What are the best restaurants in Madison?

If you want to find the best restaurants in Madison, follow the best chef. Tory Miller won the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious “Best Chef: Midwest” award in 2012 and now owns four restaurants in Madison, each focused on locally sourced cuisine.

L'Etoile. A staple for upscale dining since 1976, L’Etoile continues to feature the best farm-fresh ingredients and creative dishes since chef Miller took the helm in 2005. Try the seven-course chef’s tasting menu if you’re hungry and adventurous.

Graze. Miller partnered with Dianne Christensen for this gastropub that sources most of its ingredients from small farms in Wisconsin and showcases these fresh flavors on a diverse menu of classic dishes that have been amped up (see: burger on an English muffin). The weekend brunch is a standout at this casual spot.

Estrellón. Spanish-influenced small plates and rich mahogany woodwork promote a cozy, shared dining experience at this downtown restaurant. This is Miller’s newest venture.

Tornado Steak House. A classic, upscale steak house that feels more like a relaxed supper club. This spot caters to carnivores of all types. Tornado also offers a late-night menu every night from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. in its bar/lounge.

  • On February 20
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Madison in one day?

    Madison is an extremely bike-friendly place, so it’s encouraged to explore the city on two wheels. Rent a B-Cycle (only $6 for a day pass) and you can cover some serious ground. Download the app to find the 40 drop-off/pick-up locations around town.

    If you're staying downtown, start at the capitol building and check out the impressive Overture Center for the Arts, cruise down State Street and end up at Memorial Union Terrace to relax and gaze at beautiful Lake Mendota.

    Or, if you are a nature lover, take your bike up to these spots on the northeast end of Lake Monona — Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Botanical Gardens or Tenney Park — to see the city in all its natural splendor.
  • On February 20
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Madison in one day?

    Madison is an extremely bike-friendly place, so it’s encouraged to explore the city on two wheels. Rent a B-Cycle (only $6 for a day pass) and you can cover some serious ground. Download the app to find the 40 drop-off/pick-up locations around town.

    If you're staying downtown, start at the capitol building and check out the impressive Overture Center for the Arts, cruise down State Street and end up at Memorial Union Terrace to relax and gaze at beautiful Lake Mendota.

    Or, if you are a nature lover, take your bike up to these spots on the northeast end of Lake Monona — Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Botanical Gardens or Tenney Park — to see the city in all its natural splendor.
  • On February 20
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Madison in one day?

    Madison is an extremely bike-friendly place, so it’s encouraged to explore the city on two wheels. Rent a B-Cycle (only $6 for a day pass) and you can cover some serious ground. Download the app to find the 40 drop-off/pick-up locations around town.

    If you're staying downtown, start at the capitol building and check out the impressive Overture Center for the Arts, cruise down State Street and end up at Memorial Union Terrace to relax and gaze at beautiful Lake Mendota.

    Or, if you are a nature lover, take your bike up to these spots on the northeast end of Lake Monona — Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Botanical Gardens or Tenney Park — to see the city in all its natural splendor.
  • On February 20
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Madison in one day?

    Madison is an extremely bike-friendly place, so it’s encouraged to explore the city on two wheels. Rent a B-Cycle (only $6 for a day pass) and you can cover some serious ground. Download the app to find the 40 drop-off/pick-up locations around town.

    If you're staying downtown, start at the capitol building and check out the impressive Overture Center for the Arts, cruise down State Street and end up at Memorial Union Terrace to relax and gaze at beautiful Lake Mendota.

    Or, if you are a nature lover, take your bike up to these spots on the northeast end of Lake Monona — Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Botanical Gardens or Tenney Park — to see the city in all its natural splendor.
  • On February 20
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Madison in one day?

    Madison is an extremely bike-friendly place, so it’s encouraged to explore the city on two wheels. Rent a B-Cycle (only $6 for a day pass) and you can cover some serious ground. Download the app to find the 40 drop-off/pick-up locations around town.

    If you're staying downtown, start at the capitol building and check out the impressive Overture Center for the Arts, cruise down State Street and end up at Memorial Union Terrace to relax and gaze at beautiful Lake Mendota.

