Trying new restaurants is one of my all time favorite activities and Madison is a great town for exploring. As a Madison area food blogger, I always have my eyes and ears open for new places but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dined at a restaurant and said to myself, “I can’t believe I didn’t know about this place!”
If you love restaurant exploring as much as I do, get yourself a Madison City Tin. For $25, you get $200 worth of coupons to local restaurants. For the indecisive diners, the tin comes with a dinner spinner- a board game like spinner that randomly selects the restaurant for you. Here are a few of my favorite City Tin restaurants.
Essen Haus- Madison locals might be laughing that I included this on my list, but hear me out. While the first thing that comes to mind when one mentions the Essen Haus is gigantic boots of beer and drunken polka dancing, if you come early you can enjoy a hearty and authentic German meal in a festive atmosphere. I lived in Germany for four years so I’m quite picky about my schnitzel and spaetzel but the Essen Haus comes close to what I’ve had on the other side of the pond. Next time you’re hungry for German food, grab your City Tin and head to the Essen Haus.
Nostrano-A new addition to the City Tin, Nostrano serves upscale food with fresh local ingredients. Their Facebook page describes them as Italian but if you’re looking for the standard spaghetti and meatballs, this isn’t your place. I went here on a date and I can’t decided what my favorite part of the meal was, it’s a tie between the scallops appetizer and the out of this world dessert. I can’t decide, but order whatever strikes your fancy since you can’t go wrong at Nostrano.
jacs – jacs is the place to go in Madison for mussels and frites. Does a more delightful meal exist? I haven’t found it yet. jacs offers several different mussel preparations but I usually go for the classic wine and garlic. Once I’ve eaten all of the “sea critters”, I dip the bread in the broth in the bottom of the bowl. Seafood AND bread dipping AND fried food AND beer all in one meal? Yes please.
For more Madison restaurant reviews, visit Eating in Madison A to Z.
Is Milwaukee your stomping ground? Click here for the Milwaukee version of the City Tin.