Nobody can deny that the Madison restaurant scene is poppin'. Freshmen can't help but skip out on Gordon's every once in a while and try some favorite Badger spots. If you're a first-semester freshman wondering what some of these must-tries are, give this a read and make sure to try them all because they truly will not disappoint. 

1) Frutta Bowls

Although this place is new to State Street, Frutta Bowls has been a hit since its addition to campus this fall. This is one of Madison's trendiest spots offering bowls of all kinds (oatmeal, kale, acai) and delicious smoothies. It is a fan favorite if you're looking for something yummy, quick, and healthy. 10/10 would recommend the Frutella bowl, if you're looking for deliciously refreshing acai with fruit, topped with Nutella.

2) Glaze

Glaze has been a Madison favorite for as long as I can remember. Known originally for their teriyaki bowls, Glaze added in a cereal ice cream bar last year, making it a new popular dessert spot. Its convenient State Street location and takeout-style meals makes it a fast but delicious spot with an opportunity to personalize the meal.

3) Mad Seafood Boiler

Mad Seafood is the place to go for all things sushi, seafood, and teriyaki. The long, delicious menu makes it a great go-to for even the pickiest eaters. A must-try is the spicy tuna pizza, which is a scallion pancake topped with spicy tuna, avocado, and scallion.

4) Dotty Dumpling's Dowry

This restaurant is the spot if you're looking for delicious, affordable burgers, sandwiches, and deep-fried goodies. If one of the 16 original burgers don't appeal to you, you can build your own. Not a burger person? Go for the mouth-wateringchicken sandwiches (the basil mozzarella chicken is a personal fave) or the adventurous alternative burgers. Whatever you pick, visiting Dotty's is sure to fill you up.

5) Forage Kitchen

When it gets cold outside and the farmer's market is no longer around on Saturdays, Forage Kitchen satisfies the "locally sourced" needs of so many students. From pre-made salad, grain, and acai bowls, to fresh-pressed juices, to a make-your-own bowl bar, anyone can find something they love at Forage, and leave feeling full and healthy. All ingredients are gluten-free and can be made vegan.

6) Poke Plus & Teriyaki

One of State Streets newest gems, Poke Plus has been a favorite since it was brought to Madison last year, the first of a handful of poke restaurants to appear. What makes this one such a hit? The wide range of toppings and fish offered paired with the quickness makes it stand out. Don't like poke? They also serve teriyaki and have chicken and tofu at the make-your-own bowl bar.

7) Ian's Pizza

Everyone in Madison has been to Ian's to try their iconic mac and cheese slice! However, what many people don't know is that they have delicious make-your-own or pre-made salads at either of their Madison locations. Whether you're grabbing a delicious late-night slice or stopping in for a salad, there are tons of reasons why Ian's is such a campus classic.

8) Roast Public House

Charlotte Kriftcher

State Street's Roast is a personal favorite because it has a nicer feel while still catering to college-student prices. Delicious wraps, burgers, and sandwiches paired with some of my favorite sides make this place an amazing lunch or dinner spot to come with friends or if family is visiting. Now serving a breakfast menu, and with a great bar scene after hours, this place really does it all. You're truly missing out if you don't try the cheese curds and sweet potato fries before the semester is over.

9) Sunroom Cafe

Charlotte Kriftcher

Sunroom is State Street's hidden gem. Tucked into the corner of a building, only noticeable by its yellow awning, this hole-in-the-wall may be easy to skip over. With a delicious breakfast/lunch menu full of eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, you'll leave feeling happier than after a Badger win. Can't stop by during the day?Sunroom's delicious dinner menu offers everything from loaded nachos to pesto pasta (my fave) and always has delicious soups and salads available. If you're in a rush, you can always grab it to-go, but if you're in the mood for a yummy sit-down meal and amazing art surrounding you, Sunroom Cafe is the spot.

10) Pizza Di Roma

Charlotte Kriftcher

The long-disputed Ians vs. PDR debate is one any Badger has an opinion on. While Ian's may be considered more of a "classic" I believe PDR is some of State Street's best, and would definitely be my first recommendation to any first-semester freshman. The unbelievable selection of pizzas, delicious entrees and salads, and classic Italian appetizers are what really give PDR their leg-up. Can't decide between pizza and pasta? The baked ziti slice will satisfy both those cravings

So, freshman, as you can see, you will never run out of delicious alternatives when you decide to eat out in Madison. Can't get to all these places before winter break? Luckily for you, that's what the next three and a half years are for.