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CAPH52 Jul 18th, 2006 10:17 AM

Madison Wisconsin
We're going to Madison a week from Friday so that our son can check out UW. We'll just be there the one night (will probably be going back sometime in the fall). I've read that Madison has a good selection of restaurants. Any suggestions for one that's non-chain, interesting and inexpensive (under $100 for the four of us)? Preferably somewhere my husband and I can get a beer.

Years ago I believe there were good German restaurants in Madison. Are there still? The wonderful German restaurants in Milwaukee tend to be fairly expensive though. So I'm wondering whether that would be the case in Madison as well.

We'd be interested in any kind of ethnic restaurant or anything that might give our son a feel for the area (although I realize that most of the students will be gone.)

Thanks! :)

janeygirl Jul 18th, 2006 12:13 PM

There are lots of great restaurants in Madison. The only German restaurant I know of is the Essenhaus, just east of the capitol square (concourse). I don't care for German food so I can't attest to the quality but they have a large beer selection.

Not far from there (a block or two) is Williamson Street (Willy Street). There's a good restaurant that's called, I think, Coyote Capers. There's also the El Dorado Grill that I've heard is not bad.

If you go a bit further east (down Willy Street), there's a great Laotian restaurant on Atwood Avenue (can't recall the name at the moment).

There are some more pricy restaurants around the square (Letoile, Harvest) but would probably stretch your $100 budget, especially if you ordered wine.

There's an Indian restaurant on the far west side of Madison, the Maharaj on Odana Road. Food's great and the prices are good. It's located in a strip mall so no great views but still, one of my favorites.

marysue27 Jul 18th, 2006 12:24 PM

Madison is such a great city! I hope you and your family enjoy it.

Some restaurant suggestions:
1) The Great Dane (123 E. Doty St.--Not far from the Capitol) Family-friendly brew pub with good food. They also have a great outdoor courtyard.

2) Mickie's Dairy Bar (1511 Monroe St--near Camp Randall Stadium) Good, local breakfast place. Inexpensive

3) Monty's Blue Plate Diner (2089 Atwood Ave.) Also a local favorite. Good lunch and breakfast place.

4) Memorial Union Terrace This is the best spot on campus (especially on a nice day). There's tons of outdoor seating on the late (right behind Memorial Union) and in the summer they have a grill going. Otherwise, you can get food from inside and take it out to eat. Your family will love it. It's also a great place to pass the time or meet up after your campus visit.

Enjoy! Go Big Red!

marysue27 Jul 18th, 2006 01:03 PM

Sorry! In my last post, I meant to say "there's seating by the LAKE," not late.

CAPH52 Jul 18th, 2006 03:22 PM

Thank you, janeygirl and marysue. Great suggestions!

ChiDad Jul 18th, 2006 03:37 PM

Don't know where you are coming from but I'd suggest a new place, The Old Fashioned on the square. The reviews have been great, the food is Wisconsin's finest and its a six block walk up State Street from the campus. It will also be in your price range. Sushi at either Wasabi or Takara are possibilities as is the Nepalese place on State that I can't think of the name.

Check out for more info.

Have fun here in Madison,


AuntAnnie Jul 18th, 2006 03:42 PM

Just walk down State Street and you will find something good!
The UW Union has a terrace down to the lake that is a nice spot to lounge. Try the UW made ice cream!!! I love the Madison campus. My daughters decided to study at the U of Minnesota, which is also a great school....but we had a great time when we toured UWM!

CAPH52 Jul 18th, 2006 03:48 PM

Thank you very much, Kevin! Great suggestions and a very good link! :) BTW, we're coming from the western suburbs (Chicago).

Thanks to you too, AuntAnnie. I'm looking forward to the trip to Madison. We're going to Bloomington, IN earlier that same week. I think both trips will be nice little mini-vacations. And, of course, we're hoping they'll help our son start narrowing down his choices! :D

ChiDad Jul 19th, 2006 08:58 AM


We relocated two years ago from Glen Ellyn to Madison and it's worked out great for us. The UW is a fantastic school and my oldest is working on her application right now. Does your son have a specific major in mind?


CAPH52 Jul 19th, 2006 09:12 AM

Hi, Kevin

We're in Villa Park. So very close to your old stomping grounds! I'm glad to hear you're happy in Madison. I've been impressed with everything I've read about it so far.

Our son thinks he'll probably go into sports journalism (which is why we plan to also look at Missou sometime in the fall!). But he's also interested in politics/govt/social studies. Just can't figure out what he'd do with a degree in those areas! :D At this point, he's thinking he'll major in journalism, minor in poli sci.

Good luck to your daughter! Will she be a senior in high school this year? If so, she's getting a good jump on her application!

ChiDad Jul 19th, 2006 10:10 AM


Madison is a sports and politics crazy town. It might be a great fit for your son. The UW system takes applications in September and my daughter would love to get an early read on where she'll be headed in the fall of 2007. If you like message boards (and it looks like you do) I'd highly recommend


CAPH52 Jul 19th, 2006 10:19 AM

Thanks, Kevin! :)

smile81 Jul 19th, 2006 10:28 AM

I second the old fashioned on the square. mostly for it's uniqueness and pure wisconsin cuisine (it's also student friendly priced). The Great Dane is also fun, and they brew their own beer-check out the crop circle wheat. At the great dane it's best to sit outside, and you should go to the location on King st (near the capital square).

CAPH52 Jul 19th, 2006 10:39 AM

Thanks, smile81. Both those places sound like exactly the sort of thing we're looking for! :)

jette Jul 19th, 2006 10:49 AM

I don't want to sound too snarky but Annie, its UW. Not UWM. UWM is U of Milwaukee.

As an alumini of UW I can tell you nothing will raise the ire of Badgers faster then calling it UWM

CAPH52 Jul 19th, 2006 10:56 AM

Good thing to know, jette! :-d

jette Jul 19th, 2006 11:14 AM

Never poke sticks at Badgers!

It'll cost you a Babcock ice cream cone. (YUM)

enjoylife Jul 19th, 2006 05:20 PM

Another vote for trying UW's proprietary ice cream. Different flavors each day and YUMMY!

CAPH52 Jul 19th, 2006 11:28 PM

We'll definitely be trying out the ice cream! :-d

AuntAnnie Jul 20th, 2006 06:50 AM

jette: Ooops! My Dad is a badger. I should know better. And yet, as a gopher, I kind of enjoy raising a little badger ire!!!
Tee hee.

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