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  • Merchant

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Merchant Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.merchantmadison.com
  • Phone: (608) 259-9799
  • Hours of Operation: Happy Hour
    M-Sat 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    Dinner & Late Night
    Every Night 5:00 PM - BARTIME

    Saturday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Farmer's Market Season)
    Sunday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Year Round)
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
  • Executive Chef: Anna Dickson
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Please call if interested.
  • Private Party Facilities: We have limited private dining available. Please call (608) 259-9799 to speak to management.
  • Private Party Contact: Joshua Berkson (608) 259-9799
  • Entertainment: We have Madison's finest DJs late night on Friday and Saturday nights and live bands on Thursdays at 9:30. Please check the entertainment schedule at
  • Special Events & Promotions: Please call us to arrange a special event, happy hour, or party.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: E. Doty Street
  • Public Transit: Downtown bus lines are one block away.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Streetside and Parking ramp available across the street
A word from Merchant
Reservation policy: We accept reservations for Dinner and Brunch services. We save some tables for walk-in parties on Friday and Saturday night.

As Merchants, we consider ourselves stewards of great ingredients. We source the freshest and finest local and international products that we can get our hands on, and feature and sell these ingredients in our dining room in order to achieve complete transparency of our operations.

It is our goal to bring you enjoyment through method-driven food, cocktails using only the best liquors and the freshest ingredients, and a place for you to blow off the rigors of a stressful day.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Diner Reviews
  • "I am not from Madison but will be making Merchant a regular stop when I am in town!!"
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Our brioche French toast with fruit and syrup was divine, the coffee strong, and the table seating for the seven of us perfect. Good service too!"
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "I can only rate this restaurant as "fair". It is super noisy,bad acoustics. The server was morose, he seemed a bit sad & not really very engaged or interested. The portions of some dishes were ridiculously small, including the charcuterie board and the duck. The desert of rhubarb crisp was not at all good, and in fact just plain bad. Would not be able to recommend and wil not return."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "I had one of the best cocktails ever, the food was delicious, the prices reasonable, the service good -- but it was really noisy. My dining companion and I had to practically yell at each other to be heard. Merchant needs to work to create some quieter dining spaces."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Duck large platter was tastey but miniscule. Same with the drink. Too loud for the 4 of us to hear each other at our booth. The server was very attentive. Seems like more of a bar scene."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "The meal was amazing and the staff was extremely knowledgable and accommodating. Truly, this was a great restaurant which specializes in using local food providers. Additionally, they composed unique and delicious cocktails; always a plus."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Merchant's fresh local ingredients combined with their talented and creative chef and serving staff make for a pleasing evening for all of your senses! Will go back again and again."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Had a wonderful time at my first "cheap date night!" The food was all wonderful as well as the service. I was amazed at how easy it was to reserve a table online!! My only complaint is how dark and loud it was. I couldn't read the menu it was so dark and it was hard to hear my partner across the table due to the noise."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "I've been going to Merchant for the last few years and have loved every experience I've had there. Staff is friendly, food is magnificent, and the drinks are unparalleled. Went there for my birthday, and the waitress brought out free drinks as a celebration. Fantastic restaurant and bar."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "I ate at four places during resturant week and Merchant by far was the best. Our wait person was also very knowledgeable and helped with with a cocktail decision that suited me perfectly. The food was to die for. We will continue to eat at this establishment."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "The food was pretty good although my boyfriend's meal (duck confit) was dry and flavorless. We sat down, waitress immediately asked what we would like before we could look at the menu, and then had us waiting almost an hour for our food. The people to both sides of us who came in after us received their food before us. I will not be returning."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Their steak and frites was great! Melt in your mouth. Their whiskey sour was the best I have ever had!"
