The Green Owl Cafe

Madison, Wisconsin

4.3 / 22 votes

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Madison's only vegetarian restaurant

Restaurant, Coffee/Tea/Juice, Bar

The Green Owl is Madison's first vegetarian restaurant in many years. Options include tofu crabby cakes, po' boys, bbq jackfruit sandwiches, vegan Italian beef sandwiches, schnitzel and more. Vegan items are marked.

From the website: Jennie Capellaro has created delicious vegetarian and vegan food for years, including highly-acclaimed soups for Mother Fool's Coffeehouse and Alchemy.

Added by conde.kedar on Oct 23 09 (last updated Jul 27 11)

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Most Recent Reviews

Image for Benjamin Kutschied

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My wife and I took a detour through Madison recently and enjoyed a great dining experience at The Green Owl Cafe.

The atmosphere was unique with owl kitsch scattered about and a couple of different art installations including one with pictures of animals from an animal sanctuary. The dining room is a long hallway that opens up at the back of the restaurant with tables scrunched together rather... intimately. The friendly and casual staff did a great job chatting everyone up and making customers feel comfortable in close quarters.

The food was outstanding. The vegan chipotle remoulade (on the Crabby Cakes appetizer)
alone was worth the trip. I regret not asking whether I could purchase a jar to take home with me. We had two sandwiches for our main course: BBQ Jackfruit and Vegetarian Italian Beef. Jackfruit was a great "meaty" choice for a vegetable-based BBQ sandwich. The Italian Beef was one of the most impressive veganized meat dishes I've ever had. It brought me back fifteen years to eating at Johnny's in Chicago. I'm not sure whether they have it available daily, but the Chai Cake was great as well. Although I was in a Madison beer mood that night, they also have house-made kombucha available.

The Green Owl has a great staff, 100% vegetarian menu, clearly marked vegan options, and some of the best food around.

Image for Dave Rolsky

rating star

I've eaten at The Green Owl for dinner twice and brunch once. Everything I've had has ranged from good to excellent. The standouts for me are the desserts. The Chocolate Lava Cake is absolutely fantastic, and the cinnamon rolls they have at brunch are delicious. I've also tried their vegan cheesecake, which is one of the best I've had.

The schnitzel is good, but the menu describes it as coming with a creamy porcini mushroom sauce. In fact, what you get is a blob of chopped mushrooms held together in a tight ball by some sort of creamyish stuff. It's not really a sauce, though. The "fish fry" special was a similar breaded mock meat thing, but served with delicious tartar sauce.

For brunch, I had the biscuits and gravy, which were excellent, but the accompanying hash browns were not really hot for some reason. They were good, but they should've been warmer.

Overall, I definitely recommend this place. They have a good selection of vegan items, and their vegan desserts are all amazing.

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No Reservations

Wheelchair Accessible


$$ - average


  • Checks
  • Discover MasterCard Visa


  • American
  • Eclectic (Varied)


  • Kid-Friendly
  • Large Group-Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating


outdoor seating in the summer

outdoor seating in the summer

the schnitzel is delicious! rhubarb cheesecake


11am - 9pm
11am - 10pm
11am - 3pm

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