Ten Favorite New Restaurants in Madison WI
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
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.
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!
Mr. Kimchi Modern Korean
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
Meze Mediterranean Cuisine
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!
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.
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