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6 Local Restaurants for the Conscientious Shopper

While a bite from Qdoba and a burger from McDonald’s can sometimes satisfy the perfect craving, there are so many other places to eat in Madison that are well worth a try. It’s more important than anyone imagines to support local restaurants and shops. Madison is home to a wide variety of unique and local places, but they need support from the large student population on campus to stay in business. Here are some of the local places I recommend you try, no matter the occasion! 


1. If you’re looking for something casual: Morris Ramen

If you’re looking for some ramen or maybe a pork bun or two, head over to King Street. Morris Ramen is a short walk around the capitol;, and the co-owner and chef here is a powerful female leader in the community. This is a great place to have an incredible lunch and support local businesses.


2. If you’re craving brunch… but it’s 2 a.m.: Short Stack Eatery

On weekends, Short Stack is the perfect late-night munchies location. Serving only breakfast late into the night, Short Stack feels like home at all hours of the day. Avoid long lines during “normal brunch hours” and come around 2 a.m. instead! Short Stack uses local ingredients and has been vocal about their support for marginalized communities in Madison. 


3. If you’re going out for a girls day: Graze

A girl’s day at Graze on a beautiful Saturday is nothing short of perfection. Overlooking the capitol, Graze is absolutely stunning. While a little more expensive, Graze is a great place to treat yourself. Graze is a farm-to-table restaurant, so all the ingredients are locally sourced. Because of this, Graze changes its menu to adjust to what is in season; you can never get bored with the endless options. 


4. If you just wanna dig into a big ole’ burger: Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry 

Dotty’s has undeniably one of the best burgers in the city of Madison — juicy, large, Wisconsin beef with incredible flavors. But beyond just being tasty (and right on campus), Dotty’s contributes to local nonprofits and is partnered with the Clean Lakes Alliance. 


5. If it’s Taco Tuesday: Canteen

Nestled on a nearby corner of the capitol, Canteen is lesser known after opening at a similar time to Belair Cantina. While it can’t compare to Belair’s Taco Tuesday prices, it’s food quality and taste will easily blow the competitors out of the water. Canteen’s tacos are phenomenal, so spend a few extra dollars next week and eat local! 


6. If it’s date night: Cento 

Cento is a gorgeous location for any occasion — but especially for date night. Combining old and new Italian techniques, Cento is an entire experience. Whether you go for brunch or candlelit dinner, Cento won’t disappoint. Cento uses local ingredients and is part of the local Food Fight restaurant group.   


If this list wasn’t enough for you, check out an entire list of local restaurants here. Food Fight is a restaurant group that is made up of only local restaurants that provide great service and give back to the community. 

UW-Madison • Journalism: Double-tracking Reporting and Strategic Communications with a Certificate in Digital Studies  
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