Madison, WI Restaurants Overview: Fine Dining, Pub Food

Madison's food scene includes fine dining and places to grab an ice cream cone or beer

On Monday, June 18, 2012 - 10:43

Wisconsin is known for dairy and drafts, and Madison restaurants celebrate that fact. From cheese to beer, the state’s famous cuisine is on the menu.

The Old Fashioned

Classic as its namesake cocktail, The Old Fashioned serves beloved Wisconsin staples. Only the best local ingredients make it onto the menu; local meats and cheeses become great pub fare. Pair the famous fried cheese curds with one of the 150 local beers offered, a third of which are on tap, as you view the capitol building across the street.


Picturesque views are just one of the reasons diners frequent waterfront establishment Sardine. This fine dining restaurant on the shore of Lake Monona serves up elegant cuisine, and the weekend brunch can’t be missed. Mussels with fries and the warm duck confit salad are favorite items. 

Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co.

Looking for beer? Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co. has you covered. Nearly 20 beers are brewed in house, from the Landmark Lite Lager to John Stoner’s Oatmeal Stout. Great Dane became such a popular spot in Madison that it opened four locations in the city and one out of town in Wausau. Cheeseheads feel right at home in this restaurant; cheese in some form is in almost every dish.  

Read about a Madison ice-cream favorite.