Best of Madison

Best of Madison 2014

The 33rd annual readers' poll—always highly...

Food & Drink

Every year when the Best of Madison results come in, we can’t help hurriedly scanning the food and drink list. After all, this is a foodie town and the category is our largest. First thoughts usually include: Who won best restaurant? Best new restaurant? In arguably two of the most anticipated—and debated—categories, this year’s winners,L’Etoile and Grampa’s Pizzeria, respectively, feel right. But these biggie categories only scratch the surface of a larger story. On the list we see old favorites: Glass Nickel wins best pizza for the fourteenth time and Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry nabs its twenty-sixth gold for burger. But new Madison is also represented. The hip Underground Butcher was voted Madison’s best butcher, and Ale Asylum’s Hopalicious moved from its previous four-year position at silver to secure gold in 2014, for the first time bumping New Glarus Brewing’s Spotted Cow from its gilded title to second place. But that’s what we love about the Best of Madison, and about the food and drink poll: It affirms what we know we love but also signals when change is in the air. – Grace Edquist

Ambience
Eno Vino Wine Bar & Bistro
Weary Traveler Freehouse
Sardine

Bakery
Cupcakes-A-Go-Go
Batch Bakehouse
Greenbush Bakery

Bartender
Steve Renfro, High Noon Saloon
Max Gartzke, HotelRED
Dan Richards, Nitty Gritty

BBQ
Smoky Jon’s No. 1 BBQ
Fat Jacks Barbecue
Brickhouse Barbeque

Best Restaurant
L’Etoile
Graze
Sardine

Breakfast
Marigold Kitchen
Hubbard Avenue Diner
Pancake Café

Brewery/Brewpub
Ale Asylum
The Great Dane Pub &
Brewing Co.
New Glarus Brewing Company

Brunch
The Great Dane Pub &
Brewing Co.
Sardine
Eldorado Grill

Burger
Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry
Nitty Gritty
DLUX
Butcher
Underground Butcher
Knoche’s Butcher Shop
Johnson Bros. Quality Meats and Deli

Caribbean
Jolly Bob’s
Jamerica
Café Costa Rica

Cheese
Carr Valley Cheese Company
Hook’s Cheese Company
Sassy Cow Creamery

Chef
Tory Miller, L’Etoile and Graze
Dan Fox, Heritage Tavern
Dave Heide, Liliana’s

Chinese
Imperial Garden – West
Chang Jiang Chinese Restaurant
Umami Ramen &
Dumpling Bar

Chocolate
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier
Candinas Chocolatier
DB Infusion Chocolates

Cocktail
Old Fashioned, The Dorf Haus
Old Fashioned, The Old
Fashioned
The Regret, Merchant

Coffee Roasters
Barriques
Just Coffee Cooperative
Ancora Coffee Roasters

Coffee/Tea Shop
Barriques
Colectivo Coffee
Redamtè Coffee House

Craft Brew
Hopalicious, Ale Asylum
Spotted Cow, New Glarus Brewing Co.
Silk Scorpian, Karben4 Brewing

Ethnic Grocery Store
Fraboni’s Italian Specialties
Yue-Wah Oriental Foods
Asian Midway Foods

First Date
Memorial Union Terrace
Graze
Sardine

Fish Fry
The Dorf Haus
Quivey’s Grove
Avenue Bar

Food Cart
Banzo
Caracas Empanadas
Good Food

Greasy Spoon
Mickies Dairy Bar
Monty’s Blue Plate Diner
The Curve

Grocery Store
Metcalfe’s Market
Willy Street Co-op
Woodman’s Food Market

Happy Hour
Genna’s Lounge
Veranda Restaurant & Wine Bar
Tempest Oyster Bar

Ice Cream/Custard
Babcock Hall Dairy Store
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream
Culver’s

