Dining Recommendations from the Staff at The Speckled Hen Inn
There is no shortage of great dining options in the Madison area. The following list is merely a sample and perhaps the first things that came to mind when we were asked about a specific type of restaurant. So, if you have other favorites or suggestions from friends, don’t hesitate to follow those leads. It’s hard to make an error in this city blessed with so many wonderful restaurants.
Our list is primarily made up of local, independent restaurants. If you were looking for a franchise restaurant Madison does have them all too. You will find everything from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse to TacoBell here. But, try the local eateries. You won’t be disappointed.
The following are the Innkeepers picks based on our personal experiences and preferences in Madison.
The Old Fashioned
(608) 310-4545 23 North Pinckney St in Madison 53703
The best in Wisconsin fare – from burgers, fish fry, the spicy pickled egg, and THE best cheese curds anywhere. And more beers to choose from than you can count! Great atmosphere, fun and lively plus great food and service.
(608) 251-0500 Closed on Sunday and Monday
25 N Pinckney St, Madison, WI 53703 Dress up and get ready for a great meal. The view of the Capitol is great. Seasonal menu features local ingredients. Great wine list.
(608) 441-1600 617 Williamson St in Madison 53703
Open for Brunch on Sunday but closed for dinner
Great atmosphere, food and service. Piano bar.
A Pig in a Fur Coat
(608) 316-3300 940 Williamson St in Madison
Closed on Sunday, Dinner 4-10 Monday – Saturday, No reservations
It is all about the food, beautiful food, and wine, and service!
805 Williamson St. in Madison, (608) 283-4266
Dinner Tue-Sun 5-9pm
Homestyle French cooking bistro style. Great crepes.
Tornado Steak House
116 S Hamilton St, Madison, WI
A great downtown Madison Steakhouse with a Wisconsin supper club atmosphere.
(608) 255-2255 101 N Hamilton St, Madison, WI 53703
They serve American cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood with steak and pasta entrees.
111 S Hamilton Street in Madison, (608) 395-3295
Dinner Mon-Wed 5-9pm, Thur – Sat 5-10pm
Farm-to-table Italian fare and craft cocktails on a corner of the Capitol Square.
128 E Wilson in Madison, (608) 255-8376
Dinner Mon-Sat 5-10pm No reservations
Cozy and relaxed spot serving large portions of seasonal Italian fare. Great wine list.
Cento Italian Restaurant
122 W Mifflin St in Madison, (608) 284-9378
Dinner Thur-Sat 4- midnight, Sun 4-8pm, Mon-Wed 4-10pm
Farm-to-table Italian style. Handmade pasta and wood fired oven producing roasted meats and pizza.
7462 Hubbard Ave, Middleton, WI 53562
Delicious food here, truly authentic. The mushroom soup is so soothing and complex. Huge portions…be hungry!
(608) 283-9500 131 east Mifflin St in Madison
Dinner served 5-10PM Tuesday – Sunday
Old world ambiance and fine local ingredients prepared by their excellent chef.
Sa Bai Thong
(608) 238-3100 2840 University Ave, Madison, WI 53705
By far the best Thai restaurant in Madison. The food is plentiful and authentic.
(608) 255-4674 Closed on Monday
514 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703
Das ist der real thing…Northern Germany-style. The beer list will blow your mind! Have the boot of beer and call a cab.
1128 E Washington Ave, Madison, WI 53703
They might have the best and most popular Friday Night Fish Fry in town. Favorites include the traditional beer battered fish, and the Door County fish boil.
(608) 273-4900 Stone House is closed on Sunday and Monday, Stable Grill is closed on Sunday
6261 Nesbitt Rd, Fitchburg, WI 53719
Be sure to visit the underground tunnel that leads to the wine cellar. Farmhouse atmosphere.
10 N Livingston S.t in Madison
Closed on Tuesdays
Pan Asian cuisine interpreted by one of Madison’s favorite chefs. Check out the noodle bar for lunch on weekdays or the Dim Sum brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Wasabi Japanese Restaurant
(608) 255-5020 449 State St (upstairs)
This is by far the best Japanese restaurant in Madison. Good sushi/sashimi that are really fresh!
4001 Lien Rd, Madison, WI 53704
Authentic Mexican food.
Dotty Dumplings Dowry
317 N Frances St, Madison, WI 53703
BEST BURGER: There is NO need to go anywhere else!
2425 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704
Great funky atmosphere, wonderful staff, excellent food. The menu features authentic and original Italian cuisine, as well as diverse Mediterranean fare. Gluten-free menu too!
1201 Williamson St, Madison, WI 53703
You will enjoy the look of this place, and the food and beer are great. One of those places where you feel instantly relaxed.
2002 Pankratz St, Madison, WI 53704
Sandwiches, salads and pizzas are available until 10PM. Nice outdoor area in summer. Hoppy beers are brewed in sanity and it is easy to fall in love with their seasonal offerings.
Great Dane Brew Pub
876 Jupiter Drive
They have several locations in the Madison area but this one has a relaxing view of the Capitol and a nice outdoor dining space.
Erin’s Snug Irish Pub
608- 242 – 7616
4601 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53718
Warm and fun atmosphere, good food and service. Nice Friday Fish fry and a really nice selection of beers.
Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill
4323 East Towne Blvd in Madison
Woodfired rotisserie grill produces fantastic ribs but I love the parmesan crusted Walleye. Great food, wine list and outstanding service.
Salvatore’s Tomato Pies
(608) 318-1761 at 503 W Main St in Sun Prairie OR
(608) 238-6040 at 912 E Johnson St in Madison
We used to say that the best pizza in Madison was in Sun Prairie but then they opened a location in Madison. Happily, we are right between the two.
3502 East Washington in Madison
open until 8:00PM Sunday thru Thursday and until 10:00PM on Friday and Saturday
Venezuelan and Latin American cuisine proving that things don’t have to be spicy to be full of flavor.
The Cooper’s Tavern
20 W Mifflin St in downtown Madison on the square
A great spot for lunch or dinner and they do have a late night (10- midnight) if you want to get desert or something more substantial after a show at The Overture Center.