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The Mariner's Inn, Madison, WI

The Mariner's Inn

4.3
4.3
1550 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 8 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–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

Popular dishes

What 1,550 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

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

4.3
4.3 based on recent ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Madison

    Special Occasion

Sort by

Filters

  1. GB

    GregoryB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    My wife and I enjoyed her birthday dinner of both steak and shrimp, both were excellent. The atmosphere was cozy and the wait staff very attentive and friendly.
  2. KC

    KevinC

    Minneapolis

    27 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on November 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, cocktails, wine and service!
  3. JD

    JohnD

    Milwaukee

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always one of our favorite restaurants. Good food. Great service. Terrific location on Lake Mendota.
  4. PH

    PattyH

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food and service was outstanding! The atmosphere was very welcoming.
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 4, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    Loved the Mariner and you will too! Open Table worked with our request to be on a window. Food was great! Atmosphere is outstanding! Our waiter was a rookie but tried to do his best. Will definitely visit again.
  6. SH

    SenaH

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 27, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely amazing! Loved the service, the staff was so nice and friendly. Our food came out so quickly and it was hot and fresh and delicious. The decor was so beautiful and fun- reminded me of an old fishing ambiance. Highly recommend.
  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Staff was great and food was also great. Keep the family businesses alive. Eat local and shop local.
  8. N

    Nancy

    Chicago

    28 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on October 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I had the broiled fish and it was prepared to perfection - delicious! In addition, our server we friendly, welcoming and funny. I wish I had gotten his name but, unfortunately, I did not. I highly recommend this restaurant.
  9. k

    kaylacatherine

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 14, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience3
    Our waitress was very overwhelmed between all of the tables (which was no fault of hers) She did tell us they had her running from opposite ends of the restaurants. I wish she would have more time to check in. Also, the bar did get our drinks wrong. Otherwise, the food was amazing like always, the drinks were even good. I want to thank the waitress for correcting the issues when we brought them up. She did a fantastic job even though they had her spread so thin
  10. GD

    GeneD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 12, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Excellent service, prompt attention for ordering drinks and entre. We arrived at 5:20 and were done by 6:20. Very friendly and attentive staff. Food was excellent. This was our first trip to Mariners in 20 years and we will be back!
  11. L

    Lulu

    Milwaukee

    12 reviews

    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on October 11, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Prices have been raised past a reasonable point. $10 a glass, for a local wine that retails for $12 a bottle.......come on man!!!
  12. GT

    GreggT

    Milwaukee

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on October 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always great food and service at Mariner's. We've been coming for about 50 years. Steaks are excellent but also the seafood, shrimp, and the cod. Jack will greet you at the door. Great servers including Doug mixing drinks. Great views of the harbor in the summer and outside seating on a nice day.
  13. LW

    LizW

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We just dined at the Mariner’s Inn for the first time and it is absolutely amazing! We will definitely be regulars here, the food was delicious and the staff was so friendly we felt like we’ve been coming there for years.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Milwaukee

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 7, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Like the dinner overall. Always a good choice. Everything on the menu is very pleasing.
  15. MG

    MadisonGal

    Milwaukee

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food was delicious and, unlike many other restaurants, fairly quiet.. Our waiter was overwhelmed with diners, but he was friendly and efficient.
  16. RL

    RandyL

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Great service and good food. Steaks not exactly what we ordered as far as cut and doneness. Great hashbrowns as a side. All and all we will go back
  17. d

    davec

    Indiana

    7 reviews

    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    The steaks were cooked as ordered and our group enjoyed the meal. Our young server, Michael, do a fine job. My strip steak was not as tender as I remember from the past. It's possible I'm just getting older.
  18. MS

    MarthaS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Michelle was a delightful server - prompt, friendly, and attentive. Food quality was excellent with our meat cooked to desired doneness. Blessed to have this treasure in our backyard!
  19. JP

    JaneP

    Milwaukee

    15 reviews

    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on September 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had an outstanding meal with wonderful service. Our server told us that we were her first table at her new job. She was helpful, friendly and accurate . We love Mariners and look forward to going back.
  20. JE

    JENNIFER

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 30, 2022

    overall2food3service3ambience2
    We were their for our 5yr anniversary , nobody asked us if we were celebrating something. But asked all the other male/female cpls and groups. My lobster was way over done. The horseradish sauce with the calamari was literally sour cream and mayo. My sour cream for my baked potato had more of a garlic taste. My wife's au gratin potatoes were more of a hashbrown and mashed potato mix. Steak was tender but no flavor. The ceiling tile above my head was ready to fall. The atmosphere wasn't a pleasant one overall. For as much as u charge, all of this and more should be better. A lesbian cpl, who are married shouldn't feel as if there anniversary doesnt matter. I do not see us ever going back.
  21. SQ