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "We tried out Merchant during restaurant week and left feeling a little jipped. We paid $30 per person and while the food was ok it wasn't like wow. The appetizers were bland, and tiny. For the main course my husband had brat sliders and I thought that was the best dish compared to the pasta, pork shank, and steak at the table. Dessert was great though and with the smaller portions of restaurant week I had plenty of room for it. I think for lunch it would be great, and I would go back for the cake I had."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Ate here for Restaurant week which has a fixed menu with selections. The duck confit is excellent-moist, falls off the bone with excellent flavor - beets were served on the plate as the side. My son had the steak and frites and said that was good also. The steak is a thinner cut. Hannah, our wait staff, was friendly, knowledgeable about the food menu and made a good choice for me on the beer selections. She checked in with us several times without being intrusive. We were first seated in the bar area which was noisy and we asked for a different table and were seated by the window - much better for talking."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "We went during Restaurant Week, so it was quite busy, but the service was wonderful all the staff made you feel very welcome. The service was fast but not rushing you. The drinks were fabulous the mixologist was very helpful in looking for the right cocktail. The food was spectacular. I would go back anytime."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "I think this is a better bar than a restaurant. Cocktail list is extensive. However, noise level makes it nearly impossible to talk at the dinner table. Food was good and service was good."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Service was exceptional. Our waiter was very friendly and knowledgable about the menu. Great mixology here! Love the local items offered and great variety!"
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Food and service were great, thanks! Love the new summer cocktails, will miss JR :("
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "One of my favorite spots in Madison! We had a group of friends in from out of town and took them here -- the cocktails are great, the service is impeccable and the food is delish! Definitely a spot to check out when you're in town!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "They're very recently remodeled their dining room and the results are fantastic. Clear focus on noise reduction, and the new booths are very nice. Excellent for both dinner and late drink cocktails now!"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "I like the new booths. Date is a great deal. I also like the sheep cheese curds."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Server told us they were out of two items we chose, AFTER we spent considerable time studying the menu. Server showed no genuine interest in our experience. Bottle of wine we chose was excellent, however it was a red that said "served chilled" on the menu, but it wasn't chilled. Burger and brat sliders were excellent. Cheese curds pretty but bland."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • " We went to Merchant with friends and had a variety of food--the guys tried the burgers and said "excellent." I had the small order of mussels and liked it--just the right portion size, nicely prepared and presented. My other friend had one of the boards--with radishes and ricotta--and thought it delicious. I ordered a cocktail, a French 75, which you cannot find just anywhere. Our server was helpful, patient, knew the menu, kept our water glasses filled without being intrusive. The night we were there the restaurant and bar were both packed with people and it was very noisy. Noise bothers me, so I found that a bit of a challenge, but it's obviously a popular spot and the food is reasonably priced and very good. It's a fun scene."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Enjoyed a pleasant, not stellar, dinner recently at Merchants. We were lucky enough to snag one of a handful of outdoor tables. They are famous for their innovative drinks; we found them to be strong but not well balanced. Food was really good but the wait for it was ridiculous on this Friday evening in summer. Waitstaff was pleasant though and tried their best to keep us happy while we waited."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "This was our first visit to Merchant. We were interested in it for the local food sourcing, interesting menu, and convenient location. The food was inventive and delicious - everything we hoped for. The dining room is LOUD. We had to shout to talk to each other and to our server. If a loud bar ambiance is OK for you, you'll have no trouble. We understand a renovation is pending that will address the acoustics. We'll schedule our next visit for after that work is complete."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "This was our first time at Merchant. The atmosphere is charming. The menu is interesting. The food is very good. Ther service was very good. The problem, and it is a BIG problem is that it is unbelievably noisy. We had a table of 4 and we could not have a conversation among the 4 of us. Even talking to the person right next to you was difficult. Across the table was impossible. I don't think we'll go back due to the noise."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "I have been wanting to check out Merchant for a long time. We planned ahead, and made reservations for 7 pm. We were not seated until well after 8:40 pm. Once seated, we did not see a server for at least 20 minutes. We had a small child with us, and had to ask twice to get some bread while we were waiting for table service. It took 30 minutes to get a slice of bread. Cocktails took 20 or more minutes, and in the end we did not see our dinners until 10:10 pm."