Merchant

4.6
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1024 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Reservation policy: We accept reservations for Dinner and Brunch services. We save some tables for walk-in parties on Friday and Saturday night.

For reservations, we generally allow 1.5 hours for parties of 2 and 2 hours for parties of 3-8. If you feel that your party will need more time than this, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your group.

We can’t wait to share our passion for quality ingredients, honest and simple cooking, and this American craft of bartending. We welcome you to come in, relax, have fun, eat and drink well, and leave the worries of a stressful day at the door…Welcome and Cheers!
What 1024 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
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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OT
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and drinks. Very loud!

OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I made the reservation because I trusted Merchant to offer excellent service and food; I was not disappointed. The food came out delicious. The drinks, although a little slow, were amazing. My guests are still talking about it! I can say Merchant gave me my best birthday party yet. I can’t think of anywhere else for next year!

Thanks so much,

Andrew

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience!

CS
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Cocktails were incredible as usual, food was very good and our waitstaff was very friendly and attentive. Overall a really great dining experience!

FH
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good food and a wonderful atmosphere. Service was excellent!

M
Detroit
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Sunday brunch was awesome! My eggs Benedict were excellent! Coffee and mimosas outstanding. Tiff, our server was the best!

OT
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was great! Service Good!

J
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Nick was awesome! The drinks and ambiance were wonderful! Job, well done.

A
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Creatively done American food. The cheese curds were light and tasty, the lamb sliders excellent, and the trifle a rare and pleasant surprise.
The only caveat is that you have to be prepared for noise.

OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place BUT they could really use some acoustic work. It is just too loud. A few black acoustic tiles and this place could be great but right now even half-full you cant hear the person next to you.

N
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Merchant never disappoints! This is an easy place to walk into and ask questions. The staff is efficient and friendly and the food delicious and unpretentious.

MK
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

This is our third time at Merchant. We just love the ambiance and the craft cocktails. The service was very nice as per usual. The food was good but tends to be a bit on the $$$ side. I had the Hot Chicken - the sauce was amazing. My husband had the pork and he said he would have it again. Overall - good experience and we will come back.

L
Orlando
4 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The service was prompt and friendly. The food was excellent. The only reasons I couldn't give it a 5 Star rating were the following:
The space is very open and got a bit loud. It was hard to hear our table conversation. The restaurant wasn't full as it was ~6:15 on a Wednesday night. I don't know if this could be alleviated somehow, but it was distracting.
My boyfriend ordered the burger and asked if he could substitute fries instead of salad. Our server said she would check, but didn't write anything down. The burger came with the salad instead of fries. Our server gave no acknowledgement that she had even asked about his request. We decided to just deal with it rather than wait additional time while the rest of our food got cold or eaten. It seemed like a reasonable request.

g
Phoenix
5 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The burata and olives were SO GOOD! Loved the salads too! Our server was really knowledgeable and was really good. Atmosphere was great and I loved the steak! Risotto was just okay but overall we loved the restaurant and I would definitely go back!!

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was excellent, drinks were very creative, and food was delicious.

D
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful surprise dinner date with my wife. The service was extraordinary. I knew there would be music but once seated, we realized it was a little louder than two senior citizens would prefer (it's a bar after all). The receptionist and our waitress Magan happily moved us out to a sidewalk table. I asked if they had a particular item I knew my wife would like that is pictured on their website but is not on the menu. Megan asked the kitchen staff and they prepared it just for us! After lovely summer cocktails I had lamb/pork sliders, my wife steak frites. Mine was great, my wife said hers was just like in Paris; tres bion! Throughout, Megan was superb and all the staff were attentive. Someone saw my wife's chair rocking and put down pads to balance it; others passing by offered to take dishes. Coffee and dessert rounded off a wonderful, romantic dinner. Thanks to the kitchen, the management, our wonderful waitress, and everyone else who made it happen. My only regret is that we waited so long to dine there. I won't make that mistake again.

2
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Merchant has such a fun and eclectic vibe that is great for any age! Their brunch is amazing and they have some awesome events!

EC
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great drinks! Drag brunch was a blast!

