Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.18mi
  3. Distance: 0.20mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.18mi
  3. Distance: 0.20mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi

About 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.

121 S Pinckney St
Madison, WI 50703
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service

Hours of Operation:
Happy Hour
M-Sat 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

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

Brunch
Saturday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Farmer's Market Season)
Sunday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Year Round)

Cross Street:
E. Doty Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(608) 259-9799

Website:
http://www.merchantmadison.com/

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
http://www.merchantmadison.com/entertainment/

Catering:
Please call if interested.

Parking Details:
Streetside and Parking ramp available across the street

Public Transit:
Downtown bus lines are one block away.

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

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Dancing, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Please call us to arrange a special event, happy hour, or party.

Merchant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.3

value

4.1

Noise

Moderate

88% would recommend it to a friend

Handcrafted Cocktails (19)
Local Ingredients (18)
Good for a Date (14)
See All
Vibrant Bar Scene (12)
Fit for Foodies (11)
Bar Seating (10)
Creative Cuisine (10)
Casual (9)
Happy Hour (9)
Special Occasion (9)
Good for Birthdays (9)
Fun (8)
People Watching (8)
Seasonal (8)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Comfort Food (7)
Healthy (7)
Neighborhood Gem (7)
Cozy (6)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Authentic (5)
Organic (5)
Romantic (5)
Worth the Drive (5)
Hot Spot (5)
Great Beer (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Great for Brunch (3)
Good for Groups (3)
Great for Lunch (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Vegan (2)
Business Meals (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Spicy (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Tapas (1)
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757 reviews
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 (Des Moines)·Dined 6 days ago

Excellent meal! Took advantage of the date night special- was beyond our expectations! Will be frequent customers.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 16, 2018

Always a great experience! Menu has staples and some items that change with seasons. Great service and excellent drink options!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Fabulousimo!!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Loud and bustling bar. Tables very close together, however this was OK with us. Ok selection of micro brews at the bar. Food was just OK, I had Moroccan lamb sausage which just fell apart basically, on a bed of raw-ish chick peas and squash. (I guess.) Son had pork papardelle, he thought it was just ok. Spouse had chicken breast w/ risotto - risotto was very very undercooked. Portions very small, I might add.

Tags: Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Arrived 40 mins early for reservation but hostess was very pleasant and was able to seat is right away. Large and delicious cocktail list!. Lots of unusual very flavorful food options all very well executed. Their charcuterie board is the best in Madison and the " small" portion is huge!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Quick Bite, Late-night Find, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 6, 2018

We had a great time there. We had an awesome server, amazing drinks, and a delicious dinner. Cannot wait to go back.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, People Watching, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 31, 2017

we visited for the first time on New Years Eve... we tried your special menu. the soup was cold... the shrimp in the soup were cold... for $65 we received 3 scallops and the accompanying dishes did not enhance the flavor profile. The New York strip was at least 1/3 fat. The desserts were just okay. Part of the problem was an over zealous effort to be too trendy and mixing too many different flavors. Sometimes simple is best. let the food speak for itself. With all this said... the staff was great! our time at the bar prior to being seated was fun and met some really interesting people.

Tags: People Watching, Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 31, 2017

This is a mixed review, but I think it's fair. Part of it is because of environment (my personal preferences), and partly because of the food (personal opinion).

On the upside: most of the food was superlative. My wife's lamb sliders were lovely, and worth 5 stars just for them, as was my mom's pear salad. The waitstaff was very attentive but not asking me every three minutes if we were enjoying our meal. The fried cheese curds were among the best I've ever had, super light breading and fresh cheese. WAY better than the Old Fashion's supposedly stellar cheese curds.

So far, a solid 4-star plus review.

But...it's noisy, so noisy it was hard to have a conversation with those at my table. Now if this were a review for a bar, it would easily be a 4-star review. I suppose if I went there as a bar patron, I'd feel differently. If you want blaring music (Blondie? Seriously?), check out the festive atmosphere. But I was there as a diner. Perhaps that was my mistake.

Still, let's give it four stars...but then the mussels came.

The one preparation I felt was poor was the moules et frites. In every place I've ever had moules et frites, they were served in separate containers; the frites in a paper cone, Belgian style, and the mussels in a bowl, usually covered. The fries were on the side and a third of them were soaked with the preparation for the mussels. Not authentic, and not very good. The mussels were exceptionally large and would have been perfect in a lighter sauce. Yes, I am a moules fan, so maybe that's why I was sad they were sub par.