    SuzyQ

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Stop at the bar for tasty cocktails before sitting down for dinner. Kudos to the bartender ! The environment of the restaurant was comfy cosy. We had a window seat so we really enjoyed the view of the lake. Service was fast and helpful. Meals were prepared perfectly and arrived nice and hot. I would highly recommend a visit to The Mariner's Inn. You won't be disappointed !
  22. RB

    RobertB

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 18, 2022

    overall2food2service1ambience5
    Very disappointing. I have been frequenting Mariners for many years and although I understand everyone is having staffing problems, the service was terrible. All the food from chowder to steak was served at room temperature. Because we had 8 people at the table, we did not send the food back because I assume Mariners does not have 8 microwaves. Also, hash browns with a slice of cheese is not world-famous Betty would be very displeased.
  23. f

    finedining

    Palm Springs

    9 reviews

    2.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience1
    We arrived at 6pm for 6:15 reservations. We were seated at 6:45 after several parties that arrived after us were seated. I approached, John, the owner and asked why the delay. Once seated, We waited for 15 minutes before our waitress took our order for a bottle of wine….which took another 29 minutes before it arrived at the table. Our appetizers, bread, salad and entree took a total of 3 hours after our original reservations. We had out of town guest, I noted on our Open Table reservations that we were celebrating birthdays which they never acknowledged. I would and could never recommend this restaurant to anyone. Our $350 plus tab reflected poor service and a total disregard for the people that pay their bills.
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Milwaukee

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Birthday dinner and amazing experience .. love love this place and highly recommend for special occasion or date night
  25. P

    Pdot

    Los Angeles

    211 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    211 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    The $$ values in the description of the venue should be reevaluated. The cost of the meals were higher than we were led to believe in the description.
  26. MS

    MaryS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We enjoyed our meal and our time at Mariners. We were very well taken care of by our server. I rated the ambiance only 4 because there are some uneven floor surfaces that seem like they should be taken care of for safety reasons. That said, we would definitely go again when we're in the area.
  27. P

    Phyl123

    Milwaukee

    52 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    52 reviews

    Dined on September 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Delicious meals and generous portions, as always. Friendly, attentive service too.
  28. MS

    MaryS

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 1, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience3
    This restaurant has been great for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries and for our 49th wedding anniversary we chose to go there again. Major disappointment this time. Although not very busy, we had to wait over an hour for our waitress to come to our table, while another waiter seated and served 3 other parties who came after us. We finally had to complain, and our waitress finally showed up. It then took another 30 minutes to get our meals. My steak was underdone with blood still running out when I asked for medium well. We had to ask for refills for our water and soda. The hash browns were very greasy this time. I had notified Open Table, that this was our wedding anniversary and no mentions was made of it. It used to be an excellent celebration with the staff for any special occasion, not a word was said. In an attempt to make up for the 90 minute wait, the waitress brought one key lime pie for 2 of us and this time, not as good as it used to be. This wil be our last visit to this restaurant.
  29. JM

    JMNIII

    Chicago

    36 reviews

    5.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on August 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, service and location. We did outdoor dining and really enjoyed the view and live music.
  30. MP

    MarkP

    Milwaukee

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on August 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great quality of food, great service, waterfront views.
  31. DD

    DeanneD

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 25, 2022

    overall2food1service2ambience3
    Third time in a row food was cold and undercooked. Waiter didn’t know if there was a special. Which vege was available. We have had many many meals over the years but we will no longer keep hoping they will improve ☹️
  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 23, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience2
    Overpriced meal for sitting on plastic patio chairs. Weeds and cattails need to be cut down to provide a view of the harbor. Took an hour and a half to receive our entrees.
  33. JZ

    JohnZ

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 20, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    First time, overall a good experience. Friends loved it!
  34. CP

    CindyP

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything was top notch. The best clam chowder ever-shrimp were amazing. Cocktails generous. We used to go more often but moved away and now I remember why we went more often.
  35. L

    Lynn

    Milwaukee

    54 reviews

    5.0

    54 reviews

    Dined on August 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I love dining at Mariner's. Their food and their service is always great!
  36. EF

    EFunk

    Milwaukee

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on August 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food was pretty good, and we especially loved the cheese curd as well as the stuffed mushrooms. The waitress who served us was friendly, smart and funny. We will definitely return again.
  37. L

    Lynn

    Milwaukee

    54 reviews

    5.0

    54 reviews

    Dined on August 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Mariner’s never disappoints. Great service! Great food!
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Service was excellent! Attentive and timely. We requested a window aide table in our reservation and that was honored. Beautiful view and great food from cocktails to dessert. Excellent server!
  39. A

    Antonio

    Milwaukee

    3 reviews

    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 12, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience2
    Underseasoned steaks. The quality of the steaks is also poor, not sure where they are buying their steaks, but are rubbery. Service was slow, took multiple requests to get a glass. Overpriced, not worth it at all. Do not recommend, save your money and the drive.
  40. CD

    CynthiaD

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Went there for our anniversary and would do it again. Great service and food.

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 4.3 stars by 1550 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 8 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–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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