Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


A comprehensive breakdown of the best boozy vs. recovery brunch spots in Madison

Recover from that hangover, or keep the party going
Courtesy of Flickr user Joe Shlabotnik

Every morning after a night out, college kids, especially those at University of Wisconsin, are presented with a tough, yet crucial decision. With dry throats and pounding heads, students must decide whether to be responsible quasi-adults and recover properly, or throw all of that out the window and keep the party going.

Regardless of which path you choose, brunch will be crucial. Whether you’re looking to recover or rage on, The Badger Herald has you covered with our favorite brunch spots.


For those missing fall game days, a boozy brunch is the perfect substitute for a raucous morning at Camp Randall. There are few greater pleasures than eating amazing food with your friends, while drinking away last night’s memories and creating new ones all before the clock strikes noon.


Here are our invitations for brunch libations in the Madison-area.

1.  D-Lux

  • Price: $$
  • Drunk food offerings: Five different breakfast sandwiches, fried chicken and waffles
  • Signature brunch cocktails: Bottomless mimosas
  • Verdict : Choosing D-Lux as your go-to for drunk brunch is a can’t-fail option.  Bottomless mimosas for $12 is simply unmatched in Madison and will guarantee you get a proper buzz to start morning diversions off right. In addition to the mimosas, D-Lux also offers some great greasy, yet refined, fare that will only look more and more appealing with each mimosa. 

2. Short Stack Eatery

  • Price: $$
  • Drunk food offerings: Breakfast sandwich, five different types of pancakes
  • Signature brunch cocktails: Bloody Mary featuring in-house pickled vegetables and sriracha-salted rim
  • Verdict: The recently-opened diner slides comfortably into the No. 2 slot of booziest brunch spots because it hits the mark on so many aspects of the boozy brunch — it’s hard to pick out just one. The State Street diner is practically an ace, whether you want sweet or savory, and definitely if you want something with alcohol in it.

3. Cento

  • Price: $$$
  • Drunk food offerings: Breakfast pizza, 8 oz. grilled burger
  • Signature brunch cocktails: Carafes of either the Bella Frizzante (prosecco-based) or Bulleit Ritorno (bourbon-based), which serve five to eight.
  • While definitely a bit pricey for a college budget, anyone looking to do some bougie boozing for brunch can look no further than Cento. The classy joint, located right by the Overture Center, does an Italian-inspired brunch, which is rare for Madison. While costly, the buzz at Cento is worth every cent. 

4. Chaser’s

  • Price: $
  • Drunk food offerings: Burgers, wings, cheese curds
  • Signature brand cocktails: Bloody Mary, screwdrivers
  • Verdict: While not technically a brunch spot by standard conventions, the bar and grill opens 9 a.m. Saturdays, and also features a shuttle to Camp Randall during football season. The Gorham Street staple has a full array of typical cocktails including brunchy ones like Bloody Marys and screwdrivers. Anyone looking for a lunch-heavy brunch with booze will be sure to find it at Chaser’s.


Congratulations!  You’ve decided to be responsible this morning and give your body the proper brunch it needs to recover properly from last night.

The key to a recovery brunch is giving your body the nutrients it needs to recover from the physical hangover. These brunch spots will soak up any leftover alcohol in your body and get you ready to tackle studying or another night out.

1. Lazy Jane’s

  • Price: $$
  • Hungover food options: Wide array of in-house baked goods, scramblers
  • Helpful beverages: Bottomless coffee
  • Verdict: Lazy Jane’s on Willy Street is a fantastic brunch spot that too often falls under the radar on campus due to its distance from downtown. The cozy bakery/restaurant is the perfect place to recover after a wild night as the curated menu will heal any physical hangover and the stellar coffee-pastry combo available will surely nourish any emotional one.

2. The Green Owl

  • Price: $$
  • Hungover food options: Nuevos rancheros (vegetarian huevos rancheros), vegan biscuits and gravy, vegan apple pie French toast
  • Helpful beverages: Kombucha, juices, teas (hot and iced)
  • Verdict: Madison’s premiere vegan/vegetarian restaurant also delivers for brunch goers as well. The restaurant’s absence of meat allows for a both delicious and nutritious brunch experience — perfect for nursing a hangover. The presence of drinks like kombucha are also perfect for a personal detox after a rough night out.

3. Mickey’s Dairy Bar

  • Price: $
  • Hungover food options: Everything on the menu
  • Helpful beverages: Milkshakes
  • Verdict: Those looking for an indulgent brunch recovery experience should look no further than one of Madison’s oldest brunch institutions, Mickey’s Dairy Bar. The restaurant, a stone’s throw away from Camp Randall, features huge portions of all sorts of delicious entrées ranging from scramblers to pancakes and everything in between. For those looking to kick it up a notch, the milkshakes are also to die for. 

4. Dane County Farmer’s Market

  • Price: $
  • Hungover food options: Weekly rotating breakfast made by visiting chefs, cheese curds
  • Helpful beverages: Coffee, tea or juice
  • Verdict: While not technically a restaurant, the Dane County Farmer’s Market, whether it be the indoor or outdoor one, is the perfect place to go around brunch time to recover from a bad hangover. The indoor farmer’s market features a delicious breakfast, which a different chef from local restaurants makes each week. The outdoor one has no such option, but features a wide array of free samples (so many cheese curds) that can be make at least two meals in and of themselves.
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