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Cactus Restaurant

Map & Directions
(47 Reviews)

4220 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112

(206) 324-4140

Today: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm
Tomorrow: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm
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General Info
Since 1990 we have been offering Seattle innovative Southwestern, Mexican and Spanish cuisine from our humble Madison Park restaurant, Cactus. Home to Seattle’s first tapas bar, we continue to innovate with seasonal menus, nightly specials and fresh cocktails.
Regular Hours
Tue - Thu:
Fri - Sat:
Extra Phones

Phone: (206) 816-3166

Phone: (206) 328-2665

Fax: (206) 328-2665

Payment method
all major credit cards, amex, check, diners club, discover, master card, visa
Price Range
Madison Park, Capitol Hill

Cactus-Madison Park

Cactus Restaurants Inc

Latin American Restaurants, American Restaurants, Caterers, Mexican Restaurants, Restaurants, Spanish Restaurants, Take Out Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: Free

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Good For Groups: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Take Out: Yes

Cuisines: Spanish, Caterers, Mexican, American, Take Out, Latin American, European, Continental

Alcohol: Full Bar

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Price Range : Average


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Provided by Citysearch - 

How can the same restuarant chain be so different? The Madison Park service is not so good and the food rushed with so so results. Liked Kirkland. Didn't like Madison Park.



Provided by Citysearch - 
I love Madison...the server!

This is a great place to find some tex-mex food and fantastic margaritas. Staff here has always been friendly and accomodating when asking for substitutions. For a stealthy but attentive server sit in Madison's section, she keeps the chips and water full without getting in the way of conversation your keeping. She's truly a gem!



Provided by Citysearch - 
It had been a while

It had been a while since I had been to the Cactus Restuarant on Madison so reminded by the Rachel Ray Vacation show, we headed down on Sunday around 4pm. I remember how great the food used to be and still is. The butternut squash enchiladas are genius! The food is top notch. What it suffers from is what I find in a lot of Seattle restaurants; bad service and weak drinks.
Our waiter would have been more at home guiding a Universal Studios tour bus. He kept repeating exactly the same routine in the same tour-bus style at every table but I'm not sure he listened to anything the customers said. The first thing he pushed was the guacamole. We said yes but he never brought it. He later said ""Oh yeah, that was totally my fault"". Duh, it sure wasn't mine. There was no attempt to make it better. Also, the tamales were being ""pushed"" as well because they were ""made fresh daily"". does that mean the rest of the food is stale? The ""Cactus"" margarita was super weak, perhaps the bartender also ""forgot"" to put tequila in it. The table next to us also complained among themselves about the poor service and weak drinks.
It could have been a great experience but the lack of care from management, (and yes, it's the management's fault if you have lousy staff), made the experience more like mediocre inspite of the excellent food.
I'd like to give it another try, but I won't take anyone there that I'm trying to ""Seattle impress"".



Provided by Citysearch - 

I have heard for years on how great Cactus is.... NOT!!! The food was lacking in flavor , the drinks where just OK??? and the service person was not very freindly.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Good Drinks

I live close by the Cactus so it used to be my spot in the hood to meet friends. I still go there occassionally because the Mojitos and Margaritas are great but the food has really taken a turn downhill. My recommendation is to go for a drink and the nachos for an early happy hour. If you go later you will end up waiting for an hour or more for mediocre food and will be disappointed.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Good Food - Horrid Deafening Environment

Eat here if you like quality Mexican food with a twist - and enjoy eating in an echo chamber with people yelling in your ear all through dinner. This restaurant is crowded and unbearably loud. To me, this takes your mind off the quality of the food that they serve. THe server we had was excellent - the food good - the room tastefully decorated. Why do they not seem to care about the noise level when so much attention goes into everything else? Why pay this much to be tortured? A few drapes and acoustic tiles and the problem would be solved. As it is now, Cactus is unbearable and not worth the wait. There are many other restaurants with pleasant and caring environments nearby. Please fix this - I want to enjoy your restaurant.



Provided by Citysearch - 
mouthwatering food

Cactus has simply succulent food that will make your mouth water when thinking about it. I've been there several times and everytime they have outperformed themselves. The prickly pear mojito is refreshing and their margaritas delectable. It is a little bit pricy for me, but definately worth it for special occasions. I think they would do really well if they opened another location downtown, because Madison Park and West Seattle are a little out of the way for a lot of people.



Provided by Citysearch - 
The wait is not worth it

The wait at this restaurant is unbearable. They make you wait outside and when we were there it was raining. It?s really too bad when a restaurant can not respond to paying customers. I can not say that the food here is worth the wait, and the help is surly and the hostess rude and arrogant. Advice ? go elsewhere and avoid the insult.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great mojitos!!!

The food was pretty good, but i do love the mojitos, more than I like the Cactus margarita. The ambiance is pretty noisy on a Thursday evening, but not too shabby. The service was wonderful, and the waitress was very nice and cooperative with splitting the tab with my fellow co-workers. We were a bit too toasted to ask for separate checks! Whoops! But the location is great, and the crowd seems pretty lively. I would recommend making reservations if you're coming with a large group. The meals can be a bit pricey but it is the location. Everything is expensive up in Madison Park. But overall, it's pretty good food. LOL I had the Green Enchiladas, and it was perfectly spicy!



