Find your chi at these 3 zen spots in Madison
A bar, restaurant and coffee shop with quiet...
If you’re not into the yell-over-the-noise atmosphere of some establishments, take comfort. We’ve picked out a bar, restaurant and coffee shop in Madison that are on the calm side of things and conducive to conversation.
Under the Radar
Julep restaurant on East Washington Avenue is an ultra-chill spot to do just that: chill. It’s one of Madison newest restaurants, and it still has that under-the-radar feel. Diners linger over southern food and sweating julep glasses in an inviting space enclosed by mint- and white-colored walls and exposed beam ceilings. This place, with the easy chatter of guests and the clink of silverware against small plates, encourages you to relax and sit a spell. Take a walk down the hall to have a drink at the equally calm Barolo wine bar or A-OK Coffeehouse.
What was once a neighborhood grocery store is now One Barrel Brewing Company, and on a late winter’s eve, if one should be so lucky to see a flurry or two just outside the large storefront window, this is the place to simmer down. A long, attractive bar of wood sits upon a barrel and beneath low lights, against exposed brick walls, where a lone bicycle hangs. In the back and fully visible is the brewing room, where they craft beer, one barrel at a time. Have a Penguin American Pale Ale and pay homage to One Barrel’s mascot, super chill holding a beer in its flipper.
5th Element Coffee in the Regent neighborhood has it all: great farm-to-cup Salvadoran coffee from a 2011 World Barista Champion and friendly and knowledgeable staff. Tucked away on Old University Avenue, vinyl records spin and pastry from Batch Bakehouse is served in an uncluttered space made of stone, metal and wood. Take in the natural light from the storefront window, and sip, sit or study at the long tables in the low-lit back. No need to rush: There is a story here of many hands taking pride in giving you that perfectly brewed latte.