Bravo's Top Chef Season 21 put Wisconsin's culinary scene on the map, showcasing some of the greatest chefs, restaurants, dishes and ingredients in the Badger State. When the Cheftestants and judges visited Madison, they got a taste of the capital city's dynamic culinary culture by experiencing Madison's elevated supper club scene, visiting the country's largest producer-only farmers' market, meeting some of our James Beard-honored chefs and trying their hand at reinventing dishes inspired by culinary legends and more.

Are you ready to plan your Top Chef-inspired trip? This list of Madison locations seen on Top Chef are just the tip of the epicurean iceberg in Madison. Find a full list of restaurants in Madison and great places to stay when you visit.

Jump around Madison's Top Chef filming locations and stories:

Dane County Farmers' Market

The Top Chef judges and Cheftestants discovered one of the most beloved Madison traditions: the Dane County Farmers' Market. Cheftestants were challenged with shopping at the market for ingredients used during the episode's quickfire challenge. The market, hosted downtown on Capitol Square, is one of a kind. It's the largest producer-only farmers' market in the country, meaning every product sold at the market was made by a local farmer, baker, crafter or artisan. 

Every Saturday from its April kickoff through mid-November, vendors line Capitol Square with classics like fruits, vegetables and flowers in addition to some local specialties like Stella's Hot n' Spicy Cheese Bread (it's a well-loved tradition to buy a bag and carry it around to snack on while you shop), Chris and Lori's Bakehouse scones (a fantastic market day breakfast), specialty gourds from The Gourd Guy and stuffed cookies from Yummee Treats.

The market is loved by visitors, locals and the city's culinary superstars. It's common to run into chefs shopping for ingredients to use on that evening's menu. Madison's support of the agricultural community contributes to farm-fresh menus at restaurants ranging from the James Beard-honored L'Etoile to late-night staple Ian's Pizza.

The Top Chef judges loved the farmers' market and described it as one of their favorite places they visited while filming. 

Insider tip: You must move around the Capitol counter-clockwise while shopping at the market. Going against the grain is a major faux pas!

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Wondering where you can find the stunning view of the Wisconsin State Capitol that served as the background for the farmers' market quickfire challenge? Those views are found at Graze, a farm-to-table favorite on Capitol Square. The restaurant is owned by Chef Tory Miller, who was seen this season as a Top Chef judge. He is also the owner of L'Etoile, a high-end farm-to-table restaurant adjacent to Graze.

Miller is one of Madison's James Beard winners, claiming the title of Best Chef: Midwest in 2012. He trained at the French Culinary Institute and worked alongside L'Etoile's founder and Madison culinary legend Odessa Piper.

Graze's menu is inspired by Miller's love for Wisconsin and his Korean heritage with dishes driven by what's in season and what's fresh. Miller is one of the chefs best known for shopping the Dane County Farmers' Market with his wooden Graze cart in tow. 

Some of Graze's most beloved dishes include the burgers (seasonally available as veggie burgers), Korean dishes like fried chicken and bibimbap, cheese curds and locally-sourced cheese boards. Fans of the restaurant especially adore the Saturday and Sunday brunch.

Insider tip: Follow Graze on Instagram for updates on special prix fixe menus, events and collaborations with other local chefs and restaurants.

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Carson Gulley

During the quickfire, chefs were tasked with making dishes inspired by Carson Gulley, one of the founding fathers of Madison's culinary culture and Wisconsin's first celebrity chef. Gulley was the head chef at UW-Madison from 1926 to 1954. Throughout the 50s, Gulley and his wife Beatrice Russey hosted the twice-weekly "Cooking School of the Air" radio show and the "What's Cookin'" TV show. They were the first Black people to host a TV show in Wisconsin and did so well before cooking shows became a household entertainment staple.

Carson's Market, a small dining hall inside the Carson Gulley Center, is open to the public for all-you-can-eat service, and is a beloved gathering spot on the UW-Madison campus. Gulley's cookbook "Seasoning Secrets and Favorite Recipes of Carson Gulley" and other recipes are maintained in the UW-Madison archives.

