Bandit Tacos & Coffee opens in Madison’s historic train depot

Bandit Tacos & Coffee will highlight Mexican cuisine with fresh tortillas in a "beautiful" space.
Exterior of Bandit
Photo courtesy of Bandit Tacos & Coffee
Neon light greet visitors to Bandit, just off the Bike Path.

Madison chef Gil Altschul opened his new restaurant, Bandit Tacos & Coffee, Monday in the historic train depot on West Washington Avenue.

Bandit is Altschul’s “dream project,” highlighting Mexican cuisine throughout the menu with fresh, housemade tortillas accompanying specialty meats, fish and vegetarian choices. Bandit is in the train depot’s former lunchroom and passenger platform, with renovations by architect James McFadden

“The inspiration for Bandit really stemmed from a bunch of great experiences at Big Star while living in Chicago,” Altschul says in a release. “Great tacos on freshly made tortillas, great cocktails and a killer vibe.”

Altschul also owns Gib’s Bar and Grampa’s Pizzeria. Before he opened the location as Bandit, Altschul ran it as a coffee shop named Porter and they ran Bandit pop-ups within Porter

To enhance the vibe of Bandit, Altschul commissioned Madison visual artist Stefan Matioc to create a mural inspired by the bright street art in Mexico City.

Interior mural at Bandit, light colors that vaguely look like cartoon faces.

The mural by Stefan Matioc that decorates an interior wall at Bandit. (Courtesy of Caitlin Claire Studio)

The mural that decorates an interior wall at Bandit.

When the weather permits, all doors and windows at Bandit will be open, with bright music to help set the atmosphere. Altschul sources most ingredients from local producers, with plans for a sustainable garden to be planted at Bandit’s entrance. Bandit will also offer coffee from Counter Culture Coffee, a large selection of imported and local beers and a slushy machine with frozen negronis and Door County cherry daiquiris.

“I want folks to have a bright beautiful space to unwind and get lost in the special treat that is tortillas made from freshly ground masa,” Alschul says. 

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