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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 19 times today

Madison

4.6
514 reviews
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$30 and under
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Modern European
Top Tags:
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
Mediterranean-inspired fare and elegant cocktails are served in sleek surroundings at this modern, airy University Heights hangout. ~Zagat
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Modern European, Californian, Italian
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Hours of operation
Nightly: 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm; Weekend Brunch: 9:00am - 2:30 am.
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Phone number
(619) 269-6566
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Mario Casseneri
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Madison Avenue
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wine
What 514 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined 2 days ago

Service was very slow. It took me 20 minutes before our first drinks arrived. Food runners didn’t seem to know which table dishes were going to.

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4.0Dined 2 days ago

Nice place, ambiance and service.

But dining area is too loud. Everyone shouts to compensate...Not very comfortable to stay long or have a nice conversation. Room needs sound insulation.

On the other hand bar area is quieter for some reason.

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4.0Dined 2 days ago

Everything was lovely except the noise level, which was painful

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5.0Dined on May 20, 2018

Madison did not disappoint! We brought friends visiting from out of town and they LOVED the brunch menu. Our server Tony was attentive and kind; we were very proud to bring our guests to such an establishment :-) We'll be back soon!

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3.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Almost forty minutes to get our food, which then arrived cold. No acknowledgement or apologies. Turkish breakfast sandwich was bland and overwhelmed by the enormous bun. And served with potatoes — way too much starch for one dish. Mango Mimosa was ok. Coffee not hot. Disappointing experience overall.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

First time there. Everything was great! Our server Tony was amazing, the food right on point. We will be back for sure

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Madison is always our go to date night spot if we need a last minute reservation! Have pretty much tried everything on the menu so it's nice to try the different specials! I always recommend to friends to try this place out!

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Service and food was impeccable! Would come back again :)

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5.0Dined on May 14, 2018

I love this restaurant. I’ve been twice, once on a date with my husband and the other with my family and parents to celebrate mother’s day and both occasions I enjoyed. The food and drinks are fabulous and the service is great!

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5.0Dined on May 14, 2018

Great cocktail and food, a little slow on the service but attentive nevertheless, the decor is outstanding. A great experience!

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3.0Dined on May 13, 2018

On time for reservation, took 15+ minutes for drinks after ordering, 45 minutes for food after ordering, brought wrong dish for one person at table, and "Chilaquiles" dish was not good (and a joke to anyone who is familiar with the local Mexican food). Not worth another visit.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

We had a reservation on Mother's Day. We only waited a few minutes to get seated. The restaurant is unique in that the main dining area is outside, but with an awesome vaulted cover over it. We got to enjoy the beautiful SD morning. It took a little bit to get greeted, but she apologized, and everything else was great from there. We ordered the waffled churro sticks to start, which were delicious. The 3 of us then each ordered a different brunch item, and all were very good. Would love to go and check out their dinner sometime now!

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

We had a great time. Initially the reservation was for a party of 4 but at the last minute we found ourselves a party of 6. We phoned the restaurant and were pleased that they were flexible (and willing) to accommodate the increase even though after arriving we noticed they were quite busy - thank you! Our waiter for the evening was Tyler - everyone should be so lucky. Tyler was very engaging, very professional and obviously enjoys his job. Everyone at the table enjoyed interacting with him. The food was amazing, the drinks just as good and the service was excellent. Everyone had a wonderful time and we all left exclaiming what a great dinner pick Madison turned out to be.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Excellent food-very unique! Loved the decor and ambience. Service was excellent! A bit speedy but worth it for a special occasion. We celebrated a college graduation, and was surprised server did not offer a small dessert for celebrant. Just a suggestion, especially when we had a significant dinner and drink bill.

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3.0Dined on May 12, 2018

Drinks were great! Food was ok. Service was ok- had to wait 20 mins for our reservation.

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5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

Great find in San Diego, lively, youthful and innovative restaurant! We were there to celebrate a couple birthdays, it was a very delicious and delightful evening! The staff was very attentive and made our evening even more enjoyable. A true gem in a new dining area of town! And the space was an amazing setting! Thanks Madison staff for a great time.

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4.0Dined on May 12, 2018

Food was delicious, only thing to note was that Happy Hour is not valid in the dining room. Wish that was made clear to us when making a reservation as there are certain items we were looking forward to that were only available on the HH menu.

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3.0Dined on May 7, 2018

Not thrilled with Manhattan. Too much vermouth
Trying to get an entree portion of skirt steak- kitchen sent out 2 shared plates with double condiments (not sure my order was understood or translated properly)
Out of my first pick- chicken
Out of my second choice- fish from the supplemental menu

We were an early deuce at 6:00

We love your restaurant but this was not a home run.

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Sarah our server was excellent. Food yummy. Very noisy.

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Super cool ambiance! I went with my mom and we both got the Paleo Bowl (mine was with chicken, my mom got carnitas) and everything tasted great. This is one of my new favorite places!

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Loved the ambiance. Great spot for brunch with friends. I highly recommend the avo points to share as well as the G.O.A.T. Excellent flavors.

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4.0Dined on May 5, 2018

It’s a very cool place. Family came in for a birthday and we wanted to demonstrate a relaxed San Diego vibe while having a great meal. Drinks are great and the food is reasonably priced for what is imaginative and of good quality. Our only issue was that the waiter seemed like he couldn’t execute or attend to anything within a reasonable timeframe. I’ve worked in restaurants for many years so I was trying to count how many tables he had, because I understand being in the weeds, but he really only visited our table and one other. Nice guy but maybe worry about side work, etc. until after we leave.

