Canteen

4.3
62 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Mexican
A vibrant, fast paced Mexican kitchen & bar. Located on the Capitol Square, serving lunch and dinner 7 days a week, as well as brunch and late night food on the weekends.
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Private Dining

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What 62 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.1
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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B
Milwaukee
93 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Everyone liked their entrees, enchiladas and burritos, and the margaritas are great.

A
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

My experience at Canteen was frustrating. The restaurant had excellent reviews, so I made a reservation for my friends' bachelorette party. We reserved a table for 5, but when we arrived 5 minutes early for our reservation, we were told there was no table available for us. We ended up waiting 30 minutes beyond our reservation time for a table. When we finally got a table, the service was very poor. The waitress seemed very overwhelmed, had to stop back by twice to ask about an order, then came back to tell us they were out of something we hadn't ordered at all. When asked to bring things to the table (chips, hot sauce, extra silverware) she had to be asked multiple times before bringing the requested item.

The redeeming part of the restaurant was the food. All the food we ordered (tacos, burritos, churros) was good and they had a nice variety. The wagon wheels that come on the table before the meal were odd and not very tasty, but otherwise we enjoyed the food. The margaritas were well-made and the cost of food and drink was appropriate for the quality and the location.

I hope they can improve their service because based on this experience, I think I can find equally good food elsewhere with a better dining experience.

JB
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The tacos, beans, and rice are THE best of any of the "Food Fight" restaurants!!
Taco Tubbs and Eldarado grill should get their recipes!

B
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was amazing! Service took awhile to get food and drinks; but we were having a great time so not too concerned,

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

We love the canteen. Some of our family are vegan and so appreciate having those choices available, too. Interesting menu items with plenty of creative use of vegetables.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Small menu but outstanding and authentic food!

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

Nice Birthday dinner

T
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were seated outside and had a great view of the capitol! Not the restaurants fault, but they were setting up for art fair on the square so we had to sit next to a huge line of idling vans waiting to get in. Not an ideal atmosphere to eat in unfortunately, but other than that, it was perfect! The service and the food were great! Definitely recommend a pitcher of margs and the queso! Wish they had speakers outside to bring the fun salsa music and atmosphere to our table, but still had an awesome time for my wife’s birthday :)

OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing. The food was off the charts, and we had great brunch cocktails. Great service. Great prices.

KR
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Too loud, waitress didn’t speak up, food spicy, said I didn’t want spicy food and didn’t get recommendations that what we got was spicy. Wanted frosted glass for beer, ran the glass under cold water, couldn’t taste alcohol in drinks. If that was authentic food, we couldn’t tell

JR
Milwaukee
16 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We were excited to try Canteen. We sat outside because we found it very warm inside. The menu is rather limited with a focus on tacos. We ordered the carnitas and the chicken pastor tacos which were fine but certainly not exceptional. We also found the service was very slow, tanking over 40 minutes to get four tacos.

M
Milwaukee
13 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 4

Horrible food & slow service.
We should have walked out when the tortilla chips arrived.
They were drenched in oil $ salt.

a
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely delicious food and drinks. Waiter was knowledgeable, friendly, attentive, and helpful. Cozy atmosphere. Clean bathrooms. Considering how busy it was, we didn't wait long for food. Would 10/10 recommend this place and 10/10 will be returning!

DP
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

I wanted to like it but the food was mediocre at best. Nachos were salty. Sweet potato Dorado filling was a bland puree. The fish tacos were fine. The street corn was the highlight. Our family was not a fan of the puffed wagon wheels or the queso dip. It was loud and noisy mostly because of the servers congregating around the bar. Even though there were many servers around, the service was slow as well. We were an afterthought. There is not much reason to go back other than the location is nice.

CS
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

By far the best vegetarian food we have ever had! Friends said their non veg was amazing! Can't wait to go back!

JR
Milwaukee
13 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great margaritas and great service. The baja bowl and flan were delicious. The tequila flight did not disappoint. Overall great experience

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love visiting Canteen, the food is always on point and drinks are always served right.