Indian
Swagat
Maharaja
Maharani

Italian
Lombardino’s
Paisan’s
Greenbush Bar

Japanese/Sushi
Sushi Muramoto
Restaurant Muramoto
Red Sushi

Kid-Friendly
Ella’s Deli and Ice Cream Parlor
Roman Candle Pizzeria
Culver’s

Kids’ Menu
Ella’s Deli and Ice Cream Parlor
The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co.
Daisy Café and Cupcakery

Lake View
Sardine
Paisan’s
Captain Bill’s

Latin American
Inka Heritage
La Taguara
Surco Peruvian Cuisine

Mediterranean/Middle Eastern
Bunky’s Café
Banzo
Mediterranean Cafe

Mexican/Southwestern
Eldorado Grill
Taqueria Guadalajara
Pasqual’s

Neighborhood Tavern
Weary Traveler Freehouse
Mickey’s Tavern
Mid Town Pub

New Orleans/Cajun
New Orleans Take-Out
Louisianne’s Etc.
Liliana’s

New Restaurant
Grampa’s Pizzeria
Heritage Tavern
La Taguara

Outdoor Dining
Sprecher’s Restaurant and Pub
The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co.
Paisan’s

Pizza
Glass Nickel Pizza Co.
Ian’s Pizza
Roman Candle Pizzeria

Rooftop Bar
Fresco
The Rooftop Bar & Bistro, Sundance 608 Cinemas
Brickhouse Barbeque

Sandwich
Sweet Potato Pesto, Redamtè Coffee House
Meatloaf Sandwich, Schubert’s Diner & Bakery
West of the Andes, Weary Traveler Freehouse

Seafood
Joey’s Seafood & Grill
Sardine
Tempest Oyster Bar

Southeast Asian
Ha Long Bay
Lao-Laan Xang
Sa-Bai Thong

Specialty Food Store
Brennan’s Market
Fromagination
Willy Street Co-op

Sports Bar
Nitty Gritty
State Street Brats
Jordan’s Big 10 Pub

Steakhouse
Tornado Steakhouse
Johnny Delmonico’s
Smoky’s Club

Supper Club
The Old Fashioned
Tornado Steakhouse
Smoky’s Club

Upscale Dining
L’Etoile
Eno Vino Wine Bar & Bistro
Tornado Steakhouse

Vegetarian Friendly
Green Owl Café
Monty’s Blue Plate Diner
Banzo

Wine Bar
Eno Vino Wine Bar and Bistro
Veranda Restaurant & Wine Bar
Barriques

Wine & Spirits
Steve’s Wine | Beer | Spirits
Woodman’s Food Market
Barriques

Arts & Entertainment

Behind each Best of Madison winner are fierce and loyal fans who get out the vote for their favorite artists, performers and personalities. This year, they cheered on several cultural heavyweights, from Overture Center for top performance venue and the Madison Children’s Museum as best museum to Sundance Cinemas and High Noon Saloon, respectively, for best movie theater and live music venue. But, really, it’s the people who make our entertainment scene sizzle. Like spoken-word artists and poets RobDZ and Fabu who entertain and challenge us with the power of their words. And all-around good guy—and pretty awesome basketball coach—Bo Ryan, who earned favorite local celebrity status again this year. And the many contributors to American Players Theatre, Forward Theater Company and the Madison Symphony Orchestra—2014’s performing arts group winners—who turn their passions into art that the entire community can enjoy. –Katie Vaughn

Art Gallery
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Absolutely Art
Overture Galleries

Comedy Group
Monkey Business Institute
Atlas Improv Co.
Rabid Badger Theatre Company

Kids’ Entertainment
Funny Faces Family
Entertainment
Madison Children’s Museum
Kids in the Rotunda

Live Music Venue
High Noon Saloon
Memorial Union
Overture Center for the Arts

Local Band or Singer
Madison County
Brandon Beebe
Shelley Faith

Local Food Blog
Veganizzm
Bowen Appétit
Wisconsin From Scratch

Local Blog
Aviva in Dairyland
Stuck in the Middleton With You
Ann’s Rants

Local Celebrity
Bo Ryan
Sly
Amber Noggle

Local Columnist/ Writer
Doug Moe, Wisconsin State Journal
Ed Dunphy, Lab Bratz
John Roach, Madison Magazine