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1.0Dined on May 3, 2018

the bar reservation was not honored. we sat in the dining room and waited 25 minutes for cocktails...one of the worst martinis ever was sent back along with the appetizer. We simply requested the balsamic on the side...no way, it was drenched. Another 25 minutes for the replacement...unimpressive.It seems as though they took lavash and proscuitto from Trader joe's and called that a flatbread. And because I was starving and took a piece of the first, when they replaced it they did not bring a complete order! but subtracted the piece I had taken!!!. That must have taken some math in the kitchen...how about just reading the order and leaving off the balsamic as requested.

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4.0Dined on May 2, 2018

Food was great but there were two 20 minute windows where we were completely unattended to. Meal took over an hour and a half for two people.

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5.0Dined on April 30, 2018

Brilliant spot for casual get together or date night. Beautiful interior matched by yummy eats and attentive service.

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5.0Dined on April 29, 2018

Everything was so great!

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5.0Dined on April 29, 2018

Met some friends for Sunday brunch. The cocktails and food made for a great Sunday Funday. The restaurant was more of a covered patio (very well covered but still open to the wind) so be sure to dress accordingly- they do have heaters and blankets handy shouldn’t be a problem. Would definitely go back and recommend Madison to friends.

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5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

I went with a group of friends for brunch and it was the best part of our trip. The food is to die for and our server was so kind and helpful. Next time we’re back in San Diego we will definitely come back.

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1.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Usually I keep reviews short and sweet, but there were way too many red flags during our first (and probably last visit).

SUMMARY: 3 out of 10
-Madison management needs to make some serious changes if this place wants to survive.

SERVICE: 2 out of 10

Made a reservation for two at 6:30 on Friday night. We weren’t seated until 6:45, even though the restaurant was half empty. The hostess seemed very disinterested to be working.

Once we were seated, it took the server ten minutes to greet us. We looked around and lots of tables didn’t have drinks, even though multiple servers could be seen standing in the back of the restaurant chatting. Zero urgency.

We ordered an appetizer and bottle of champagne right away. It took 15 minutes for the champagne to arrive; the appetizer actually came out first. Never had that happen before!

When main courses arrived, we asked server for extra condiments. They never arrived.

Not once did server apologize for any delays. He was nice but completely aloof.

FOOD: 4 out of 10

Portobello muchroom fries
-good fried fare, greasy
-Couldn’t tell if hand battered or frozen

Cheese Curds
-good, but again, these came straight out of the freezer and into the fryer. Not hand battered
-$9 for a total of 7 cheese curds. I grew up on cheese curds in Minnesota and this is an absolute sham

Burger
-frozen patty. Dry, no flavor
-Waffle fries were good

Veggie Ravioli
-Girlfirend said it tasted like Ragu

AMBIANCE: 8.5 out of 10

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4.0Dined on April 23, 2018

We were very surprised to find the large covered area behind the small structure where the bar is located. Very pleasant. The food choice was reasonable, the first place in San Diego I was able to find an Impossible Burger. The only issue, parking.

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5.0Dined on April 22, 2018

What a great spot! Beautiful design and decor....but most important... the food! Everything we ordered was delicious ( cocktails, tuna tartare, salmon entree, pork chop and gluten free carrot cake :) we will definitely come back! Thanks for the great service !

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

I love this place. The cocktails are amazing, the food is great, and the staff is friendly. A go to for me for anything from a date, dinner, brunch, or a drink.

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4.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Just had drinks. Great drinks. Noise level was good enough to hear each other speaking loudly. Nice place. Needs something but not sure what because the arquitecture is beautiful, but overall a neighborhood gem.

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Off the hook! Must go!! Great ambiance, great food, great drinks!!

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5.0Dined on April 20, 2018

We wanted to try something a little special in the neighborhood and read about this place. It was a very pleasant surprise. The food was delicious and elegantly presented. Great service too.

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4.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Great ambiance, delicious food, good cocktail in a very small glass that seemed a little overpriced. Overall good experience

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4.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Madison never disappoints. And the University Heights location makes it a truly local, off the beaten path place. I love the bar and cocktail menu. Food is great. Service is always spot on.

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

This was our second time at Madison and we can't wait to go again. The cocktails and food are remarkable. I had the barrel aged Vieux Carre and it was incredible. So flavorful, boozy but mellow. Lots of flavor going on, but none of the harsher tones you sometimes get with barrel aged cocktails. For dinner we shared the ceviche from the special menu - grapefruit and mango with a little hit of spice on the tortilla chips. I'd be lying if I didn't tell you we fought over the last bits. We also had the brie wheel - delicious. I had the the pasta alla amitriciana with buffalo meatballs - utterly fabulous. So much flavor and the gluten free spaghetti was perfectly cooked. My son had the gnocchi and if they were any lighter they'dve taken flight. Tons of flavor in the gnocchi and the sauce. My husband had the pork tenderloin which was also perfectly cooked and had a delicious sauce. So good, must go back!

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5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

The open air design of the restaurant is refreshing! The service and food are amazing.

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5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Food and service were excellent. Lots of interesting choices for breakfast. Space was peaceful and calming.

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