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Madison Park Cafe - 38 Reviews - 1807 42nd Ave E, Seattle, WA - Romantic Dining Reviews - Phone (206) 324-2626

Madison Park Cafe

1807 42nd Ave E (at E Madison Street)
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 324-2626
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


Madison Park Cafe - Seattle, WA
Madison Park Cafe - Seattle, WA
Madison Park Cafe - Seattle, WA
Madison Park Cafe - Seattle, WA


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My wife and I really like this place. I'm not a fan of standard menus, which abound in the Seattle area, and this restaurant makes it interesting. Low key nice service, not fu-f...


Don't go hear if you're hungry. You'll walk away hungry! We had the sourdough pancakes - very very small pancake with about 3 pieces of fruit on it and 2 frozen pats of butter. Al...

Nice menu, nice service 2/5/2011

My wife and I really like this place. I'm not a fan of standard menus, which abound in the Seattle area, and this restaurant makes it interesting. Low key nice service, not fu-fu; our kind of place. more

Exquisite dining experience! 10/21/2010

My brother and I had an exquisite dinner at The Madison Park Cafe after my hesitation of his suggestion. He'd never been there, and I hadn't in about 3 years after my last experience in 2007. But my expectations were totally and delightfully reversed by our dinner. From being warmly greeted by a couple of staff (one being Karen, the owner), to understandably being moved to a quieter corner because of a more demonstrative diner behind me (I'm softer-voiced and not as easily heard). My brother and I both enjoyed a wonderful salad of arugula (which I usually disdain) and other ingredients... it was spectacular though I don't recall the other ingredients. But they did a good job of marrying those ingredients in a way which masked the often-acrid arugula flavor. I agreed with my brother's high opinion of his Alaskan haddock special entree choice as he allowed me to sample his selection. And I dined on a Dungeness crab cake. I'm usually suspicious of most crab cakes, as I was raised on Baltimore-style blue crab cakes which are lightly-breaded and mostly crab meat, as was Madison Park Cafe's cake. It was superb! So flavorful and fresh, perfectly browned on top, it was still moist and full of flavor. And while the pomegranate seed fad has pained me, the seeds added a delightful accent to the entree. Thank you, brother, for helping me dash my past experience (a hanger steak with pom frittes) that didn't mirror my then-recent Parisian memories. I will return soon and recommend The MPC! more

Great Place for Dinner 3/20/2010

I just had to say I had the opposite experience of the below poster. I found the dinners there to be really *five star*. The food is tasty and thoughtfully presented. The service is warm and inviting every time I have been. The staff is always very knowledgeable and can recommend a wine to go with your dinner. Every time we have friends in from out of town, we have to bring them in for dinner, because its just such a lovely experience every time! \r Brunch was a bit of a dissappointment for us after doing dinner there. Service was lousy, with our waitress kibbutzing with her freinds while we were ignored. Food was...OK. But not on a par with dinner. Do yourself a favor, dont bother with the brunch, but definately try them for dinner. Pros: great service, great food Cons: you may have to wait when its busy : ( more

uncomfortable 3/8/2010

Night manger or owner took menu out of my hands… I was waiting to see if they had openings for dinner at the front door and looking at the menu. The person that came to meet us at the door took the menu out of my hands as if I was stealing something. She then gave us attitude as if we didn’t belong. I could not believe someone in the service industry would treat potential customers in such a manner. DO NOT GO FOR DINNER. We had good experience with the bruch staff. Cons: bad attitude more

Totally Charming 5/19/2009

I have been here for both brunch and dinner and I have never had a bad experience with either the food or service. I do know a few of the people who USED to work there, but I have been back recently and the service was still great. Very knowledgeable and professional, and they know the wine list like the back of their hand! The food is great, very traditional and delish!\r \r Definitely check it out! Pros: Great Outdoor Seating! Cons: Too Busy for Brunch more

Don't go Here if You're Hungry...Poor value for portions 2/13/2009

Don't go hear if you're hungry. You'll walk away hungry! We had the sourdough pancakes - very very small pancake with about 3 pieces of fruit on it and 2 frozen pats of butter. Also had the egg/ham dish - fine, but nothing special at all. We also had a scone - very small served with frozen butter and also had yogurt with fruit. It had total of about 2 full spoonfuls of yogurt in it! It was a parfait full of fruit. Just say that on the menu so it's clear.\r \r We will not be returning. Yes this place is cozy. But that's it. \r \r We paid $40 for 2 people for breakfast. That is outrageous! And we're still hungry. We are certainly normal eaters and not over-eaters - the portions are substantially small, just as many other reviewers have said. It's really a bummer to fork out that much money and be so disappointed. Especially in this economy. And walk away still hungry!\r \r And none of the dishes come with anything. You get one small pancake for $9. That's it. Nothing else on the plate. I got a pastry with mine, big deal. Usually you get maybe a piece of bacon, hash browns, something to make you feel like you are getting good value. Since when is it appropriate to charge almost $10 for a few bites. And everything else comes a la carte. Four Seaons Hotel doesn't even do that! Isn't this a neighborhood joint that should have affordable prices and good value?\r \r Plus when we were walking out I saw a guy cutting fruit with no gloves on, someone else leaning on the table where he was cutting chatting and laughing with the person. And a woman drying pans right near that table. Shouldn't fresh fruit be cut away from all this activity. Yuck! Maybe some gloves?\r \r No thanks. There are other great breakfast spots in the city where you get better value and great food. We just wasted $40 and I had to make breakfast for us when we got home. Bummer.\r \r more

