Madison, Wisconsin is a great place to live, study, party, and most importantly, dine. Regardless if you are here for a day, weekend, or a week, these restaurant are a must in order to complete your University of Wisconsin experience.
Born and raised in New York City, my restaurant expectations are high. Food is definitely an important part of where I want to spend my next four years. So here's how to fall MADly in love with the University of Wisconsin's food.
Basset Street Brunch Club serves brunch all day everyday. BSBC resembles an old-fashioned diner but serves delicious modern day brunch. The menu has a large variety of foods anywhere but a popular phase for the students is the greasy "hangover."
Basset Street is famous for their donuts that are made fresh everyday—you can choose from flavors like classic glazed, chocolate hazelnut, maple bacon, crème brûlée and many more.
Graze is the perfect lunch spot with a beautiful view of the Capitol. On the weekends, it is quite popular especially because it's right across the street from the farmers market (that is only opened on the weekends). So after walking around and tasting Madison favorites like cheesy bread or homemade apple cider, you can head over to Graze for a nice farm to table lunch with a view.
All the food served at Graze is farm to table and all the produce is from local pastures. They serve classic Wisconsin favorites like Cheese Curds. If you are a pickle lover like me, they have not one but two pickle options: "Fried pickles" and a "pickle board."
They also have twists on American favorites like the Ko-ben, which is corned beef brisket and pastrami with kimchi—taking a deli classic and adding a kick of pickled cabbage.
If you are looking for a fresh gourmet lunch, Graze is the place for you.
If you are only touring the University of Wisconsin for one night, I suggest making a reservation at Cento, an authentic Italian restaurant. The food here is to die for and the menu is filled with yummy classics. For starters, I highly suggest the burrata or the meatballs. Both are perfect for sharing and every bite is heavenly.
A hearty pasta dish is a guaranteed at Cento and they have all the best. Get everything from Risotto, to gnocchi, or Bolognese and you will leave satisfied and very full.
4. Daily Scoop
A popular student lounging area is the terrace. The terrace is a great place to hang out when it's nice outside with an amazing view of Lake Mendota. During the summer, spring, and even fall, it is packed with students and locals for its view and of course, ice cream.
The ice cream sold at "Daily Scoop" is made locally at Babcock dairy, the school's own dairy farm. It is fresh and only sold in Madison, Wisconsin. If you are looking for a good dessert or sweet snack, definitely check out Daily Scoop.
5. Ian's Pizza
Ian's Pizza is an on-campus pizzeria that is one of the most well-known place by the students. The pizza at Ian's is convenient and is open 24 hours making it the most popular post-party, midnight snack. Nothing screams game day louder than this restaurant.
Their most unique pizza is the "Mac N Cheese" pie that makes for a cool Insta and a delicious combination of foods. If you need a quick slice or need a post-game snack, this is the place for you.
Those are my suggestions for where you must dine at when touring University of Wisconsin. These restaurants will definitely make you want to be a student there and are just another reason to fall in love with the school.