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Self-Guided Madison Food Tour: Eating Like a Badger

In 2011, Eating in Madison A to Z worked with Rama Food, a self-guided tour app, to create an excursion that shows off Madison as it is experienced by UW students and visiting alums. For our 9th anniversary of eating this way (and since Rama has gone on hiatus), we've decided to offer a slightly modified version of "Eat Like a Badger" for your summer reading and eating pleasure. Enjoy!

Ever wonder what powers those raucous Wisconsin students in the stands at football, basketball, and hockey games?  Eating Like a Badger puts you right in the heart of the University of Wisconsin campus with some great food and great opportunities to observe Badger students in their natural habitat.

This tour is a “101” level introduction to the food scene in Madison as a college town. The emphasis is on cheap but iconic eats, people-watching and hanging out.

It’s set up as a three-day weekend (Friday lunch through Sunday breakfast) but is easily modified. The nine venues covered include institutions like Mickies Dairy Bar, Paisan’s, and State Street Brats; places that put Madison on the map like Ian’s Pizza; and under-the-radar spots like City Bar, Indie Coffee, Mediterranean Cafe and Taco Shop.

View Eating like a Badger in a larger map

All the restaurants are vegetarian-friendly (with the possible exception of State Street Brats) and are generally kid-friendly, but there is one bar where no one under 21 would be admitted. Unfortunately several of the restaurants are not wheelchair accessible.

This tour works best when Wisconsin is not in its “frozen tundra” state - that is, you’ll be fine from March to November, or year-round if you dress for the weather. Madison is a very casual town and nothing on this tour requires a dress code. Comfortable shoes are a must. The tour is doable by car, but parking is usually a hassle and is not free. The tour covers approximately 3 miles. As of this writing in spring 2013, the total cost of the suggested dishes is about $70 not including tips.

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Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



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