S3, E11: This Midwestern City Is One of the Country’s Best-Kept Food Secrets

Hot tip: Don’t listen to this week’s episode of Unpacked by AFAR hungry. Because we’re traveling to a surprising Midwestern city to explore what makes it one of the most fascinating food cities in the country.

This week on Unpacked, we talk to chefs, food writers, and other Madison locals who shed light on the city’s incredible food scene.


Shilpa Sankaran, founder of Kosa spa: What’s become interesting for me, you know, growing up, it was—maybe I took it for granted—but it was also a different place at the time. And in that span of 20 years, Madison has really grown up and become, to me, a world-class city. Because the things that I thought I might miss in San Francisco, like arts and culture and food, are incredibly pervasive here.

Aislyn Greene, host: I’m Aislyn Greene, and this is Unpacked, the podcast that unpacks one tricky topic in travel this week. And this week we’re returning to our “Unpacking” series. That’s where we travel to different cities around the world and explore what makes them tick. Today, we’re heading to Madison, Wisconsin, to learn why it’s a world-class city, especially around food. In fact, if you’re a Top Chef watcher, you may know that the latest season is set in Wisconsin, and there are a bunch of Madison chefs and local spots that are featured.

That voice you heard at the top of the episode belongs to Shilpa Sankaran, who founded Kosa, Madison’s only Ayurvedic spa. We’ll return to her and all the very cool things she’s done, but first let’s meet someone who spends much of her life studying, writing about, and exploring Madison’s food scene.

Lindsay Christians, food editor: I am Lindsay Christians. I am the food editor and an arts writer at the Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin.

Aislyn: Lindsay moved to Madison in 2006 for grad school—she was actually studying theater. And then she just never left.

Lindsay: I think a lot of people move to Madison for grad school and stay. It’s the kind of place where that happens a lot.

Aislyn: I know that I felt that pull when I visited Madison for the first time last June. There’s just something about it that the combination of, you know, outdoor beauty and then this really surprising food scene. And yes, Lindsay says a lot of people are surprised by that.

Lindsay: I think we know we’ve been flyover country, you know, like we know we’ve been flyover country for a really long time. Everyone’s aware of that, right?

Aislyn: But it’s not all cheese curds and fried foods here. Not by a long shot. Madison is a college town because of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, but Lindsay says it’s also so much more.

Lindsay: The rural-urban connection here is, is pretty strong. Like, we are surrounded by farms. So I think keeping in mind that we are part of the upper Midwest and we are part of those foodways while also understanding that there is this effect from the university where you have people coming from all over the country, all over the world to go to this university.

So I think having that kind of connection between those things has meant that our food culture reflects that. So you do see a lot of taverns and supper clubs like you would in the rest of the state. We definitely have that culture here, but we also have really excellent, uh, global cuisine in a way that I don’t think you would often see in a city of this size.

Aislyn: Madison has a population of about 675,000 in the metro area. Now in comparison, a city like Chicago has nearly 3 million residents. But Madison is growing fast. So fast that there’s actually a housing shortage. Although that’s a topic for another day.

It’s no surprise that people want to move here. It’s a gorgeous city. Long before the city was built, this was actually the home of the Ho-Chunk nation, who still maintain a strong presence in the area. What is now known as Madison is one of only two major American cities built on an isthmus. That’s where the Capitol building sits and it separates Lake Mendota from Lake Monona. Madison actually encompasses five lakes in total. So in the summertime, those are the places to be.

Madison is also a gold star cycling city with more than 60 miles of bike paths within city limits alone. It’s refreshingly progressive, really fascinating historically, and you’ll also find chefs who are really leading the culinary movement, chefs like Sean Farr.

Sean Pharr, chef: I mean, New York and, you know, the Bay Area and Chicago have really kind of held this reign for a long time. I feel like we are the new guard kind of pushing the change in cuisine right now.

Aislyn: Sean owns Mint Mark, one of Madison’s most popular restaurants. He also owns a tavern called the Muskellounge and Sporting Club and a more casual spot called Hank’s. But at Mint Mark, he’s all about using fresh local ingredients. And it turns out that in Madison. they’re the real star of the show.

Sean: The food scene in Madison has a really special vibe. And I think it’s due to the proximity of all these great farms that are around us. And the chefs that, uh, gravitate, gravitate towards seasonal cooking are really left with this, this palette of incredible ingredients that it’s, it’s our job not to screw them up. And that’s because it’s just so darn good here.

Aislyn: Let’s talk about those ingredients for a second, because what does Wisconsin have in spades? Farms. I’m sure you’ve heard about Wisconsin’s love of dairy, but you might not know that it has more dairy farms than any other state: nearly 6,400. And it has more than 1,200 licensed cheesemakers. In other words, agriculture here is big business: Wisconsin has nearly 60,000 farms, most of which are family run.

And the Dane County Farmers’ Market in Madison is one of the city’s most famous places. It’s the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country. And that means that only the people who grow the produce are allowed to sell here. These producers have incredible relationships with chefs and on my visit the farmers’ market was absolutely nuts, with chefs, locals, and travelers all vying for a wedge of Wisconsin meat, cheese, or the famous Door County cherries.

Lindsay: The farmers’ market started, like, more than 50 years ago now. The 50th anniversary of the Dane County Farmers’ Market Cookbook came out this past year. And, and that’s really incredible in part because what was happening in Madison in the 1970s and 1980s is right alongside what was happening with Alice Waters and with Chez Panisse in Berkeley. But, um, our locavore movement, the farm-to-table stuff started at the same time. And I think that’s something people don’t know.

