunch restaurants in Madison. It seems that only locals really know how good it is! Located on western end of Willy Street, the menu at Eldorado offers tons of breakfast staples prepared with a Texmex sort of twist. I love their huevos rancheros, which can also be ordered as vegan, while my husband is a big fan of the steak & eggs or the gravy smothered tamales. If they have a chicken-fried steak as a breakfast special, you should definitely order it! 

    • Address: 744 Williamson St
    • Days for Brunch: Saturday & Sunday

Madison Sourdough Company 

This is a place where you can come to eat, or just to pick up some of the most delicious bread in the city! If you come from breakfast, I am a huge fan of the biscuits and gravy, because the biscuit is crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, so it doesn’t get soggy in the gravy.I also enjoy the Bacon & Egg Firratto, which similar to a thick grits with a creamy Parmesan cheese sauce. Another personal favorite is the potato hash. Cooked in duck fat, the potatoes are well seasoned and fried crispy!

    • Address: 916 Williamson St
    • Days for Brunch: 7 days a week
Madison Sourdough Bread Company Madison Wisconsin

Mickie’s Dairy Bar

A long time staple on the Madison breakfast circuit is Mickie’s Dairy Bar. It has been around since the 1940s! You’ll sense this iconic eatery’s age in the charming vintage decor and color scheme inside the cafe – the original menu still hangs on the wall. There are no reservations here, and you’ll typically find a line waiting out front for a table. The lines will be extra long on a Badger game day, since Mickie’s sits across from Camp Randall stadium. Expect to find classic American breakfast dishes on the menu, like steak and eggs or buttermilk pancakes. Don’t order too much because the portion sizes are huge. You won’t leave hungry! 

    • Address: 1511 Monroe St
    • Days for Brunch: Wednesday through Sunday

Short Stack Eatery 

Situated in the heart of State Street, Short Stack offers breakfast all day long. As the name would imply, stacks of pancakes is one of the major items on the menu. But there is plenty more to love about Short Stack. The menu offers simple dishes prepared with local and fresh ingredients, and the staff is always super friendly. Modern farmhouse decor offers a cozy feel in their busy dining room. You can’t make a reservation here, so if you find a wait, add you name to the list and do a little shopping on State Street before your table is ready!  

    • Address: 301 W Johnson St
    • Days for Brunch: Thursday through Sunday

Lazy Janes Cafe 

This is an institution on the Willy Street brunch scene. Lazy Janes is a cozy, no-frills bakery and cafe that makes you feel like you are dining in someone’s kitchen. I used to come here often in my college days when I was nursing a hangover. From the classic frittata to a grilled cheese & avocado sandwich, you’ll find something comforting to start your day with. 

    • Address: 1358 Williamson St
    • Days for Brunch: 7 days a week

Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery 

With daily brunch, Daisy’s classic breakfast comfort food with a Mexican twist is a neighborhood favorite. Lots of the dishes feature Mexican ingredients, such as chorizo, avocado, peppers and cilantro. It’s a nice twist on the classic American breakfast. From the brunch side, I highly recommend the Steak Hash or the breakfast sandwich. If they happen to have biscuits and gravy available, that is another awesome choice! If you’re in more of a lunch mood, the meatloaf is an underrated hit — holy yummy batman. 

    • Address: 2827 Atwood Ave
    • Days for Brunch: 7 days a week

Settle Down Tavern

A recent opening on the Madison brunch scene is Settle Down Tavern. Located on Pinckney Street just off the capitol square, Settle Down opened in the heart of the pandemic. The massive patio outside was a big draw for diners, along with their scrumptious and familiar Wisconsin pub food. The menu is full of things you’d find in up north bars, but prepared with excellent local ingredients. Think a smash burger with aged cheddar or a better-than-classic cheese ball with port wine cheese spread and artisanal crackers. The brunch menu features a similar assortment of delightfully delicious classics, like a breakfast sandwich on a biscuit or chorizo scramble. Don’t sleep on the cocktails. They are awesome. 

    • Address: 117 S Pinckney St
    • Days for Brunch: Sunday
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