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The Mariner's Inn, Madison, WI

The Mariner's Inn

4.6
4.6
1474 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

June 2022
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7:00 PM


Booked 19 times today

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–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:30 pm–10:00 pm Sun 4:30 pm–9:00 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

Popular dishes

What 1,474 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
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Madison

    Best Service

  • Madison

    Good for Groups

  • Madison

    Outdoor Dining

  • Madison

    Romantic

  • Madison

    Special Occasion

Sort by

Filters

  1. CO

    CurtisO

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined today

    overall5food5service4ambience4

    The food was very good and the service was good. We also enjoyed the cheesecake with Door County 🍒

  2. LS

    LeslieS

    Phoenix

    5 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall3food4service3ambience3

    Mariner's is a long-standing Madison waterfront restaurant offering top quality food. This evening, however, was disjointed. Our salads were received in a timely manner, but the entrees took a long time to come out from the kitchen. Even then, an accompanying order of hash brown potatoes were not served for another six minutes. All of the entrees were cool rather than being hot, as expected. Was the kitchen backed up? Did our waiter have too many tables to serve? This is a restaurant where a rating of 5 would be the norm. But, not last night.

  3. SH

    ScottH

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall2food1service1ambience5

    Ambience and outdoor seating/music was great. Ordered 3 steaks medium rare and all came back well done. Service was slow too - must be understaffed. Hard to justify a $40 steak.

  4. N

    Neighbor

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Nice quiet place to have dinner with your favorite friend.

  5. S

    Sascott

    Naples

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Delicious food! We had the jumbo shrimp and tenderloin with grilled onions and exceptionally good mushrooms added. Attentive service and good Old Fashioneds.

  6. L

    Larbud

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall4food5service4ambience5

    Food was good as expected. Waitress was obviously new and struggling but we made it through! Love. Mariner’s Inn !

  7. MW

    MarilynW

    Milwaukee

    15 reviews

    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service4ambience5

    We each ordered the walleye dinner, and it was scrumptious. Thank you, Mariner's Inn!

  8. r

    ronaldw

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    Welcoming - always delicious food (surf and turf) - great drinks. family run. A good choice any night.

  9. l

    lrcutler

    Milwaukee

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Outstanding on every level, great food, great service great atmosphere

  10. DD

    DanielD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Wonderful experience at a great place. Steak was the best I've had in a very long time. Service and the view was great.

  11. EG

    EricG

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great staff, super kind and attentive service, and some of the best steak I've ever had. Thanks for an incredible night!

  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 3, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience2

    Even though we booked same day outdoor dining, when we arrived at the restaurant they told us the outdoor area was closed. They seemed surprised we expected to eat outside. So we were off to a bad start. The cocktails were lackluster, service was mediocre. We won’t eat here again.

  13. JH

    JayH

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Surprisingly not busy like it usually is so that made the dining experience even better. Food and service were excellent

  14. JK

    JeffK

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Our experience could not have been better. We will be back again very soon.

  15. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 28, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4

    Dinner with friends for my Birthday. The staff was friendly and attentive. The food was wonderful. We had a great view of the water. It was a fun evening.

  16. T

    Tommy

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Everything was great. Service and good excellent. Fun to watch the geese with their little ones.

  17. l

    lrcutler

    Milwaukee

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    excellent food and service as always, wonderful place to have quiet upscale dinner. Have been going there for 40 years.

  18. WL

    WiLocalDiners

    Milwaukee

    7 reviews

    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 20, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience5

    This was a celebration dinner for our nephew’s college graduation. He had never been to Mariner’s before so we wanted to take him someplace very special. The hostess and meal were fabulous. I’m sure it’s tough to train with the constant turnover of staff, so when we tried to pay with Madison Originals gift certificates saved electronically on my phone, our waitress had no idea how to deal with it. I tried to explain the payment method. She asked for a physical gift certificate, but that’s not the way many of the Madison Originals certificates work. The waitress commented that if the certificate “didn’t go through”, she would have to pay the bill. She needed to talk with management, and then came back and said she could only take 1 certificate. We didn’t understand this as we had purchased these certificates full price and they should be same as cash at any Madison Originals restaurant. We payed part of the bill using a $100 Madison Originals electronic certificate, and paid the rest of the bill by another means. Jack was busy with other customers when we left, but I’d really like Jack to know about this issue and hopefully update training with his staff so no other customers have this issue.

  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 17, 2022

    overall4food5service1ambience5

    While we loved the food and the general atmosphere, the service we received from our waitresses was far from good. She spent who knows how long very loudly telling us about all of the “cheap” options in the menu, and telling us how we could enjoy this item more since it was so much less expensive than the rest. Even the people at the table next to us seemed taken aback by her extremely loud suggestions. And as we watched her interact with her other tables we noticed that she did NOT do the same thing to anyone else there. While we weren’t dressed in designer clothing we also weren’t dressed in rags to suggest we couldn’t afford the food here. Maybe she just didn’t know how to interact with Latinos since we seemed to be the only table in the restaurant contained them. We will probably go back again because the food was excellent but if we get this waitress again we will probably just leave instead.

