127 North Hamilton Street
Madison has an impressive number of homegrown coffee shops, though it definitely had less of a “crepe” presence. However, now both aspects of the Mad-town dining scene get a boost with Bradbury’s which specializes in both. Bradbury’s is primarily a breakfast and lunch space, located right off of the square. It is a cozy space (on the smallish side), swimming in windows and packed with tiny tables. The menu is written on the walls above the windows on one side of the cafe and consists of mostly coffee drinks a some sweet and savory crepe selections.
M, a particular oddity for grad students, doesn’t like coffee, so he enjoyed a generous bowl of hot chocolate. L got her caffeine fix through a macchiato. Also on the menus are more “advanced” coffee options like the Japanese Siphon coffee, which seemed to come with a neat cadre of serving implements. No seriously, it looks like a chemistry set of a mad scientist.
For our breakfast proper, we indulged in 2 chocolaty crepes (could it really be anything else?) L opted for the almond and nutella crepe ($4.5), which also came with bananas, but she opted for the non-fruit route, while M went for the dark chocolate and marmalade crepe ($5.5). After sampling each, L prefered the classic hazelnut/chocolate nutella crepe, while M, the chocolate purist, thought his crepe had a richer taste. For both crepes, the pancake itself was perfectly uniform and thin, something crepe carts often get wrong.
Bradbury’s a great place for a crepe and some coffee, and were were definitely tantalized by the range of savory options, like the spinach potato and cheddar ($6.5) or the chorizo and chevre ($7.5). We think a lunch may be in our future.
5200 N Clark St
Wandering around Andersonville on a gloomy Saturday put us in the mood for a pick me up. One Eater (L) had previously been to the other branch of the Icosium Kafe in Lincoln Park (2433 N. Clark), so we were surprised to find the new location up north. The sign outside the advertised home-made crepes all day, and we took full advantage. We knew Icosium would we good when they put cucumber slices in our water in place of the all-too-common lemon. Our first glance at the menu told us it was actually all crepes, which was fine with us after we fell in love with the French culinary delight following a few good crepe eats in Paris and Philadelphia. The menu had a large selection of a la carte and make your own crepes – M finally decided on a crepe d’amour ($6.95), filled with dark chocolate and fresh raspberries. It came with a complimentary scoop of chocolate ice cream (free for us even though the menu said $2). When the crepe finally came we could see why the wait was a little longer than most cheap crepe eateries – the presentation. Chocolate, whipped cream, and strawberry sauce applied in artistic lines and dots all around the plate, topped off with a mini drink umbrella stuck into the crepe’s end. The taste matched the presentation: berries were fresh, chocolate just right, and the crepe thick enough to be substantial eating and fluffy enough to absorb all the chocolaty goodness.
The menu was full of more sweet and savory crepe options, including both traditional varieties, and ones that hinted more at the Cafe’s Algerian heritage with fillings like Halal Merguaz (Algerian lamb sausage), homemade olive tapenade and Algerian fruit compote (raisins, pears and rosewater). L opted for the Algerian Mint tea with honey ($2.50) which also held up the high presentation standards. The tea was presented in a tiny silver teapot with an elegant glass cup and saucer filled with fresh mint leaves. The drink menu also boasted organic Turkish coffee and Egyptian mango juice. The service was pretty laid-back and unobtrusive (in true cafe style), and the dining room is cute, with wooden cafe tables, and walls covered with Algerian textiles and metalwork. Definitely a good stop for a tasty, filling lunch or dinner.