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8 Delicious LGBT-Owned Coffee Shops in Madison

Madison’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community shines year-round, with inclusiveness and openness at the heart of the city. The progressive spirit is clear in the thriving LGBTQ+-owned and friendly businesses, supported by everyone. You can’t walk a block without seeing pride flags or queer couples, which makes Madison feel so welcoming. 

As coffee enthusiasts, we decided to check out nine LGBTQ+ -owned coffee shops in Madison blending two of our favorite things: coffee and queer community. These coffee shops aren’t just spots to grab a great cup of coffee; they’re also fantastic sober spaces that offer a welcoming vibe to everyone. Exploring these queer-owned coffee shops in Madison was a dream workday for the EveryQueer team and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Java Cat

Java Cat is a must for coffee lovers, and they’re dog-friendly too. With ample parking, a large outdoor space, and an indoor space that feels bright and airy, featuring high ceilings and natural wood accents. Fun lanterns hang from above, adding a playful touch. They have two accessible, all-gender restrooms, something I deeply appreciate as a gender-nonconforming person. This is a new space but seems perfect for events both indoors and outdoors. We visited on a busy Monday morning, joining locals sipping coffee and working away. I loved their English muffin breakfast sandwich and latte. Meg loved the chicken salad croissant sandwich special, both were delicious and the staff was lovely.

Forward Craft & Coffee

Forward Craft & Coffee: espresso and craft beer, what more could a queer want? It’s a coffee shop by day and a brewery by night, making it the perfect spot for any time of day. I loved it so much that I snagged one of their merch bandanas as a souvenir. Not to be biased, but we had one of the best lattes of our lives here—the blackberry cobbler latte with blackberries and maple syrup. It was so delicious I’ve tried (and failed) to recreate it multiple times since returning to NYC. I loved the big folding doors that let in fresh air, giving the place an open, breezy feel. Plus, they stock Rude Brew Kombucha, another Madison LGBTQ-owned business. Rude Brew Kombucha also recently opened a storefront, so be sure to check them out too!

The Shop By EBNS

This one was Meg’s favorite! It’s a femme’s dream with minimalist pale pink and purple decor. Everything from the big windows to the flower window decals and cups feels perfectly curated. One of the things that makes it unique is its part coffee shop and part retail space featuring products from other local small businesses. We connected with the owner at A Big Gay Market, who told us their coffee shop was newly opened. Keep an eye out for owner Kenzie and EBNS at events all over Madison.

Cargo Coffee

Cargo Coffee is buzzing with energy, hosting events like musical acts and open mic performances. It’s also a fantastic spot for coworking! A family-owned gem in Madison, Wisconsin, they roast their coffee weekly, serve a variety of pastries, and have a fresh made-to-order food menu. Plus, they offer beer and wine for those after-work hangouts. I couldn’t resist their seasonal Pride menu and opted for an iced lavender oat milk latte—delicious! One of their locations is across the street from where we stayed at the Moxy Madison Downtown.

Fair Trade Coffee House

Located on State Street a few minutes from the capitol, Fair Trade Coffee House is conveniently located when exploring the downtown. I grabbed an oat milk latte, and Meg tried one of their refreshing Italian sodas. This locally owned and operated coffee house uses fair trade coffee beans to craft amazing coffee and espresso drinks. They also serve breakfast and lunch items, salads, soups, smoothies, and house-baked goods daily.  Dont miss, August the streetwear and clothing store right next door. They had so many things I wanted to add to my masc summer wardrobe.

Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery

Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery is your neighborhood hotspot for all things tasty. This quaint café and bakery serves up comfort food and creative cupcake flavors in a family-friendly setting. They have a large outdoor patio with fun, colorful umbrellas, perfect for enjoying your meal outside. Plus, they offer some delicious vegan cupcakes! The huevos rancheros and biscuits and gravy are must-tries. With warm and friendly service, delicious food, and generous portions, Daisy Café & Cupcakery is a must. Don’t miss out on their seasonal cupcakes and lattes!

Wallalby’s Cafe 

We visited Wallalby’s Cafe an awesome vintage café on our last morning and boy, were we in for a treat! The pancakes are MASSIVE—thinner and crispier than your usual flapjacks, but so unbelievably good. I initially ordered two, thankfully our waiter asked if we knew about the size. Good thing too, because they were bigger than a large plate! The coffee was bold and kept coming, thanks to the awesome service. They also have a solid selection of vegan options, which was a pleasant surprise.

It was a bustling Sunday morning, yet we snagged seats quickly among the locals who filled the place. There was such a cool vibe with visibly queer folks adding to the lively atmosphere. Couples, families, and friend groups alike gathered here for a seriously delicious breakfast experience. It was the perfect end to our trip.

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