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Things to do in Madison

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Shopping Centre
“Eat at The Great Dane, Cafe Hollander or Bar Taco & play bags in the courtyard outside the Apple Store. Nice outdoor mall with cute cafes, cupcake shop, and movie theater. Seasonal farmers’ market.”
  • 28 locals recommend
Nature
“Nice walk to the end of a penninsula in Lake Mendota. Great view of the Lake/Captiol at the end. Several places to stop and have a picnic. ”
  • 18 locals recommend
Gastropub
$$
“Casual, European-inspired neighborhood brasserie. Enjoy a cold Belgian beer and hot frites... ”
  • 24 locals recommend
Cinema
$$
“Prides itself on being an artsy theater, but they'll show regular films too.”
  • 18 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“This is the neighborhood Italian restaurant. It's consistently good food. Lombardino's is a long standing restaurant in Madison, so that tells you it is good and survives a competitive food scene, year after year. ”
  • 11 locals recommend
Coffee Shop
$
“Love the atmosphere and the neighborhood! Go on a nice day and they'll have the garage doors open on the south side. Parking is a little tricky, but you'll find something with a little patience.”
  • 11 locals recommend
Fruit & Vegetable Store
“Monroe street has lots of little shops (clothes and gifts), bars and restaurants. ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Brewery
$$
“Several locations locally and all are a lot of fun with really good WI beer!! Cool place to kill some time playing pool, shuffle board or darts. ”
  • 13 locals recommend
Scenic Viewpoint
“Lovely hiking trail on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Mendota. Great place to take a picnic. Don't forget the insect repellent during summer months.”
  • 12 locals recommend
School
“Enjoy canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboards, sailboats, etc. nearby on Lake Wingra from Memorial Day Weekend through late-September”
  • 9 locals recommend
Bakery
“Yummy lunches and other snacks as well as gourmet and gluten free bakery options.”
  • 5 locals recommend
Bakery
$$
“Great food and atmosphere. La Brioche sources local ingredients that are organic from farmers. Everything made from scratch. They are known for their bakery, wood oven for pizza, breakfast, brunch, lunch, soups, salads and sandwiches. Out door seating available during warm weather too. ”
  • 11 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“If you like sushi, this place is within walking distance and it features good sushi and drinks”
  • 9 locals recommend
Restaurant
“If you're going to be more on the west side of Madison, or Middleton, this is another great spot that really tries to stay local with a rotating menu. Another one of our "birthday" / "special occasion" spots it's not as expensive as some places downtown, but definitely feels luxurious. ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Traditional wood-oven pizza. Their pizza crust is outstanding. They have a Market Pizza that is made with local ingredients which changes often. It is almost always delicious. They also have amazing salads that come with flatbread made from the same dough as their pizza crust.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Coffee Shop
$
“Casual, cozy coffee shop with delicious healthy food options and live music at times!”
  • 9 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Gastropub
“Casual, European-inspired neighborhood brasserie. Enjoy a cold Belgian beer and hot frites... ”
  • 24 locals recommend
Restaurant
“This is the neighborhood Italian restaurant. It's consistently good food. Lombardino's is a long standing restaurant in Madison, so that tells you it is good and survives a competitive food scene, year after year. ”
  • 11 locals recommend
Brewery
“Several locations locally and all are a lot of fun with really good WI beer!! Cool place to kill some time playing pool, shuffle board or darts. ”
  • 13 locals recommend
Bakery
“Great food and atmosphere. La Brioche sources local ingredients that are organic from farmers. Everything made from scratch. They are known for their bakery, wood oven for pizza, breakfast, brunch, lunch, soups, salads and sandwiches. Out door seating available during warm weather too. ”
  • 11 locals recommend
Restaurant
“If you like sushi, this place is within walking distance and it features good sushi and drinks”
  • 9 locals recommend
Restaurant
“If you're going to be more on the west side of Madison, or Middleton, this is another great spot that really tries to stay local with a rotating menu. Another one of our "birthday" / "special occasion" spots it's not as expensive as some places downtown, but definitely feels luxurious. ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Traditional wood-oven pizza. Their pizza crust is outstanding. They have a Market Pizza that is made with local ingredients which changes often. It is almost always delicious. They also have amazing salads that come with flatbread made from the same dough as their pizza crust.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Thai Restaurant
  • 7 locals recommend

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