Dining and Drink

Madison's adventurous eats

Take a walk on the wild side

Would you eat an entire dinner blindfolded? What about drizzling ghost pepper hot sauce on your meal? Would you order an entrée without knowing its contents until it arrives at your table? 

If you answered yes to all three, you might be an adventurous eater. For some, being adventurous means ordering a spicy bloody mary. For others, it is seeking out the most exotic item on a menu that’s bound to offer blazing heat or unexpected flavor. It’s difficult to define what’s adventurous — one person’s out-there meal is another person’s delicacy. To what degree your dining habits could be considered daring is based on one’s own discriminating palate.

Madison is a good place to explore the bounds of your culinary limits. Restaurants offering global cuisine serve food that is new to many Midwestern palates. Creative chefs keep things interesting while bold ingredients appeal to the curious nature of brave diners. Even if you don’t consider yourself a true food risk-taker, some places make it easy to ease into the unknown. At Mr. Kimchi, a new Korean fusion restaurant on King Street, owner Brian Park strives to make his dishes more approachable. He serves kimchi — a signature Korean side dish often featuring fermented Napa cabbage, Daikon radish or cucumber. “We make it fresh and use less fish sauce,” says Park. “Sometimes fish sauce makes customers afraid, and they stop trying Korean food. So we use it less so that people can try it and see how good it is.”

What do you have to lose? Go ahead — try the kimchi. Give the level five ramen a shot. Order the item you’ve never had before at your favorite restaurant. Challenge your taste buds. 

We scoured the city’s menus and culinary experiences in search of the most adventurous eats in town. Now it’s your job to take a look at what we’ve found, get out there and check a few off your list.

Adventure is the spice of life, after all.

Whether it be an exotic dish or a novel food challenge, these Madison dining experiences and products are bound to get you out of your comfort zone. 

Dining in the Dark
The Angry Rooster
The Monster Hell Challenge
Tory Miller Finds Wild Card Ingredients
Some Like It Hot
A Challenging Checklist
Local Sauces Bring the Heat
Funky Local Drinks
Reveling in the Unfamiliar
Dropping a Spice Bomb
The Slimy Sea Cucumber Experience

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