Simply Wonderful!! 1/24/2009

My husband and I have visited the Cafe a few times over the years, and I have to say, it has only got better with age. On our last visit there for dinner we were warmly greeted at the door, with the server taking our coats and welcoming us as if we were old friends. We were shown to our table and quickly offered drinks, which we decided would be some wine. They have a great wine list and as a wine lover I can tell you, they have some real values on the list if you know what to look for.\r \r I have always enjoyed the food there, but I was so impressed by our food this time. There is a new chef and he is really doing a great job with the menu. My husbands cassoulet was probably the best version of the dish we have ever had--including one we had in France! The frites were just perfect too--what a combination! The desserts we had were delicious, I had a chocolate cake and he had Ice cream, and both were so good we were stealing from eachothers plates. We had a great dinner and will definately be back for more! Pros: great food and service Cons: an a busy night you better have reservations more

Do not eat here, it stinks 10/19/2008

I am getting married and I was told by someone who frequents this place to go in and check it out, and see about having them cater my rehearsal dinner for 50 or my wedding for 200. I came in a week ago for dinner, there was not one decent server. I was sat, I was ignored. I ordered my food, given my food, ignored. The server came back and asked me if I wanted dessert, I said no they dropped off my check. The food tasted like cardboard, and the servers had the personality of cardboard. I decided to give it a try for brunch, so my fiance and I went in and tried it one more time, we sat in a young ladies section, a red headed lady sat us, and gave us menus. The young girl waited about 10 minutes to get our beverage order, but was standing at the table next to us the entire time talking to a friend, or someone who must come in often. After she took our drink orders, we asked her what the chefs choices of the day were she replied that ""they were on the board"" instead of telling us. 10 minutes later we got our drinks, and placed our order. We didnt see her again. A guy brought us our food, I am not sure of his name, but he was bald. He refilled our coffee, he asked us how our breakfast was when he passed by us. We tried to get a hold of her to bring us our check, so we got up and found her, she was talking on her phone around the corner, so the young man got us our check for us, and the nice older lady charged our card. If it wasnt for the two of them, I would have nothing nice to say about the cafe at all, well the food was very good for breakfast, but overall, the two servers could not make up for the awful girl, or the awful dinner food. It is a shame though, my friend convinced me this would be the perfect place to cater for me! I warn everyone, think twice about going here! you might as well go to McDonalds for dinner! Pros: Breakfast Food Cons: Dinner Food, and mostly terrible, fast food level employees more

Great Place 9/19/2008

I recently referred my best friend to eat here, she checked out the review marked ""an experiement"" . I am a proud black woman, who has eaten at this cafe many times, and lived in MP almost my entire life, and the last thing I would call this cafe or the employees there is discriminating. I think what we have is a man living his life as a black man, instead of just a man, accusing everyone around him as discriminating against him, which makes me sad because it makes us all look that way. I will tell you that the food at the cafe is good, they have their up and downs with consistancy, the baked eggs are never the same, egg dishes never the same size, but ive never had a bad experience there with food (either brunch or dinner). The staff is a whole other story. Thee was recently a change in staff and some of the long time servers are no longer there, which is a huge shame because they were excellent and I miss sitting in their sections. There are 2 new men working there and I have sat in both of their sections, usually the one wearing a hat. I like sitting outside, thats why I have frequented this place so much, and it is refreshing to socialized with the nice staff, I am a single lady so its nice to chit chatl with them. I am normally in the guys section, I think he has been there longer then the other servers, he is always friendly and provides the best service, probably the reason I continue to come back, he can always make me laugh, but most important he is professional and the service is always speedy. Sometimes I sit in the older ladies section and she is excellent as well, not as social as the others, but very good service and speedy, she is always buzzing around like a bee. There is a younger girl that works there as well, and I will leave before sitting in her section, she totally ignores your tables if she knows someone else who is in the cafe, and when she does help you, she is rude and forgetful, if it werent for the other two people I wouldnt return. Pros: Most of the servers Cons: too popular so long wait!!! more

an experiment 9/14/2008

it's fairly well known in the black community that this place is not friendly to minorities. I had always heard this from friends who had visited the restaurant but decided to check it out myself. I'm white but I went to Madison Park Cafe with 3 black friends and the food was good but much to my disappointment the service was BAD! \r \r We were not seated for a while, even though there were plenty of seats, we were ignored the whole time, and the servers were rude. \r \r I went back the same day with a white friend. This time it was even busier but we were seated promptly, the service was much better, and the staff was attentive. It's a shame that I have this to report when the food is so good. \r \r I can't say for sure it was due race but it sure confirms similar stories I've heard about the place. Pros: good food Cons: bad service more

