Where do I even begin with my beloved Lazy Jane’s? I have been going to Lazy Jane’s for several years now and it is hands down one of the true gems of Madison. My mom and I go to Lazy Jane’s quite often for our Sunday morning breakfast dates, but I have also brought my dad, my brother, and my clinical nursing group from last year. Just like other cafes I’ve written about, Lazy Jane’s is very easy to drive by without even noticing it, despite its distinct olive green and purple paint on the outside. It is an old Willy Street house turned café and bakery. It is somewhere you want to go and cozy up inside when it is snowing or freezing out, but also somewhere you want to walk to when the sun is shining and their flowers are blooming outside. If I allowed myself a cheat day every day, then I would choose to be at Lazy Jane’s every day.
Immediately as you walk in the front door, you feel the homey atmosphere. It’s like you’re sitting in an old-fashioned kitchen from a long time ago. There are no waitresses, just a friendly staff taking orders and the lively cooks yelling out your name when it’s ready. The aroma of breakfast fills the air and I take in the whistling and churning of the espresso machine and the sizzling of food on the grill. There is almost always a line (but worth the short wait; it moves quickly), but thankfully I have never had to stand outside in the freezing Wisconsin winter weather to wait, as many have had to do. As you wait to order, you are greeted by the irresistible bakery display filled with muffins, croissants, sticky buns, and best of all, their large variety of scones. That bakery display is right as you walk in for a reason… to tempt you! I don’t think I have ever gone to Lazy Jane’s and not gotten a scone, whether it is to go or to eat there. These delicious beauties stare back at me every time saying (quoting Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy), “pick me, choose me, love me!” Ok, I will. The scones are pure perfection. LJ’s has been voted to have the best scones in Madison, and I more than agree. There are so many kinds to choose from, but some of my absolute favorites are the chocolate chip coffee, lemon crème, or any of the berry flavors (blackberry, blueberry and raspberry). All of the flavors are so delicate, and extremely fresh as well. They are dense, yet light and fluffy on the inside. They also have the perfect amount of moisture, while the outside texture is slightly crisp, yet crumbly and soft. I just simply cannot resist one.
As for décor, it is very Willy Street-ish and casual. Since it is a renovated older home, there is seating upstairs and downstairs. It is very charming and the upstairs is so cozy with its varied collection of couches and old wooden chairs. The old wooden creaky floor, the framed windows with the sun beaming in, the random pictures and the odds and ends framing the walls…well, that’s Lazy Jane’s for ya! There is this hip, yet intimate feel that stands out from other Madison cafes. You feel like you are eating breakfast at your Grandma’s or another relatives, where the furniture and setting is familiar yet a little unfamiliar at the same time. LJ’s serves your food on a mix of thrift store plates, and your coffee in solid colored mugs. From the décor to their dinnerware, it all truly makes it such a unique and enjoyable breakfast experience.
I always start off my breakfast order with a steamy mug of coffee and a side of almond milk. Usually at cafes where the food is so good, they can lack in the coffee department; but not Lazy Jane’s. Their coffee is smooth, fragrant and a little nutty as well. You can choose from vanilla, hazelnut or a little of both if you’d like! LJ’s also has specialty beverages and the standard lattes, cappuccinos, mochas etc. For a small café they offer an endless amount of food options. These options include pancakes, French toast, pigs in a blanket, scramblers, hash mixes, quiches, frittatas, grits with sausage patties, omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and a granola/fruit/yogurt bowl. There is so much more, but that’s just what I am remembering off of the top of my head. I also love that they have ala carte options like toast (many different kinds), English muffins, bacon, sausage, eggs, and fruit. For those of you wondering, yes they have some gluten-free and many vegan options as well. I have tried only a small variety of the many food options since I often stick to what I know I like. I have tried their blueberry pancakes, strawberry crème pancake French toast (yes that’s a pancake made into French toast), croissant French toast with an apple compote, French toast pancakes, chorizo scrambler, eggs, parfait bowl, and of course their scones! It is nice because my mom and I usually order different menu items and then share so we can try a little of each. We often order one blueberry pancake, two scrambled eggs, and the parfait bowl all to share, which is perfect for the two of us. Their pancakes are out of this world good. They are so fluffy and the flavor is buttery yet so fruity with the blueberries. Their parfait bowl is filled with vanilla yogurt, tons of berries, banana slices and their crunchy, crisp, ever so slightly overdone granola. SO GOOD! I definitely recommend the first time going with others the first time you go so you can share a little bit of each and get to try a few extra things. However, if you know you love blueberry pancakes, go for the blueberry pancakes, and maybe don’t share ;). Lazy Jane’s is a great place to go for breakfast with your family or a small group of friends you want to catch up with over some coffee and great food. I have never been disappointed with my meal here, and I know I never will be. I’m excited for you all to go check out Lazy Jane’s. If you live in the Madison area, it’s an absolute must. If you don’t, go on a hunt in your neighborhood or city to find a gem like this! Places like Lazy Jane’s are tucked in neighborhoods all over the place, you just have to get out and find them!