Praise the universe, we now have something other than greasy eggs at a casual place downtown. Extremely understated but heads above others of similar ilk is Marigold Kitchen (118 S. Pinckney St., 608/661-5559, 7–10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Sat., $4). This bustling bistro does unique takes on breakfasts and lunch—personalized sandwiches like you’ve never experienced.
Not really a café per se but unclassifiable otherwise is the Grand Lobby Cafe and Lounge (216 State St., 608/255-2594, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5:30–10 p.m. Tues.–Fri., 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and 5:30–10 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sun., $6–12) in the lobby of the Orpheum Theater. It’s a totally cool take on breakfast, lunch, or dinner, in the stately interiors of a grande dame of Madison . Some items are quite creative; the Sunday brunch is great.