7 Restaurants to try on Madison’s Northside – Madison Eats Food Tours
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Mahamadou Tunkara owner of Kingdom Restaurant with Otehlia Cassidy owner at Madison Eats

7 Restaurants to try on Madison’s Northside

If you live on Madison’s northside, you already know that it is home to some great restaurants. Madison’s northside has changed quite a bit over the past several years and is growing as a dining destination. From mouth-watering pastries, delicious tacos and delicious craft beer to freshly fried falafel and African food – the northside has got you covered. Whether you’re a long time resident or are just looking to explore what Madison’s northside restaurants have to offer – here are seven restaurants that you definitely should try soon!

Cost: $
2105 Sherman Ave. Madison, WI 53704
Banzo Madison Website

On your way up to the northside of Madison, stop by Banzo! You’ve probably seen their green food carts around town but they also have an adorable little restaurant on Madison’s northside. With an emphasis on high quality and locally sourced ingredients, you really can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. Most known for their falafel sandwich, they also have plenty of options for meat eaters! Try their Batata (sweet potato falafel), but be careful – if  you order the hand-cut fries, you probably won’t want to share!!

Banzo falafel pita

Pro tip: If it’s nice outside, take your Banzo pita sandwich to-go and stroll across the street to Burrows Park and enjoy your delicious food with a beautiful Madison sunset on Lake Mendota.  

Manna Cafe
Cost: $-$$
611 N. Sherman Ave. Madison, WI 53704

UPDATE: Manna Cafe Closed permanently. Stay tuned for a cookbook! Manna Cafe is tucked in the corner of the Lakewood Plaza shopping center. You’ll immediately feel at home with the cozy atmosphere and warm decor. Since 2005, they have been serving breakfast and lunch during the week, and brunch on the weekends. If you make it past their gorgeous display of homemade baked goods, try any of their fantastic “Bennys” (Eggs Benedict) or  their oatmeal pancakes, a recipe they’ve been flipping up for 27 years!! Grab a cup of locally-roasted coffee and an irresistible sticky bun and relax by the fireplace, a perfect spot for the fall season! 

Manna Cafe Breakfast Burrito served with a side of potatoes and homemade salsa.

Enrique’s Market
Cost: $
1417 Northport Dr.  Madison, WI 53704
Enrique’s Market

Mexican grocery stores often have the best tacos and Enrique’s Market is no exception. Though the market itself is small, and there is a limited selection of items to purchase, the tacos are worth the stop! Friendly staff and quick service make it a great place to pick up dinner to go or eat lunch on the go. Try the pastor tacos or the homemade tamales. They also have salsas, guacamole, delicious mole and chicken in salsa verde in the deli case to grab and go. Love tacos? Check out our top eleven taco blog here.

Enriques market carne asada taco

Bear and Bottle
Cost: $$
601 N. Sherman Ave. Madison, WI 53704
Bear and Bottle Website

Bear and Bottle is also in the Lakewood Plaza. It’s an American style restaurant serving pub fare, cocktails and craft brews. Housed in an industrially decorated building, with garage style doors that open up to a cute patio area, Bear and Bottle has been serving the Northside for just over 2 years. With a menu that ranges from tacos and sandwiches to pork fried rice and mac and cheese, there is sure to be something for everyone here! And of course, Tuesday is Taco night so get yourself some unique and tasty tacos and specialty cocktails for an after work hang! Happy hour is from 4-6pm! 

Tacos from left to right: Roasted Cauliflower, Korean BBQ Shrimp, and Curried Salmon

La Palabra (specialty tequila based cocktail) and a Mezcal Mule served in a chilled copper mug – nice touch

Cost: $
2911 N. Sherman Ave. Madison, WI 53704
Bierock Website
Before you head over to the friendly neighborhood restaurant that is Bierock, you might have a few questions:

Q: What is a Bierock?
A: Traditionally, a Bierock is a flakey pastry similar to a calzone or empanada filled with beef, potatoes, onions, and seasoning. Baked to perfection for a warm and comfy meal. 

Q: Where can I get a Bierock?
A: Most notably from states like Kansas and Oklahoma, you can find a Bierock much closer to home in Madison at the Northside Town Center.

Q: Can I get dessert at Bierock?
A: Yes! They serve a caramel apple pie flavored Bierock… I mean, how can you not??

Bierock has been in business since 2017 and is a really great spot to watch the game, grab a locally brewed beer, and have some yummy innovative Bierock pastries!

Kingdom Restaurant
Cost: $-$$
1865 Northport Dr.  Madison, WI 53704
Kingdom Website

Kingdom may be new to the northside, but it’s not new to Madison! Mahamadou and Fatou have been in the restaurant business for several years and served up an array of food on Madison’s west side, east side before  finally landing in the northside. They specialize in African food from their home country of Gambia, but also are known for their burgers, fried fish and gyros. I love the domada, a slightly spicy chicken in peanut sauce over rice, or the benachin, a delicious mix of meat and vegetables.  A great family run, black-owned business to support!

Domada – peanut chicken stew over rice from Kingdom

Mahamadou Tunkara owner of Kingdom Restaurant with Otehlia Cassidy owner at Madison Eats

Ale Asylum
Cost: $$
2002 Pankratz St. Madison, WI 53704
Ale Asylum Website

If you’ve been around Madison and have tried the extensive craft beers that we have to offer, chances are you’ve tasted Ale Asylum’s brews. But did you know that they have a whole 45,000 sq. ft. dining experience on the Northside? Located about a mile south of Madison’s airport is the massive restaurant and microbrewery, founded by Dean Coffey and Otto Dilba, formerly of Angelic Brewing. The food menu has your classic pub fare such as white cheddar cheese curds, chips and salsa from Pasqual’s, and burgers, but if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, try the Duck Poppers! If you come for beer, you won’t be disappointed. With staples like the Hopalicious and Ambergeddon, in addition to their constantly rotating brews like Mercy, a Belgian Quadrupel and Oktillion, a timely Oktoberfest, there is always something new and exciting to try at Ale Asylum! 

Flight of six 6 oz. beers on tap – the standard at Ale Asylum. Perfect for one thirsty person or a few people looking to share! 

By Amanda Fry for Madison Eats Food Tours

Behind the scenes picture

Amanda with her falafel pita!