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.
Sip handcrafted wine and enjoy artisan ingredients grown, harvested, cooked and served on a family farm at Campo di Bella Winery and Farm to Table in Mt. Horeb. Owners Marc and Mary Ann operate a 21-acre farm and vineyards that fuel their rustic Italian menu and special events including dinner menus with seasonal fare and wine tasting on Friday and Saturdays.
Meanwhile on the Capitol Square, classic farm-to-table offerings can be found at the renowned restaurant that pioneered the farm-to-restaurant movement: L'Etoile. This fine dining establishment has served local and seasonal offerings since it opened its doors 40 years ago. Also on the square you'll find Harvest, named one of America's top farm-to-table restaurants by Gourmet Magazine, and Graze, named after the grass-fed animals and rotational items that appear on the menu. At all locations, ingredients come from small farms in the region, and the menu changes with the availability of produce.
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. Nestled near the University, Lombardino's is considered one of the top five Italian restaurants by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Fuegos on Williamson Street serves up herbs grown in its own patio garden and uses farm fresh ingredients in its dishes. 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. REAP Food Group works to grow a local food system that supports small family farms and locally-owned businesses. Look for the "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" emblem while shopping in town, and you'll know you're shopping locally. 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, adding a third location, Willy Street Co-op North, in 2016. 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. The market takes place around the Capitol Square on Saturdays from mid-April through mid-November.