Restaurants, Graze
© Eric Tadsen


2017 Best Fests

It’s easy to dig into a calendar full of culinary events when you visit Madison! Read on to review a sampling of annual favorites, considered some of the Best Fests our food-obsessed city has to offer. Then plan your next taste-test trip—there’s a new one to try almost every month!

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Isthmus Beer and Cheese Fest

January 20, 2018
Mix and mingle with brewers and cheesemakers around the state (and beyond)! Try hundreds of delicious creations at this 9th annual event. This is a ticketed event.

Madison Magazine Restaurant Week

January 21-26, 2018
A Madison food-lovers’ tradition! Participating restaurants create prix-fixe menus featuring three different options for three-course meals starting at just $25. Reservations encouraged.



Food Fight Foodie Week

This new event, created in partnership with Madison Hotel Week, will feature special three-course menus ($15 to $35 per person) at all Food Fight Restaurants. Reservations encouraged.



Madison on Tap Craft Beer Festival

March 3, 2018
Madison’s largest craft beer festival is back for its 4rd annual appearance—and it’s the place to sample 150+ releases from some of America’s best craft breweries! This is a ticketed event.

MACN Chef Week

Join Madison Area Chefs Network chefs who will combine menus, trade kitchens, and engage in a bit of healthy competition in 15+ events. Check individual events for reservation and ticketed event information.

Madison Magazine Top Shelf Winter Taste

Sip it. Sample it. Taste it. Hear it. This top-shelf tasting event features local distilleries, wineries and purveyors, plus live music by Barley Wine Jazz. This is a ticketed event.



Madison Craft Beer Week

Expect: special beer tappings, food pairings, educational programs and appearances by brewers. This is a ticketed event.



Isthmus Food Cart Fest

This annual festival takes place at Madison’s iconic Central Park and features all-you-can sample food cart fare and live music. Craft beer is also available for purchase. This is a ticketed event.


Four days of live music, classic Wisconsin brats, rides, activities and more means fun for the whole family! Musical acts to expect in 2017: George Clinton and Everclear. This is a free event.  



Burgers & Brew

June 2-3, 2018
Eat and drink your way through this 10th annual event of locally-sourced burgers, live music and craft brews! Wisconsin’s talented producers will be serving up unique burgers, craft beer and dessert pairings. This is a ticketed event.

Farm to Feast

This year's event features James Beard Award-winning Chef Tory Miller and will take place at Wollersheim Winery & Distillery in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. This is a ticketed event.

Mad City Vegan Fest

Join curious omnivores and longtime vegans at a festival where you can enjoy delicious vegan food and find helpful information on protecting animals, the environment, and your health. New in 2017: this event will move into the full Exhibition Hall at Alliant Energy Center. This is a free event.


National Mustard Day at the Mustard Museum

August 4, 2018
The Mustard Museum has been the official sponsor of National Mustard Day since 1991, and annually welcomes more than 6,000 people to downtown Middleton. This is a free event.

Yum Yum Festival

Yum Yum Fest highlights delicious dishes and drinks from the most celebrated restaurants in Dane County and beyond. This year the food party moves to Breese Stevens Field! This is a ticketed event.

Madison Magazine Top Shelf Summer Taste

Sip it. Sample it. Taste it. Hear it. The alfresco version of this top-shelf tasting event features local distilleries, wineries and purveyors, and will be held at Nau-ti-Gal.

Great Taste of the Midwest

August 11, 2018
This event is the second longest-running craft beer festival in the U.S. and features more than 150 of the Midwest’s finest craft brewers serving more than 1,000 beers lakeside at Madison’s beautiful Olin Park. This is a ticketed event.



Taste of Madison

September 1-2, 2018
Eat your way around the Capitol Square as part of Taste of Madison! This annual Labor Day weekend event features more than 80 local restaurants, 26 beverage stands and 3 music stages. This is a free event.

Thirsty Troll Brew Fest

September 8, 2018
This signature event in Mt. Horeb is an intimate tasting with more than 25 craft brewers and some 100 beers to sample. There’s live music, too! This is a ticketed event.

Isthmus OktoBEERfest

This hip interpretation of the classic, German-style fest features more than 50 craft brewers, as well as artisan sausage and cheesemakers for unlimited sampling and fun. This is a ticketed event.

Bike the Barns

September 16, 2018
A fresh take on riding events: consume more calories than you burn! Bike the Barns participants take a recreational tour of CSA farms in southwest WI, sampling all the way. This is a ticketed event.



Quivey’s Grove Beer Fest

Cold beer! Local music! Hot food! The best of all worlds are found at this fest, held on the wooded grounds of Quivey’s Grove. Sample more than 100 beers from 45 different brewers and food from the outdoor smoke roaster. This is a ticketed event.

Madison Cocktail Week

Madison is pretty darn nice in the fall. In celebration, there's Madison Cocktail Week. Stay tuned for 2017 event info.

REAP Pie Palooza

Pie for brunch? You bet! This annual event celebrates locally grown ingredients and all things pie. Take your pick from sweet and savory pies, plus tarts, quiches, turnovers and more. This is a ticketed event.



Herb Faire

Growing and using herbs is the focus of this fun and educational event held at Madison’s renowned Olbrich Gardens. Workshops and demonstrations give growers a taste of the benefits of herbs. This is a free event.