Crescendo Espresso Bar + Music Cafe

1859 Monroe St, Madison
(608) 284-7908

Recent Reviews

Olivia D.

Cute coffee shop with quality coffee and a nice menu. It is a nice place to read a book or work on your laptop.

Michael D

Delicious espresso, fantastic service, and wonderful environment. Appears to be busy but it one of the QUIETEST shops full of people I've ever experienced. I loved it. Too bad I live so far away!

Karen Conner

Great place to grab a coffee and snack while studying for school or catching up with a friend.

Lisa Behrens

Cappuccino is top notch. Great atmosphere!

Brendan Conaway

Really kind staff with great coffee and amazing tea

Lindsay K.

I've stopped in here a few times when some friends were playing music here. Love that the space is supportive of the community and hosts local artists to showcase their talent. I am also such a huge fan of the coffee shop that serves alcohol. It really is a match made in heaven, and Crescendo delivers! I love that I can get beer, wine, coffee, snacks, or food... its runs the whole spectrum and is perfect for just what you need at the time! I work night shift, so often the early morning hours are the most convenient times to meet with my regular "9-5" friends after my workday and before theirs begins. They can grab a morning latte and I can grab an after-work beer. Perfect for everyone. The staff is always super friendly and helpful when I'm slow to choose my beverage of choice as well. If you are looking for a good, local spot without the fanfare, this is the place to go!

Richard H.

Yo, this is a solid joint. The atmosphere is pretty nice. One wall is floor to ceiling windows and while that can make it a bit cold in the winter, it makes the quality of the light great. To combat the cold, they have a fireplace (though it's not on for some reason today, even though it's the coldest its been this February!). The have chairs with backs, and while they are metal and uncomfortable, it mean you won't fall asleep while trying to do your homework. (I think a lot of people come here to do homework.). They do have two comfy chairs next to the fireplace, but that would spell disaster for my attention span. They have lots of drinks to choose from. I don't know all of the alternative milks, but they have a lot of them. They apparently also roast their own coffee sometimes, too? I don't know, I don't drink coffee anymore. What I do drink is tea and their tea is good. It's not the crazy biggest selection but its good and they know how to make it. That may seem like the lamest sentiment ever but I have been to so many places who don't know sh*t about tea. I really appreciate that they have Assam. They're food's pretty good as well. It's nothing fancy. They've got lots of scones, granola, some bagels. They also have the obligatory avocado toast as well as a few egg sandwiches on English muffins, which are nice. It's not a place to come for a 'experience' like Macha Tea Co., but what they lack in culinary brilliance, they make up for in consistency and functionality. This place is a great spot for coming to do some reading, having a bite, and popping over to Trader Joe's for your weekly grocery run. In so far, I'd say it does perfectly what it sets out to do. 5/5

Daniela N.

Love the place, the moccha and the gingersnap cookie.. but it's loaded with people. Not the best place to work.

Laura G

My favorite place to get espresso drinks in town. Not my favorite selection of baked goods but I just love their coffee so much.

Laura Gunder

My favorite place to get espresso drinks in town. Not my favorite selection of baked goods but I just love their coffee so much.

Rick S.

Great coffee place and delicious fresh made scones. The staff is friendly and supporting a local business is a great thing to do.

Todd N.

I couldn't have asked for a better breakfast with our americanos. The avocado toast was on thick and very fresh toast with a hint of spice - best I've had. The treehugger was very flavorful and the raspberry sconce was so good that we had to get another to go.

Cami Young

Great beans and espresso, the nitro cold brew is the best I've had in town. Fun scene for local music as well, just make sure to get tickets ahead of time because the shows sell out.


Good coffee and friendly baristas. And, for three months in the late winter/early spring of 2019, my woodcuts and etchings on the wall.

Irene Strohbeen

Cute little espresso bar. We were there for the live music, which was very appropriate for the place. I hope to be back even tho we don't live in Madison!

Emily Miller

Always always delicious coffee and breakfast food. I don’t live in Madison anymore but every single time I come back to visit I go back to this place. Their new in-house roasted Ethiopia brew is FIRE

Evelyn L.

