7 Restaurants to try on Madison’s Northside – Madison Eats Food Tours
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7 Restaurants to try on Madison’s Northside

 Madison’s northside 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 craft beer to vibe lounges 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!

Cost: $
2105 Sherman Ave. Madison, WI 53704

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.  

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

Ancora opened in the former location of Manna cafe – a well loved spot for gathering and enjoying coffee, breakfast and pastries. Ancora brings the same vibe to this corner plaza, offering delicious drinks, their signature breakfasts and lunches and sweet treats. Don’t miss their breakfast sandwich, a delicious homemade biscuit filled with bacon egg and cheese. I love any of their sweets on the side and a warm cup of coffee, or get fancy and try one of their seasonal lattes.

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

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 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
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!

Lola’s Hi/Lo Lounge
Cost: $$
617 N. Sherman Ave. Madison, WI 53704

Madison’s hippest new spot! Lola’s opened in the same plaza as Ancora, with an unassuming exterior and the most decadent interior evoking 60’s vibes. Names after a bartender from a Northern Wisconsin bar, who loved Marilyn Monroe, the lounge/bar/restaurant offers incredible food, a great cocktail program and vinyl spun nightly by local DJs. Try the deviled eggs and ravioli as well and the chopped salad, or the tavern style pizza. You can’t go wrong!

spread of food from Lola's - deviled eggs, chopped salad and cocktail
Appetizers and cocktail from Lola’s

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

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