Owned by the Nimmow family, who channel long-loved family recipes with Amish roots, Golden Days Bakery proffers a panoply of preservative-free confections that are made from scratch each day. Moist fruit pies ($4.25 for mini, $8.50 for large) boast local notoriety for their tasty fillings that include rhubarb strawberry, pecan, and pumpkin. Diverse grains assemble into a bounty of fluffy breads ($2.95–$3.25) such as homemade dinner rolls, health-packed flax seed, cinnamon-swathed monkey bread, and apple, cherry, or cream-cheese danishes that speak perfect English. Mouthwatering cookie classics ($4.75/dozen) such as sugar, chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin quell crunch cravings among sweet teeth and very hungry hippos, and even the pickiest appetites are sure to find appeasement in assorted treats such as cashew brittle, Oreo truffles, or caramel pecan bars.
Baristas at Steep and Brew froth milk from the local Sassy Cow Family Creamery for lattes made with organic, eco-friendly, fair trade Café Fair coffees. Additionally, they steep loose-leaf tea from their collection of over 25 different flavors also available for purchase in bulk.
Amid a casual ambience, Ironworks Cafe slakes stomach suspirations with breakfast and lunch menus founded on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Breakfast-farers halt hunger with classic dishes, such as eggs benedict with ham served with your choice of side salad, fresh fruit, or potatoes ($8); or an Ironworks skillet stuffed with roasted potatoes, savory sausage, peppers, and onions, blanketed with pepperjack cheese and over-easy eggs ($8). For lunch, quiet midday stomach rumblings with a savory sandwich, such as the swiss-chard and oyster-mushroom melt ($8.50), or order your inner-brontosaurus a large spinach salad tossed with chevre, cucumbers, and toasted nuts in a berry vinaigrette ($5.75).
One of the best BLTs in Madison doesn't have bacon on it. Dubbed the TLT, Jennie Capellaro's meat-free version swaps out the pork for strips of tempeh, a type of cultured soy. The sandwich's smoky flavor won over the critics of 77 Square, claiming Best BLT honors in 2010. PETA named it one of the country's best vegan BLTs in 2012. And in 2013, it was named "Favorite Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant" by The Daily Page.
Jennie and her team at The Green Owl Cafe strive to similarly surprise their diners by coaxing out unexpected flavors from their vegetarian and vegan dishes. Championing freshness, they prefer to work with local suppliers, such as Blue Skies Berry Farm and Sprouting Acres. They also throw monthly raw nights, treating guests to prix fixe dinners comprised of all raw courses. Jennie matches her menu's celebration of nature with a rustic, wood-paneled interior and an outdoor patio where diners can catch the free vitamin-D capsules regularly tossed down by the sun.
In the Company of Thieves satisfies caffeine cravings with French-pressed coffee supplied from regional roasters such as Kickapoo, Anodyne, and Just Coffee. Hustle-and-bustlers can pick up a 16 oz. cup of joe to go ($2.08) and savor the 100% organic flavor as they start their day. Those needing an extra jolt before they host the 36-hour "Save the Gremlins" marathon can imbibe a rich and frothy two-shot latte ($3.75). Enjoy lunch within In the Company of Thieves' comfy storefront or outside with its outdoor seating, as the café's chef puts together hearty sandwiches, such as a scrumptious turkey and brie panini ($6.59). The café also features a wide-array of palatable pastries, meaning you can dip a scone ($2.64) into a cup of java. Iced coffees and chilled smoothies are flavorful ways to cool off on a hot day, and the free WiFi (with purchase) gives college students a chance to study, procrastinate, or write their thesis on procrastination studies.