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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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "It was a busy Friday night on graduation weekend so the restaurant was really busy. The service was pretty good but the noise level was very high so we couldn't hear one another talking at the table. It would help to have some thing in the ceiling to absorb some of the sound in the large, warehouse style dining room. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "My husband and I went to Merchant for dinner before attending a concert at the Majestic. They had a 20% off coupon for show goers. When we showed our waiter the coupon he said "Oh you are going to hear Eric Hutchinson? He's sitting right over at that table." :) Food was fantastic we had the fried brussel sprouts as an appetizer and pork parpadelle pasta for my main course...mmmm. Can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "My mother and I ate at Merchant for Mother's Day brunch. It was fantastic, and added to a perfect day in Madison. Moms got a free mimosa, and the brioche French toast was out of this world. There's a really warm feel to the restaurant and plenty of room. I'd definitely come back."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We went for dinner with another couple and had a great time. The dinner was great but we especially went there for the awesome cocktails. Unfortunately our waiter was a little slow at bringing out our drinks. He was nice but perhaps not quite prepared for the raucous Sunday night crowd. Which surprised me a little bit too!"
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "we would not go back on a Saturday evening because the noise level was too high for us. it made our dining experience unenjoyable. the vegetarian entree, Farro, mushrooms, egg, etc. was outstanding."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "If you're in the neighborhood give Merchant a try for breakfast or brunch. My brunch partner had the salmon platter and I had the mussels. Both were good. It had a very large drink menu so I imagine it's more popular for that, although I only drank 1/2 of the bloody mary (do they put beer in it?). Service was efficient. Not someplace I would seek out, however. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "We were in Madison for a concert and got discount coupons with our tickets so decided to try Merchant . We were pleasantly surprised! Service was attentive and friendly and food was tasty. They have an impressive cocktail list and wine selection. My mussels were cooked perfectly and my husband's pork shank was tender and tasty. Will return !"
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "We went to date night with moderate expectations and were very disappointed. The duck was overcooked, too salty, very dry, and a little burnt. The red wine pairing was terrible. The Malbec in and of itself was okay, but paired with a dry, salty dish wasn't all that enjoyable. The chocolate and fruit plate dessert was disappointing. The chocolate was only so-so and the "seasonal fruit" was only apples and oranges. Not our expectation. The portion was enough for me, but my boyfriend was still hungry after we left. While $40 before tax and tip was a decent deal for what we got in quantity, we were just left disappointed in quality. Service was slow, unprofessional, and inattentive. "
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "We came here to watch a stanley cup hockey game. The hostess and bartender went out of their way to find our game on TV and we were grateful. Also we consider ourselves foodies and the faro mushroom bowl was outstanding. Great location, great food and service!"
    Dined on 4/28/2014
  • "Only went there this one time for brunch but it was excellent. Hostess and waitress very pleasant even though the rest of my party was late in arriving. No pressure! Food was great!"
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "My family and I love merchant and it never disappoints!! Food is great and cocktails are inventive and always interesting. One of my favorite places to fine!! "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Incredible food + sweet craft cocktails + kickass service = awesome experience. I will always come back when in Madison. "
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "I don't know if Merchant is usually open for breakfast, but I was in town on Easter Sunday, looking for a place to have Easter Brunch. Their brunch is not a buffet, but an order off the menu, offering small plates or large plates. I had a croissant breakfast sandwich that was fantastic. "
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "I was really looking forward to dining at Merchant after looking at the menu on line. We were welcomed right away by a staff member. I loved the cocktail menu although it was hard to choose from all of the interesting drinks. Our waiter helped with that and he did a great job. The food was very fresh and tasty although a bit salty. I really like the ambiance. The only thing I would change would be the volume of the music during dinner time. At times it was hard to hear and talk to my family because the volume of the music was a bit high. My son didn't finish his meal and we were going to take it home in a box. As we were driving home I realized we didn't get the box of food. We really enjoyed dining at Merchant."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "I had planned on drinking wine, but the three of us were enticed to try the handcrafted cocktails, which were delicious. I tried the Quetzalcoatl with smoky tequila and citrus - Delicious! My daughter and her fiance were equally thrilled with their drinks. For starters, we ordered the fried Brussel sprouts with bacon and pecans, which I couldn't stop eating. We also ordered a cheese plate and enjoyed each of the local varieties we were served. For my entree, I ordered the scallops and wasn't disappointed. They were perfectly prepared, and the flavors were rich and satisfying. My daughter and her fiance also enjoyed their entrees. For dessert, we shared the chocolate cherry custard, which was thick like a pot de creme and scrumptious"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "The brussel sprouts here were amazing! the rest of the food was okay, they have a limited menu that doesn't cater too well to a vegetarian. We got the flatbread which needed some more spice and was a little bland. I had a salad, which had too much dressing (though the lavender dressing was good). The other members of our group got steak and mussels. Both were solid- nothing spectacular."
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "Happened to be in town and used open table to find this one near the Monona Terrace. Really great rustic dining with a nice menu with a large range from $10-30 suitable for all wallets. Food was delicious. "
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Too loud. Not a good place to have a nice conversation during dinner."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "And had an excellent dinner! I was happily surprised to find the rare Michter's Rye whiskey on their menu. I choose the special of the day, Duck Meatballs with Chard and Cous Cous with lemon and it was outstanding. The portion size was very good and with the discount for attending the show at the Majestic the value was superb! I noticed that the other customers all seemed to be enjoying themselves both at tables and at the bar. I very much look forward to returning soon as possible."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Went here before a show at the overture. One of the few places you can get reservations. The food is amazing. I had the mussels, which were absolutely delicious. The others had burgers that were fresh ground beef. They also have quite the drink selection. We will definitely be back. They even offered to hold our leftovers until we can't back after the show. Superior customer service!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Cocktails as good as ever but food prices are going up and portions are going down. Becoming a less desirable alternative in a very competitive market."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "I love the idea of having small plates - I love to graze, so this is an excellent format for me. The food was tasty, the wine lovely, and it was a good place for people watching--even though I was part of a group! I have to say that the staff is outstanding, very accommodating and friendly without hovering. Great place to dine!"
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "The craft cocktails were great, but the menu seemed a little short on options. This isn't a place to bring people if you need to find something for everyone. Check the menu before you make your reservation, and then get there early to enjoy a drink at the bar before your table is ready. The bartenders were willing to take their time with customers on a slow night."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "We love the ambience and the food (always a new menu and daily specials)! One of the artisanal cheddars on our cheese plate was outstanding, and we asked the waitress to buy a chunk of it to take home. This was not a problem at all. Great service, in other words."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "First time to Merchant, sat down, waitress came right over. My husband ordered a specific whiskey off their menu and I ordered a Southern Comfort Old Fashion. She came back to tell us they didn't have the whiskey or southern comfort. Not a good first impression! My husband ordered something else, I stuck with water. Our dinners were fantastic, great presentation and delicious. I'll probably sound like an elderly person, but it's way too noisy when you want to have a conversation with someone. But because we got great service and the food was fantastic, I know we will be back!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014