Welcome to Mad City: Your Guide To Madison

Leisure is Luxury. It’s what we took to heart when making this Madison city guide and who better to look to than the city’s most innovative cultural, culinary and musical exports: we’re talking about bands like Lost Lakes and Phox to the established restaurateurs behind Madison’s booming food scene. 

Nicknamed Mad City, this midwest liberal haven is often compared to west coast counterpart Berkeley, for both its left leaning politics and high student population. Whether enjoying the summer months or managing the frigid winters, the people of Madison are notoriously active despite sub zero temperatures — you’ll often find residents biking in blizzards or jogging through the rain. With such harsh conditions comes an equally intense love for bars, comfort food (cheese curds anyone?) and down time. Any Madisonite will tell you that nothing beats hanging out on the Memorial Union Terrace with a drink in hand and a view of the lake. To find out where to go, we asked some of the city’s best artists and restaurateurs where they dine, drink and most importantly, chill. So for those who need a break from a chaotic schedule or hectic work life — relax and welcome to Madison. 

Flip through the pages of our full Madison guide below, and don’t miss your chance to win a prize package from Igloo x High noon. Enter here

photo by: Madison Central BID; Focal Flame Photography