From the legacy of Aldo Leopold and John Muir to our famous farmers' markets and restaurants, Madison's roots in agriculture and farm-to-table philosophies help us stand out as a dining destination.
Get started at a renowned restaurant that pioneered farm-to-restaurant relationships: L'Etoile. This fine dining hot spot has served local and seasonal offerings since it opened its doors nearly 40 years ago. Or, stroll around the Capitol Square to Graze, where an array of small plates await, inspired by the New York gastropub scene (and grass-fed animals, of course!). Just off the square, don't miss Merchant, where the bartenders merge classic methods and authentic stories into memorable craft cocktail recipes. You'll also want to try Heritage Tavern, where the fare changes frequently due to the availability and inspiration of local ingredients.
Throughout Greater Madison, you'll get a chance to enjoy seasonal and sustainable selections, from food carts on campus to traditional neighborhood spots like Lombardino's to specialty eateries in surrounding towns. Liliana's in Fitchburg makes purchasing from local farms—and visiting them as much as possible—a priority. If you like local foods served in creative proportions, you'll love Crema Cafe in Monona. And you most certainly won't want to miss Mazomanie's Old Feed Mill, serving old-fashioned favorites from pot roast to bread pudding.
Madison offers many ways to shop green, as well. For more than 35 years, Willy Street Co-op East and Willy Street Co-op West have been Madison's largest consumer-owned natural food stores. There you can find locally grown and prepared dishes, and hundreds of fresh produce items daily. Of course, the nationally renowned Dane County Farmers' Market is another way to eat clean. There's even a winter market for the colder months, located inside the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.