TD
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and staff was amazing!!!!! Always looking for new places to go in Madison and will definitely be back. The drag brunch was so much fun. Met the owner Josh vey impressed that he took his time out of a busy day to welcome us. Thank you again merchant!!!!!

OT
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Golf road trip. Great food. Best server.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 5

Great drinks but wouldn't go for food again burger just okay and fish was too salty to even consume:(

LR
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to go for a special occasion, anniversary or birthday.

PB
New England
24 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food, especially the risotto and pasta. Drinks are imaginative and delicious. We not reason this restaurant gets a 4 is because there was only 1 bartender and he couldn’t keep up with the orders. Our drinks came after the appetizer was served.

m
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and ambience were great! Most of all, staff was very accommodating with our party of 15. We were seated promptly and served in a timely manner, even though they never received part of my reservation The fresh squeezed juices were great! Amazing locally sourced bacon. Thanks Merchant!

B
Milwaukee
8 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Fantastic food and great atmosphere with unique cocktails.

HB
Omaha
4 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

This was my first time there so I was expecting a bit more of an elegant atmosphere from their website. Place was great but is fairly loud and was a bit cramped. Food was inventive and delicious. Had a great time after adjusting my expectations.

B
Indiana
8 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Went for restaurant week but we’ve been there before as expected food was outstanding high quality and priced appropriately. Will be coming back!

L
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Delicious food for restaurant week! Service was a little slow as far as getting drinks. I assume because it was a busy night. The seared chicken dish was a bit salty but full of flavor. We were seated next to the bar and the noise from making drinks was very distracting. It sounded like they were breaking a glass every time they used the shaker. Everyone in our party was happy with their food. Anything I have ever ordered here is always above expectations.

MW
Columbus
4 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Ordered mussels and frites. Frites came in the bowl up mussels and ended up very soggy. Seems like a silly mistake.

TC
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came for Madison Restaurant Week. Great menu selection. Amazing food. Awesome service. Would highly recommend!

MB
Milwaukee
9 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

the food and service were both very good. It was a little loud.

P
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and wonderful food. Atmosphere and surroundings very loud at times.

AM
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Came here for restaurant week, we've been here a few times before in the past and always loved our meals. They took my favorite scallop dish off the menu a few years back and we hadn't been back since then. Our service tonight was really good, as was the food. My only complaint is I ordered the "To Never Growing Up" drink, as did the lady at the table beside us, but mine was missing the ice cream cone on top. I know it's a simple thing but it was kind of a damper since the drinks are so expensive, and consistency is also important at this price point. The music was cranked up pretty loud for such a small space, but since we got there at opening we could still hear each other over the minimal crowd at the time.

GO
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Be sure you are willing to talk loudly and have nobody with hearing problems. The music was far too loud. The people’s were wonderful and the food was good. Limited but sufficient menu. They’d definitely have a talented chef.

AY
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The greeter was very welcoming and accommodated for me having an unexpected addition to the party I reserved for. The server gave some good recommendations for drinks, and was always aware of when and when not to approach us, which is a rare skill to find in servers lately. Will be coming back again!

R
Toronto
32 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A pleasant meal with very good and attentive service. Thanks Tiff!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

6 people- 2 couples with two young teens went for dinner and cocktails while visiting Madison. Food was very good with lots of fun cocktail options. Ambiance was our favorite of the whole experience with a wall lined in full alcohol bottles. Prices were average to slightly above average with entrees averaging $25.
Overall good experience.

Merchant
Responded on July 10, 2019

Hi there, Thank you for taking the time to review us, we very much appreciate it. It's wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the cocktail options, food and ambiance. We hope you are able to visit us again soon, cheers!

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NA
Louisville
43 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 1

Super noisy. Actually left without eating dinner. Menu was unremarkable.

GE
Chicago
203 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We seem to stop-by Merchant every time we’re in Madison. Love this place!

SB
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of our favorite restaurants off the square! The cocktails and beer/wine selections are great! The food is always interesting, innovative and fresh - what's not to like?!!

Merchant
Responded on July 10, 2019

Hi Suz, Thanks for reviewing Merchant. We're very glad that you enjoy the drinks as well as the food here. As you said we do our best to keep things innovative and fresh. Thank you again and we're very much looking forward to your next visit!

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