Crescendo Espresso Bar + Music Cafe

1859 Monroe St, Madison
(608) 284-7908

Recent Reviews

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

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 ð?? 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 itâ??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 Iâ??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.

Hai Van Van

Nice place with big windows and beautiful lights. The espresso bar is so so. I hoped to get a beautiful latte drawing (like the one in other picture) for my cappuccino but it was just a thick foam layer over the coffee mixed with milk.

Alexis Breitland

I've been here many times.. It's My absolute favorite coffee shop. I never thought to leave a review. So, there it is. 5 Stars! Mom and Pop.. Always good coffee.. great sandwiches.. what more could you ask for.

Eric B.

Not a bad little joint. I like this place - nice little respite place on Monroe Street. There are several coffee shop options on the block - but I like this one. It doesn't seem to be trying to be too many things. It's got a limited food menu and that's fine. Bonus: Cold Brew Nitro Tap coffee.

Zach N.

The owners Paul and Kate are awesome! Great coffee and great vibe! Highly recommended! The new location at Hilldale Mall is really impressive with a hip, modern vibe.

Jenny B.

I cannot say enough good things about Crescendo. My husband and I had the mobile cart at our wedding and they were beyond fantastic from the initial booking to the wedding day itself. We worked primarily with Roxanne, who was delightful and super easy to work with. She made us so many tasty drinks to try when picking out our signature drinks. We ended up settling on a Maple Cinnamon Latte and a Salted Caramel Mocha. So yummy! Nicola, who was in charge of operating the truck at the wedding was also amazing. She and her staff were friendly, caring, and made excellent coffee. Our guests kept telling me how much they loved the mobile espresso cart and that it was such a great idea for a wedding. We definitely plan on stopping by the store more often!

Margaret R.

Great vibes, decent coffee, ok service... Loved how cozy this place was, great ambiance! The gal at the register was friendly and welcoming but the two baristas were somewhat sour looking and did not seem like they wanted to be there. They offer Anodyne coffee and so as Milwaukeeans, we recognized their quality selection here. My cappuccino-loving boyfriend said his cup was decent and gave it a D grade, so better than the gas station I suppose. My chai latte was boiling hot but otherwise just fine. We shared some pastries which were also fine. Nothing to write home about there. I saw someone's oatmeal order and that actually looked fantastic... I'd say give it a try, but if you're a coffee snob it may all depend on the barista you get.


I was actually aiming to stop at Barriques when I saw this little place and decided to stop here instead. They serve around half dozen small bites on their menu, half dozen beers and half dozen wines. Coffee is here of course. I don't know how they survive next to Barriques just two doors down - Barriques has more extensive selection of drinks and coffee and everything else and is very popular, but more cafes is better, especially if they offer slightly different stuff, so more power to this little place! Will alternate between Barriques and Crescendo just for variety! (especially since I got a coupon in the email after visit).

Sarah R.

This place is quaint and inviting but the espresso is really bitter. Even the almond-milk foam doesn't mellow it out. Their gluten free muffins are super delicious though so I'd come back just for those.

Ralph Isaiah Stern

Delicious coffee, friendly service, great decor, and excellent music! The owner, Cait, has really hit a home run with this concept. If youâ??re in the Monroe St. area, this is the place to go!

Ryan S.

My friends and I came in here a few weeks ago and LOVED it -- great drinks (@blueberrymatcha) great nitro, great prices, and really awesome baristas! We had some good conversations and delicious food, and we'll definitely be back next time we're in Madison!

Lezlie G.

Staff were friendly and attentive. Coffee was good. Sitting by the window on a snowy day was cold. I wished they had the fireplace running. Very popular joint!

Karen D.

Stopped here for a coffee after a meeting on Monroe street. I ordered an Americano for here and it was served in a cute little blue a perfect shot of espresso. The baristas were friendly, the shop was filled with people and the tables were clean. What more can you ask for when needing to get some work done? I would say it was somewhat on the noisy side, but nothing that kept me from concentrating. They have live music regularly and different artists are featured on their walls regularly. If on Monroe street and in the mood to support local coffee, check this place out!! Highly recommended.

Cole Sebald

Wasn't impressed. Coffee was good but I could get that quality coffee at a few places in town. It bothered me that the gentleman at the register acted as if I'm making his day worse by ordering something. Then lights up when someone he knows comes to order something. I'm fine with kindness preference on regulars, but it just seemed like I was such a bother to him to just order something. A smile works wonders sometimes. What I personally look for in a coffee shop is kind service and nice atmosphere. The atmosphere was pretty nice, but I can find another place in town that has employees that don't seem bothered or put off to do their job.

Crescendo Espresso Bar + Music Cafe

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