We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Friendly Cafe with Excellent Gelato”
Review of Java Cat

Java Cat
Ranked #7 of 52 Coffee & Tea in Madison
Price range: US$3 - US$8
Cuisines: Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: Breakfast
Reviewed 23 January 2017

Located on Monona Drive, not far from Olbrich Gardens, this comfortable neighborhood café offers service with a smile, a range of tasty sandwiches and the best gelato in Madison. Our most recent visit was in winter so there were only 8 flavors of gelato to choose from, including cake batter, almond joy and chocolate. In summer, there is typically a dozen or more flavors available. Cake batter and salted caramel are my two favorites, but I also enjoy many of the fruity flavors they create.

There is a choice of about ten sandwiches – from grilled cheese to turkey panini. This is time around we sampled the Java Bolt sandwich and a hummus panini. With the latter, you can choose between regular or spicy hummus. Both were very good. I’ve never had breakfast here, but I intend to do so one day. Options include oatmeal, French toast, bagels, and croissants or you can make your own sandwich.

The smooth coffee is 100% fair trade, organic and non-coffee drinkers can partake of tea, chai, Italian soda, smoothies or other bottled or canned drinks.

You do not feel rushed. It is a place you can relax. There is free wi-fi, but if you don’t have any electronics with you, you can access the Internet from the computer in the corner. Artists can display their work so every time you visit, you are likely to see different works hanging on the walls. Live music is also a feature from time to time. Drop in next time you’re nearby or take a trip to see what it’s all about. It could just become a regular haunt.

Thank Madcitybrits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (32)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

7 - 11 of 32 reviews

Reviewed 18 September 2016 via mobile

Stopped here with a friend to catch up. Great out door seating with indoor as well. She has wonderful pasties, sandwiches and more to go with your cup of taste java! Even a drive through! Great atmosphere and service!!

Thank stillsazzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2016

My friends brought me here, at lunchtime, for gelato. I didn't realize at first that Java Cat also served sandwiches. I thought we were just going to make a meal out of gelato -- and that was just fine with me.
Staff was very willing to offer suggestions and samples. They recommended the Cuban sandwich, which was just mouthwatering, finger-lickin' good. The cafe offers sides of potato chips or applesauce, but neither of those appealed to me. I asked if I could have fresh fruit or a salad. They said yes -- but there would be a 25c upcharge. I got a lovely green salad for 25c!
We finished off with gelato. Staff again made recommendations and let me sample three(!) flavors. The one I chose, white chocolate cherry, was delicious. At $4 for a single scoop, though, I felt it was too expensive.
Staff was very friendly. They don't have a fixed system for taking orders. They took the first name of one of my friends, and called it when his sandwich was ready. When my sandwich was ready, they just set it on the counter, and I went and fetched it. A little while later, they brought three extra sandwiches to our table. We directed them over to a family with several young kids.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ComradeCamper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2016

Visit any time of the day for a treat. Very pleasant staff and relaxed atmosphere. They have outdoor tables but unfortunately they get real toasty in the afternoon sun and no shade.

Thank foodjava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2015 via mobile

We had breakfast sandwiches and enjoyed the constant parade of customers of every age and every walk of life. They also have wonderful gelato and evening art shows, and musical groups.

Thank Rita Kay D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Java Cat also viewed


Been to Java Cat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing