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Touring Wisconsin Food

13 Madison Foods to Eat in 2013

13-madison-foods-1A new year means new good eats, and there’s no shortage of tasty Madison foods to enjoy in Wisconsin’s capital city.  Eating every awesome dish in Madison is impossible, so here are my top 13 Madison foods to enjoy in 2013.

1. Brat Fry at Bavaria Sausage Kitchen- On Wednesdays and
Saturdays in the summer Bavaria Sausage Kitchen hosts a brat fry. For $5
you can get chips, a drink and an authentic German bratwurst in a crusty
bun with your choice of toppings. Belly up to a picnic table and enjoy
the glories of living in Wisconsin! (Click continue reading for 12 more!)


2. Babcock Hall Ice Cream- Babcock Hall is where dairy people go to learn how to make ice cream, so of course they make some of the best. Whether you’re a fan of the classics (Babcock Hall vanilla is simple perfection) or you like something a little more adventurous (Orange Custard Chocolate Chip anyone?) there’s a Babcock flavor for you.13-madison-foods-2

3. Late Night Menu Burger at Tornado Room – This is one of the best kept secrets in Madison. After 10pm the menu at the Tornado Room switches from steaks to sandwiches, and the blue cheese and bacon burger is my favorite in the city. Let’s just keep this between you and me, ok?13-madison-foods-3

4.The Mad Sconnie Burger at AJ Bombers-
AJ Bombers was an institution in Milwaukee before the Madison location opened.  How would Bombers Madison ever top Bombers Milwaukee? Two
words: Mad Sconnie. Madison’s very own specialty burger has fried
pickles, lettuce, tomato, a burger pattie infused with Nueske bacon and
Bomber sauce all on a spicy cheese bread bun.

5. Mac and Cheese Pizza at Ian’s– After partaking in State Street activities, UW-Madison students know Ian’s is the place to go for a quick slice, and the most popular pizza at Ian’s isn’t pepperoni or supreme, it’s macaroni and cheese! If you haven’t tried this Madison delicacy, head over to your nearest Ian’s ASAP.

6.Fried Cheese Curds at the Old Fashioned– The debate rages on about the best fried curds in town, but if it were up to me the award would go to the Old Fashioned. The curds are hand breaded in a buttermilk batter (I asked!). The batter is light and not greasy so you can taste the melty, squeaky goodness of the curds. They also have a variety of dipping sauces to try.

7. Crema Cafe The Gobbler-If you’re looking for me on Saturday or Sunday I’m probably at Crema Cafe. I was a raving fan of their breakfast/brunch long before I ever tried any sandwiches, but when I had the Gobbler for the first time I was hooked! It has turkey, cherry chutney and goat cheese. I’m debating moving in next door and eating as many meals as possible at Crema Cafe.13-madison-foods-4

8. Stella’s Cheese Bread- Remember that spicy cheese bun I mentioned before? Well that’s made by Stella’s in the style of their spicy cheese bread. I usually grab a half loaf of freshly baked cheese bread at the Farmer’s Market and eat it for breakfast while I buy my veggies.

9. Fish Fry at Toby’s Super Club- Toby’s is one of my favorite fish frys in town because it epitomizes what a fish fry is meant to be. Lots of Wisconsinites in their Packer and Badger gear hanging around drinking Old Fashioneds while waiting to enjoy a plate full of fried fish and potatos. To learn more about the Fish Fry, visit my blog post 5 Things You Need for a Wisconsin Fish Fry.

10. Panzanella Salad at the Great Dane- I live near the Great Dane in Madison so I have been eating here on a regular basis and I just recently discovered the Panzanella Salad. It has the killer culinary combination of tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella balls plus red peppers, asparagus, pita bread and a balsamic vinaigrette. This is one delicious way to get your veggies!

11. Anti-Pasto at Green Bush Bar- Green Bush Bar is a local watering hole on Regent Street near downtown Madison. It’s in the basement of a building called the Italian Workers Club. I’m not sure if the club still exists, but Italians and non-Italians enjoy some tasty anti-pasto, pizza and drinks in a festive (think Christmas lights) atmosphere.

12. Dlux Blue Cheese and Bacon Fries – Dlux is the cool new spot in Madison. It’s modern decor, reasonably priced drinks and affordable food options make it a popular destination for young professionals, but fry eaters of any age will love the bacon blue cheese fries or the sweet potato fries with sriracha dipping sauce. Bring along some friends, order one of each and chow down!

13. Flat Top Grill – If you don’t like the food at Flat Top you have no one to blame but yourself. This make-your-own stir fry joint is interactive food at its finest. Pick your veggies, meat, sauce and carb (rice or noodles) and the cooks will fry it for you on the flat top. Make sure to order extra flat bread, trust me, you’ll want it.

If you can’t make it to Madison, don’t worry, many of these tasty treats are available online at

Did I miss any of your favorite Madison foods? Tell me about it in the comments!


  1. Okay… just added another MUST DO in 2013 – Plan a 13 day stay in Madison. Thanks for posting these, Amanda!

  2. Thanks Patti! It made me hungry just writing it!

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