OT: Things to do in Madison, WI

Submitted by Bryan on March 22nd, 2012 at 3:28 PM
I'm here for the weekend for a competition at the law school. Any advice on places to eat, bars, etc?



March 22nd, 2012 at 4:54 PM ^

I haven't been to Wisconsin for a while and when I do I usually get Spotted Cow. I'll keep those in mind though, I've been looking to try something new from New Glarus.


March 22nd, 2012 at 3:41 PM ^

but Tyranena is another Wisconsin brewery that makes some very good beers. The best beer I've had is from there, it was a limited edition for winter/spring 2011 called "Shaggin' in the Wood" scotch ale. They made a permanent scotch ale they call "Sheep Shagger" which is good, but isn't as good as their first one.

I'd recommend anything from their Brewers Gone Wild series; I've enjoyed every one I've gotten to try.


March 22nd, 2012 at 4:15 PM ^

The Great Dane is a good place to take people from out of town, but if you're going to go to the one by the Capitol, get in early. You'll wait an hour plus on a Friday or Saturday night if you're not there by 6. Same with the Old Fashioned, which others mentioned - I like it better than the Great Dane, but waits of 1.5 hours plus are not uncommon. 


March 22nd, 2012 at 3:33 PM ^

double post.  I will add the farmer's market near the Capitol if you are into that sort of thing.  It goes year round and is great in the summer.  Right now it will probably be cheese and seedlings.


March 22nd, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

Located right by the capitol building - great place for drinks and they had the best damn fish tacos the last time I was there.

And if it's a nice day, grab a beer and hang outside at the university's Union on the lake.


March 22nd, 2012 at 3:44 PM ^

Any bar on state street has great local micro brewery beer.  New Glarus is excellent, but being in Madison, you should try Capitol Brewery and take a tour of the brewery out in Middleton (West of Madison) if you can.  Enjoy!  If you like Indian food there's a place off South Park Street around Fishhatchery Rd.


March 22nd, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

If the weather holds, go to the union and have beers on the lakeshore. Pretend you're a student (act like you belong and don't wear your M) so you can buy beer there. If you're carded youre out of luck. Better yet, join up with a UW coed.
Have a burger at dotti's or tornado room.
Go to the essen house and drink a boot of beer. Don't set it down till its empty.
Rage on state street.
Eat breakfast at mickeys dairy bar.
Do it again.


March 22nd, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

Dance.   Just F'in dance, Bryan.   And don't care who's watching.   Just dance.

This is actually good advice for trips to Cleveland, Port Huron, or Topeka too.  Just in case you're ever there.


March 22nd, 2012 at 3:40 PM ^

If you like relaxed dive bars, check out The Plaza Tavern at 319 N. Henry Street and have a Plazaburger.  As I recall, it's off State Street towards the Capitol.


March 22nd, 2012 at 4:00 PM ^

Eat a Usinger bratwurst, preferably on a pretzel roll.  Lots of good bars and food.  Went to Great Dane years ago - thought at the time it was named for Ron Dayne, becuase they were pretty crazy about him, IIRC.


March 22nd, 2012 at 5:39 PM ^

I live in Watertown, WI (about 1/2 hour from Madison).  There is a deli here that makes the best brats in the world.  Better than Usinger's (which I like too).  The name of the deli is Glenn's.  Go for the Sheboygan Brat or the Cheese Brat.  Highly recomend it to anyone!


March 22nd, 2012 at 4:02 PM ^

I would say you have to hit a fish fry if you are in town Friday night. I think the best ones are Avenue Bar on the East Washington about a mile from the Capitol and Quivey's Grove in Fitchburg (south of Madison).


The other great places to eat and drink that have been mentioned alreay are Brasserie V, Old Fashioned, and any of the 4 Great Dane breweries in the Madison area.


March 22nd, 2012 at 4:21 PM ^

There's a lot of fun things to do in the State Street area, but be prepared for crowds. The Kohl Center is hosting the high school girls' state basketball tournament today-Saturday so expect everything to be flooded with out-of-towners. Also, the outdoor farmer's market isn't open yet, so don't plan on going or you'll be disappointed. 

One place that nobody has mentioned yet is the Vintage Brewing Company on Whitney Way (not the Vintage bar near campus, although they're owned by the same people). It's another brew pub with classic Wisconsin food along the lines of the Great Dane, but I've actually found their beers to be better overall. If you've got a car with you, it's only a 10-15 minute drive from the campus area. 


March 22nd, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

From Wando's.  Disgusting mixture of many liquors and liqueurs and sugary mixing solutions.  They used to make you have 5 people standing-by to order one.  I've had a few good times up there the past 3 years.