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The Mariner's Inn, Madison, WI

The Mariner's Inn

4.6
4.6
1681 Reviews
$30 and under
American
When Bill and Betty Von Rutenberg opened The Mariner’s Inn in 1966, they set out to provide a steak and seafood dining experience like none other. Mouth watering, delicious steaks aged to perfection and an assortment of seafood from lobster to the famous Friday Fish Fry.
Bill and Betty’s sons, Bill, Jack, and Robert, along with their crew, now carry on the tradition of outstanding hospitality of von Rutenberg Ventures. Waterfront dining on the patio and a sunset over the marina make dinner at Mariner’s an evening to remember. We offer five options for dining. Dine-in, expanded outdoor seating, carryout, curbside, and dockside. Try our monthly summer Lobster Boil. You can now enjoy the lobster boils by dine-in or takeout! Advance reservations required.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 17 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Cuisines
    American, Seafood, Steak
  • Hours of operation
    Happy Hour Tue–Fri 4:30 pm–6:00 pm Dinner Tue–Thu 5:00 pm–8:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–8:30 pm
  • Phone number
    (608) 246-3120
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Smart Casual
  • Catering
    We now cater off-site events. For outstanding food and memorable hospitality, please contact us in person at any of our restaurants or call/email us regarding your next event.
  • Private party facilities
    We now can accommodate private groups. We have three private dining rooms as well as our beautiful outside waterfront lawn area available. Make your Mariner’s event even more unique by packaging it with a cruise on Betty Lou Cruises. Please ask the manager for details on how to make your next business, social or holiday gathering a memorable one.
  • Neighborhood
    Madison
  • Cross street
    Westport Road
  • Parking details
    None
  • Entertainment
    Live music outdoors every Saturday from June - August
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Indoor Fireplace, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 1,681 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4.4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Madison

    Best Value

  • Madison

    Neighborhood gem

  • Madison

    Good for special occasions

1,681 Reviews
  1. VictoriaC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service, delicious food, beautiful setting, great ambiance. Love them!

    Is this helpful?

  2. DonnaM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful food, served by fantastic staff. Enjoyed our evening out at an old fashioned supper club!???

    Is this helpful?

  3. StevenS

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2023

    overall3food3service4ambience4
    Somewhat disappointed in the food: - calamari was fine, but the traditional accompaniment, marinara sauce, was not available - rolls were fresh and warm, but lacked flavor -scallops were delicious, but the narrow rectangular serving dish made eating the accompanying pasta difficult - au gratin potatoes were undercooked; not a fan of al dente potatoes Would probably not visit again.

    Is this helpful?

  4. MichaelM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 9, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We got married at Mariners Inn seven years ago and return for several occasions. Always a wonderful experience and Jack VonRutenberg is first class host.

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  5. PaulaZ

    Naples

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 8, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great Friday night fish fry! We arrived before the restaurant was open for dinner service, but they accommodated our party of 7 for cocktails. It looked like they have a nice outdoor area, but the weather was not good enough for that. It was the perfect place after a day on the lake.

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  6. DIANAR

    Milwaukee

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on September 8, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Play food, great service, great wine. No complaints whatsoever. I like the “lite” portions that they offer!

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  7. BruceB

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 2, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    I always feel like Jack takes care of us. The server we almost have, I forgot his name s excellent. Brought my daughter, wife, her parents and brother, and they all we very pleased.

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  8. SharonD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 2, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Good service, great food and ambiance. Expensive but worth it.

    Is this helpful?

  9. MaryS

    Las Vegas

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 1, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Staff was friendly and courteous. This restaurant has been the one we have visited for over 40 years for birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. Service was excellent as was the food.

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  10. DioneL

    Milwaukee

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on September 1, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love this place for it’s history, it’s family values and of course the steak /seafood. 💗

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  11. GaryP

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 27, 2023

    overall4food3service4ambience3
    We were greeted and shown to our table promptly. Our hostess/waitress were both attentive and our entrees were served timely. A nearby table was celebrating a little too loud. Though the prices were a little high, the food was tasty and prepared to our liking.

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  12. KatieA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 26, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Server Sydney was amazing! She did a great job and had incredible service, she was great!