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Most Madison hipsters shuttle between here and Natt Spil over the course of the evening. The difference is that Merchant has terrific food and legit cocktails. Best whiskey sour anywhere. Trust me you have no idea what one is supposed to taste like until you've had their old-school recipe. Best cheese curds anywhere too, with their buffalo sauce and blue cheese version. This might be the best appetizer in Madison. Great burgers, good pasta, great fries. A great place to come drop some money and people watch."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "We had a very nice night. The food was awsome and our waiter was even better.. He explained everything and was extremely nice. We had the walley special. Every time we come , we enjoy it more"
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "My wife and I had an anniversary dinner at Merchant, and it was a very nice experience. We had never gone to Merchant before, but we were very pleased with the service and food. We were not very hungry, so we split a board with various cheeses, meats, and pickled vegetables. Our server did not push to increase the sale which seems to be the way most dining experiences are now. The food, which is all local based, was excellent."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Too noisy. Couldn't carry on a conversation at a table with four people."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "My wife and I have had drinks a few times at Merchant and they take great pride in their cocktail list. It's basically a 50+ page book along with the idea that they will make a "dealer's choice" where the bartender just makes you something they want to try. We went with a group of 8 and shared cheese curds, a sharing ricotta board, and fries - all were excellent. They brought extra bread for the sharing board which was very nice as well. There were 3 dealer's choice drinks ordered - only 1 was deemed poor and the other two were enjoyed. Half of the crowd got the mussels and everyone enjoyed them. I got the pappardelle pasta with meat and it was excellent. Great serving size also. The prices of most things were reasonable."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "We really love Merchant. Food is always good and fun atmosphere. Great Drinks and quality of food is very good."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Found the food very disappointing - the soup was watery and bland, the burger was poorly cooked. Drinks were the only redeeming quality. "
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "Although Merchant appeared on more than one top 10 list for Madison brunch restaurants, our recent Sunday brunch was disappointing. The menu seemed uninspired and the staff seemed ready to head home for the afternoon. The kitchen was also low on bakery--it ran out of croissants by 1:00 and then ran out of French bread by the time our meal arrived. The sautéed greens I ordered were sandy, so the meal ended for me after my first bite of grit. However, everyone loved the roasted potatoes and received a generous portion of them. "
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Food was well prepared and imaginative. Drinks were very good, and artistically prepared. Service was great, and unobtrusive. The one caveat: This place is loud. When everyone is having fun, it is near impossible to have a conversation with tablemates. We had a 7pm reservation, and will dine at 8pm, or later, when the noise level tapers off. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "I booked a 5 person party for my sister's bachelorette party at merchant, and it turned out to be absolutely the best choice! The service was great, including an excellent drink recommendation. Merchant was very accommodating, and even made an excellent dish for special dietary restrictions. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Had the fresh omelette with items fresh from the market. Wonderful asparagus was added in - I'm far from vegetarian, but this is one of the few places I can order a vegetarian dish and be 100% happy with it!!! Service was able to sneak us onto the patio and always has the perfect timing, visiting the table before we knew we needed something."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Was in Madison on business and went for dinner on a Tuesday night. Restaurant was busy and we sat inside. The restaurant was sort of industrial/open concept but welcoming. They have an expansive drink/beer menu. The menu was small but had something for everyone. All the ingredients were from local sources and fresh. I had the beet salad and the duck confit as my main meal. My colleague had a crab soup and the pasta special. Food was perfect portions, fresh and very tasty. Did not try dessert but they also looked good. Service was also excellent. If in Madison, it is a must try. Won't be disappointed! Bottom line - if you are in Madison you definitely should go to Merchant. You will not be disappointed. "
    Dined on 5/20/2014
  • "We've been wanting to try Merchant for some time so we finally made a reservation. It's nice and intimate, and I'm sure it can get loud when it's busy. It has a very vibrant feel, though. The food is creative, and I really like the way the menu is set up with small plates, large plates, boards, and a few entrees. The tagliatelle with morels was really tasty, and the salad of arugula and golden beets was fantastic. The crab bisque was a little too salty, but the star of the evening was the plate of Brussels sprouts. It was crusted with bacon and pecans and was sinfully delicious. The drink menu is extensive and we really enjoyed the local spirits included in the selections. We will certainly be back. "
    Dined on 5/20/2014