10 Great Madison, WI Spots for Good Coffee & Good Eats
Coffee shops are the ideal mobile office. And they’re not just for coffee! You can grab a hot drink, settle in with your laptop, and enjoy a meal all in one spot. Maybe you need a place to study for your next exam, catch up on emails, have a meeting, or just hang out with friends. Regardless of your reason for stopping in, we love these ten great Madison, WI spots for their good coffee AND good eats! (Listed alphabetically )
multiple locations: University Ave, King St
Ancora strives to bring a Seattle-style cafe to Madison. Founded in 1994, Ancora is warm and bright, the perfect ambiance for a work meeting or a quick meal. They offer a wide array of foods, from breakfast tacos to banana bread French toast for breakfast, as well as sandwiches, soups, and salads for lunch. The red pepper avocado salad is a must-have; it comes with arugula, whipped feta cheese, sunflower seeds and a tarragon dijon vinaigrette. Plus, they value sustainability, and claim to serve not the best coffee beans in the world, but the best beans for the world!
multiple locations: Middleton, Old Sauk, Fitchburg, University, Monroe St, Park St, West Wash, Atwood
Barrique’s Market has been a Madison staple since 1998. Each of their locations – spread out across downtown and the west side – has its own character. But they all offer freshly roasted coffee, wine by the glass (perfect for your late night work mode!), and a robust food menu set in an atmosphere that balances comfort with industrial decor. For a quick bite, their pumpkin chocolate chip bread is to die for! If you’re a little hungrier, try the pulled pork quesadilla. It’s loaded with gooey Wisconsin cheese, tender pork, and sautéed veggies, and comes with either mixed greens or Zapp’s kettle chips (go for the Voodoo flavor). Ther grain bowls provide healthier dining options.
multiple locations: Monroe St, State St, On the Square
A Milwaukee-based chain of coffee roasters and cafes, Colectivo first came to Madison in 2013. Each of their three local shops are spacious and comfy, with similar drink and food offerings. One favorite go-to lunch item at Colectivo is the mouthwatering chicken curry wrap. For a vegetarian-friendly option, their falafel burger really hits the spot!
2500 Rimrock Rd
Madison, WI 53713
Get a glimpse of the beautiful culture and foods of El Salvador at Finca. Forget fair trade coffee; Finca boasts a direct relationship with farmers and purchases their coffee beans without any middle-people. This beautiful cafe is colorful and sleek, with a full, open kitchen. You absolutely cannot go wrong with any of their food offerings, but if you have never had pupusas – or you’ve been looking for a place in Madison that serves them – order them here!
Grace Coffee Company
multiple locations: State St, East Washington St
Grace Coffee Company’s steak and caramelized onion sandwich is hands-down one of the best sandwiches around! Grace is a relative newcomer to the Madison coffee scene (both of their locations opened in 2019). They’ve got a beautiful, handcrafted espresso machine, so be sure to try their latte specials. Or if you’re looking for something boozy, they also serve mimosas and other brunch cocktails! Grace offers a modern, minimalistic vibe, and when you stop by, you might even get the chance to meet Pablo, the owners’ trained service dog that helps out at the cafe in his own way.
1 S Pinckney St
Madison, WI 53703
Graze is definitely a restaurant and not a coffee shop. But their food is delightful and their Magic Coffee deserves the shout-out! Available in the restaurant as well as at their Saturday morning Farmers’ Market stand, this iced coffee is deliciously creamy and flavored with sugar and cinnamon. A favorite way to indulge in Magic Coffee is alongside a Belgian waffle brunch – YUM!
Lakeside Street Coffee
402 W Lakeside St
Madison, WI 53715
Lakeside Street Coffee really feels like a hidden gem. They’re located in the middle of an unassuming residential neighborhood, but as soon as you open the door, you’ll be transported to what feels like a secluded cabin. There’s a piano in the corner, mismatched armchairs and barstools, and a bookshelf of board games and vinyl records. Lakeside Street Coffee is homey, serves good coffee, and has an extensive breakfast and sandwich menu, including daily specials! Try the Turkey Apple Melt – or when you’re feeling nostalgic, the PBJ.
Madison Sourdough Cafe
916 Williamson St
Madison, WI 53703
There are few things that go better with coffee than pastries. And what better place to get baked goods than Madison Sourdough? This is a one-stop-shop that covers all the bases: hot drinks, pastry items, breakfast foods, and sandwiches. Who doesn’t love a great croissant? Treat yourself to their savory herb & gruyere croissant and call it lunch. Their poached pear French toast is another great choice!
Manna Cafe & Bakery
611 N Sherman Ave
Madison, WI 53704
On the north side of Madison, Manna is a great spot for working or leisurely lunching with friends. Warm and inviting, this cozy cafe aims to add a twist to classic menu items, without being over-the-top or flashy. For example, their brisket sandwich has a bacon jam spread and their BLT comes with guacamole – simply delicious! Plus, they make all of their breads and pastries at their on-site bakery. If you go during peak times, be prepared to wait for a table. It’s totally worth it!
640 W Washington Ave, Suite 101
Madison, WI 53703
Located in Washington Market, Porter is a sister restaurant to the Willy Street favorites Grampa’s Pizzeria and Gib’s Bar. This small, intimate coffee shop, with exposed brick and live plants, is most famous for their Instagram-worthy avocado toast and scrumptious breakfast sandwich – a brioche bun overflowing with ham from Heritage Farms, cheddar cheese, red onions, and topped with an egg. But you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu! Try their savory posole for lunch and watch for other pop-ups which highlight the creative culinary talents of Chef Gil Altschul.
written by Shona Mitteldorf for Madison Eats Food Tours