Overall, I feel like it's worth three and a half stars as a restaurant. The bar is huge and clearly these guys do some cool mixology. I'd say go as a bar patron and enjoy some sliders, but I think there are better choices for a quiet dinner rather than a night on the town.

Hats off to the chef for the sliders---they were exceptional, but please work on the moules et frites. I'll come back for brunch and give it another shot.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Lunch, Casual
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food4
ambience2
service5
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Pros: Great ambiance! Nice for all ages. Great service. Nice variety, creative choices. Great cheese curds and brussel sprouts. Lamb sliders were great!
Not so pro, kind of con: Chicken dish was just ok. Risotto seemed more just smushy rice, no flavor. Sausage entrée was kind of bland.
Overall, I would go back. Just have a few things to work out.

Tags: Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Casual, Seasonal, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Amazing cocktails and fabulous food options every visit.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 19, 2017

Dope burger and beer deals on Monday

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 18, 2017

We were celebrating UW Graduation. It was Karaoke night also but that just added to the fun! Great drinks. We love to get the Bartender's Choice to see what he comes up with. The food also was great. We had a wonderful time.

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 10, 2017

Food was excellant. Server was very nice.
The restaurant was busy but our food was served auickly.

Tags: Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 27, 2017

A bit overpriced. Some of the food was in very small amounts... There have a couple of interesting cocktails which was the highlight of our meal.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on November 22, 2017

We got married tonight and they brought out a bottle of champagne complimentary! Service and staff was outstanding! Thank you To our server Eric!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 22, 2017

This is a favorite spot in Madison. The food is always delicious and the drinks are phenomenal. We happened to come in on a Tuesday night where they have their cheap date night special. A great value and wonderful meal!

Tags: Hot Spot, Great for Brunch, Romantic, Special Occasion, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Happy Hour, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Seasonal
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 19, 2017

Being made to feel invisible at the bar while many younger than I were served before I was, despite arriving well after I did; $14 for a slab of carbonized “french toast” that had barely been brushed by egg , with four pecan halves and a few thin slices of apple atop; no check-back by our server to see how our food was (I suspect out of fear that the burned-to-a-crisp dish would be sent back); and slow as molasses service despite our saying we had tickets to a matinee. The only good thing about my first and last visit to this place was the hostess, who handled with aplomb a last-minute change to our reservation.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 19, 2017

I have been to Merchant many times I like the food and the service is generally excellent .
I love the local food sourcing and the menu always has a reliable vegetarian choice. the drinks are great My only complaint is the noise. makes it hard to have a conversation

Tags: Organic, Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 18, 2017

In town for the Wisconsin/Michigan game. The bar/restaurant was buzzing. Our server was charming and diligent. True farm-to-table food here. Excellent pappardelle, salmon, dumplings. Highly recommend!

Tags: Happy Hour, Great Beer, People Watching, Seasonal, Comfort Food, Fun
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food4
ambience3
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 12, 2017

Extended family in town and the 9 of us enjoyed brunch. Great location, cool vibe and most importantly GREAT FOOD and service by Zach!

Tags: Casual, Great for Brunch, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 12, 2017

The was our best dining experience during our four day visit to Madison. An interesting, seasonal menu with a variety of gluten-free options. Local vendors supply the restaurant and there seems to be an emphasis on charcuterie and craft drinks. Our party tried the pear and buttermilk salads, both very good. We also had burgers, a salmon dish and steak all were well prepared and delicious. Our server was great and the atmosphere was likely.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Perch was so-so. Waitstaff was great. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Tags: Happy Hour, Great Beer, Local Ingredients
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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Detroit)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Great cocktails and vibe! Would definitely come back

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on November 6, 2017

I came here to celebrate my guy's birthday, and it was perfect! The ambiance is fantastic, food was delicious, the location's pretty solid for any after-dinner plans around the square, and not too pricey (all things considered). Their cocktail list is pretty phenomenal, but drink service was a bit too slow for me to really explore it much (the bar area was very full for a Sunday though, so I assume that had something to do with it). Overall, I would definitey recommend this place to anyone looking for a cozy, romantic setting.

Tags: Bar Seating, Late-night Find, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Fun, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Sydney / NSW)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Menu choices for brunch were limited, especially if you do not eat meat. Server was very nice but had too many tables and was inattentive. I had to get up to find her to get service. And, when she did bring us things, it was too late....like extra bread for cheese that we ended up eating without it.

