We can't think of many things better than heading out to brunch with your besties, significant other or the whole family. In Madison, we're lucky to be surrounded by such an impressive culinary scene. There is no shortage of delicious brunch menus with gluten-free and vegan options aplenty. Whether you’re looking for that classic diner vibe or dishes that you’ve never tried before, these several places are sure to hit the spot. We should know — we’ve tried them all.
Follow our Madison brunch adventures for even more recommendations as we've deliciously documented our experiences in the video series Madison’s Iconic Eats on the @DestinationMadison TikTok and Instagram.
Looking for more? Find our full list of Madison restaurants.
With dozens of delicious restaurants in downtown Madison, check out these brunchy options.
A Pinckney Street classic, Marigold Kitchen serves brunch all day on the weekends (with breakfast and lunch weekday menus). Classics like pancakes, French toast, and omelets alongside unique dishes like the three grain tempeh bowl and duck confit hash make this menu well-balanced and delicious. Vegan options (like the tofu scramble) and gluten free options (like the chilaquiles) make this a phenomenal brunch spot for the whole family.
If you can't start your day without a coffee, the cafes and coffee shops around the Capitol Square have got your back. Bradbury's Coffee serves locally roasted coffee as well as freshly made crepes (both sweet and savory options!). This is a cute spot on the corner, perfect for a grab and go or quick sit down.
Ancora Cafe & Bakery on King Street (along with two other locations in the Madison area) serves up creative brunches seven days a week offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten friendly options. With seasonal drink menus, their locally roasted coffee and expertly pulled espresso will not disappoint the morning coffee crave.
We love Cento for dinner, but nothing gets us more excited than their Boozy Brunch. Dig into an assorted pastry basket (so good!), any brunch, lunch or pizza entrée, two brunch cocktails and bottomless tea or coffee. Special shoutout to entrée options like the rigatoni alla carbonara and the breakfast pizza (featuring a delicious hollandaise sauce). The lemon capri cocktail (made with limoncello and espresso) is next level.
Short Stack Eatery does breakfast so well that it’s the only thing they do. No matter the time of day, stop by for the famous pancake stacks (the sweet potato oatmeal stack with maple bourbon mascarpone is a fan favorite). Savory options like Cajun biscuits and gravy and corned beef hash are available for savory-breakfast lovers. Gluten free? No worries, they’ve got GF pancakes. Ask for their Vegan Hack menu for a list of five breakfast options and six sides. There’s truly something for everyone at Short Stack.
Bassett Street Brunch Club has an impressive menu. Some of our favorites are coconut cream pie french toast, savory french toast, lemon ricotta pancakes and the hot to tot burrito (filled with, you guessed it, tater tots). Bassett Street offers lots of gluten-sensitive and vegan options (sub scrambled tofu for eggs in many dishes). Donut lovers, rejoice! Bassett Street has some of the best. But get there early, because they sell out.
East Side Eats
The east and near-east sides of Madison are full of brunch spots you've gotta try.
Daisy Café & Cupcakery on Atwood Avenue is the perfect neighborhood brunch spot. Stratas — toasted, filled brioche with an egg custard — are a Daisy specialty, but you can also enjoy omelets, pancakes and more. Daisy Café has a full vegan menu (just ask for it!) and lots of gluten-free dishes. Daisy Café is known for their cupcakes, and while flavors rotate, there is always at least one gluten-free option.
Monty’s Blue Plate Diner, another Atwood Avenue favorite, is a classic diner with milkshakes, pie, and dishes like biscuits and gravy, scrambles and pancakes. They elevate that classic diner menu with options like vegan banana walnut pancakes (they have a whole vegan menu!), meatloaf hash and a marinated tofu sandwich. Bonus tip: Get that classic diner milkshake but dairy free if you prefer!
The Weary Traveler Freehouse is the place to be if you're in need of comfort food to start your morning right (with brunch served every day of the week). Located on Willy Street, this is the perfect brunch spot for a cozy vibe and food options for all. Almost all of their dishes, both savory and sweet, are vegetarian as well as options for gluten free and vegan substitutes.
Bar Corallini doesn't only serve their authentic Italian dishes for dinner, they also offer a weekend brunch. With brunch-themed items along with your favorite pizza and pasta classic, their dishes (all made from scratch every day) are ones you won't want to miss out on. With gluten free and vegan menu options, everyone will be satisfied with their meal here. And don't miss out on their specialty brunch cocktails!
Tip Top Tavern is another cozy spot to hangout with traditional brunchy eats. Brunch is served every day and offers a variety of vegetarian options. If you're looking for a spot with a classic Wisconsin tavern feel, this is your place!
West Side Brunchin'
There are so many places you should try on the near west and west side of Madison for your next brunch plans!
The most elegant tea sets, delicious French-style dishes and famous morning buns form the foundation of La Brioche’s breakfasts, and it’s a flavorful foundation. Crepes complete with fresh berries, ricotta cheese, berry coulis and crème anglaise. Eggs benedict. mushroom and pancetta scramble. The dishes are unique and delicious. La Brioche has an expansive bakery menu and an equally delicious lunch menu, so there’s no wrong time to stop by!
Cafe Hollander is a European-style grand cafe offering breakfast every day. With an expansive menu, including a kids brunch menu, the whole family will be happy with this choice. They also offer a fully gluten free brunch menu along with many vegetarian options. We for sure recommend beginning your meal with the Olliebollen starters (traditional Dutch treats similar to doughnut holes).
Enjoy brunch on Monroe Street at Gates & Brovi, where a Wisconsin style tavern meets and east cost, Italian-style fish house. Offering a weekend brunch, created by James Beard semi-finalist chefs, you can enjoy a breakfast from the griddle as well as oysters and other fish-y takes on classic brunchy dishes.
Yola's Cafe is an unconventional and uplifting coffee shop cafe offering brunch Monday-Saturday. Providing an oasis of calm in all of our busy lives, you're guaranteed a wonderful start to your day with coffee, homemade baked goods, and fresh breakfast dishes. Yola's Cafe uses locally sourced and fresh ingredients, they offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options as well as a kids menu.
Mickie's Dairy Bar, just across from Camp Randall Stadium and another Monroe Street favorite, breakfast is offered every day between Wednesday and Sunday. This cash-only diner serves all your go-to brunch items with amazing yanks (their specialty) and delicious shakes. Who doesn't want to start their day off with a shake?