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Sep 2, 2011 08:41 AM

Madison: where to live for food?

I'm moving to Madison in a few weeks. From a purely food/cooking perspective which neighborhood do you recommend moving to and why?

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  1. If food is the sole reason for living somewhere in Madison I guess I would say live around the capital area/just off campus. Most of the interesting restaurants are relatively close to the capital and there is a nice farmer's market there. Keep in mind that it is a small town so it is not like you would have to take a subway for 45 minutes to get to a restaurant.

    Definitely not the east side of Madison though!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Fowler

      Definitely not on the east side of Madison...could NOT agree more.

      Living in Sun Prairie and working on University, I must drive the chain-pablum gauntlet of East Washington daily.

      Gotta get within spitting distance of the capitol, from that direction, in order to find a place even worth slowing down for!

    2. Near east, near west, or central (or more specifically, not far past Monroe Street to the west and 1st Street to the east). The most interesting grocery stores, specialty food stores, spice shops, gadget shops, bars, and restaurants are in those neighborhoods, and they are at most a 30 minute bike ride to the far end, or a 5 minute walk to the near end, of that corridor. Further out in either direction just means longer car trips or bus rides when you decide to hit up a place on the other side of town.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GreatRightAngle

        Welcome! GreatRightAngle is right on. If rent/mortgage money is no object, get as close to the isthmus as you can (near East has better restaurants, near West better cook's supplies, IMO).

        If you also like being near books and stuff, this Google map (that I made, apologies for the quasi-self-link) of public libraries and restaurants might help you get a feel for what's in the various neighborhoods.

        1. re: jumble

          All of this advice is awesome! Thank you so much!

      2. So where did you settle and how are things so far?

        1. relizabeth, one of my best friends is moving to Madison and asked me a similar question. Where did you land and what are your thoughts now? I know she would appreciate your input because I have not lived there in years.