Four must-try Madison, WI restaurants to try this season
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Four New Madison, WI Restaurants to Try This Spring

Spring is in full swing, and Madison’s culinary scene is blooming with new hidden gems and restaurants to explore! Our expert food tour guides have compiled their four must-try restaurants to try this season!

The Hidden Gem:
Cocina Nica
1701 Moorland Rd, Madison

A true hidden gem! Located off the beaten path near the Capitol Springs Recreation Area, Cocina Nica serves up hearty, homestyle Nicaraguan dishes. The restaurant has a comfortable, homey feel and it turns into a dance space complete with DJs in the evenings. You’ll find a close-knit community of regulars and a cozy atmosphere in this family run establishment. The fried plantain wrapped in cheese and Carnitas y Yucca — slow-cooked pork on a bed of comforting yucca strips and a side salad is divine. The house margarita, with a delicious sugar rim, and their house-made jamaica were both delicious!

Not your Grandma’s cheese platter:
The Wedge
2001 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704

The Wedge is a brand-new Atwood restaurant and bar with a menu focused almost entirely of beer and cheese. The Wisconsin cheese list is deep, incredible, and fancy and the beer is all Wisconsin-made. The Wedge takes you back to eating a snack at your grandma’s house with the Wisconsin chic chinawares, but with a higher level of cheese (of course). Before you know it, The Wedge is going to be one of those quintessential Atwood hangouts where you gather with friends, grab a cheese plate and a cold beer to watch the game or just catch up about life. 

It’s that clucking good:
1134 Regent St., Madison, WI 53715

The latest hot spot for local foodies has to be Butterbird. Knowing this creation came from the owners of the Harvey House, Shaina Robbins Papach and Joe Papach, and their business partner Kaitlin Fischer, can only add to the hype. The attention to detail and perfection you would expect from the Harvey House is there. When you walk in it feels like you have been transported to a vintage diner, and not the tacky-themed ones. They are known for their chicken, both fried and rotisserie. The Badger Hot Chicken Sandwich was juicy with the perfect amount of heat. Surprisingly, local foodies have also been boasting about the Triple Smash Burger which was truly great. Be sure to try the fries, hot honey sweet potato, buffalo chicken dip, and the Bourbon Smash.

3301 Parmenter St, Middleton, WI 53562

PIKKITO is a Peruvian-inspired chicken restaurant in Middleton that specializes in rotisserie chicken, ceviche, pulled pork, and other Peruvian Cirolla (or Creole) comfort foods.
The ceviche and a Creole Favorites Bowl with pulled pork, plantains, beans, rice, and a Creole salsa was DIVINE. We also enjoyed a chicha morada, which is an agua fresca made from purple corn! It had a rich purple color and a sweet, earthy flavor to it. Of course the chicken will knock your socks off.

The space is fun, colorful, and has fast-casual vibes. There were few people eating in the restaurant when we were there, but every 5-10 minutes there was a DoorDash/UberEats guy coming to pick up a big delivery order so you know it’s a popular spot.