The Green Owl Cafe

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 44 reviews )

1970 Atwood Ave (at Winnebago St), Madison, Wisconsin, USA, 53704

Most of the main entrees are vegetarian versions of traditional meat dishes. Many vegan options, including desserts, marked. Try the soups and the sweet potato fries. Pleasant atmosphere. Open Tue-Sat 11:00am-9:00pm, Sun 10:00am-3:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Beer/Wine

Reviews (44)

First Review by Boomer

Love It - Edit

I love this place. Wholesome, hearty food, tons of vegan options, intimate environment, house made kombucha. Everything here tastes like it was made from scratch. It's just real food. And it's good. Very good. The people of this neighborhood are so lucky to have the Green Owl.

Pros: Real Food, Kombucha, Vegan Options

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An Oasis - Edit

My husband and I were traveling across the country and went out of our way to visit vegan/vegetarian restaurants along our trip. The Green Owl Cafe was an oasis for these traveling vegans in the not so veg-friendly middle of the country! The majority of the menu is vegan with very diverse options. I ordered the Raw Taco Plate and the Devil Wings and loved them both! My husband ordered the Crabby Cake Po'Boy, but didn't really care for it.
I even bought a cute t-shirt as a souvenir.

Updated from previous review on 2016-08-28

Pros: good vegan options

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3 strikes you're out - Edit

Terrible service, small portions, better food elsewhere. Ordered for takeout, told 15 minutes but it was 40! No apology or anything and kept saying it wouldn't be much longer. They knew they had a large order before us and were talking about it before we ordered. Completely unacceptable. When it was finally brought out the boxes were set on a table. We had to ask for a bag and cutlery which they put on the counter for us to assemble ourselves.

The po'boy was tiny. The Dijon chicken looked big but that was just the bun, the small patty and any flavor got lost in it. Nachos tasted fine. This was our third and last visit here. Expected more from the only vegetarian restaurant in this city. Go to Monty's or one of the food trucks instead. Each visit has included slow service, small portions and uninspiring food.

Pros: Vegetarian restaurant

Cons: Service, Small portions, Better food to be had elsewhere

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Huge selection, all of it delicious. - Edit

The food here is fantastic and there are tons of options. I went with my non-vegan partner and together we tried two entrees, a cocktail, a non-alcoholic specialty drink, and a cake. Everything was delicious. Looking forward to going back soon.

Pros: great flavor, lots of options, excellent drinks

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Best veg•n option for dinner - Edit

I ate at Green Owl Café five times in five days during my recent trip to Madison. (My daily routine, which i highly recommend for veg*n visitors to Madison, was lunch at Ladonia Café at Capitol Square and then dinner at the Green Owl.)

The Green Owl's menu is varied enough that there should be something for just about everyone, ranging from light and flavorful salads to protein-heavy faux-meat dishes, with a lot in between. I particularly enjoyed the raw tacos and devil wings (both starters), the vegan schnitzel, and all of their tasty vegan desserts.

The service is friendly, and the prices are reasonable considering the quality.

Just one request for the management: Please consider adding fresh-pressed veggie and fruit juices.


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Best vegetarian in WI! - Edit

Great selection, quality, and prep of food. Lots of options for GF, vegan, allergy-prone. Nice staff.
We go there every time we're in MadCity and have always been happy.
Update on hours:
(608) 285-5290
1970 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53704
[email protected]
Tues-Sat 11am–9pm
open until 10pm on Friday and Saturday during patio season
Sunday Brunch 10am–3pm
Monday closed

Pros: All healthy vegetarian and vegan food, High quality food and prep, Nice staff

Cons: Only in MadCity!

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Came back for seconds! - Edit

Green Owl is a great choice for vegans. We came back after a great experience our first time during a visit to Madison. The service was very friendly. My only complaint was that they had run out of a few items so we weren't able to order what we wanted. Our favorites were the nachos, raw tacos, and crabby cakes.

Pros: All vegan, Happy servers, Cool atmosphere

Cons: Ran out of menu items

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slow service, food ok - Edit

Went for dinner 8/21/15 8pm. The server told us the kitchen was backed up and our entrees would take at least 45 minutes. I was excited to try it out-love supporting local vegan places whenever possible and am always excited when there are more than one or two vegan options. We thought sandwiches might be quicker, but we were wrong. It was about 50 min for them. At least they were upfront about that. We had the BLT and crabby cake po boy. They were fine, but nothing too memorable. We also had the hummus plate which was good but that's my fallback and I guess I expected more from a vegan joint. Also the beer menu was pretty inaccurate. They were out of almost half of what we tried to order, necessitating a trip to and from the bar each time by the server-made liquid refreshment pretty slow also. The banana brownie almost resuscitated the meal for us-it was great but it's really expecting too much from one square baked good.

