It feels like half of my social circle has abandoned me this semester to study abroad. Unfortunately, I'm already experiencing an intense case of fear of missing out. For those of us roughing it in Madison this semester, here is the ultimate list of restaurants to hit if you're experiencing a little (or a lot of) abroad FOMO.


If Spanish tapas are calling your name, Estrellón will undoubtedly curb any and all cravings. Whether it be Chef Tory Miller's Iron Chef Showdown title or the three different types of paella, there is no question that Estrellón is pretty well versed in high brow Spanish cuisine. 


Named Madison's Best Sushi Restaurant in 2014, 2015, and 2016, Red is a must for sushi lovers far and wide. Numb your Abroad FOMO with  Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice, a Rainbow Roll, and a Lychee Martini, and I promise you'll feel better. 


From a Mozzarella Bar to stone fired pizza that cooks for 90 seconds (hence the name Novanta, meaning ninety in Italian), save yourself the airfare and go all mambo Italiano at Novanta instead. 

Erin's Snug Irish Pub

Dabbling in both Irish and British classics, Erin's Snug Irish Pub has both the ambiance and the culinary fixings that make it authentic, and undoubtedly worthy of your time. 

With menu items like Scottish Eggs, Corned Beef, and Bangers and Mash plus a Beer Garden with 20 tap beers, Erin's is a must for anybody in Madison this semester (FOMO or not). 

La Taguara

Voted Madison's Best Latin American Cuisine for the past four years, La Taguara is arguably the most authentic restaurant on the list.

A menu boasting roasted plantains, corn pancakes, and dulce de leche-stuffed turnovers has helped La Taguara accrue high recognition among the foodie community. 

Dorf Haus

If the name didn't give it away, Sauk City's Dorf Haus is German at its core. Witness the fusion of German and Wisconsin tradition with live Oompah music (similar to Polka), schnitzels and smorgasbords, Old Fashioneds, and a classic supper club ambiance.

Also, don't be alarmed when you see the waitstaff decked out in traditional German lederhosen and dirndl. 


With a seemingly endless array of Indian classics, Swagat boasts the reputation of Madison's best Indian food. Swagat offers 15 types of naan plus an entire portion of the menu dedicated to South Indian cuisine

If you're not totally familiar with Indian food, try the lunch buffet (dubbed the best Indian buffet by a fellow Spoon member) where you can experience a little bit of everything. 

Parthenon Gyro

If you're looking for a gyro fix close to campus, Parthenon Gyro is the place to be. Serving as a Madison institution since 1972, Parthenon Gyro teeters between fresh Mediterranean and greasy, fried food. Sticking to the essentials, Parthenon offers gyros, gyro plates, and a famous Greek yogurt made in house. 


Poke, ramen, and buns...doesn't get much better than that. You might recognize Umami as they have rightfully claimed their place in the lineup of Library Mall's food trucks. However, the restaurant itself offers a much more extensive menu.

If you're looking to spice up your brunch routine, Umami has breakfast inspired buns and ramen on weekend mornings that far surpass the typical bacon and eggs.

Camp Trippalindee

As one of the newest additions to the Madison restaurant scene, Camp Trippalindee may not make you feel like you're abroad, but it will definitely make your friends overseas wish they weren't. With Rootbeer floats, hot dogs, and cheeseburgers, Camp Trippalindee is born and bred Americana. Sit around a rooftop campfire and ameliorate any abroad FOMO with a s'more (or five). 

As fun as going abroad may sound, just remember that your friends abroad are being deprived of cheese curds, the KK, and Lake Mendota for the next four months, so there's really no need to have any FOMO. While those of us in Madison may not be riding on the back of a Vespa in Italy or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef this semester, we get to enjoy a wide array of cuisines from across the globe.