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  13. TheresaB

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 19, 2023

    overall1food5service1ambience3
    We had a 6:00 reservation but was not seated for 20 minutes. Took another 40 minutes to receive drinks. One was not made correctly and was sent back for a different drink which was also horrible. Bartender clearly did not know what he/she was doing. Ordered dinner at 7:05, received it about 8:00. The waiter had too many people and too many tables to keep up with although he was trying his best. I felt sorry for him. Food was wonderful thank goodness and cooked perfectly. I had asked for something special for my mom's 90th Birthday which was that day but nothing was said or done. We didn't get to leave until 9:00, 3 hours for a dinner. That is way too long to have to wait. An hour and 1/2 would have been good. I would not recommend Mariner's at this time to a friend due to the amount of time it took to get served.

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  14. RicG

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 13, 2023

    overall2food1service3ambience4
    Filet for me and my wife was terrible. Had an oily taste as if pan fried with vegetable oil. It also had a “freezer burn” taste which we concluded to be impossible at a steak house. Very disappointed.

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  15. DavidW

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 12, 2023

    overall4food4service3ambience3
    My wife's fish (walleye) and my filet were both very good. We sat outside on the "patio" which was ground level. While it is advertised as on the water, it is quite a stretch to see the water. It was a Saturday night and crowded so our hour long wait was expected. Wait staff was thin as, apparently was the kitchen staff. All in all it deserves a first try.

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  16. MitchH

    Indiana

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 12, 2023

    overall3food4service4ambience5
    Feels like very much a local spot where everyone knows everyone. An older crowd but still very fun and lively. Very courteous host. Live music and supper club feel. With that said, I’m likely going to pass on doing dinner here again. Not a great value. Had ants in my water. Asked for another, got ants again and sent it back. Waitress was clearly embarrassed and felt bad but hard to enjoy your meal when that happens right off the bat.

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  17. OpenTable Diner

    Phoenix

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 10, 2023

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Amazing food and delightful staff! Thursday’s are great, they have live music!

    Is this helpful?

  18. ScottE

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 8, 2023

    overall5food5service3ambience5
    Everything was great but I feet we were kind of rushed, reason being we were never offered more drinks nor any choices of desert. I also noticed she forgot another tables deserts and ended up giving them free.

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  19. RJPAKP

    Milwaukee

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on August 5, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Great Manhattan , bartenders are always great. Wonderful service and food was delicious. We like dining here, very comfortable.

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  20. SteveS

    Milwaukee

    2 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 4, 2023

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    I went there on a Friday night and had one of the fish specials. It was a perfectly sized portion and the fish were served with a heated butter dish. Relaxing environment. Good steady crowd with minimal wait times. They also have an outdoor seating area if you prefer.

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  21. travelpuppy

    Milwaukee

    81 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    81 reviews

    Dined on August 4, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had an excellent time. Sat outside great view, live music, fantastic service. Hannah made our evening perfect. We both had haddock I had the baked and my husband had the fried, it was fantastic the baked came with drawn butter. We added the salad, with warm rolls. Desert key lime pie It was a very relaxing evening.

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  22. Phyl123

    Milwaukee

    54 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    54 reviews

    Dined on August 4, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    As always at Mariner's, our meals were delicious and the service was friendly and attentive.

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  23. OpenTable Diner

    Milwaukee

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 30, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Had a couple friends in town looking for seafood and we decided it was the perfect summer evening for dining out on the waterfront patio at Mariner's! We were so glad we did! We were greeted pleasantly at the door and enjoyed summer-themed cocktails at the bar while our table was being prepared. Our table outside was nicely shaded with a great view of the water. There was an acoustical guitarist, Ken Wheaton who was performing which provided the perfect background music while a couple of Sandhill Crane flew overhead. We were also very pleased to learn they had extended their restaurant week menu into Saturday so we were able to get a 3 course meal at a special price which included all of our favorites! The Walleye, Shrimp-stuffed Salmon, and Clam Chowder were exceptional as were all 3 desserts- Chocolate mousse, Door County Cherry Cheesecake & their famous Key Lime pie! The service couldn't be better as our waitress was very friendly and attentive filling our water glasses often and checking in on us frequently. It was an exceptional experience but not unexpected as there's a reason why the Von Rutenberg's have been part of the Madison landscape for as many years as they have. We love Mariner's Inn and will continue to come back!

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  24. jocan

    Milwaukee

    106 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    106 reviews

    Dined on July 29, 2023

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Restaurant week menu was available. Food was good but my steak was more rare than medium as was asked for. Service was great and the location and ambiance are always good

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  25. OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 28, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Friendly staff. They let us sit outside while waiting for our table and were super accommodating.

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  26. Elsa

    Los Angeles

    6 reviews

    2.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 28, 2023

    overall2food3service2ambience3
    It’s our fault that we didn’t know it was Restaurant Week when we made a reservation and therefore weren’t allowed the full menu, which we would have preferred. It’s the restaurant’s fault that they didn’t manage their guests and we were seated 30 minutes after our reservation. Also, it seems outside Restaurant Week protocol to charge extra for sides. Food was okay. Drinks were good.

