By Judy Frankel
Brunch is a lovely way to spend a weekend morning relaxing and catching up with family and friends. Sweet or savory? Healthy or hearty? These are just some of the tough decisions you’ll have to make while brunching in Madison. Brunch in the Madison area is a celebrated event and one that can be enjoyed no matter what you’re craving or who you are with. Here are a just a sample of the many brunch offerings you’ll find when visiting Madison.
The Bassett Street Brunch Club loves creating imaginative and tasty brunch menu items. They are so committed to the mashup of breakfast and lunch items they make their brunch items available all day and at night. Brinner anyone?
Do try their version of Shakshuka which is a Mediterranean-influenced dish featuring two poached egged served in a thick cumin-laced tomato sauce with sautéed kale, feta cheese and grilled pita bread. The fresh cilantro garnish adds a nice fresh finish to the hearty dish.
Must try: Doughnuts are baked fresh daily in-house and feature both sweet and savory offerings. While the choices change each day there is always the luscious maple bacon donut as well as the decadent chocolate hazelnut available.
If starting the day with more of a kick is your thing, step in to Eldorado Grill on Williamson Street for a southwestern-inspired menu sure to please. Looking to try something a bit out of the box? Order the Eldorado Benedict with a southwestern spin on a brunch standard. This plate features two potato pancakes topped with house-smoked salmon, poached eggs, tomatillo cream and fresh scallions.
Must try: Locals in the funky Willy Street neighborhood highly recommend the blue corn pancakes with a spicy sweet maple syrup and chili butter. And, if you can’t brunch without a “bloody”, order the Killer Bloody Murder made with house-made chili infused vodka for a fiery accompaniment to your meal.
Daisy Café and Cupcakery is a wonderful family-friendly brunch spot complete with kids’ corner filled with toys and books to entertain the littlest members of your party while you linger over coffee. The great thing about this lovely neighborhood café is their commitment to breakfast items available seven days a week from 8- 3! Their menu keeps the littlest ones top of mind with the ever-popular grilled cheese sandwiches (with the crusts cut off) and a side of fresh fruit.
Must try: Vegetarians and special diet dinners rave about the choices at Daisy Café and Cupcakery. If you’re looking for a tasty vegetarian and gluten-free dish, try the Roasted Vegetables & Goat Cheese Omelet made with seasonal roasted vegetables, from their CSA box and Montchevré goat cheese.
Dan Fox, chef/owner of Heritage Tavern is no stranger to brunch’s favorite meaty side – pork. When he isn’t behind the stove of his celebrated restaurant, he is at Fox Heritage Farms tending to his line of heritage pigs. His dedication to sourcing locally and preserving is evident in his menu offerings and in his numerous awards, including a nod from the highly respected James Beard Foundation in 2015. Well-known for their cocktails and small plates, there are many sweet and savory items to dig into. Those in the know recommend indulging in a soft poached egg breaded in panko and then deep-fried for a gooey breakfast treat.
Must try: If you’re craving a sweet brunch, opt for the hazelnut French toast. This popular item is made with reimagined vanilla and can be topped with house-made Wisconsin maple ice cream. No need to feel guilty – remember, this is two meals in one and life is just too short not to have dessert!
Check out a full listing of all our local restaurants that offer brunch, and dive in!