Tips on Madison's best eateries

Turkey dinner against a rustic background

Who says that you have to slave away in front of a hot oven just to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast? There are tons of restaurants in and around Madison that are serving divine dinners where you can indulge in turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casseroles, and more. The best part is you don’t have to cook or do the dishes. Now that’s something to be thankful for! These are our picks for the best Thanksgiving dinners in Madison, Wisconsin this year.

Essen House

Madison’s oldest German beer house and banquet hall is once again offering up their famous Thanksgiving spread from 11am to 6pm on November 24th. The dinner costs $29.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids and includes roast turkey with traditional sides like mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy yams,…

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Craft beers on a table with pretzels in a Madison, Wisconsin bar

Madison has a long history of beer brewing, and that tradition is very much alive and well today with numerous breweries producing award-winning craft beers. From hoppy IPAs to crisp pilsners, sours and refreshing fruit ales, you can find a wide array of brews to suit all tastes. If you’re craving a freshly brewed cold one, these are the best places in Madison, Wisconsin to find local craft beers.

Working Draft Beer Co.

Sample fresh craft beers straight from the source at Working Draft Beer Co. Sidle up to one of the communal tables made from solid maple planks that were once bowling lanes at a local bowling alley and sample tasty draft pours like the Pulp Culture hay IPA or the Dad Bod oatmeal stout. On any given night you might find a live…

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Close up of eggs benedict at a brunch restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin

Brunch is a popular pastime in Madison, Wisconsin, and there are tons of great restaurants that meet the demand. Whether you’re craving something sweet or savory, a sleek modern spot or a cozy diner, you’ll find tons of delectable dishes to choose from in Madison’s best brunch restaurants. These are some of our favorite spots in the city to enjoy eggs benedict, Belgian waffles, mimosas and more.

Bassett Street Brunch Club

Just like the name suggests, Bassett Street Brunch Club specializes in brunch dishes. You can opt for hearty dishes like the Italian style Eggs Benedicto or Mexican-inspired Pork Carnitas Hash, sweet dishes like the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, or healthy fare like the Granola with Yogurt. They also have tasty appetizers like loaded…

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Sunday is Easter and if you’re just now making plans for brunch, you’d best be getting a move on. Some of the more popular Madison eateries are selling out quickly so choose a spot from our list and give them a call. We queried our clients, friends and families about their favorite Easter brunch spots and you’ll find the results below.

Granite City Food & Brewery

Granite City is serving brunch from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Carved prime rib, Grand Marnier® glazed ham, salmon béarnaise, pasta, turkey and more will be offered, as will a custom omelet bar. You’ll pay $23.95 for adults, $7.95 for kids age six to 12 and those younger than five eat free.

72 W Towne Mall

(608) 829-0700

Edgewater

The Edgewater’s Easter brunch in The…

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After a couple of decades of the annual cook-a-thon known as Thanksgiving, most hostesses and hosts get to the point where they question whether or not they can do it again. Hey, it’s ok – take a break this year and get back to it next Thanksgiving.

Luckily, you live in Madison, where you can find take-and-bake alternatives, a lovely sit-down dinner where someone waits on you for a change (and cleans up after as well!) and even Thanksgiving brunch.

Read on for our alternatives to the crazy-making cooking marathon that will happen all over the country this November 24, 2016.

Take-out Thanksgiving dinner in Madison

Union South is offering Thanksgiving to Go, with a pre-cooked feast that includes all the traditional holiday favorites. These…

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date night in shorewood hills wi

Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or just need a night out with your special someone, you can’t go wrong heading to the Shorewood Hills area for a romantic and relaxing evening. We suggest dinner, a movie and a moonlight stroll afterward on the bike path in Shorewood Hills.

New to Madison? Shorewood Hills sits on a bluff, west of downtown. Residents here love the quaint and charming streets, dotted with trees and vintage homes. They also like one another and find any excuse they can to throw a community shindig, like the Fourth of July celebration, the Water Ballet and Ice Cream Social and Gala on the Green.

Dinner in Shorewood Hills

Is recommending a sushi restaurant in Madison becoming trite? We hope not because one of our…

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dining out in madison

I don’t know about you, but when I’m thinking of where to go to dinner in Madison I typically check my ideas against Yelp reviews. Sure, sometimes they get it wrong, but most of the time I’ve found that an eatery with a four or five star rating from Yelp reviewers is worth visiting.

The caveat here is to check the dates of the ratings. Sometimes a restaurant will go through a change in ownership or management and go to ca-ca before people have had a chance to review it. So, make sure reviews are current.

Now, on to today’s post on The Free House Pub.

With a four-star rating from Yelp users, there is no ca-ca at Free House Pub, just consistently decent service, good food and an amazing beer selection. Since the weather is warming, we recommend…

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Anyone who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s will recognize the vibe as they walk up to the door at Tornado in Madison. The classic signage, for starters, is a dead giveaway that you’re dining experience will be quintessentially old-school steak house. Inside, you’ll be proven right, with the dark wood and low lights so native to America’s supper club atmosphere. It’s the ideal Wisconsin eatery to channel your inner Don Draper.

What to Expect

We love Tornado’s wonderful menu that includes our favorite, the filet au poivre but also rack of lamb, venison, several seafood choices and a lovely appetizer menu (Coquilles St. Jacques!). All entrées, by the way, are served with your choice of soup or salad and potato or vegetable side.

Something we…

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It’s funny how when you live with something long enough you begin taking it for granted. I think our amazing lakes are one of those things. It’s not until we’re faced with a special occasion or we have out-of-town guests that we think about dinner-with-a-view, and that’s a shame. So, for your Mother’s Day weekend planning, we bring you a short list of some of Madison’s favorite waterfront eateries.

Sardine - 617 Williamson Street

The views of Lake Monona are only rivaled by what you’ll see when you open the menu at Sardine. Brunch here is yummy (try the Belgian waffle) and dinner is très French with an American spin. Make reservations by calling 441-1600, and view the menu online.

Waypoint Public House - 320 W Broadway

Lunch in Menona just…

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I crave a good steak and, luckily, Madison has a number of excellent steakhouses where I can feed that craving. We’ll be skipping the national chain restaurants in this list and sticking to our very own homegrown, amazing steakhouses.

Tornado Steak House – 116 South Hamilton St.

Whether you prefer an early, full-service dinner or something to soak up the cocktails after a night of clubbing, head downtown to Tornado Steak House. Diners that arrive between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. get the classy treatment with white-linen tablecloths and award-winning food. After 10 you can order from the late-night menu and you’ll be relegated to the bar and lounge area for the slightly less formal service.

The late-night…

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