French Bistro 8/25/2008

Clearly a 5 * experience. Karen is a wonderful hostess and her chef ""Bo"" is a creative artisian who provides top quality presentations and creative cuisines. Karen, Bo and the waiter staff work hand in hand to creat a memorable evening and fantastic dining experience. Karen's wine cellar has numberous French wines and many different Washington wines. All the staff are experienced in pairing the wonderful wines with the exquisite meals and very knowledgeable in the way the meals are prepared. The art that is displayed on the walls of the restaurant are pleasing and often breath taking. On a warm Seattle evening the outside dining is lovely under the boughs of the trees around the garden. A grand place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. An equally great place to meet and talk to friends and enjoy a wonderful meal. more

Best outdoor - and indoor - dining in Seattle 8/24/2008

Madison Park Cafe is a totally charming little French bistro with truly outstanding food and wine list. I try to dine there at least once a month. It is my favorite place to treat out-of-town guests. Karen Binder is an absolutely charming host and her (good looking) chef never disappoints with his creations. The staff is knowledgeable and attentive (but not intrusive) and willing to go the extra yard. (They carried my oldest and dearest friend's son, who is in a wheelchair, both in and out of the restaurant.) If weather permits, the courtyard is especially charming, but the inside is also quite cozy on a dark, rainy Seattle evening. Pros: Great experience all around more

The perfect setting for outdoor dining 8/22/2008

Madison Park Cafe is a charming little bistro that has amazing food and great service. The courtyard dining is reminiscent of dining alfresco style anywhere in Europe. The pommes frites are ""to die for"". And Karen Binder, the owner, is very knowledgeable about wine-you'll always get the perfect pairing of wine and food. If you haven't dined outside at the Madison Park Cafe yet this summer, you must! more

most romantic outdoor dining in the city 8/21/2008

Not only is the food great, and innovative, but if you have the good fortune to be seated in the outdoor terrace on a nice summer evening - then you are really in for a treat. Really a nice venue for gathering friends or the kickoff of a special and romantic evening. DO NOT miss the French fries! Also, the Martini's are excellent... Pros: unbeatable outdoor dining - great food, great service. Cons: none that I can think of... more

Great main entrees....but.... 8/15/2008

A group of us ate here the other night - some positives and negatives:\r +Great entrees, pleasant courtyard seating, probably best for smaller groups\r -Poor service (our waitor was too formal and uncreative) - This could have been just the one person who served us, but it did turn me off from returning. For the cost of the meal, I'd like personable and experienced servers that know their trade! Cons: Their bread at the beginning of the meal was the worst I may have ever had...thin and dry. more

Best brunch in town 4/18/2008

Upon arrival at this busy cafe I can see there is a wait for me and my friend. The artwork was beautiful and the smell of the cafe was like a baked egg. The cooks looked busy. Overall that the food looks amazing so my friend and I decide to wait. I ask the host how long the wait is and he says with a smile ""It all depends on when people get up, it's Sunday you know and I'm not about to push people out the door. As soon as they do we'll get you seated, would you like some coffee before you're seated?"" How refreshing, good customer service from a good looking professional in an otherwise awkward situation.\r We waited and were seated at a clean table in the center of the restaurant by the host who apologized for the wait time, he?s very charming. We had people waiting on us hand and foot, the host provided us water, a sassy red headed woman with a New York accent and unusual personality was quick to refill our coffee and said something incomprehensible, a bald gentleman who later claimed to be a flight attended smiled from across the room while taking another table?s order and a high energy talkative lady with a tan and frail body shared the specials (as well as her life story) and took our order. This was our waitress and she talked so much we just sat and listened. We noticed she was genuinely interested in hearing how our morning was going as well and she is a hoot, we let her know that and she started clapping her hands, wonderful character in this place!\r Overall, we had such a great breakfast and the cost was minimal. I would recommend that all my friends experience this wonderful site for weekend breakfast. 5 stars all the way.\r Downside: they don't take reservations for breakfast. I say: if you don't want to wait, there's an IHOP right down the street; I prefer style, great service and good food even if I have to wait 20 min. Pros: Service, Food, Value, Ambience Cons: Bruch does not take reservations more

