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.

“Should be so much better”
Review of Chocolaterian Cafe

Chocolaterian Cafe
Ranked #6 of 19 Bakeries in Madison
Restaurant details
Reviewed February 12, 2013

I looked forward to Chocolaterian Cafe opening and was excited to try it. I've been back a few times, each time hoping it would be better. Unfortunately, we always leave thinking it was OK and that's about it. It's a popular place so every time we go I expect it to have improved, but it hasn't. I mean, it isn't bad, but it isn't exquisite, it's just, with a concept so awesome, I expect the offerings to be tastier, the service to be exquisite, the atmosphere to be warm and cozy. But it's just meh.

They offer some unusual items, like the Ugly Cookie. Yes, they are ugly. They're also rich. But they're not that great. The Parisian hot chocolate is definitely a hearty, delicious drink, more like a dark ganache before it's cooled. The portion is small, but it's still too much. It's stomach-turning how fatty and sweet it is. I apparently don't want to drink dark ganache. Everything we've tried, and we've tried a lot, is good but not anything we'd crave, not anything we can't wait to go back for.

The service doesn't help. It's a fairly haphazard line across the case, and the staff always seem impatient, especially the cashiers. They are not a chatty group, nor are they particularly warm. Come on, my fellow East Siders! Smile! Just because you think you're so cool doesn't mean you should be, you know, cold. I can go to the West Side if I want to be sneered at. I asked for a glass of water and the cashier barely nodded her head sideways to point out the self-serve area. Charming. Not.

The dining area is tables and chairs. There are some comfy chairs in a couple of spots. The space has been nicely remodeled, but it is nowhere I would linger. There are no intimate areas, just a long, wide hallway with the tables and a large window into the kitchen, which is neat, but not cozy.

I want my fancy chocolate to be a more intimate experience. This is adequate chocolate and treats in a nice but unremarkable space. It seems to be the place to go and be seen and rave about. But it just doesn't live up to the hype.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank WanderingVeggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (49)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

47 - 49 of 49 reviews

Reviewed January 11, 2013

Went with a ladies group. I ordered the hot chocolate and at first thought "that is a small portion." Then I tasted it and wow - thick and flavorful. There is no way I could have handled a larger portion. Also great remodeled space and viewing window to the kitchen. Great spot for an outing.

    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Thank Consultant577
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2012

Chocolaterian Cafe is the home of Christine's Toffee, which got a big boost when it was included in the 2011 Emmy's swag bags. When we were there, they came out of the kitchen to announce they were pouring toffee. We all went to the windows that open into the cafe to watch them pour bubbling toffee onto the marble table and flatten it out. So much deliciousness!
They serve coffee, wine and decadent desserts with a small selection of savory items as well.
This could easily turn into my go-to cafe to meet with friends for gossip and sweets!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank robinita2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Chocolaterian Cafe also viewed


Been to Chocolaterian Cafe? 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