Madison's Culinary Scene

Madison is where food scientists, producers, brewers, distillers, makers, and chefs intersect to create culinary stories that are incredible, inclusive and sustainable. It's also where Season 21 of Bravo's Top Chef filmed episodes dedicated to Frank Lloyd Wright and Wisconsin supper clubs, including a local favorite that ended up on New York Times' 2022 America's Best Restaurants.

Madison's culinary scene is decorated. We're talking 42 James Beard award honors. And when it comes to farmers' markets, ours is the biggest deal. Literally. We're home to the largest producer-only farmers' market in the country. A place where you can meet the farmer who grew your food and the chef who will prepare it hours before your reservation. Our diverse community of chefs carry on a tradition of culinary excellence rooting back to Carson Gulley, a legendary Madison chef and the first Black person to host a TV show in Wisconsin.

Patio season is special in Madison. Our outdoor dining and streateries make for the perfect way to start or end the day. And our robust plant-based dining scene makes it easy to find great vegan food in Madison. No matter how many times you've tried Madison's food, there's always something new, with rotating menus and specials that draw from what's in season. It's time to find your new favorite restaurant in Madison.

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The Dane County Farmers' Market is the largest producer-only farmers' market in the country. It's hosted on the Capitol Square every Saturday from April 13 to November 9.

Where farm to table began

You never know who you will run into at the Dane County Farmers' Market. Many local chefs shop the farmers' market in the morning for ingredients featured on that evening’s menu, including James Beard winner Tory Miller who owns two restaurants on the Capitol Square: L'Etoile and Graze. Enjoy a day filled with the best ingredients by starting your morning at the market, building a picnic on the Capitol lawn for lunch and finish the night off at an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant.

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Immersive Food Experiences

Trying out new restaurants is a travel highlight. But why not crank that up a notch? Madison gives you plenty of opportunities to experience food in a new way. You can taste your way through some of Madison's trendiest neighborhoods with Madison Eats Food Tours. For an experience that marries art and food, dine at the only Frank Lloyd Wright designed restaurant in the world, Riverview Terrace Cafe, open May through October. If you want to get in on the cooking, The Deliciouser offers cooking classes based on global themes using locally-sourced ingredients. And in Madison, our elevated supper clubs provide new spins on Wisconsin classics in settings that wow.

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Summertime sips

Becoming one of the 5 Best Drinking Cities in the World doesn't happen overnight. Our craft beverage scene began with breweries but has expanded to include wineries, cideries and distilleries that create some of the best grain- or grape-to-glass drinks you've ever had. Beyond the makers, you'll find bars throughout the city that take handcrafted approaches to making innovative cocktails you can't find anywhere else.

Don't drink alcohol? This scene is still for you. There's no shortage of mocktail and NA beverages in Madison, helping make us #1 in 100 Best U.S. Cities for Living Sober.

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