  20. PM

    PatrickM

    Chicago

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    A very nice experience with a very solicitous staff and very good food.

  21. d

    drbeth

    Milwaukee

    16 reviews

    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    We went to Mariner’s Inn to celebrate my son’s college graduation from WISCONSIN. The location is very nice right on the northern shores of Lake Mendota with a view of a small marina. The decor is boating themed and well done. The service was phenomenal although, as has become typical and expected, the restaurant is short staffed so it took a bit longer than usual for us to finish our meal. All of the staff was pitching in to help each other out which was nice to see. I did not catch the name of our server but she was obviously very experienced. The food was delicious. My only criticism is that the surf & turf is steak and shrimp instead of steak and lobster and we couldn’t substitute lobster for the shrimp so we had to order a steak to split and twin lobster tails to share but it still worked out fine. The prices on the menu also did not match the prices on the website either so the website needs to be updated. Prices are about $5-8 more per entree. The menu was also a pared down version of the full menu on the website, maybe because it was graduation weekend or because of supply chain issues? They have a nice drink selection and desserts and dessert drinks as well. Overall, a very good experience and would go back and recommend to others.

  22. DR

    DenaR

    Milwaukee

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Graduation

  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Minneapolis

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4

    Only had celebration menu which was not advertised when I made the reservation

  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Milwaukee

    31 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience3

    The Mariners Inn had its hey day back in the 80s. We went there for a graduation meal and we definitely overpaid. The server was excellent almost too fast, almost rushing us, but I’d rather have a speedy server than a very slow server, so I gave her a four. The menu was a special one for UW graduation weekend and they charged prices like Eddie Martini’s‘s or Rare, but the cut of meat was more like Ponderosa. Would have been fine it had been a $200 meal for 6 people, but it was a lot more. Nothing was bad, but value for money was very low and the decor is pretty rustic.

  25. BS

    BrettS

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall3food2service3ambience4

    I realize it was graduation weekend in Madison, but we were not happy to find out there was a very limited menu presented to us from the main menu once we were seated at the table. There was no indication this was the case when making the reservation well in advance nor when we arrived to the restaurant nor on the website. The limited menu was far from the main one online. I understand it was busy and there were most likely staffing issues, but our waitress while very nice, was very inexperienced. We were seated at the correct time based on our reservation and did have a nice drink at the bar prior to being seated. There was no bread brought to the table when it clearly stated even for a limited menu, it was part of the meals. The food in a lot of ways seemed to be pre-prepared probably expecting to be very busy, but by doing that, there lacked freshness especially in the salads. The steaks lacked seasoning, but seemed to be cooked correctly and the shrimp was very good. Again, I know it probably was a busier than normal night and I am definitely not a complainer at restaurants, but at this price point of $50+ per meal we were left less than impressed.

  26. a

    aldrewno

    Chicago

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    our favorite supper club great ownership and nice crowd

  27. S

    Savanna

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    We celebrated my graduation this past weekend and everything was incredible. The service, the view, the drinks, and the food were all exceptional.

  28. BC

    BillC

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Mariners Inn never disappoints. We will be back soon.

  29. I

    Impatient

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall3food4service4ambience3

    For the second time, we were not seated until almost an hour after our reservation time. Food can’t make up for tge discomfort of sitting in a hard chair or standing for thus amount of time.

  30. MT

    MichaelT

    Milwaukee

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    We were there for Mother’s Day. Michelle was very busy as the restaurant was full and we received great service. Great job. Thank you

  31. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4

    It’s was good food and a nice place but we noticed the extreme markup for Mother’s Day compared to the same dishes they serve during normal business days. The 8oz fillet was marked up $20 to $55 for Mother’s Day night compared to the $35 it’s normally sold for on regular nights and the dish was identical. I will go for regular dinner but probably not for special occasions such as valentines or Mother’s Day etc.

  32. c

    cbw2911

    Milwaukee

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4

    The brunch buffet was very nice, marvelous variety of foods and remained well stocked.

  33. SC

    StevenC

    Milwaukee

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    A great place for a date night or to meet friends

  34. FM

    FamilyMayhem

    Milwaukee

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on May 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great food, great service, perfect weekday evening spur of the moment date night!

  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Fabulous steaks, wonderful, friendly service both at bar and at the table. Highly recommend!

  36. BL

    BigLol

    Milwaukee

    36 reviews

    5.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on April 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Our dinner was excellent!! Lovely server who was patient and attentive. Excellent way to celebrate!

  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on April 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great meal

  38. VM

    VacoMom

    Milwaukee

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    From our greeting at the door to our server, the staff was awesome! The food was outstanding especially the Clam Chowder! Our family enjoyed celebrating a birthday—highly recommend!

  39. F

    Foodlovegood

    Milwaukee

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on April 22, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5

    We always have a great Family Friday fish fry at Mariner’s Inn.

  40. a

    acer1

    Naples

    178 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    178 reviews

    Dined on April 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Fantastic as always!!!

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 1474 OpenTable diners.

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

Make a reservation

2 people

June 2022
Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
7:00 PM


Booked 19 times today
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–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:30 pm–10:00 pm Sun 4:30 pm–9:00 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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