Willy Street Co-op

Madison, Wisconsin


Image for Dave Rolsky

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This is an absolutely fantastic co-op. Their baker has a huge selection of vegan options, including cupcakes, donuts, muffins, and baked goods from the awesome East Side Ovens. I also love their deli and salad bar. They have hot vegan breakfast food in the morning, and great options the rest of the day.

For groceries, they have a good selection of the usual co-op stuff. I also appreciate the small eating area so I can eat my deli goodies on site.

Image for dcal

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We had a good experience here on Saturday while passing through town.

I had a marinated tempeh wrap from the grab-n-go section. It was really moist and delicious, but as an unrepentant Veganaise junkie, the odds of not liking it were minimal.

My girlfriend-o concocted a salad from the salad bar that consisted of your standard salad fare, plus a few scoops of their specialty salads. It was a nice way to try a variety and we were pretty impressed.

They have a nice outdoor seating area and we were happy to enjoy the sun with our grub.

Image for conde.kedar

rating star

This is a great, full-size co-op with a wide variety of vegan staples. But when I evaluate a co-op, I look more at the fresh, daily vegan offerings they have and William Street didn't let me down.

They have at least four or five different vegan baked goods daily, all of which attracted numerous people (at least when I was there). Some options included brownies, cakes and cookies. I had a "grasshopper brownie" ($1.45 for a decent-sized chunk) which was moist and rich, though with a slight metallic aftertaste from the mint frosting. I'd still get another, though, as I love the chocolate-mint combination.

The juice bar has OatsCreme softserve, malts, shakes and smoothies, and offers a variety of unusual tea- and coffee-based drinks with the option for soy, rice, almond or hemp milk. I had a 12 oz. apple chai with almond milk ($3.50) that was flavorful, though it could have used more milk for some extra creaminess.

The deli section has some simple tofu sandwich options, including cajun baked tofu, or fried tofu; there were also some cold curry-style tofu and tempeh dishes available by the pound.

Lastly, I just liked the vibe of this place. It was full of hippies, ex-hippies, families, and smart consumers. If I lived in Madison, Williamson Street Co-op would definitely be a major part of my life.

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They have a great deli with lots of vegan options, the staff are friendly and helpful, and there is a nice space to eat, too. Try their vegan mac and cheese - it's fantastic.

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