Insider tip: The UW-Madison campus is filled with beloved Madison culinary gems including Babcock Dairy, Der Rathskeller and a lineup of food trucks on State Street just on the edge of campus during the warmer months.

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The Harvey House

The concept of a classic Wisconsin supper club is beloved in the Midwest and quickly embraced by newcomers when they experience it for the first time. In Madison, we like to push classic ideas into the extraordinary. That's what owners Shaina and Joe Papach did with The Harvey House.

Joe and Shaina have traveled internationally in their pursuit of culinary excellence and have individually racked up accolades including working in Michelin-star restaurants and training in some of the highest regarded restaurants and culinary programs. They have brought all their experience and knowledge to Madison, where they created a culinary destination New York Times named one of their 50 Favorite Restaurants of 2022.

The Harvey House is located in the renovated Madison Historic Train Depot baggage claim house and train car, where Shaina and Joe have curated a beautifully-designed space with Wisconsin-themed art and vintage decor. The ambiance is carried through to the menu, which features mid-century inspired classic cocktails like Martinis, Sidecars and Penny Whistles.

Those who love The Harvey House say you cannot visit without getting the relish tray, a perfectly curated and elevated version of a supper club staple that includes seasonal vegetables, deviled eggs, smoked salmon dip and house-made whipped ranch. The walleye and the chicken schnitzel are highly-praised favorites, and you simply cannot visit without dessert or a nightcap like Harvey House's version of the Grasshopper or Pink Squirrel, both Wisconsin favorites.

Insider tip: One of Madison's favorite new restaurants is Shaina and Joe's Butterbird, a playful chicken restaurant where you can also order soft serve, Jell-O shots and chicken-fried mozzarella bites.

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Monona Terrace 

Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most famous architects in history, left a huge legacy in Wisconsin and especially in Madison, which he called his hometown. Wright's Wisconsin connection was on display during an episode of Top Chef where Cheftestants were tasked with making dishes inspired by Wright. Before cooking, they got to tour the crown jewel of Madison's skyline and Wright's gift to the city, the Monona Terrace

Wright designed Monona Terrace to be a community gathering place that connected Lake Monona and the Wisconsin State Capitol. It's a stunning building heavily influenced by Madison's lake-city-lake landscape and Wright's signature flare for using geometric shapes in unexpected ways. The Monona Terrace is a convention center and event space that is also open to the public for guided tours or self-guided tours of “Beyond the Drawing Board: The Journey of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Monona Terrace,” a gallery that includes photos, videos and artifacts from Wright's process in designing the building.

Insider tip: You can enjoy a lakeside meal with some of the best views of the city at Monona Terrace's rooftop restaurant Lake Vista Cafe, open seasonally during warm weather months.

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After gleaning inspiration from the Monona Terrace, the Cheftestants went to Taliesin, the home and architectural school of Frank Lloyd Wright, to cook their Wright-inspired meals. About 30 minutes outside of Madison, Taliesin is a sprawling estate that captures Wright's love for nature and highlights many of his signature design features like long and low layouts, corner windows, intimate settings and organic architecture. The estate is so significant to Wright and his legacy it was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site.

But filming Top Chef wasn't the first time Taliesin was a host site to culinary innovation. Wright believed in uplifting and connecting all forms of art, which continues today. Taliesin hosts workshops and camps for the arts including painting, photography and the culinary arts. Odessa Piper, a trailblazer in Madison's culinary scene, is a recurring host for Taliesin's variety of culinary events and programs. Taliesin is also the home of the only Wright-designed restaurant in the world, Riverview Terrace Cafe.

Taliesin tours are available seasonally from April through November with a variety of tours available.

Insider tip: Two of Riverview Terrace Cafe's farm partners can also be found at the Dane County Farmers' Market: Hook's Cheese and Bryant Family Farms.

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