A hidden gem 3/13/2008

I can't believe we've lived in seattle for almost 40 years and never tried this oustanding little restaurant. We recently had one of the BEST dining experiences we've ever had at the Madison Park Cafe. The owner, Karen, greeted us at the door..... we felt like welcomed guests. She frequently checked in on us during the meal, as did other wait staff. Everyone was so friendly and attentive! And the food..... oh, the food... everything was extraordinary. Even simple items like the salads were unique and flavorful. I had the most delicious, unique preparation of fish ever... sturgeon in an orange vanilla bean sauce that was lick-the-plate good. The wine list is outstanding, with a good mix of new world/old world, and the staff are all very knowledgeable and helpful in selecting the perfect wine. Can't wait to return, and we'll pass along the good word! Pros: Extraordinary food and service more

Rude 3/1/2008

I heard that the brunch was good so I called to make reservations. But apparently they don't take reservations. Alright, no problem, just tell me how long I have to wait. They tell me, ""The wait could be 10 minutes, it could be 0 minutes."" My group of four had to wait AN ENTIRE HOUR! Not only that but they treated us like feces. After half an hour they said it would be ""only a short while."" When a short while turned out to be another half an hour I asked what was the deal. Their response: ""Maybe your party should go somewhere else because we don't know when we could seat you."" Are you for real? You make me wait and then say you don't need my business like I did something wrong? They also mentioned that the wait is never 10 minutes, always much longer. THEN WHY DID YOU TELL ME 10 MINUTES OVER THE PHONE? My party and I were livid and left. If you are looking for a great French bistro for lunch then go anywhere but here. I recommend 35th Street Bistro in Fremont. Almost never a wait. Great service and food. \r \r P.S. I never write reviews but I couldn't help myself with this place Pros: Don't know Cons: The wait and lying about it more

A perfect Evening 1/20/2008

We celebrated our 27th anniversary here on 1/17/08, coincidentally the restaurant has been in business 27 years as well! Both of us were very impressed with not only the quality and quantity of the fare, but also the perfect timing of when each course was brought to the table. We both started off with onion soup,which was excellant. The seafood salad was equally impressive. I had the Monkfish, which was lightly braised and very tender. My wife enjoyed a very nice filet, also perfectly cooked as ordered. After splitting dessert, we could not have eaten another bite. We certainly will not wait a whole year to return, even though we live north of Everett. Definetly worth the trip. more

Highly Overrated 11/14/2007

I had been looking forward to dining at the Madison Park Cafe because I had heard such nice accounts from others about their French bistro fare. It was very mundanely disappointing. While the cuisine was decently prepared it was nothing special. As a main course I ordered the Cassoulet which I had heard raves about, but sad to say, I have eaten much better elewhere in this city with a far larger portion for less money. This pitiful thing was the size of a Creme Brulee, and even with an uninspired organic greens salad (toasted hazelnuts, gorgonzolla and crunchy unripened pear slices) as a first course, I departed the empty, yet claustrophobic, dining room still feeling hungry and dissatisfied. Yes, I could have had dessert, but the choices on the menu were so uninteresting that I decided against it. Perhaps this place is better for brunch, but I don't intend to go back to find out what I am missing. It was a very forgettable dinner....don't bother! Pros: It was clean and the service was attentively average. Cons: The dining room is very small and awkward without good table choices. more
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Menu for Madison Park Cafe

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A Neighborhood French Bistro that has received numerous awards for its service, atmosphere and of course, the food.

Owner Message

  • Owner Karen Binder originally opened Madison Park Cafe as a coffee and tea room in 1979. The Cafe has grown into a quintessential neighborhood cafe, serving fine French bistro dinners, either outside in the cobblestone courtyard or indoors by the glow of the fireplace.

    Favorable things that have been written about us include:

    "On their evening menu you'll find such French basics as onion soup, cassoulet, and steak au poivre. Onion soup arrives scorching hot, its caramelized onions and rich beef broth supporting the requisite crouton and Gruyere. Never known for self-control, I refused to wait for it to cool before continuing my assault with the spoon--it was that good..."
    --Nancy Leson, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    "Best Restaurant to Eat Outdoors," -Seattle Weekly, 2005

    "Best Outdoor Dining," -Sunset Magazine, 2006


  • In Short
    Madison Park's high-powered locals spend evenings soaking up the romantic atmosphere, beautifully created by candlelight, a fireplace and a concise French-inspired menu. Karen...

  • 1/8/2007 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Tue-Thu 5pm-9pm Fri-Sat 5pm-10pm Sat-Sun 8am-2pm
  • Payments:

    American Express, Visa, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods:

    Capitol Hill, Madison Park