Summer is here and the time is right for sitting outside at one of Madison’s outdoor eateries or waterfront restaurants! Pull up a chair and discover what locals already know: we are passionate and knowledgeable about food.
Madison chefs infuse local flavor into their menus by incorporating fresh ingredients found at the Dane County Farmers’ Market—a homage to Madison’s agricultural roots. Shop the farmers’ market any Saturday, talk to local farmers, and catch area chefs shopping, too.
Our farm-to-table scene is ranked nationally—Taste and Travel Magazine recently stated, “In every corner of Madison a culinary traveler will find passionate people creating excellent food and drink.”
Centered around the Capitol and along State Street, food carts feature everything from healthy wraps to barbeque. Outside eateries are also abundant downtown. One great option is the Fresco Rooftop Restaurant, located on top of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Browse through the gallery’s collection before sitting down to a fine meal with views of downtown and the Capitol.
Madison’s numerous waterfront restaurants are the perfect summertime destination, including The Boathouse, a new casual spot on Lake Mendota. Or take a scenic drive to the Riverview Terrace Café, with fantastic views of the Wisconsin River. The café is part of Talesin, a Frank Lloyd Wright estate with tours available daily.
Madison has its own not-for-profit association of independently-owned restaurants and affiliated businesses called Madison Originals. As part of its mission to promote unique local dining establishments, Madison Originals also offers a robust Gift Certificate program. Learn more about which restaurants are included and how to bring home Discount Gift Certificates and Group Gift Certificates.
Tips & Tools
Anytime you visit, make sure to use these tools: