Wednesdays from 12-2pm
1127 University Avenue, Madison WI, 53715

The menu will always include a main entree, sides, and a delectable dessert.

Lunch with us!


Slow Food’s Café project was born Spring of 2011 and followed in the footsteps of the Family Dinner Nights by serving affordable food on campus. Our cooks work to transform those ingredients into delicious and beautiful weekly meals.

A legendary duo from 2021-2022. Café Director (left), Claire Young, and Café Head Chef (right), Angelina Mico.

How to Attend

When: Drop-in every Wednesday any time between 12-2pm

Where: The Crossing, 1127 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53715

What: We serve a main, two sides, a dessert, and specialty drink à la carte style. The menu changes each week and is based on seasonality and locality. You can find our weekly menus on our Facebook or Instagram page. We have a weekly vegan option as well as a gluten-free option each week, although we are not a certified gluten-free kitchen.

Cost: The cost of the ‘works’ is based on our Pay What You Can model. Pay for your meal what you can! Individual items are available for purchase separately. $0 for a Pay It Forward meal. No questions asked.

Want to volunteer this week?

Use this link to sign up for as many hour-long slots as you’d like. Go to the sheet for the day you would like to volunteer and add your name. No experience required, the Café team will tell you everything you need to know.

Are you a first time volunteer? We ask that you download the employee reporting illness document (as per the Dane County Health Department) & email a signed copy to the Kitchen Manager ( before coming to the kitchen. Volunteers only have to sign & send the document before their first shift.

Thank you for helping prep the meal. We can’t wait to meet you!

Pay It Forward vs Pay What You Can

The Pay It Forward program provides a free meal(s) at Café and FDN with no further questions. We do not want our prices to prevent you from being a part of our Slow Food community. If our prices are prohibitive, please use our Pay It Forward program. Customers make donations so that we can provide a meal to anyone free of charge. Many customers donate a meal or two each week and many customers utilize those free meals. This program is both sustained and used by the customers so there is no money lost or gained by Slow Food. Simply ask one of our cashiers to use Pay It Forward and they will provide the normal menu options absolutely free of charge with no further questions asked.

The Pay What You Can model is a new payment system used at FDN and piloting at Café. All guests are encouraged to pay whatever they can afford for meals, in the hopes that some guests are able to cover the costs of others, with no questions asked. This system is proven to be more sustainable and equitable for all customers. Any additional profit made from our meals helps us to pay rent, fund South Madison programs, and gives us flexibility to try some higher-value meals with more unique ingredients and opportunities to pay for collaborations with chefs.

These are great programs and we encourage anyone to take advantage of a free or discounted meal whenever money feels tight. With these programs, one can pay right into the community and directly support a neighbor and, ultimately, Slow Food UW. Our hope for these payment models is that we build trust and lessen the burden of food insecurity within the Slow Food & greater Madison communities. Food insecurity is a problem in every community and at UW-Madison. We at Slow Food work to combat this problem with programs like Pay-It-Forward and our Pay What You Can Model.

Good, clean, and fair food for all.

Slow Food International

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