Sardine

This quality  downtown resultant has ocean-conscious fish and a traditional menu. Open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.  Don't forget to make reservations because this place is always packed.  The parking lot of Sardine has a nice view of Lake Monona.  It's a little pricey, but you get what you pay for.  Menu

Madison Area Breakfast/Brunch Places

La Brioche

This west side restaurant is located in a strip mall, but it's actually really nice inside.  French style food, and good coffees.  Sometimes they have a piano player.  There is usually a wait on weekend mornings.  Menu.

Graze

If you are looking for a hip place on the square for breakfast, consider Graze.  Locally sourced food.  The Croque Madame is very good, as is anything with the  Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese, which is Jeremy & Kate's favorite WI cheese.  Menu.

Madison Area Bars/Restaurants

Natt Spil

Write down the address (Its just a few blocks off the capitol square) because this place has no sign outside.  Really cool atmosphere and exotic cocktails.  Chinese-fusion cuisine and tasty brick oven thin pizzas.  They sometimes call pizza "Za," which I originally found confusing.  They have a wall covered in gears that reminds of the presidental office in Doctor Who's Invasion of Time.

Forequarter

This restaurant is run by the Underground Food Collective, who ran our favorite restaurant, Underground Kitchen, before it burned down.  It's located on the isthmus, and it can be pretty packed.  I promise there will be things on the menu you have never heard of, and foods you have never tried.  They have an ever rotating list of cocktails, many of which will be a totally new experience for you.  Most of them taste good.

Old Sugar Distillery

This is a very unusual bar, in that it's only open Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays, and it closes at 10pm.  There is also basically no food to speak of, except for a sausage and cheese board.  Its on the east side of the Isthmus.  It's an active distillery with my favorite cocktails in town.  Try the Gingo, made with Horchata; the Honey Cap, made with honey liquor; and the Root Beer, made with ouzo and ginger ale.

Eno Vino

This tapas restaurant is west of the city in suburban Madison.  If you have a group of people, it's worth the drive.  They have a menu of quality food and new flavor combinations.  The more people in your party, the more food you can order and the more flavors you can taste.  Although they are known for their wine selection, I recommend their specialty cocktails.

Weary Traveler

Interesting decor will greet you at this restaurant and bar in the middle of the 'hippy' neighborhood: Willy St.  Good atmosphere, and tasty food.  It is usually quite crowded.

Mickey's Tavern

This dive bar is located in a house, leading you to decide if you want to sit in the living room, den, or corridor. Mickey's Tavern is on the east end of the Willy street neighborhood, which is known as the 'hippy' area of Madison.  Very cheep drinks.

The Great Dane

There are a few Great Dane Brewery Restaurants in the Madison area.  They are great crowd pleasers if you have a troop of people with you who all want to eat different things.  They have a large and diverse menu, and they serve their own beer.

The State Street of Madison Area Bars/Restaurants

Memorial Union Terrace

The outdoor patio at the University Memorial Union is a fixture of Madison.  Best view of Mendota in town.  It's always packed with people and is one of the few students that still serve alcohol.  Out-of-towers: beware!  You can only buy beer if you have a Union Membership or faculty/student ID.  Everyone who lives here has a Union Membership, so just bring one of us with you.  The outdoor terrace is most famous, but the indoor bar, the Rathskeller, is also a great place to cozy-up on a cool day.  It has German-style painted murals and fire places.  Although the Terrace is a perfect place for beer, the food is not that great.  I recommend getting food at the carts on Library Mall, or if they are closed, get take out from one of the restaurants on State Street.

Mediterranean Cafe

Great place for lunch.  Although they have a few tables, it's really a take-out place.  No table service.  I highly recommend the chicken shawarma hummus plate. The humus plates are better than the wrap sandwiches.

Ian's Pizza

Pizza joint famous for macaroni and cheese pizza.

The Cooper's Tavern

Nice bar, good food.  It's on the Capitol-End of State Street.

 

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