Colectivo Coffee: Strong coffee, fresh baked goods, happy baristas… Colectivo Coffee has it all! There are three locations in Madison, but our favorite is the one located “On The Square”, just steps from the Capitol. (@colectivocoffee)

Johnson Public House: Maybe it’s the coffee, or maybe it’s the logo… but Johnson Public House just makes us smile. And if you’re hungry, get the Peanut Butter Toast. You’re welcome in advance. (@johnsonpublichouse)

Bradbury’s: The folks at Bradbury’s take coffee seriously. They might make the best cappuccino in the area, and they definitely make the best crepes too. Quite a heavenly combo, don’t you think? (@bradburyscoffee)

Cafe Domestique: This trendy coffee shop is right down Bobby’s alley. They serve Intelligentsia coffee, and share a passion for cycling. So much so, that they’ve decorated their space with bikes, and they often do community rides! (@cafedomestiquemadison)


Graze: With stunning views of the Capitol and fresh, thoughtful cuisine, Graze is our choice top choice for a modern, farm-to-table weekend brunch. If only for their drool-worthy Sticky Bun. (@grazemadison)

  • Bobby’s pick: Loaded Breakfast Sandwich

  • Alli’s pick: Eggs Benedict

Marigold Kitchen: Madison locals swear by this place, and one look at their extensive breakfast menu will tell you why. It’s hearty, American cuisine with that friendly Midwest service and charm. (@marigold_madison)

  • Bobby’s pick: Marigold Breakfast Burrito

  • Alli’s pick: Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale & Pesto Hash

Short Stack Eatery: Their motto is “All Breakfast. All The Time.”, and that’s a motto we can truly get behind. From their tasty Breakfast Sandwich (served on a pretzel roll!!), to their delectable Pecan Streusel French Toast, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. (@shortstackeats)

  • Bobby’s pick: Breakfast Sandwich

  • Alli’s pick: The Trio


Camp Trippalindee: If you loved summer camp when you were a kid, you’ll love this place. Especially because they serve booze! Burger’s, s’mores, games, rooftop views, and even spiked Capri Suns! It’s the summer camp experience we never knew we needed - and the burgers are on point! (@graduatemadison)

  • Bobby’s pick: DBL Cheeseburger

  • Alli’s pick: Cheeseburger + Sweet Potato Fries

The Tipsy Cow: Speaking of burgers… you can’t go to Madison without getting a burger at the famous Tipsy Cow. We double dog dare you to order the 4x4 - and try to finish it all. (Let us know if you do!) (@tipsycowmadison)

Canteen: Mexican food in Wisconsin? Say what?? It’s true. And it’s good. The street tacos at Canteen are fresh and authentic, and their Signature Margaritas are half off during Happy Hour! (Everyday, 2-5pm!) (@canteentaco)

Bartaco Hilldale: This taco spot is always one of our go-to’s when we’re in Nashville, and they just opened one in Madison! There aren’t many chain restaurants that we care to feature, but Bartaco is definitely an exception. Everything is amazing. (@bartacolife)

Ian’s Pizza By the Slice: We found out about this pizza shop a day before we were leaving Madison, and it’s probably a good thing. We would’ve been there every day. Three words: Mac ‘N Cheese Pizza. (@ianspizzamadison)

Fromagination: This cheese shop serves some sandwiches, so if you’re looking for a delicious and quick lunch spot - this is it. Be sure to get some Jeni’s Ice Cream for dessert! (@fromagination)

  • Bobby’s pick: Fromagination’s Signature Sandwich

  • Alli’s pick: Veggiletta Sandwich

Cask & Ale: If you love whiskey, you’ll love this craft whiskey bar. It’s casual and lively and they serve a mean Old Fashioned - Wisconsin style, of course! (@caskandalemadison)

  • Bobby’s pick: The C&A Buffalo Trace Old Fashioned

  • Alli’s pick: The C&A Korbel Old Fashioned

Eno Vino: If you know us, you know we love a good rooftop bar. Eno Vino is just that - a wine bar and bistro that has stunning views of the capitol, and an incredible wine list. It’s a dream. (@eno.vino)

The Old Fashioned: We’ll give you one guess as to what drink we order here. Yep, good job. They have 6 different kinds of Old Fashioneds to choose from, but our favorite is the Applejack Old Fashioned. (Oh, and their food is delicious here too!) (@theoldfashionedmadison)

The Edgewater: We love this hotel for so many reasons. The location (right in the heart of downtown Madison), the views of Lake Mendota, the large and luxurious rooms, and the friendly and gracious staff. It’s really is a special place. (@theedgeh2o)

Graduate Madison: Trendy, comfy, and affordable. The Graduate Hotels are funky and fun - and extremely dog friendly! Plus, they have Pelaton bikes in their workout room. Which is just really cool. (@graduatemadison)

AC Hotel by Marriott: Just one block from Capitol Square, this new, luxe hotel is in a prime spot. And they’re home to the best rooftop bar/restaurant in town (Eno Vino), so that’s an extra plus! (@achotelmadison)

(We went to Madison during the Polar Vortex, so all of our “activities” were done in very cold conditions. We’ve heard Madison is incredible in the summer, so we’ll have to go back for warm weather fun!)

Olbrich Botanical Gardens: With over 16 acres of lush gardens, and an indoor tropical conservatory, you could easily spend a few hours exploring Olbrich Botanical Gardens - even in the winter! (@olbrichgardens)

Brewery hop! The craft brewery scene is exploding in Madison, so definitely leave time to visit a few taprooms! Some of our favorites are Karben4, Ale Asylum, and One Barrel Brewing Company!

Shop on State Street: No matter the weather, State Street is the spot to shop, dine, and explore. You’ll find locally owned boutiques, bookstores, and more. Make sure to check out August, The Soap Opera, and Paul’s Book Store.

Ice Skating at Tenny Park: If the lake at Tenny Park is frozen, you’ll know by the swarms of ice skaters and ice hockey games happening all along the lake. It’s only $6/hour for figure and hockey skate rentals, and you’re sure to make some friends!

The Edgewater Spa: There’s nothing better than a soothing massage on a cold winters day! The Spat at Edgewater has gorgeous facilities, and offers a wide array of treatments and services… you won’t want to leave! (@theedgeh2o)

We have yet to visit Madison with our pup in tow, but it’s incredibly dog-friendly from what we’ve heard! Many restaurants have dog-friendly patios, and there are several sprawling dog parks sprinkled throughout the city. Quann, Sycamore, and Capital Springs Recreation Area are all great parks for pups!