« Mickey's Tavern | Main | Mildred's Sandwich Shop »

Mickies Dairy Bar

Mickie's Dairy BarIn a word: Storied diner sans portion control.

The specs: #0385
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, Quomodocumque; pictures of coffee cake, milkshake, and scrambler at Taylor Takes a Taste; Mickies Dairy Bar on Urbanspoon

Latest Mickies Dairy Bar news and reviews

JM ate the French toast and English muffin.
Josh ate the regular buttermilk pancakes.
Nichole ate the griddle cakes with apples, raisins and oatmeal with a coffee.
Stef ate the cheddar omelette and a cinnamon roll.
The bill was $25, or $6.25/person, plus tip.
Nichole gave Mickies Dairy Bar an A-; JM and Josh gave Mickies Dairy Bar a B+; Stef gave Mickies Dairy Bar a B (see our grading rubric).

We're not sure about the name, however, as the only dairy on our table was cream and butter, and of course we could have gotten a malt, shake or sundae with our breakfast. But it seems like they could have milked the dairy thing a little more given this place's connection to the heart (and arteries) of Badger football. Go big or go home, we guess.

We admired the handwritten menu on the wall, which is huge, impressive, and very competitively priced, but placed such that half your party will have to crane their necks to read it. So if you go, make the limber people (or those who know what they want) sit facing the door. Many folks bypass the menu altogether and just get the famous scramble of eggs with your choice of filling, cheddar cheese, and gravy with a side of "yanks," Mickies' signature fried potatoes.


Cinnamon rollStef's cinnamon roll was first to arrive, and she reported that it was light, fluffy and not too cinnamon-y, with icing of just the right sweetness.

OmeletWithin a few moments more our hot dishes had arrived. Most eye-catching was the cheese omelette, an unconventional sheet of tasty egg and cheddar folded into a square. It wasn't fluffy, but it was good, and garnished with orange and parsley.

The pancakes inspired poetry in Josh:

Buttermilk pancakesHeavy in weight
Nice in flavor
One would be plenty

Oatmeal pancakesOne oat griddle cake would definitely have been enough for a meal. (We all were awed by the waitress' strength getting these hefty plates to the table without clocking any of our fellow diners in the back of the head.) The fragrant oat pancakes were memorable - apple slices and raisins in the batter made each bite like a forkful of cinnamon-loaded oatmeal in convenient cake form. The raisins plumped up while the apples retained their shape and tartness.Syrup was hardly needed.

French toastJM's French toast flotilla was basically four slices of cinnamon roll lashed together with egg batter. It was chewy but not as toothsome as some he's had. His English muffin was not so hot, as it wasn't really toasted, and was only middle of the pack for flavor.

Mickies' portions on the griddle fare are so ostentatiously bigger than they need to be that it seems to us that they're trying to take on too much. It's definitely not a leisurely eating place, as the waiting line of people was giving us guilt for lingering. And good luck getting a seat at all on a football Saturday. But Mickies is worth a visit and ongoing support as the neighborhood changes around it (European-style hotel?), as it surely lives up to its revered placement in Madison lore.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The corned-beef hash here is absolutely ace.

Some of my UW students claim that Mickies offers the most calories per dollar of any eating establishment in Madison. I believe them. Eat a meal at Mickies and you won't need to eat again that day.

Love the prices but the food is very hit or miss. I've had truly horrific congealed messes of oil passed as eggs here but also a truly memorable buckwheat pancake. Also, weekends are a mess of undergrads lined around the corner engendering filthy tables, silverware, and bathroom. This is sort of a 'real' Madison place worth visiting once, but there are so many better breakfast places in town that aren't significantly more expensive that I'd give Mickie's a pass if you're over 21.

Great review! Mickie's is one of our favorite breakfasts in Madison. It's definitely true about the pancakes - two of us usually split one order (with some to spare).

How can you go to Mickies Dairy Bar and not get a malt or shake?! Blasphemy I say. Their shakes are so good and so is the scrambler. 'A' for sure.

F.Y.I. -- The restaurant was originally named Mickie's Dairy Bar because about 1/4 (or less) of the restaurant was sort of a small grocery store, consisting of a refrigerated dairy case with milk, cheese, butter, etc., and a few shelves stocked with basic food items. I've been a patron of Mickies since about 1975 ... I recall that the dairy case and grocery shelves were removed in the mid to late 70's.

Mickey's at breakfast and mickey's all day long are two different places. In the morning it's breakfast all the way. The oatmeal cakes are my favorite mostly because as a poor broke college student a half a pancake totally feeds me and the other 1.5 are enough to keep me going for at least another day. But in the afternoon, or even better after a game just walk across the street and grab a malt hence the dairy bar. whether we won or lost the game the malt makes it all okay.

Quintessential americana diner experience. Expect bustling crowds and greasy spoon food. A staple of Madison, one of the places you have to try atleast once.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.


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."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



About Follow madisonatoz on Twitter Contact
Blogroll Ad 
Free Blog
Read our book and food tour
Dish du jour Creative Commons License subscribe to RSS Subscribe
Memo to restaurants Bloggers' Rights at EFF Quizzes
Reflections BlogWithIntegrity.com Tip jar
Banner image by Kayla Morelli, Red Wheelbarrow Design