Tips on Madison's best eateries

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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There’s no denying that Madison has the best of the world wrapped up in one gorgeous city. And that’s the way we like it. That also makes it difficult to ignore a restaurant that goes by the name Madison’s (as if it’s our city’s own favorite).

Madison’s isn’t a college bar, but it’s not exactly fine dining either. This restaurant falls somewhere in the middle with terrific food and fabulous service. There’s a definite Midwest sports bar appeal to the place, as if it were a neighborhood establishment.

The menu isn’t huge; there’s a fair amount of appetizers and light plates including Poutine and Brisket Sliders. The entrée menu features burgers, fish tacos, and delish Winter Squash Carbonara. But, you absolutely need to try the tots when you…

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Italian Food - Image Credit: you want true Italian cuisine, stop by Angelo’s at 5801 Monona Dr in Monona. They offer pizza, pasta and so much more. You will also find a gluten free pizza crust and pasta, as well as a whole wheat crust and pasta. Angelo’s caters for any size of event, and they offer private dining areas. Or you can choose to have them come to your location.

The Grotto is great for parties of 10 to 50. This area starts at $300 on weekdays, and $500 for Friday’s and Saturday’s. Cash bars are also available, and this area can be rented for lunch or dinner. This area is great for banquet meetings, trainings, anniversaries, birthdays, reunions and corporate events.

Private parties of 30 to 70 can be hosted in the main restaurant. If you use the main restaurant and…

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Italian Restaurant - Image Credit:

Naples 15 is the place to go for an awesome dining experience in Madison, WI. Open six days a week, Naples 15 is a popular local favorite for all things Italian. Check them out for dinner Monday through Saturday where you’ll enjoy a Southern Italian style dining experience with Neapolitan cuisine.

You’ll feel like you’ve arrived in the heart of Naples when you arrive from the restaurant’s culture to the cuisine. This family-friendly restaurant is the perfect place to feel whisked away to Naples while you enjoy pizza, pasta, and excellent service. Here is a look at what to expect when you visit Naples 15.

About Naples 15

The restaurant is a popular gem in Madison located at 15 North Butler Street. Make your reservation for dinner from 5-10pm…

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Dining - Image Credit:

The Marrakesh Restaurant is a favorite in Madison featuring a Moroccan and Mediterranean menu. It’s open six days a week featuring dinner hours only in a beautiful venue. You’ll love the authentic flavors of Morocco while seated in the cozy and nicely decorated dining room.

Try the exotic flavors of Marrakesh in Madison with your small group, for date night or to catch up with the family. You can even enjoy a cup of tea in the lounge area next to the restaurant. Here is a look at what else to look forward to when you visit Marrakesh Restaurant.

What to Expect

The restaurant can be found at 5510 University Avenue in Madison. They are open from 5pm to 9pm on Tuesday through Sunday and also offer catering and delivery options. Prices average…

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A Pig In a Fur Coat is located at 940 Williamson Street in Madison, Wisconsin. They focus on Mediterranean cuisine, and offer a communal table setting. The atmosphere is casual and friendly. This is a great place to have a gathering with friends or family. Service is outstanding, and they are always ready to help you with menu choices.

Menu Options Include:

  • Snacks – Charcuterie and Cheese Platter, Marinated Olives, Duck Fat Fries, Dates, Rabbit Rillette, Poutine and Meatballs. 
  • Small Plates – Ravioli, Octopus, Pork Belly, Foie Gras Mousse, Lamb Carpaccio, Beets, Veal Neck and Burrata. 
  • Large Plate – Portchetta, Rabbit, Pork Tripe, Wagyu Beef and Scallop. 
  • Dessert – Sicilian Sfingi, Panna Cotta, and cheesecake.

They offer a…

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Sushi - Image Credit:

Red Sushi Grill is a highly rated restaurant in Madison, WI. They provide plenty of high-quality rolls, sashimi and so much more. Whether you're looking for a traditional sushi dish or something a bit more creative, this is the place you'll find it in Downtown Madison.

The Menu

There are plenty of great choices on the menu including some items from the grill. Whether you love sushi or you prefer something cooked, you can find a great choice at Red Sushi Grill. Some of the favorite menu items include:

  • Miso Soup
  • Gyoza
  • Beef Negimaki
  • Shrimp Tempura
  • Seaweed Salad
  • Spicy Tuna Avocado Salad
  • Teriyaki Tofu
  • Miso Black Cod
  • Unagi Don
  • Chrashi
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Anago
  • Kani
  • Tamago
  • Quail Egg
  • Escolar
  • Hirame

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Hamburger - Image Credit:

Dotty Dumpling's Dowry has been serving hamburgers to Madison residents for over 30 years. What started off as an electric gift shop in Des Moines, Iowa quickly turned into one the greatest hamburger huts in the Midwest.

The Menu

If you love hamburgers you will absolutely love Dotty Dumpling's Dowry. The menu here consists of close to 20 hamburgers that will literally melt in your mouth. Some of them include the heart throb, melting pot, basil mozzarella and California burger just to name a few. If you don’t want any of the burgers on the menu, you can always build your own for just $5.99.

Adventurous Alternatives

For those who like to try new things, or prefer to maintain a certain diet, the adventurous alternatives menu is for you. On it…

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Steak - Image Credit:

Check out Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse located in Middleton, Wisconsin as well as locations in Iowa, Kansas, and Illinois. The first one opened in Des Moines, Iowa back in 2002 to remind guests of a supper club from the 1940’s. You’ll love feeling like you’ve been whisked away to the past while still adding the elements of modern dining that make the experience more wonderful.

It’s a classy restaurant with a touch of edge featuring amazing steaks, Italian influence and innovative dishes. Enjoy something off of the top-notch wine list or a specialty cocktail served on their custom granite bar. Here is a look at what to expect when you dine at Johnny’s near you.

What to Expect

The restaurant is located at the Greenway Station in Middleton,…

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