Off-Campus Dining

Tuition (in-state)
$26,653 ($10,403)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There is a great variety of off campus dining options. Cuisine options include Mediterranean, Afghan, American, or Mexican just to name a few. There are local dining options and chain restaurants.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: State street is the place for off-campus dining. It's very close to campus with a huge variety of options.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: On campus there are mostly chain restaurants but state street is just a few blocks away and is stocked with every type of food for every budget.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Variety of cost for all budgets for good food. Lots of ethnic restaurants and most places offer student discounts.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: State street offers every cuisine possible at a great price, and there is plenty of options open until 3 am. Instead of just being able to order a pizza after a night out there is chinese food, subs, mexican and more open late. The food carts also provide a fun cheap option of very unique styles of food such as indonesian and jamaican, but if you are looking for something more familiar there is a Wendy's and a Chipotle right up the street.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 15th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Variety
  • 552nd
    Best Off-Campus Dining Cost

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Marie Puissant
Green Bay, Wis.
Marketing and English
View all previous student authors

When dorm food fails to spark an interest, many students find themselves wandering up and down State Street looking for a more fulfilling alternative. However, students advise that if you are hunting for food during the lunch hours, be prepared for a wait. Places like McDonalds, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Noodles & Company, and Qdoba have the longest lines. If you do have a little more time, though, students suggest trying a sit-down restaurant like Stillwater's. Apart from the everyday eateries, Madison does offer an array of fancier, more occasion-based restaurants. Near the capital are some elegant spots that allow students to dress up and enjoy the time. Try out Delmonico's or Continental Café; both these places have great ambiance and expansive wine lists.

The areas surrounding campus are filled with every type of cuisine imaginable. Students can usually find food at an affordable price. The lower half of State Street offers chain restaurants and fast food joints. For nicer places, students travel farther up State Street and towards capital square. Another place offering a variety of food venders is University Square. Located one block from State Street, this mall plaza houses about five cozy restaurants. Those with a car, though, are truly in luck. The malls are only 15 minutes away with tons of eating options.

Facts & Statistics

Student Favorites
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
  • Chin's Asia Fresh
  • Chipotle
  • Five Guys
  • Mia Za's
  • Rising Son's Deli
24-Hour Dining
Best Asian
Chin's Asia Fresh
Best Breakfast
Sunroom Café
Best Healthy
  • Chin's Asia Fresh
  • Cosi
  • Rising Son's Deli
Best Pizza
  • Ian's Pizza & Salad
  • Toppers Pizza
Best Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
Best Place to Take Your Parents
Tutto Pasta Trattoria
Other Places to Check Out
  • Blue Moon Bar & Grill
  • Brat House
  • Continental Café and
  • Delmonico's
  • Great Dane Pub & Brewery
  • Gumby's Pizza
  • Madison's Dining & Diversions
  • Ocean Grill
  • Old Chicago
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Paison's
  • Parthenon-Gyros
  • Pastry Shop
  • Porta Bella Italian Restaurant
  • Restaurant Magnus
  • Spice's Kitchen
  • Stillwaters, Inc.
  • Taco Johns
  • Takara Japanese Restaurant
  • Tornado Club Steak House
Did You Know?
Each year towards the end of August, the city hosts the Taste of Madison. This fair of food is held on the capital loop, and offers samples of historic Wisconsin dishes along with the cuisine of local restaurants. Be sure to try a bite!

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

Capital Food Center

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Amy's Café
Food: American, Greek
414 W. Gilman St.
(608) 255-8172
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Amy's offers American-style cuisine with a Mediterranean flair.
Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
Food: Wings, burgers
529 State St.
(608) 255-9464
Price: $5-$15
Cool Features: This sports bar has two levels of seating, with large television monitors to show the day's biggest sporting event.
The Casbah Restaurant
Food: Mediterranean cuisine
119 E. Main St.
(608) 255-2272
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Located near the capital, this low-lit restaurant offers three separately themed dining levels. For a special occasion order a hookah and try King Tut's lower seating.
Chin's Asia Fresh
Food: Chinese
422 State St.
(608) 661-0177
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Chin's food isn't just cheap and fresh, it's healthy, too.
Food: Mexican
658 State St.
(608) 250-4613
Price: $7-$10
Cool Features: Available for order online. Booth-style seating. Bar seating at the window looking out onto State Street. Most noted for their huge burritos.
Einstein Bros. Bagels
Food: Sandwiches, bagels
652 State St.
(608) 257-9828
Price: $2-$8
Cool Features: There aren't many surprises here, though every few months they will come out with a featured bagel that is worth a try.
Five Guys
Food: Hamburgers
517 State St.
(608) 255-2520
Price: $5-$7
Cool Features: Fast service and great MTO burgers and fries while you wait. Great for families and friends. Can be very packed and hard to find seating around dinnertime on the weekends.
Ian's Pizza & Salad
Food: Pizza
119 State St.
(608) 442-3535
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: How can you go wrong with pizza toppings like macaroni and cheese, guacamole burrito, and BBQ chicken and pineapple?
Mia Za's
Food: Italian
515 State St.
(608) 661-3255
Price: $4-$7
Cool Features: Order on tickets where you can personalize your pastas, salads, pizzas, and panini with meats, veggies, cheeses, and dressings.
Noodles & Company
Food: Asian to Italian pastas
232 State St.
(608) 257-6393
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: This restaurant seems to be all-over the country. This particular location has two levels and a view of upper State Street.
Potbelly Sandwich Works
Food: sandwiches, soups
564 State St.
(608) 259-9553
Price: $4-$8
Cool Features: This place is known for their inventive sandwiches, delicious shakes, and flavorful soups at a quality price.
Food: Mexican
548 State St.
(608) 280-8720
Price: $4-$8
Cool Features: This is a late-night favorite. You can always find a spot to sit, and sometimes even someone you know. During the warm seasons, they offer outside seating and cold Coronas.
Rising Son's Deli
Food: Mediterranean and Thai
617 State St.
(608) 661-4334
Price: $4-$7
Cool Features: Very small, sometimes drafty restaurant. But students swear by the food. Famous for Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles.
Sunroom Café
Food: Coffee, breakfast
638 State St.
(608) 255-1555
Price: $2-$8
Cool Features: This restaurant is a must for morning-lovers. The windows are tall and capture exceptional morning light, hence its name.
Toppers Pizza
Food: Pizza
1368 Regent St.
(608) 284-8484
Price: $5-$10 per person
Cool Features: Great place to order food from; very fast delivery. Good pizza and breadstick deals.
Tutto Pasta Trattoria
Food: Authentic Italian dishes
305 State St.
(608) 294-1000
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: Students enjoy the festive scenery and extensive wine list. This is a great place for a night out with friends, or if on a date.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 135 responses

Very poor
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 145 responses

  • 74% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
  • 21% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 4% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 1% An endless repetition of the same few places.
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