Not much beats finding a rooftop to soak up some sun or take in awe-inspiring views. Here are some of our favorite Madison foodie spots where the food is just as refreshing as the views.
@mallory_rosey Eno Vino in Madison, WI, right on Capitol Square📍
Eno Vino, atop the AC Hotel in downtown Madison, pairs delicious tapas and small plates with gorgeous Capitol views. Choose from either the ninth floor outdoor lounge or the tenth-floor indoor restaurant – both overlook the Capitol and provide views of our beautiful lakes. And psst, ladies, be sure to check out view from the women’s bathroom!
One of the few spots to nosh on Greek food in the area, Parthenon has tasty gyros (made in all kinds of ways) served up with fast-casual realness. Don't forget to head upstairs for the second-story rooftop patio and transport to a Greek getaway for your lunch or dinner. Try the Greek Fries -- crispy golden brown fries dusted in Greek spices and loaded with feta cheese!
One of Madison's best-kept secrets is Smitty's Study Pub, found atop UW-Madison's Fluno Center. Stop in for a burger or curds before a Badger game, or grab happy hour drinks as you watch the bustling action on University Avenue below.
Inspired by 1980’s camp movies, rural Wisconsin taverns, and the joy of being a kid, Camp Trippalindee offers a fun spot to relax in downtown Madison located at the Graduate Hotel. The kitschy rooftop restaurant serves camp favorites like walking tacos, brats, and burgers, and for drinks, beer in koozies and rum-based bug juice. Don’t skip dessert! Grab a s’mores kit for your group to enjoy around the campfire.
During the day, the rooftop at Madison Children’s Museum is a source of delight for children of all ages. The lush rooftop garden is filled with bright sunflowers and vegetables, and is also home to a chicken coop and homing pigeons. Every so often, the museum lets adults take over the space for their 21-and-up Adult Swim events – an opportunity to explore the museum while enjoying craft beer and Roman Candle Pizza as the sun sets.
While the iconic Monona Terrace is hard to miss, the rooftop Lake Vista Café is a lesser-known gem in Madison. The café offers a variety of sandwiches and salads – not to mention sprawling views of Lake Monona and Madison's cityscape. Try the farmers' market tomato salad or one of their signature sandwiches.
Lake Vista season starts mid-late May, weather depending.
Out and about
Middleton’s Craftsman Table & Tap is a neighborhood spot that features hearty, rustic food, including a variety of burgers, craft beers, soups, and salads. The rooftop is open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner during summer and is the perfect spot to enjoy an order of fried Carr Valley cheese curds.
With romantic patio lights, plenty of tables and Adirondack chairs centered around a firepit, Waunakee’s Lone Girl Brewing Company offers an outdoor oasis where visitors can enjoy their 12 beers, brewed on-site. Their Friday-night fish fry is one not to miss!
Originally based in Milwaukee, Cafe Hollander has made a name for itself at Hilldale on the near westside of Madison. Tap into this trendy stop for a gourmet burger and frite cones with house-made aoli. With ample patio space (on the second floor and ground level), you can relax outdoors. Be sure to make a reservation if/when you go for brunch. (And, trust us, you'll wanna go for the brunch!!)
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Can't get enough of Madison's outdoor dining? Check out the the Streatery & Patio Guide.