X marks the spot: Dining hotspots in Madison

Here are some dining hotspots where you just...
X marks the spot: Dining hotspots in Madison

Downtown boasts a lot of great eats, but it shouldn’t get all the credit for the city’s diversity of dining options. It’s time to veer off the beaten path on Madison’s culinary map. Here are some hotspots where you just might find some hidden treasures. Or at least a great lunch. Happy hunting!

Ahoy, Ethnic Eats!
Take your pick on Park Street from an array of restaurants influenced by cuisines of worldly descent: Asian eateries such as Ichiban Sichuan, Edo Japanese and Asian Sweet Bakery; Mexican places including La Hacienda, Mercado Miramar and Taqueria Guadalajara; and Inka Heritage which serves Peruvian fare.

Yo Ho, Monroe
If you fail to mention Monroe Street in your list of dining destinations in Madison, you’re missing one giant red X on the map. Grab coffee at Barriques, Crescendo Espresso Bar & Music Cafe, Colectivo or Victor Allen’s Coffee; do dinner at Brasserie V, Bluephies, Brocach Irish Pub, Pasqual’s, Pizza Brutta, jacs Dining and Tap House, Freiburg Gastropub, The Wise, The Laurel Tavern or Gates & Brovi; or order something to go at New Orleans Take-Out, Michael’s Frozen Custard or Taste of India.

Walk the Plank
Head toward campus for lunch in food cart heaven–the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Library Mall. You’ll find an array of interesting eats like falafel from Surco, squash curry chicken from Jakarta Cafe, a pita sandwich from Banzo or a strawberry and chocolate empanada from Caracas Empanadas. Visiting carts also make appearances on the mall. Generally, carts show up in March and stay open until December, weather permitting.

Click here to read more from “Local Food Guide A to Z.”