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Took my parents there for Sunday Brunch. Very loud and request to turn down the music was denied. Also, the food was not good. Breakfast burrito lacked flavor, was not balanced (egg was unnoticeable), was covered in a soggy thick tortilla, and something gloppy and unnatural looking called “queso.” The French toast was worse—a high, barely toasted lump of brioche with two slices of apples and a few nuts. The waiter was good.

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food1
ambience1
service3
value1

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 19, 2017

Friendly service and creative menu! Great vibe. Never disappointed!

Tags: Vegan, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Quick Bite, Fun, Good Vegetarian Options, Seasonal, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Happy Hour, Healthy, Tapas
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 9, 2017

Had a great time. It's always great to come in there to see what new cocktails the bar staff has concocted or to try one of the standards while enjoying some great locally sourced food.

Tags: Cozy, Casual, Local Ingredients, Vibrant Bar Scene, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Merchant was more than we expected. The service was attentive, the craft cocktail selection and execution was very good! The food was delicious. We started with a Charcuterie Board which had a very nice selection of meats and cheeses . We had the pork belly it was amazing. The mussel dish had the best broth I have ever tasted. The lamb sliders were tender and flavorful. We will definitely visit Merchant next time we are in Madison!

Tags: Good for Groups, Authentic, Great for Lunch, Vibrant Bar Scene, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 3, 2017

We waited 15 min for a server after being seated due to a miscommunication with the hostess but they comped us two drinks so that was fine. Drinks were great ... meat/cheese board was nice. Had the pork belly and steak frites ... both were ok. Nothing amazing to comment on. Biggest issue was all the spiders and spider webs over the hostess station by the liquor bottles!

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food4
ambience5
service3
value3

 
·Dined on September 30, 2017

Merchant is a lively place with a wonderful reputation. It was so loud, however, that my wife and I could not hear one another across the table, so we opted to pay for drinks and dine elsewhere. Maybe we will have an opportunity to try again sometime when it isn't the night before a home football game, but the lack of sound dampening surfaces doesn't give me much hope for a better acoustic experience. The low food rating is because the app requires an entry; we didn't get as far as food but I had to indicate something...

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food1
ambience1
service3
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Love, love, love this place! Great food, great cocktails, wonderful service, great vibe. Also really enjoyed the DJ Phil Money after 10:30.

Tags: Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Handcrafted Cocktails, People Watching, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 29, 2017

Overpriced and not overwhelming
Too much attitude and too little substance. Service was not attentive and on the amateurish side
Many good choices in Madison - look elsewhere

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Naples)·Dined on September 23, 2017

This was our first time at merchant. The food was delicious. We had a selection of small plate appetizers and all were good I had the burrata board and it was fantastic. We also had the mussels and the papperdelle pasta Those were great too

Tags: Bar Seating, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on September 22, 2017

Came to Madison to treat our freshman son to dinner, and it was fabulous. Started with a buratta salad and charcuterie board that were second to none. Lamb sliders and the perch fish fry were also delicious and well presented. Service and timing were also spot on. We'll be back!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Worth the Drive, Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene, Casual, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, People Watching, Special Occasion, Healthy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on September 10, 2017

Excellent experience and the food was unbelievable. Took the advice or our server, who was very knowledgeable on both drinks and the food. If you don't try the mussels you are missing out and may never forgive yourself. AWESOME experience and we will definitely be back again.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on September 8, 2017

Excellent cocktails, best fried fish I've had. Bar tenders know how to make a traditional Old Fashion.

Tags: Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (South Dakota)·Dined on August 31, 2017

Only problem was an error on the gluten free plate ordered which caused a significant delay for one entree. Dessert was offered to compensate. We always enjoy Merchant.

Tags: Happy Hour, Gluten Free Options, Organic, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Seasonal
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
·Dined on August 27, 2017

The noise level was far too loud to carry on a conversation among our party of 3. We requested that the volume of the music or at least the pounding bass be reduced, but our request was ignored. This really detracts from being able to enjoy a meal with the people you are with and may be appropriate for a single's dance club but not for Sunday brunch.

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food3
ambience1
service3
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 26, 2017

Food was locally sourced and delicious. Service was outstanding - from offering a base for the flowers we'd bought at the Farmers Market to making sure the entrees came out after we had finished the appetizer.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

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