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“Nice atmosphere. Food not so much” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Bayou - CLOSED

The Bayou
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
71 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Nice atmosphere. Food not so much”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2013 via mobile

I really want to like this place. It's downtown and the feel really is like some little NOLA cafe. It's fun; the prices are OK, and it's a great change of pace from other restaurants in the area.

But the food just isn't very good. Madison has some great restaurants serving all sorts of good food. The food here is not much better than quick-serve. The menu has the sorts of options that you'd expect, but I've never gotten anything here that makes me feel it's worth the trip. The seasoning ranges from bland to "let's throw some tabasco in there and call it hot." No subtlety, no special feel, no creativity.

It's not terrible food, and will do fine if you just need something to soak up the drinks - of which there are many.

Go for drinks after work. Go with friends. Go if it's cold outside and you want to feel like you are in New Orleans. Just don't expect the food to be good.

Helpful?
Thank WiscPedalGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

35 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    16
    3
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Pickering, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“No blues ay this Bayou”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2013

I was in Madison recently to watch some Badger hockey and while wandering around found this establishment.
It is a very cool place with lots of Cajun styled ornaments on the walls. The staff was very attentive and their recommendations dead on.
The draft beer is from the south and the oysters quite good. They have a dj on the weekends which keeps the place hopping.
I would rec this rest on a visit to Madison for something a little different.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Rich086
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Platteville, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
75 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great Cajun fare!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2013

I grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast, and Louisiana was only a couple of miles down the road. Living in Wisconsin, REAL Cajun food is one of the things I miss the most. The Bayou makes an EXCELLENT gumbo - the best I've had up north. My husband had the etouffee, and I had the jumbalaya, on our first visit. Both were great! We went back the next day, and I had the crayfish tacos, which were very light, but packed with flavor. My husband opted for the crayfish po'boy, and enjoyed every bite! When we start missing New Orleans, and can't make a trip down south, we at least know where we can go to get our "fix" of Cajun food.

The other great aspect of this restaurant/bar is the owner. You may walk in as a stranger, but you will leave with a new friend! What a warm, friendly personality - a true joy to get to know!

All around, a wonderful experience, and we will return over and over!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank KaynGeorge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
2 reviews
“Cajun food in Madison”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2013

My husband and I were in Madison, WI visiting our son and his girlfriend for the weekend. We selected the Bayou because my son's girlfriend is from Louisiana and wanted to check out their food. It wasn't bad, I had the tomato based version of Shrimp Etoufee. It was pretty good- very spicy! Consensus was everyone's meal was close to authentic Louisiana fare. The beignets were a little tough and maybe were overcooked or cooked to quickly. Our server was an attentive college student with a great personality.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Carmen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hatley, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“First time visitor and soon to be repeat customer!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

Ambience was excellent, server was obnoxiously informed and entertaining and cajun food was out of this world. Walking around looking at the Nawlins paintings and props was entertaining in itself. Authentic cajun food and drink - the "real deal" Hurricane definitely is solidifying a return trip.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Tammy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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