CLOSED: Dandelion Food Cart

Overall rating: 4.5 stars 4 Reviews
Located in downtown Madison near University of Wisconsin's Memorial Union, this is a vegetarian food cart, and all dishes can be made vegan. It is open during the summer season, located on Library Mall during the week, and near the farmer's market on Saturday. Meals include a baked tofu sandwich, a dandelion salad with a creamy (vegan) chickpea topping fresh vegetables and tofu, BBQ tofu with sweet potatoes. Portions are generous and loaded with fresh veggies from the farmer's market. MARCH 2013 REPORTED SHUT DOWN/CLOSED, PER ITS WEBSITE. more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, Take-out only


First Review by ali.seiter
  • vegan

Excellent Food!

5 Posted on 08 / 15 / 2012

I was so lucky to be able to try Dandelion while visiting Madison. For lunch during the week it is located at the end of State Street, near the university. I had the seitan and mushroom rueben sandwich with vegan Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and vegan cheese...and wow was it tasty (very messy to eat though!). My husband had the seitan fajitas, which he enjoyed as well. To top it off we each had vegan peanut butter cups, which were rich and delicious.
I was really hoping to try Dandelion again before leaving Madison, but unfortunately they took a couple of days off.
I would definitely make it a point to hit them up if in Madison again.

Pros: Delicious Food, Large Portions, Friendly Employees
Cons: Cash Only
  • vegan

Luckily caught it in the center of town!

4 Posted on 07 / 19 / 2012

I was worried I wouldn't be able to catch up with the Dandelion Food Cart since I wasn't in Madison on the right day, but as luck would have it I was peddling around my bike share bike and came upon the Dandelion Food Cart during a taste of Madison food fair of some sorts. Its a small cart and it must have been HOT inside, but the owner/chef serves up inventive vegan food and is happy to accommodate. What a fun addition to the Madison vegan scene!

  • vegan

Good Food

4 Posted on 05 / 30 / 2012

Most items are vegan, they serve tasty and generous portions. Good place to get a quick, yummy meal in Madison


  • vegan

Wholesome Tasty Food on the Cheap and Quick

4 Posted on 10 / 29 / 2011

With a fast-growing line in front, the Dandelion seemed to garner the most attention out of the many food carts: a positive sign! One look at the menu and I fully understood why the bright green truck merited its popularity. Complete with five sandwiches inspired by multiple wordly cuisines (all of which can be served on a whole-wheat pita), two hearty entree-style plates, raw oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, and a chocolate peanut butter cup for dessert, this cart knew what vegans craved.

Cilantro-topped black eyed peas, smoky rich collard greens, and a saute of sweet potatoes, onions, and poblano peppers surrounded three hearty slabs of tofu slathered in a tangy barbeque sauce to form a Southern medley of vegan happiness in my Texas Style BBQ Tofu entree. The tofu offered the only downside to the dish: while the texture skirted the perfect line between chewy and firm, I suspect that the tofu was not fresh, but rather freeze-dried reconstituted tofu that may or may not have been fried. A dash of refined sugar may have also weasled its way into the spicy-sweet sauce, though I sincerely hope (probably in vain), that the Dandelion chef used agave nectar or maple syrup instead. Despite the two soy-based flaws, I wholeheartedly enjoyed my trip down South at the Dandelion.

The Baked Tofu Sandwich came on a ciabatta roll topped with baked tofu, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and avocado drizzled with a spicy veganaise aioli served with a side of tortilla chips and pico de gallo. My eating companion rated the sandwich as a definite 10 on the yummy scale.

What could easily constitute an entire meal (especially when adding the optional tofu for a dollar extra), a bed of spinach topped with brown basmati rice, corn, grated carrots, radishes, cucumbers, purple cabbage, pico de gallo, and edamame drizzled with Bragg's Liquid Aminos and sesame oil is much much more than just a side. The vegetable-and-whole-grain rainbow tasted fresh, crunchy, and very wholesome-I may become a regular patron of the Dandelion just for the "side" of vegetables.

Meeting all of my pent-up food cart anticipation, the quality of the Dandelion's food exceeded that of a few non-wheeled restaurants in Madison and was certainly on par with a good many regular sit-down eating establishments. It is a wonderful destination for a fast, cheap, healthy, and simply mouthwatering lunch.

Pictures and more info at my blog:

Pros: Super inexpensive, Healthy , All menu items can be made 100% vegan
Cons: Questionable tofu, Unreliable location


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Last updated: 2013/05/28


Added: 2011/10/28


Added by: ali.seiter