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    Ten Favorite New Restaurants in Madison WI

    Aug 12 2019

    Madison’s restaurant scene is always changing, with new restaurants popping up all the time! This makes for an exciting adventure for the local foodie or visitors! Here are ten of our favorite new Madison-area restaurants. Whether you love a cozy atmosphere and a comforting authentic meal or modern decor and creative fusion dishes, you’ll find the perfect spot in one of these new restaurants*!
    *Past 18 months

    Kingdom Restaurant
    Cost: $
    1865 Northport Drive
    Madison WI, 53704

    One of a handful of Black-owned restaurants in Madison, this casual spot on Madison’s northside offers a generous selection of West African and comfort food. Owner Mahamadou Tunkara, a Gambian native, cooks savory stews such as Yassa Chicken and West African Peanut Stew as well as breakfast fare, sandwiches, fried chicken and more. The gyros are popular, but this is a unique chance in Madison to eat jollof rice, a delicious seasoned rice which Tunkara recommends to top with flaky and moist catfish.

    The Heights
    Cost: $$
    11 N. Allen Street
    Madison WI, 53726

    The Heights is a New American style, family-friendly restaurant. It’s a welcome recent addition to Madison’s near west side brought to you by Underground Food Collective. With its beautifully decorated interior and a spacious outdoor patio, The Heights is a great place for both a Saturday brunch or a casual dinner. The menu focuses on simplicity and high-quality ingredients and after your meal, you can also pick up freshly baked goods and Underground Meats from the counter. Try the Arugula and Ham for a light lunch featuring local arugula, foraged garlic mustard, and Prussian ham!

    Pork Chop from Heights

    Pork Chop from The Heights

    Mr. Kimchi Modern Korean
    Cost: $$
    225 King Street
    Madison, WI 53703

    Mr. Kimchi opened in January of this year and offers a modern Korean fusion menu. Its menu includes a kimchi trio that is made fresh daily and a variety of unique bibimbaps – choose from spicy tuna, salmon, beef and tofu! Don’t miss the Korean Fried chicken! The restaurant also features cool, sophisticated decor as well as a wide selection of sakes to strike any sake-lover’s fancy as well as the traditional Korean spirit, soju. Try it in a mango soju cocktail!

    Mango and soju cocktails from Mr. Kimchi Modern Korean restaurant

    Mango and soju cocktails from Mr. Kimchi

    Nook
    Cost: $$$
    Location:
    2138 Atwood Avenue
    Madison, WI 53704

    Nook, located in Madison’s charming Atwood neighborhood, is a new family-owned restaurant that offers a very unique dining experience. Noah and Julie Przybylski, Nook’s owners and chefs, met in Chicago at French restaurant, Everest, and are looking to bring an intimate dining experience to the Madison area. Nook’s menu changes daily and focuses on serving high quality ingredients in fun, artistic dishes. Since they are focused on an exceptionally high-quality dining experience, the dining room only seats 12 people and diners can either choose to reserve a spot for a 5 or 9 course meal. Make a reservation at Nook if you’re looking for a cozy, intimate atmosphere and a truly one of a kind dining experience!

    Little Tibet
    Cost: $
    827 East Johnson 
    Madison, WI 53703

    If you’re looking for Himalayan cuisine, look no further than Little Tibet, newly opened in the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood! This cozy restaurant is already known for its delicious momos (Himalayan dumplings), lamb curry, and stir fried noodles. With its charmingly colorful patio area, warm atmosphere, and dishes that honor traditional Tibetan recipes, Little Tibet is a must-eat for any Madison foodie!

    Bar Corallini
    Cost: $$
    2004 Atwood Avenue
    Madison, WI 53704

    The newest member of Madison’s popular Food Fight Group, Bar Corallini features Italian food with a unique modern twist! Indulge in Bar Corallini’s many unique hand-crafted pizza options (try the steak tartare pizza if you’re feeling adventurous) or pair a Venetian spritz drink with some ricotta, provolone, and Parmigiano Reggiano covered eggplant fritters. Bar Corallini means “little coral” in Italian and is the nickname of the chef’s hometown, a fitting name for Bar Corallini’s warm, inviting atmosphere.

    An appetizer plate from Bar Corallioni with marinated vagetables, cheese and fresh bread.

    Antipasti Board from Bar Corallini

    Joon
    Cost: $$ 
    1835 Monroe Street
    Madison WI, 53711

    Joon, meaning “life” in Farsi, opened on Monroe Street in the Vilas neighborhood earlier this year. This Iranian restaurant features Persian staples, like kebabs, as well as fun fusion dishes like their Persian Fried Chicken, delicious chicken coated in rice and chickpea flour, fried beautifully, and served with a yogurt dill sauce! With its cozy, home-like atmosphere, friendly service, and authentic food, a meal at Joon really feels like you’ve stepped into another world!

    Persian Fried chicken with rice

    Delicious crunchy and tender fried chicken from Joon

    Meze Mediterranean Cuisine
    Cost: $
    503 W Main Street
    Sun Prairie, WI 53590

    New to Sun Prairie, Meze, meaning appetizer in Turkish, offers many authentic Mediterranean classic small dishes.  Try the tabbouleh, stuffed grape leaves, hummus, and falafel for a light vegetarian lunch. Their gyros and kebabs are made in house and feature a creamy and tangy housemade dressing. If you’re interested in trying a selection of their menu, order the meze plate, where you’ll get a combination of their unique vegetarian dishes served with warm pita bread! 

    Finca Coffee
    Cost: $
    2500 Rimrock Rd Suite 105
    Madison, WI 53713

    With a focus on fair trade coffee and delicious cuisine from El Salvador, this beautiful new cafe tucked on Madison’s south side is a great place to start your day. Try the El Salvadorian quesadilla made with a ricotta-like cheese, egg, rice flour and sugar–perfect to dunk in coffee! The pupusas are a traditional dish, featuring corn masa mixed with beans and cheese then fried and topped with a fresh pickled slaw and salsa. The tacos are also a great bet! The chicken tacos are loaded with toppings and make a perfect lunchtime meal.

    Chicken taco from Finca

    Chicken taco from Finca

    Portillo’s
    Cost: $
    4505 East Towne Blvd
    Madison, WI 53704

    After its highly anticipated opening in March of 2019, Portillo’s has already become a quick favorite of many Madisonians! A chain from the Chicagoland area, Portillo’s is known for its Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and scrumptious chocolate cake. The new Madison location includes a diner-style outdoor patio and two drive through lanes for mega-efficiency. Start out by trying one of their classic hot dogs loaded with chopped onions and a kosher pickle on a fun poppy seed bun! 

    written by : Pamela Gu for Madison Eats Food Tours

    Otehlia Cassidy stands in front of the WI State Capitol.

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