JW
Nashville
7 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I always love Canteen, and it was a great place for a late lunch for us and our guests visiting from out of town. We love the happy hour specials!

d
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Service was pretty bad on a Saturday. Canteen is a small space, but our server was not attentive at all. We had a long wait for drinks and the food. We even had to go up to the bar to pay our bill.

c
Austin
3 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

There's no reason—none—for a taco place to not sell single tacos. Instead, you have to order in pairs. It's a stupid, upselling-driven decision that leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

PM
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Loved it all except noise level which was quite difficult to have a conversation

JB
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We loved our food and our server was super fun! Highly recommend!

AV
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Deliscious every time!

KT
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful meal at Canteen last year, and I was eager to return when I was in Madison again. True to form, the food was fantastic and marvelously flavorful, the service attentive and friendly, and the margaritas just right. The atmosphere is upbeat and cheerful, the bar well stocked and the menus has something for any taste. If you want a memorable meal of authentic Mexican food, head to Canteen!

BB
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

The happy hour is a great deal! It had tacos, house Margaritas, wine and beer.

ES
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

I appreciate the multiple vegan and vegetarian options. My mushroom-based burrito was delicious, as were the rice and beans side dishes we ordered. Server was friendly but a little off -- possibly a newbie -- as the appetizer came out wrong and he left something on the bill that they were out of. He made it good in the end, so not a huge issue. We visited on a Sunday evening, and the small space was full and maybe a little on the too-loud side. Overall a good experience. I'm already planning a return trip to meet someone for lunch.

AK
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food & service was great. Space is small and volume was loud. Wasn't ideal for our group with 3 kids - mostly for it being so loud - was really hard to converse. Space wasn't as much of an issue because we could go outside and run around near the square to get kids energy out.

TK
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

They got 2 orders correct out if a group of 9, told us an appetizer was gluten free but was not. They did come out to tell us not to eat the nachos as they were not gluten free but someone (who has a gluten allergy) had already eaten a few.

N
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We just love this place. Great food and excellent service.

DT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Took my wife and a few of our friends here the other night for her birthday and we were all quite impressed. Food was great. Service was good. Would recommend and would go again.

OT
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

It was a cool restaurant and margaritas were amazing. However, the food i ordered was quite disappointing, the bowl was mainly cabbage and the shrimp were tiny boiled shrimps, not grilled.

RM
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

food was very good (chicken enchiladas), tap beer (Sculpin) was lukewarm and the place was too loud for ease of conversing

A
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Homemade Chips and Guac were delicious! Great vegetarian options!

CD
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a GREAT experience! The temperature at our booth was near unbearable/we froze!

LB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Glad we made a reservation as it was crowded and very busy on a recent Friday night visit. We were promptly seated at our 6 pm reservation time and service, food and drinks were all great. A gentleman, who I think may have been the owner or manager, stopped at our table to ask how our meal was and thanked us for dining at the restaurant. We had an enjoyable even and will return.

DL
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have visited Canteen twice and intend to return. Service was great, meal was fresh, and the presentation was outstanding. We seldom take pictures of our food, but we did at Canteen. Canteen is a short walk from the Overture Center, and has become our restaurant of choice prior to performances.

JL
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

Food was too salty or not well seasoned. Quite expensive for what you get.

WI
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Food was great. We had fish tacos, the sweet potato rolls, Mexican corn. Come before 5PM weekdays for 1/2 price margaritas! The churros (done like in Spain, long donuts you dip in chocolate) were awesome.

BW
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent meal made even better by helpful attention and suggestions from our server Jasmine . A totally winning final by experience! Will be back soon!!!

TD
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 4

Called an made a reservation for 15 about a week before my birthday. The restaurant said they could accommodate! I love the food here and so I really wanted to celebrate here.

I called the day of letting them know we would actually have 12 people.

We arrived at the restaurant on time, and had to wait for a table to clear up for almost 15 minutes. Turns out they have two tables of 6 for us. I really wanted everyone to sit together... they could not make it happen. If Canteen had told me this over the phone, I would’ve picked a different restaurant venue to host my birthday.

The food was amazing as usual, but the staff was not friendly. We ordered a pitcher of margaritas and I saw it sitting at the bar for more than 10 minutes while we were still waiting for drinks. At the end, the server knew it was my birthday and offered us churros and did not say they would be added to the bill. If you’re going to offer something, make sure you say that it’s going to cost the customer.

Very disappointed in the experience, but I still love the food!

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