Friendly services and quiet spot for studying or just day-dreaming. I like their butchur block table tops and self-service (clean after yourself) policy. Will grab another cup on the way again!

Michaela Warnecke

Cute, no loud radio/music, great tasting teas. Comfortable environment and very friendly staff.

Debster P

Extremely comfortable place to meet for coffee with a friend or colleague. Friendly staff and perfect coffee.

Daniel Willcockson

Coffee: Decent. Their milk-based beverages are great, but the espresso and black coffee (pour over or drip) are inconsistent. (Often over-extracted or under-extracted).

Angelia Hemaidan

Coffee was good. Breakfast passing fair. Breakfast roll was tasty.

Gabrielle Johnson

I loved the atmosphere and Batista's but my drink was cross contaminated and I got horribly sick 20 minutes after i left. I still am sick, please double check everything before you give a drink to a customer that has allergies.

Alyssa Mazer

great atmosphere and service, yummy drinks LOVE that they have oat milk

Tammi Hoefling

Reasonable prices, decent atmosphere, fairly quiet.

John Ziperski

Great night! Live music with great singer/songwriters.

Patricia Thornewell

Absolutely love their coffee which makes the unusually long wait worth it. I wish there was a way to get drinks faster but understand that sometimes good things take awhile. The space is cute with ample seating.

Ali Tahiri

Interesting snall coffee bar, with live music some of the evenings

Henry R

Went for a cup of Capuccino after dinner at a nearby restaurant. Staff remembers me although I go there not so often. Great coffee.

Nathan K

Nice new coffee spot in Hilldale mall.... Similar to the one on Monroe st.

Rachael Vossen

Delicious! I got a dirty chai and my husband got this honey cinnamon latte (can't remember their name for started with an M though...) Very nice atmosphere and friendly service. They have pastries and typical small foods for sale as well. The prices weren't too bad either.

Chloé West

My favorite coffee in town. This place is cozy and welcoming, and the owners Cait + Paul truly care about the people who stop in. Love you guys!

Sam Jenne

Great and quiet vibe in this coffeeshop bar. Big windows opening to the street with fantastic (if sometimes too bright) natural light. Everyone here seemed focused on their business or homework and it was a relaxed and subdued atmosphere.

Leah Cooke

My go-to for tea and a study spot in Madison! High quality coffee (drip, pour overs and espresso) but also great and creative tea/tea drinks. Very comfy for working or hanging out.

David Snook

Very comfortable neighborhood coffeehouse. Good drink options, including beer. Be sure to visit Bloom, the bakery next door. Crescendo doesn't offer food.

Anthony Frey

Nice overlooked coffee shop on Monroe St. Always busy but not overcrowded. Clean and nicely maintained.

Brendan Conaway

Love this place 😁 nitro cold brew, great cold teas and amazing staff

Matt W.

Crescendo Espresso Bar + Music Café is a popular coffeehouse on the near West side that also serves up some surprisingly delicious food. Because of the popularity and location in a student neighborhood, finding a spot to sit can be a challenge at times. The friendly baristas do a superb job whipping up quality drinks using beans from Anodyne Coffee. I recently tried their chicken burrito, unconventionally pressed in a panini machine and loved it. While the mix of vegetables and shredded chicken reminded me more of a chicken pot pie, the flavors were fantastic.

Jessica N. Peterson

So happy to have such a lovely (and local) coffee shop at Hilldale. Staff is always friendly and helpful, and it’s a beautiful atmosphere. The scones are to die for, and their drinks are delicious. I highly recommend the seasonal menu for something different and unique. Every single order I’ve placed has been great!

Sarajane L.

Sometimes when you go back and review your reviews, it's quite amazing how far a place has come. I'm pleased to say that Crescendo has become my go-to destination for coffee and break time treats. The coffee remains outstanding, and the counter staff is always extremely friendly and welcoming. Five years in the business and a second shop at Hilldale proves they're in it to win it. I appreciate the Monroe Street business discount too. Try a sea salt chocolate chip cookie if you're feeling indulgent...they're amazing.

Shauna M. Koszegi

The staff is amazing and it's one of my favorite music venues in Madison.

Crescendo Espresso Bar + Music Cafe

1859 Monroe St, Madison, WI 53711
(608) 284-7908