Provided by Citysearch - 
West Seattle Beach Location

I have been to all of the Cactus locations now that they have opened the new one on Alki. The location is great for the summer but the decor is a little ... umm... airport restaurantish. The food is good in all the locations, especially the bacon wrapped peppers. The margaritas are good but on the sweet side. This Cactus is great for the summer with a the garage door walls and the water view.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Worth The Wait

We've been dinning at the Cactus for many years now. It's trendy & can be romantic at a table for two but it's also perfect for a families. The food is amazing. The mohito's are the best. The only issue is getting a table as it's always packed.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Oh my gosh good food

This restaurant is an excellent place to go for normal and special occasions. The food is outstanding and the hardest part is chosing among the many inspured enress. Favorites include chimichanga, chicken fried chicken, and steak frijita. Such a simple embellishment: the chips and salsa arrive warm, fresh and delicious. Going back tonight!



Provided by Citysearch - 

I was a little taken aback when I was told there wasn't a blender for the margaritas, but they made me an on the rocks margarita fan. Delicious!
The food was fresh and served with interesting sauces.
As a person who enjoys cooking and sauces the waitress was very helpful in finding out what was in the particular sauces we had with our meals. I appreaciated that openess instead of a ""oh it's a secret!"" type of answer.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Worth the wait

The reason there is a wait so often is that Cactus Madison Park is consistently great! The food is always fabulous, always hot, always delicious. You cannot compare Cactus to a Mexican mom and pop restaurant or a chain restaurant; some of those may be good, but Cactus is in a different league. The Madison Park atomosphere is alive! The energy there and the mix of families, trend setters, business people, etc. is entertaining. Kirkland's Cactus cannot compair. It just doesn't cut it. The space isn't good, energy is different (could just be the difference in neighborhoods) but whatever it is - Madison is the place to be. Busy they are - wait you will - but it is worth it. Wait staff is generally fun and on top of things. Drinks may sometimes be slow, but worth it. Bartenders could be a little friendlier. People seated at the bar often like to talk to bartenders; Cactus bartenders are often too busy to chat or make you feel totally welcomed. That aside, it's a wonderful restaurant. Host Eric ROCKS!



Provided by Citysearch - 
All around FANTASTIC

This is my fiance and I's favorite place, in fact we've turned many of our friends into devoted Cactus patriots as well. Boo to the reviewer who says the food is bland it is by far the BEST mexican food in Seattle! Try the green enchillada, steak fajitas, chimichanga, and the lemon drop from the bar. The wait can-be long but what cactus does is they allow you to put your name in advance then go walk-around the cute Madison Park town or go sit at the public beach next to Lake-Washington then they call you on your cell phone to let you know your table is ready this may appear to some people that they have been waiting longer, but in reality some people prefer to soak up the small town feel of Madison Park instead of standing outside the doorway stewing over the minutes passed until he eats



Provided by Citysearch - 
Poor Service, Bland Food

Arriving at about 1:30 on a Friday, I had to cool my heels while I waited for a seat in the near empty restaurant. I was eventually seated in the bar, where I spent more time waiting for a waiter to appear. This was a sign of what was yet to come: the rice was burnt and the lettuce was wilted.
Cactus is the sort of place to take your grandmother to lunch. The food is so flavor-free that poor dear's digestive system will barely register its presence. It has all the ambiance of a gift shop. Skip the chips and (very mild) salsa that cost $1.50 at lunch.



Provided by Citysearch - 

Every meal I have had there has been excellent. The regular margaritas are fantastic also special grapefruit one was good.



Provided by Citysearch - 
food-great...service-not so great

i went here with a couple of friends on an early afternoon during the weekend. we enjoyed the drinks, food and atmosphere. the service, however, was not so great. our waiter was very snooty and the rest of the wait staff wasn't any better. hopefully it was ""just one of those days"" and the next time we go there it will be more pleasant.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Bit of a letdown

I was disappointed with Cactus after hearing such great things. Don't get me wrong, the food was great, and I highly recommend the Espinache salad. However, after being told the wait was 20 minutes, my wife and I waited over 40 minutes to be seated, even though groups of 3 or more that arrived well after us were seated well before us. We went on a Tuesday at 7:15. It was packed. By 8:15 there were plenty of seats. Once we were seated and ordered, my tapas arrived before the waitress ever asked if we would like some chips and salsa. We only ordered tapas and salad, but even then it too long for our food to arrive. Furthermore, the tables for two are very tiny.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Such a great find!

The menu is delicious, changes with the seasons, the lighting is cozy and inviting, and although the bar is limited to tequilas and rums, wine, beer, etc - their specialty cocktails are divine! The Pear, and the Mojito come to mind, especially. The Pollo Relleno and the Navajo Fry bread are spectacular, and this great experience is so affordable, you never leave feeling like you got a bad deal!