    Or, if you are a nature lover, take your bike up to these spots on the northeast end of Lake Monona — Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Botanical Gardens or Tenney Park — to see the city in all its natural splendor.
  • On February 20
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Madison in one day?

    Madison is an extremely bike-friendly place, so it’s encouraged to explore the city on two wheels. Rent a B-Cycle (only $6 for a day pass) and you can cover some serious ground. Download the app to find the 40 drop-off/pick-up locations around town.

    If you're staying downtown, start at the capitol building and check out the impressive Overture Center for the Arts, cruise down State Street and end up at Memorial Union Terrace to relax and gaze at beautiful Lake Mendota.

    Or, if you are a nature lover, take your bike up to these spots on the northeast end of Lake Monona — Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Botanical Gardens or Tenney Park — to see the city in all its natural splendor.
  • On February 20
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Madison in one day?

    Madison is an extremely bike-friendly place, so it’s encouraged to explore the city on two wheels. Rent a B-Cycle (only $6 for a day pass) and you can cover some serious ground. Download the app to find the 40 drop-off/pick-up locations around town.

    If you're staying downtown, start at the capitol building and check out the impressive Overture Center for the Arts, cruise down State Street and end up at Memorial Union Terrace to relax and gaze at beautiful Lake Mendota.

    Or, if you are a nature lover, take your bike up to these spots on the northeast end of Lake Monona — Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Botanical Gardens or Tenney Park — to see the city in all its natural splendor.
  • On February 20
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Madison in one day?

    Madison is an extremely bike-friendly place, so it’s encouraged to explore the city on two wheels. Rent a B-Cycle (only $6 for a day pass) and you can cover some serious ground. Download the app to find the 40 drop-off/pick-up locations around town.

    If you're staying downtown, start at the capitol building and check out the impressive Overture Center for the Arts, cruise down State Street and end up at Memorial Union Terrace to relax and gaze at beautiful Lake Mendota.

    Or, if you are a nature lover, take your bike up to these spots on the northeast end of Lake Monona — Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Botanical Gardens or Tenney Park — to see the city in all its natural splendor.
  • On February 20
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Madison in one day?

    Madison is an extremely bike-friendly place, so it’s encouraged to explore the city on two wheels. Rent a B-Cycle (only $6 for a day pass) and you can cover some serious ground. Download the app to find the 40 drop-off/pick-up locations around town.

    If you're staying downtown, start at the capitol building and check out the impressive Overture Center for the Arts, cruise down State Street and end up at Memorial Union Terrace to relax and gaze at beautiful Lake Mendota.

    Or, if you are a nature lover, take your bike up to these spots on the northeast end of Lake Monona — Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Botanical Gardens or Tenney Park — to see the city in all its natural splendor.
  • On February 20
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Madison in one day?

    Madison is an extremely bike-friendly place, so it’s encouraged to explore the city on two wheels. Rent a B-Cycle (only $6 for a day pass) and you can cover some serious ground. Download the app to find the 40 drop-off/pick-up locations around town.

    If you're staying downtown, start at the capitol building and check out the impressive Overture Center for the Arts, cruise down State Street and end up at Memorial Union Terrace to relax and gaze at beautiful Lake Mendota.

    Or, if you are a nature lover, take your bike up to these spots on the northeast end of Lake Monona — Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Botanical Gardens or Tenney Park — to see the city in all its natural splendor.
  • On February 20
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Madison in one day?

    Madison is an extremely bike-friendly place, so it’s encouraged to explore the city on two wheels. Rent a B-Cycle (only $6 for a day pass) and you can cover some serious ground. Download the app to find the 40 drop-off/pick-up locations around town.

    If you're staying downtown, start at the capitol building and check out the impressive Overture Center for the Arts, cruise down State Street and end up at Memorial Union Terrace to relax and gaze at beautiful Lake Mendota.

    Or, if you are a nature lover, take your bike up to these spots on the northeast end of Lake Monona — Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Botanical Gardens or Tenney Park — to see the city in all its natural splendor.
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