The Best Restaurants in Madison, WI for 2023

Posted: Tue-Feb-2023

Wisconsinites - especially those of us that own and operate the best Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts - are dedicated foodies! So for us, having an exciting culinary scene provided by leading restaurants in Madison is a fun thing to share with our guests throughout the year. There's plenty of variety when it comes to these restaurants in Madison, too!  Whether you're looking for a quick bite to eat in between activities, a romantic spot to savor special occasions or just a fabulous meal with friends or family, we think you'll be far from disappointed. 

With an incredible range of cuisine, fine dining establishments, fun Wisconsin Supper clubs, and popular food markets, it's never been easier to find great food in Madison - all while enjoying plenty of the top things to do in Madison, too! It's never been more fun to eat your way around a city - but, of course, while you're here, you're going to need a relaxing and welcoming place to stay in Madison, too. Enter the best Bed and Breakfasts in Wisconsin!

The Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association offers an unparalleled collection of Inns, Bed and Breakfasts, and boutique hotels around the state, including many of the finest and most unique lodgings in the Midwest. This includes a number of Madison, WI Bed and Breakfasts, too! No matter how prominently the leading restaurants in Madison figure into your plans, there's never been a better time to get out and explore. 

There are plenty of things to do in Madison, WI, and plenty of great places to stay, too. Find and book one of the best Madison, WI Bed and Breakfasts today! 

Two women enjoying a meal at the best restaurants in Madison

The Ten Best Restaurants in Madison for 2023

Wisconsin cheese - and of course Wisconsin beer - are much-loved staples around the state, but that's really just the start of Wisconsin's love affair with good food. Whatever you happen to be craving, the most popular restaurants in Madison are a great spot to start your food-forward vacations of 2023 - especially if it also includes a stay at one of our Bed and Breakfasts in Wisconsin!

Here, you'll find everything from quick bites to James Beard Award-winning establishments. Farm-to-table food is a specialty of many restaurants in Madison - not to mention many establishments around the farm-friendly state of Wisconsin itself. Without further ado, we're excited to share with you some of the most buzz-worthy restaurants in Madison, fit for any foodophile looking to travel and have a good time with us this summer.

  1. If you're looking for an elegant night out with your sweetheart, one of the most romantic restaurants in Madison is L'Etoile. The restaurant is headed up by a James Beard Award-winner, and also leads the way in sustainability in Madison's restaurant industry. The cuisine is French-inspired, and their five-course tasting menu is unforgettable. 
  2. Dine on plenty of fresh, seasonal produce at one of the most inspired and fun restaurants in Madison, A Pig in a Fur Coat. the focus here is small plates, Tapas-style if you will, with a healthy Mediterranean and Italian-inspired focus. 
  3. Let a little southern comfort into your life and enjoy an unforgettable meal at Marie's Soul Food. Mac 'n cheese, fried chicken, sauteed collard greens - this is one of the few restaurants in Madison that will leave you feeling like you may have left the state and ventured south!
  4. Craft cocktails, locally brewed beer, and small plates that are perfect for sharing over a fun evening meal are exactly what you'll find at Mint Mark, another one of the long-standing restaurants in Madison. It also has what many consider to be the city's best Friday Fish Fry. 
  5. If you're looking for a dish that's quintessential "Madison," don't miss Paul's Pel'meni. This is one of those restaurants in Madison that's considered a staple, and it's thanks to their beef-filled fluffy, cloud-like Russian dumplings.  Why make various things when you can make just one thing exceptionally well? Just make sure you order it with the works, and then thank us later!
  6. Wisconsin also has a large immigrant population, and that has translated into some truly fantastic ethnic restaurants in Madison, among other places. One of our favorites is Lao Laan-Xang Restaurant, which is a delightful interpretation of Laotian cuisine in the heart of town. 
  7. Cheese curds and decadent Friday Fish Fry (that is available on more than just Fridays here) are just some of the things you can get at The Old Fashioned - a place as authentically Wisconsin as it gets! It goes without saying, we think, but this is one of the best restaurants in Madison to try another Wisconsin classic, the Brandy Old Fashioned. 
  8. If you're craving a big, juicy burger that will drop down your hands and leave you entirely messy but satisfied with every mouthwatering bite, it's worth the drive out of downtown Madison to Oakcrest Tavern. It's an unassuming location, but undeniably popular among locals and those savvy enough to venture here. 
  9. You can't do Wisconsin without plenty of cheese - and though it's not strictly considered one of the restaurants in Madison, it is a great place to pick up picnic supplies!  The best cheese shop in town is Fromagination. Aside from offering a range of wonderful cheeses, they do also have sandwiches and picnic baskets to go, and given its location on Capital Square, it's an easy place to grab lunch! 
  10. Odds are during your trips to Madison you've been to or will eventually go to the Willy Street Neighborhood, a place packed with great bars, restaurants, and more. This popular Madison neighborhood is where you'll find Weary Traveler Freehouse, with its delightful menu of elevated and locally-sourced bar food. They are particularly well known for their delicious Bob’s Bad Breath Burger. Just bring some mints! 

Best Places to Stay in Madison, Wisconsin: Hotel Ruby Marie, The Livingston Inn, The Buckingham Inn, The Speckled Hen Inn

Fresh produce at the Madison Farmers Market, which also supports some of the top restaurants in Madison

Don't Miss the Dane County Farmers Market

These restaurants in Madison are fabulous - but there's another fun food-related thing to do while you're in town, too; the Madison Farmers Market (aka the Dane County Farmers Market)! Many of the fresh produce and supplies for these restaurants in Madison have their very roots in the farming community of Dane County - an abundance that is showcased weekly at the Madison Farmers Markets. 

The Dane County Farmers Market is the largest producers-only market in the country - an impressive feat that clearly demonstrates just how dedicated the people and businesses of Wisconsin are to supporting and serving the freshest local foods they can. This is probably also at the heart of what makes many of the restaurants in Madison so wonderful. The market has been serving the people of Madison for more than 40 years and is a popular weekly stop for many - including many of our Bed and Breakfasts in Wisconsin. 

The Dane County Farmers Market organization actually operates several markets throughout the year, but the most popular of them is the weekly Saturday Market on the Square. This market will keep off the season in mid-April and will stay open until mid-November. It's found in downtown Madison on Capital Square and is a fantastic place to browse the freshest produce and pick up picnic supplies, and otherwise just enjoy the atmosphere. 

In the meantime, while we wait for more produce to come to the market, you can enjoy the Late Winter Market, which runs from January through the opening of the Saturday market in April. It's held indoors at the Garver Feed Mill. 

Whatever your day has in store for you in the Madison area, there's only one place worth staying in Wisconsin, and that's one of the lodging properties of the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association. There's no time like the present to discover the best places to stay in Wisconsin.  Book your getaway today!

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