Best Madison Restaurants for the Summer

Madison, Wisconsin is a beautiful place in the summertime. Since it’s either cloudy, cold, rainy or snowy for the majority of the year, it’s important to spend as much time as you can outside during the sunny, warmer months. On those warm summer days, here are some great places where you can enjoy the weather and the food:

1. Fresco Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge

If you’re looking for a fancier lounge-type place, Fresco is for you. It’s located above the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art on State Street. Fresco features local, seasonal ingredients and contemporary American cuisine. You can choose to sit alongside a glass wall that looks over the museum’s sculpture garden or if you want to take advantage of the weather, you can choose to sit on the rooftop terrace.

2. Paisan’s Restaurant

Established in 1950, Paisan’s is one of Madison’s trademark Italian restaurants. It features a lakeside dining area with a patio for the summer; you can enjoy the weather and food while watching a breathtaking sunset. A few of the many dishes they highlight on their website are thin-crust pizza, fresh pasta, and unique sandwiches.

3. The Coopers Tavern

The Coopers Tavern is an upscale Irish pub located on Capitol Square. The menu is influenced by the owners’ travels, but they try to source the ingredients locally. They feature 100s of different types of beer and liquor, similar to taverns you’d find in Europe. During the warmer months, they offer a relaxed atmosphere with outdoor patio seating and a view of the Capitol.

4. Parthenon Gyros

If you’re looking for a cheaper, faster option, Parthenon Gyros is for you. It was voted “Best Take Out” and “Best Mediterranean” for Madison Magazine's “Best of Madison.” It’s uniquely been owned by the same Greek family for three generations. You can find gyros, gyro plates and a variety of side dishes, like salads and french fries, on the menu. It’s located on State Street, so it’s located close to campus, and it features a rooftop terrace.On a warm day in Madison, take advantage of the weather and choose to eat at a restaurant with outdoor seating because winter, unfortunately, will be here before you know it.