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Cottage Cafe

In a word: Mourning the loss of Allie B's? Cottage Cafe is even better.

The specs: #0099
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, Lectori Salutem, Gastropacalypse; Cottage Cafe on Urbanspoon

Latest Cottage Cafe news and reviews

JM ate the chicken tenders with coleslaw with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the Cottage Platter breakfast with a coffee.
The bill was $16, or $8/person, plus tip, but you could do much cheaper.
JM and Nichole both gave Cottage Cafe an A (see our grading rubric).

We've gotten more and more partial to the cheaper end of the Madison dining scene. Portabella mushroom sandwiches and espresso beverages lose their lustre after a while and one gets to longing for some down-to-earth cooking. In this, Cottage Cafe is the latest place to excel.

Nichole's Cottage Platter (scrambled eggs, sausage, cheesy hashbrowns and toast) was tasty, though next time she'll be sure to ask for Swiss or cheddar cheese as the American default was a bit of a letdown.

JM's chicken tenders were more chicken than tender, but good nonetheless.  The cole slaw was crisp and but the dressing lasted to the end (a tough mix to match) and the lemonade was quite good.

Other things to love about Cottage Cafe:

  • The waitress offered salsa for the eggs, without being asked.
  • Raisin toast.
  • Cheddarwurst is a breakfast meat option. On Wisconsin!
  • The bathrooms were the cleanest ever.
  • Excluding steak dishes, nothing on the menu is over $5.89, and that's the half a fried chicken (so tip generously).
  • Spicy carrot cake (eat your veggies):

Carrot cake


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I was not satisfied at all with the customer service. I had paid for my bill with my debit card and was charged three times at a price almost three dollars more than my bill. The managers seemed too busy and were not fast to fix my problem. I went in during my lunch break at my job and called several times. The wait staff was rude when I asked to speak with the owner, saying that they were too busy with tables and the manager was too busy to talk to me. I kept being told to come back and my problem would be taken care of. This happened on a Friday and I was told by the owner it would be taken care of by Saturday, that turned to Monday, and it was finally taken care of on Tuesday. Cottage Cafe left a bad taste in my mouth and a dent in my checking account. I will never return. Two thumbs way down!

Okay, so I know that the previous comment is 3+ years old, but it still bugs me. I have never had a problem with ANY of the service at CC, register or otherwise. The staff is friendly and sweet, the food is inexpensive and down-to-earth. Perfect remedy for fine dining exhaustion.

My mom took me to Cottage Cafe for breakfast not long ago, saying it was one of my dad's old favorites. Best. French Toast. Evah! Wow. Gotta get back over there for more.

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Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

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