Movie Theater
Sundance Cinemas
AMC Star Fitchburg 18
Point Cinema

Museum
Madison Children’s Museum
Chazen Museum of Art
UW–Madison Geology Museum

News Website
Channel3000.com
Madison.com
Wkow.com

Performance Venue
The Overture Center for the Arts
American Players Theatre
High Noon Saloon

Performing Arts Group
American Players Theatre
Forward Theater Company
Madison Symphony Orchestra

Photographer
Ilana Natasha
Laura Zastrow
Urban Anchor

Spoken Word Artist/ Poet
Rob DZ
Fabu
Adam Gregory Pergament

Radio Personality
Jackson (Q106)
Dan Conry (1310 WIBA)
Fish (93.1 Jamz)

Morning Radio Team
Jonathan and Kitty (105.5 Triple M)
Fish and Joey (93.1 Jamz)
Pat O’Neil and Bob Bonner (Magic 98)

TV Personality
Amber Noggle
Christine Bellport
Eric Franke

TV Team – Morning
Christine Bellport and Charlie Shortino (NBC 15)
Rob Starbuck, Charlotte Deleste and Haddie McLean (WISC-TV3)
Lindsay Veremis, Dani Maxwell and Brian Olson (WKOW 27)

TV Team – Evening
Leigh Mills, John Stofflet and Carlos Tucker (NBC 15)
Greg Jeschke, Amber Noggle and Bob Lindmeier (WKOW 27)
Mark Koehn, Susan Siman and Gary Cannalte (WISC-TV3)

Home & Lifestyle

Perhaps the most practical of our Best of Madison categories, Home & Lifestyle offers helpful recommendations on where to buy a lamp,drop off your dry cleaning or get your jeans hemmed. It’s like thousands of your closest Madison friends saying, “Hey, take your car toZimbrick, Wrench Auto Service or Collision Masters for some work,” or “You know, Underground did a great job catering my last party.” Or answering, “Oh, these fabulous shoes? They’re from Morgan’s. This gorgeous dress, these pretty flowers, this handsome watch—they’re courtesy of Karen & Co., Felly’s and T.Q. Diamonds.” But it’s not just the nuts and bolts of everyday life represented here. No way! There’s room for fun, too. Wondering where to get a great gift, a killer CD, a good read or a new tattoo? Best of Madison voters have you covered. Want to check out for a night—and into a local hotel or bed and breakfast? Our results reveal six lovely options. Need a little pampering? We’ve got the top picks in spas, hair salons, barber shops and nail salons. See, it’s all about learning from others to make your life a little easier and a lot more pleasant. – Katie Vaughn

ALTERATIONS
Right Size Alterations Services
Top Tailoring
Monetti Tailoring

AUTO DEALER
Zimbrick Automotive
Ballweg Chevrolet Buick
Smart Motors

AUTO REPAIR
Wrench Auto Service
M&J Truck and Auto Repair
Dunn’s Import Car Service

BARBER SHOP
Thorps Haircuts
Cha Cha Beauty & Barber
Stadium Barbers


BED AND BREAKFAST
Token Creek Eco-Inn
Mansion Hill Inn
Cambridge House

BODY SHOP
Collision Masters of Wisconsin
Gates Auto Body
Ball Body Shop

BOOKSTORE
Frugal Muse
University Book Store
A Room of One’s Own

CATERER
Underground Food Collective
Cranberry Creek Restaurant & Catering
Blue Plate Catering

CLOTHING – MEN
Jazzman
Context
Lucca Fine Men’s Clothing

CLOTHING – WOMEN
Karen & Co./Sassafras
Bop
Terese Zache Designs

CONSIGNMENT STORE
ReThreads
The Pink Poodle
Betty Bling

DOG TRAINING
Dog Face
Blue Dog Training & Behavior
Dog’s Best Friend Training

DRY CLEANER
Klinke Cleaners
Middleton Cleaners
Lake Mills Cleaners & Dyers

FLORIST
Felly’s Flowers
Choles Floral
George’s Flowers

FURNITURE/ HOME ACCESSORIES
Roughing It In Style
The Century House
Rubin’s Furniture

