Over the course of twenty-two years I've made quite a few trips to the land of beer and cheese. Personally, I think Wisconsin is a great state. What's not to love? The people are nice, the food is good and the air is filled with cow manure. Surprisingly, I've been to quite a few cities in Wisco but have never been to the city of Madison until this past week. My boss, Kit, and my co-worker Christine and I made a trip up for an annual grilled cheese competition held at The Old Fashioned.
What better way to spend 24 hours in Madison than through eating food? And let's just say we covered all are bases.
Obviously I want to start with my favorite stop of the trip. When we were walking up and down State Street I spotted Dough Baby Bakery. These doughnuts were so tasty. Christine and I went with the Strawberry Coffee Cake and it did not disappoint.
Besides spending a little too much time stuffing our faces with doughnuts here are a few other places we found that I would highly suggest checking out:
This was such a cool spot and just so happened to be at the top of our hotel (Graduate Madison). Naturally we started off the food crawl with some cheese curds and a round of cocktails. I went with the Strawberry Basil Mojito which had Strawberry & Pear Infused Rum, strawberries, basil, and lime. While Kit and Christine went with the lighter Rosé Sangria mixed with Rosé & White Wine, Cassis, and seasonal fruit
A strange name for a restaurant but the food was incredible. Since we had decided to do a somewhat makeshift "food crawl" we decided on the Pork Belly which was served with sweet potatoes, jalapeño, sunflower shoots and almonds. We also tried the Ravioli with duck egg, bacon, ricotta, ramps and brown butter. I'm no food aficionado but man was it delicious.
The third and final stop on our food crawl was Graft. It's super close to the capital and has a really nice upscale ambience. We went all out and got the Fried chèvre with honey, black pepper gastrique; Scallops with sunchoke, arugula, cippolini, black truffle and the Short Rib with cauliflower, port, horseradish. I definitely want to make a trip back soon. It was hands down some of the most amazing food I've ever eaten.
I loved the 50s diner feel in the Bassestt Street Brunch Club. It was laid-back and the food was delicious once again. I was feeling the Breakfast Nachos which was corn tortilla chips topped with braised chicken, guajillo chili sauce, crumbled queso fresco, avocado, jalapeños, cilantro, radishes, and two eggs over easy. Christine had the The Mother Clucker which had lemon and herb-brined chicken breast with cilantro-habanero aioli, mixed greens, tomatoes, and creamy blue cheese dressing.
On Wednesday Christine and I had some time to explore some of the cute shops on State St. and the Madison Modern Market was by far my favorite. It had everything and anything asethetically pleasing.
A hipster coffee joint right next to the UW-Madison campus. It has a fun vibe and the food isn't half bad either!
The Graduate hotel has such a cute eclectic style. It's very "Wisconsin-esque" which I like to describe as woodsy chic. Think lots of plaid and colorful prints.
Now that my sister has made Madison her permanent home I'm looking forward to making my way back soon!
Have you ever been to Madison, Wisconsin? Where are your favorite places to stop?