    Is this helpful?

  27. alimay

    Milwaukee

    42 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    42 reviews

    Dined on July 28, 2023

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    While my salmon was very good and the appetizer (4 small shrimp - called a "cocktail") and a very slim slice of cheesecake I think for the price they should have thrown in the glazed carrots I bought or a potato. $40 for 3 items is a lot of money. Just saying.

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  28. OpenTable Diner

    Milwaukee

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 28, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We enjoyed a wonderful meal of filet mignonette and lobster. Everything was prepared well; and a starter of shrimp cocktail was delish.

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  29. MaryB

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 27, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Mariner's Inn in Madison for Restaurant Week. Clam chowder was rich and delicious. Filet and lobster tail perfectly seasoned and cooked. New York strip the same. Beautiful bottle of Cabernet. Best chocolate mousse ever!!! Our waiter, Jim, made us feel right at home. Thinking of visiting again next month for their Lobster Boil.

    Is this helpful?

  30. MichaelV

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 27, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We attended Madison Restaurant Week at Mariner's Inn. It is truly a old time Wisconsin Supper Club experience. Good drinks, friendly and attentive waitstaff (Faith was great) and the steak and lobster dinner was fabulous.

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  31. MaryS

    Naples

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 27, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was restaurant week so quite busy. I splurged and had steak and lobster - DELICIOUS! The steak was melt in your mouth good as always and the lobster was sweet and tasty. They had a special salad with berries and pecans etc that was excellent and dessert was included - key lime pie for us and chocolate mousse for our companion. Two had walleye - huge and great and one had rib eye - can’t beat their steaks. We also couldn’t be there without getting their hash browns. Michelle our waitstaff was great

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  32. PaulB

    Milwaukee

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 23, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Stopped in for restaurant week. Whole experience was great. Server was outstanding. Would definitely come back.

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  33. PeggyD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 23, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service and food. Busy night due to Restuarant week, but staff did a great job. Steak and Lobster was very good as was the Jumbo Shrimp and of course the Hash Browns - good as always. Also had a great Martini at the classic bar and wine with dinner!

    Is this helpful?

  34. JoeC

    Milwaukee

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on July 21, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We dinned outside to listen to a musician. Great food with good music made it a wonderful date night.

    Is this helpful?

  35. MaryS

    Naples

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 21, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was excellent as was waitstaff even though very busy Friday night. Steak was extremely tender and delicious and the perch fish fry and the shrimp was also very good. Chicken strips and cheese curds were a hit for the kids. The decadent chocolate dessert was out of this world

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  36. wilco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 21, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    our waiter rob is excellent. we've had him wait on us a number of times,always good.

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  37. Johnny

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 16, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The setting is wonderful. Every table enjoys the scenery. The menu is complete. The food is spectacular. The steak was perfect (I like it rare!) Salad and greens were delightfully fresh and crisp.

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  38. freddy

    Milwaukee

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 13, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food ,excellent service ,I would recommend

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  39. ToddT

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 8, 2023

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Delicious food, short staffed but helpful and friendly wait staff

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  40. OpenTable Diner

    Milwaukee

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great server. Food was great! Fish fry and shrimp are very good here.

    Is this helpful?

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

The Mariner's Inn offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (608) 246-3120.

The Mariner's Inn is rated 4.6 stars by 1681 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 17 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Google Map for The Mariner's Inn

5339 Lighthouse Bay Dr, Madison, WI 53704

Additional information

  • Cross street
    Westport Road
  • Neighborhood
    Madison
  • Hours of operation
    Happy Hour Tue–Fri 4:30 pm–6:00 pm Dinner Tue–Thu 5:00 pm–8:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–8:30 pm
  • Cuisines
    American, Seafood, Steak
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Smart Casual
  • Parking details
    None
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Entertainment
    Live music outdoors every Saturday from June - August
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Indoor Fireplace, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Phone number
    (608) 246-3120
  • Catering
    We now cater off-site events. For outstanding food and memorable hospitality, please contact us in person at any of our restaurants or call/email us regarding your next event.
  • Private party facilities
    We now can accommodate private groups. We have three private dining rooms as well as our beautiful outside waterfront lawn area available. Make your Mariner’s event even more unique by packaging it with a cruise on Betty Lou Cruises. Please ask the manager for details on how to make your next business, social or holiday gathering a memorable one.
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