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Lots of vegan options - Edit

My husband and I have been here several times now, twice on two different trips to Madison. It's been a tasty experience each time. The decor is fun and very owl-themed. They have a pretty large menu for both food and drinks. Sometimes I forget that this place is not all vegan, since almost everything on the menu is vegan or can be made vegan. I think I enjoy brunch here the best. The breakfast sandwich and hash browns are super delicious. I would not recommend the French toast though; it's basically a small serving of rock hard Italian bread with not much flavor. That's my main complaint about this place - the portions are usually small! We will keep coming back though because the food is really delicious, and we are happy to support the only vegetarian restaurant in Madison. We were a little disappointed with the nachos last time too, as they had very little toppings, almost no vegan cheese, and were almost all just tortilla chips. They also left off the vegan sour cream, which was on there last time. (Thankfully, Tex Tubb's across the street more than made up for this later, as they have a gigantic portion of amazing vegan nachos on their menu for almost the same price.) I'm chalking it up to being short-staffed. They were super busy the last time we were there for lunch. One waitress seemed to be taking care of the whole place. I think they had more help for brunch. Wait time for food is a little long, but I think it's because everything is freshly made.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday July 07, 2015

Pros: friendly, many vegan options, interesting variety of food on menu

Cons: long wait for food when crowded, small portions, somewhat pricey

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Better v*gan food to be had in Madison. - Edit

I've been to the Green owl around half a dozen times, and most of those visits are because they always seem to have a Groupon. The food here is fairly average, with nothing on the menu standing out as as a must-eat, and the portions are small for the prices paid. Go at least once to support an all-vegetarian business, but know that there's much better vegetarian food to be had in this city.

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Delicious in a good location - Edit

Good location with lots of easy parking.
Traveling through Madison and found this thanks to HC.

I had the jambalaya and cornbread was a combination of rice, red beans, tempeh, and vegetables soaked in a smoky sauce. They served it with a side of steamed kale. The cornbread had chunks of corn and red peppers cooked inside. I really enjoyed the smoky flavor of my main dish. It was satisfying and filling. The kale was cooked just right as well. The kale wasn’t cut, so the pile shown above was actually do very large pieces. It made it a bit difficult to eat, but I managed. The flavor of the cornbread was nice, but the texture was very dry. I ended up breaking it apart and trying to soak up every last drop of the magical sauce with it. Desserts looked great as well. I will be back.

Pros: cheap, parking, clearly labeled vegan

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Good but not amazing! - Edit

I went for brunch and ordered the TLT with Kale Chips while my husband ordered the Biscuits & Gravy. I thought my meal was underwhelming (could have very easily made it at home) but his was a bit higher-quality. I wish we had experienced it at night to try some of the other options. In hindsight, I should have been more adventurous with my choice, but I was on a huge TLT kick that week. Whenever I happen in town again I would definitely give it another shot.

Pros: brunch, friendly staff, good value

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great food - Edit

We stopped for lunch while passing through town over the holidays. We liked that the menu is not just the same-old options, lots of interesting use of different ingredients and everything tasted great. Also liked that the kids menu is more on the healthy side, not just fried foods and cheese. Not too hard to get to from the interstate, a definite plus on a long drive.

Pros: great food, good kids menu

Cons: none!

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The Green Owl Cafe - Edit

I have ate here a few times. I have had really good meals and meals that are soso. Sometimes the staff is super friendly and sometimes not.

Pros: cute cafe, lots of options

Cons: small, inconsistant

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mmm coconut - Edit

Service was good, dinner was good, dessert was better. Love, love, love the coconut cream pie. Wish the whole menu was vegan.

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Reviewer Avatar

  Contributions +501

Wonderful Vegan Options - Edit

We love to stop at The Green Owl to eat whenever we're near Madison. The staff has always been very friendly and the food is fantastic. They always have at least one type of vegan cheesecake and it's by far one of the best desserts we've ever had. They have a brunch on Sundays that's really good, as well. Really cute decor with owls everywhere and a relaxed atmosphere. A great place! Our only complaint is with about half of the seating in the restaurant. There's one area with tables, which is nice, and during the warm months you can sit outside. However, if you get seated along the front part of the restaurant you'll most likely be sitting right next to other people. It's a bit uncomfortable.

Pros: Delicious Food, Decent Prices, Friendly & Relaxed Atmosphere

Cons: Seating could be much better

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Rescued Us From a Non-Veg Event! - Edit

I thought this place was amazing. My boyfriend and I went to a wedding where shredded carrots and iceberg lettuce were the only things to eat, so we went to the Green Owl to stuff our faces.

It is very cute inside. The service was great.

We started off with delicious carrot dill soup and side salad. Our main courses were the Schnitzel and Jackfruit Quesadilla.

The quesadilla was our favorite! We were still hungry and also ordered the BBq jackfruit sandwich which was also really good. Quesadilla was still the best though.

We would have gotten dessert, but my sweetie picked me up some cake from Sticky Fingers in DC. :)

Pros: Great Service, Lots of Vegan options

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one of my favorite restaurants in Madison - Edit

Great food. Great service. Their specials change everyday, so there's always something new to try. Save room for dessert! They have the best vegan desserts.

Pros: raw options, raw night, dessert

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