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Has this ever happened to you? You sit down at a local eatery for a quick glass of wine or a nice dinner and leave with enough goodies to fill your fridge for a week. Shelves of hand-selected, often locally sourced goods surround you and, suddenly, you are at their mercy. Increasingly, businesses are commingling dining and retail by adding a market section to their eateries. Madison has no shortage of options, and these businesses are saving you trips to the grocery store while also adding interesting food items to your pantry. Here are a few of our favorite “market restaurants” in town.
Casetta Kitchen & Counter
Relatively new to the Madison scene, this Italian-American deli and wine bar was opened in February 2017 by longtime friends James Juedes and Tommy Gering. And it’s just the sandwich shop downtown Madison needed. Six signature sandwiches plus daily specials are served in half or whole sizes on a choice of focaccia bread or a hero roll with interesting and inviting sides (like spicy chickpeas and pasta e fagioli soup). On Friday nights, the sandwich shop shuts down and the chef serves a four-course dinner with (or without) wine pairings in the sleek, minimalist space. There isn’t a traditional retail area here, but folks can pop in after work to pick up dinner and a bottle of wine. Baked ziti is available Monday through Friday and eggplant (or chicken) Parmesan can be ordered Wednesday through Saturday. Dinners are available until they sell out. The retail wine list is filled with impressive yet reasonably priced bottles, and the staff is happy to help you find the best one for any occasion. 222 W. Washington Ave., 467-8108 $
Cow & Quince
Farm-to-table fare is the focus of this rustic restaurant housed inside a former grocery store in downtown New Glarus. Owners Lori Stern and LeAnn Powers are farmers themselves and built the space with a vision to support the local farming community. With the exception of a few ingredients (mainly oils, vinegars and citrus), everything you taste here is purchased locally. Chef Jared Austin works diligently to create dynamic seasonal menus January through December by working with local farmers and producers, placing 30 or more individual product orders per week. The best part? You can purchase many of the local products they use in the restaurant from the shelves of its local market. A cooler is filled with eggs from Pasture Patterns Eggs out of Mount Horeb. The freezer beside it has locally available meat from grass-fed beef to goat and lamb. Landmark Creamery and Roth cheeses are available in a case near the cash register. Elegant wooden shelves house dry goods and popular books on food and farming. This small-town restaurant takes transparency to a new level. 407 Second St., New Glarus, 527-2900 $$
Field Table is a lot of things—swanky restaurant, lively bar, sunny café, late-night eatery, farmers’ market, donut hot spot, specialty food market—but first and foremost, it’s an experience. When you open the door to this beautiful space on Capitol Square, you are free to choose your own adventure. Veer left for a seat at the bar or a cozy table for lunch or brunch Thursday through Sunday, or dinner Monday through Saturday. Veer right for a cup of coffee and a cretzel (the dangerous combination of a croissant and a pretzel, filled with decadent amounts of beer cheese). The grab-and-go market and retail area can also be found on the café side of the establishment where fast-casual café meals and treats are available all day every day. A cooler features Garden to Be microgreens, an array of seasonal produce and prepackaged salads and wraps. Further back you can find shelves filled with a curated selection of pantry items: packets of Yumbutter and bags of Ruby Roasters coffee alongside flour, oils, vinegars, spices, honey and local jams. 10 W. Mifflin St, 630-9222 $$
Gotham Provisions Co.
The newest spot on our list, Gotham Provisions Co., opened in Sun Prairie in the former Salvatore’s Tomato Pies space in late November 2017. Here, you can enjoy the same New York-style bagels that have made owner Joe Gaglio well-loved downtown. Twelve types of hand-rolled bagels join artisan cream cheese, lox and decadent sandwiches on the menu, but the retail area is what Gaglio finds most exciting. “People come in. They really love what they eat, but they don’t know why,” he says. “[We’re excited to] point them toward the products that really make our food special.” The wall of retail food is a mixture of Mediterranean favorites and local goods: vinegars and olive oils from different countries, dried pastas, olives and honey alongside pickled vegetables and condiments featuring local ingredients. There is also a cooler filled with Fox Heritage Farms’ meats available to take home. 503 W. Main St., Sun Prairie, 318-6500 $
Tucked inside a charming space in the historic Milwaukee Road Depot on West Washington Avenue, Porter is part one of a much grander vision by Gil Altschul (owner of Grampa’s Pizzeria and Gib’s Bar on Williamson Street) to create a year-round farmers’ market, taco joint and community hub in this (until now) underutilized part of downtown Madison. Porter specializes in quality coffee, but the breakfast and lunch menus are not to be missed. The breakfast sandwich (piled high with smoked ham, sharp cheddar, red onion, stoneground mustard and an over-medium egg on a brioche roll) and avocado toast with ’nduja are standout items. On shelves backlit by large windows letting in natural light is the retail space. It’s a fun mix of curated local products (think Gail Ambrosius chocolate bars, 100 Mile Bloody Mary mix, Mad Urban Bees honey and Savory Accents seasonings), alcoholic beverages, Italian specialty items and other pantry staples. 640 W. Washington Ave., 720-1110 $
Stalzy’s Deli & Bakery
When you walk inside this deli and bakery, it feels like being transported to somewhere on the East Coast. From the chalkboard menu boards to the comforting smell of smoked meats, co-owners Corbin Reynolds and Neil Stalboerger knew what they were doing when they opened the New York-esque Stalzy’s Delicatessen in May 2011 on Atwood Avenue. Diners can order breakfast, lunch or dinner at the counter: a perfect marriage of unique eats and comfort food. On Friday nights, fried or baked walleye and beer-battered perch are added to the menu. After tasting just about anything on the menu, you won’t be able to resist taking some home. Pounds of house-cured meats and Wisconsin cheeses are available for purchase from the deli alongside bialy, house-made sandwich bread and a selection of both domestic and European beers. 2701 Atwood Ave., 249-7806 $
Billing itself first as a Latin grocery, this unassuming space in Middleton has all the things you’d expect it to have: fresh produce, spices, coffee, canned beans and vegetables, rice, cereal and bread. But the impeccably well-organized and colorful shelves of food are merely bookends on either side of the real story: Owners Osmar and Emily Gonzalez alongside manager Luis Gonzalez serve some of the most authentic Mexican food in the city. Standard fare like tacos, burritos and quesadillas join tortes (Mexican sandwiches), sopes (meat, beans and veggies atop deep-fried bread) and tostadas on the menu. There are weekend specials—like shrimp soup or carnitas—that are always changing and an array of agua frescas (fresh juice waters made from fruits or vegetables) to choose from. Get your grocery shopping done for the week while also grabbing a great meal. 2606 Allen Blvd., 824-9619 $
Los Gemelos Store
Now this is the type of place you don’t really want anyone else in town to find out about, because it’s likely one of Madison’s best (and most hidden) Mexican restaurants, but it is camouflaged as a Mexican grocery store. You enter Los Gemelos Store on Odana Road through the market until you get to the back of the store, which opens up to a spacious sit-down eatery serving a full menu of classic items including tacos, chile rellenos, fajitas and more. The order of operation starts by grabbing a cold drink out of the cooler before taking a seat. After your meal, be sure to browse the tienda for Mexican specialty items that you can use to put together your own Mexican fiesta at home. 6713 Odana Road, 441-0061 $