GIFT SHOP/ SPECIALTY STORE
Orange Tree Imports
Burnie’s Rock Shop
Little Luxuries

HAIR SALON
ANiU Salon and Spa
Ecco Salon
Studio 924

HOTEL
HotelRED
Hilton Madison Monona Terrace
The Madison Concourse Hotel

JEWELER
T.Q. Diamonds
Goodman’s Jewelers
Chalmers Jewelers

LAWN, GARDEN & LANDSCAPE
The Bruce Company
Jung Garden Centers
Klein’s Floral and
Greenhouses

MUSIC STORE
Strictly Discs
B-Side
MadCity Music Exchange

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT STORE
Ward-Brodt Music
Spruce Tree Music and Repair
Heid Music

NAIL SALON
ANiU Salon & Spa
La Vie Nails & Spa
RZ & Company

PET DAY CARE, BOARDING & PAMPERING
Camp K9 Pet Care Center
Ruffin’ It Resort
The Dog Den

PET STORE
Mounds Pet Food Warehouse
Bad Dog Frida
MadCat Pet Supplies

SHOES
Morgan’s Shoes
The Shoe Box
Cornblooms

SPA
Aniu Salon & Spa
Kneaded Relief Day Spa & Wellness
Sundara Inn & Spa

TATTOO
Blue Lotus Tattoo
Steve’s Tattoo & Body Piercing
Capital City Tattoo

VETERINARIAN
Full Circle Holistic Veterinary Care
Sondel Family Veterinary Clinic
Knight Veterinary Clinic

Recreation & Fitness

Madison can proudly boast 264 municipal parks and more than 170 playgrounds, twice the amount of any other municipality per capita in the country. The country! Given that, how perfect is it that readers voted one of Madison’s very first parks—a private gift of land donated to the public by lawyer DanielTenney in 1899—as its best? The recognition is well deserved, as Tenney Park is a cherished gathering place for sports, recreation and relaxation, no matter the reason or the season. Madison as a magnet for active endeavors is further accentuated by the vast array of recreation and fitness opportunities and the stores and businesses that support them—everything from biking, bowling and rock climbing to yoga, karate and golf. We’ve even thrown in the best personal trainers for anyone looking for a serious shape-up. A special shout-out goes to Dragonfly Hot Yoga for their first Best of Madison gold and to scrappy Ford’s Gym for their first-ever medal.And to Budget Bikes and University Ridge for their enduring ability to be the best year after year. –Brennan Nardi

ALTERNATIVE FITNESS CENTER
Core Health and Fitness
Boulders Climbing Gym
Express Yourself!

BIKE SHOP
Budget Bicycle Center
Machinery Row Bicycles
Trek Bicycle Store

BOWLING ALLEY
Ten Pin Alley
Schwoegler Park Towne Lanes
Middleton Sport Bowl LLC

FITNESS CENTER
Harbor Athletic Club & Wellness Studios
The Princeton Club
Ford’s Gym

FITNESS SHOP
Fleet Feet Sports
Movin’ Shoes
Berkeley Running Company

MARTIAL ARTS STUDIO
Infinity Martial Arts
Twisted Fitness
Paik’s Traditional Martial Arts Center

PARK
Tenney Park
James Madison Park and Elver Park (TIE)
Warner Park

PERSONAL TRAINER
Abby Brockman, Abby Brockman Fitness
Eric Lord, Core Health & Fitness
Patrick Gilles, Pat’s Gym

PUBLIC GOLF COURSE
University Ridge
Pleasant View
Door Creek

RUNNING/ BIKING TRAIL
UW Arboretum
Capital City Trail
Military Ridge State Trail

YOGA/ PILATES
Dragonfly Hot Yoga
Inner Fire Yoga
Bliss Flow Yoga & Wellnes


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