Aislyn: Odessa Piper was one of those early locavore pioneers. In 1976, she opened one of Madison’s most famous restaurants, called L’Etoile. Many have actually referred to it as the Midwest’s Chez Panisse.

Odessa opened the restaurant with a then-radical notion: She wanted to rely only on local growers. L’Etoile is located just a few steps from the farmers’ market, and Odessa spent years cultivating these relationships with growers. In 2005, she sold the restaurant to her chef de cuisine, Tory Miller. And though Odessa had a lot of influence on Madison’s culinary scene early on, Lindsay says that the food scene has since taken on a life of its own.

Lindsay: The food scene we have now is one that she helped seed but is not, with all respect to her, because she’s wonderful, it is not one that she has continued to create. She was an early pioneer, and she was one of many. But, you know, a lot of the chefs that she worked with had more technique than she did, had more training than she did, and were able to kind of take that vision and take it further.

Aislyn: Tory Miller is one of those people. He is now one of Madison’s most influential chefs. And yes, he still helms L’Etoile, but he also opened a more casual restaurant called Graze also right across from the farmers’ market. There, he merges his Wisconsin and Korean heritages. He has continued to evolve L’Etoile, which is definitely a fine-dining destination. And he’s continued this locavore tradition that Odessa started. And he is now passing the torch to other chefs.

Lindsay: And then now we’re seeing people who worked for Tory open their own places. And so he is passing on this kind of legacy, as well of this really close connection to the farms and the people who are growing things here.

Aislyn: So today, if you throw a carrot in Madison, you’re going to find a great restaurant that, like L’Etoile, celebrates local produce. Restaurants like Sean’s Mint Mark. It’s a small plates kind of place where the menu changes up to seven times a week. But there are two items that he swears his diners won’t let him take off the menu.

Sean: The cauliflower, which is a roasted cauliflower tossed in bagna cauda with white wine–plumped golden raisins and frico, or crispy, like, Parmesan cheese on top. So there’s a lot of acid, a lot of umami from the anchovies and garlic. It was an absolute, like, throwaway dish for me. I was trying to come up with this, like, super, like, I, I guess almost like a croque madame cauliflower dish. And I made it and it was so rich and heavy, and I just don’t like eating like that anymore. So I, I literally just like the day before we opened, like, threw some cauliflower in the fryer and tossed it with bagna cauda and lemon juice, and I was like, “Oh, this is where it’s [at].”

Aislyn: And then there’s a killer biscuit.

Sean: Like I knew I wanted to put these biscuits on the menu ’cause they’re straight fire. But um, you know, I was like, “Yeah, they’d probably be good with garlic honey. And I know cultured butter’s delicious.” So I literally put it on the menu without trying it. And about three months in, I tried it and I was like, “Oh, this is what everybody’s talking about.”

Aislyn: Sean says the food scene has always been great here.

Sean: One of the coolest things was the various ethnic cuisines you got to try, um, especially in, like, the old-school State Street scene, uh, you know, like, uh, Himal Chuli. So, uh, you could really kind of just throw a dart and you’d usually end up at something pretty good.

Aislyn: But he says it’s changed in the last decade or so.

Sean: There’s been, I would say, a massive change in the food culture and food scene in Madison. At one point there’s more restaurants than anywhere else per capita.

Aislyn: A lot of the change has been spurred by chefs who have moved here from other places or were born and raised here and then moved away. Chefs like Itaru Nagano of Fairchild. Itaru Nagano was once the chef de cuisine at L’Etoile, and in 2023, he and his fellow Fairchild chef, Andrew Kroeger, won best chef in the Midwest at the James Beard Awards, which are like the food world’s Oscars.

Itaru: So I grew up here and then, yeah, and then I moved away for a long time and then I’ve been back for over 11 years now.

Aislyn: Itaru was living in New York, which he loved, but he wanted a slower pace of life without having to sacrifice his culinary aspirations.

Itaru: We’re so farmers’ market driven, even more so than—you know, I worked in New York for Tom Colicchio at Craft, and he, you know, his philosophy, philosophy was using all farmers’ market stuff too. But the difference here, I think, is just how it’s a shorter amount of time, but, like, the produce is really great and it’s all from Wisconsin. Whereas, um, Union Square Market is, like, you know, you get Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, upstate New York, Mass[achusetts], all, you know, it’s kind of all over the place. Um, whereas, uh, Dane County Farmers’ Market is just from Wisconsin.

Aislyn: Fairchild is a gorgeous little space with a bronze, pressed-tin ceiling and deep blue walls. The menu rotates weekly and seasonally, surprise surprise, and they make pastas in house and these delicious, jewel-like dishes. You know, like grilled pork with a mezcal jus and salmon with local turnips and—

Itaru: We have, like, a sweetbread item right now that’s pan fried, and then I made, like, a Door County cherry and shiso puree with pickled sunchokes and a couple of different variations of the cherry. One’s like just a shiso and cherry puree, and then the other one’s just a leftover liquid that was in the freezer bag. We sweeten that up a little bit and use a little bit of verjus and then made that into a gel.

Aislyn: Itaru also uses ingredients he’s found on his own.

Itaru: I do a lot of foraging in the spring, spring, summer, and fall, so it’s really easy to get out to the country and go to my spots and look for, you know, ramps and watercress and mushrooms, so I love doing that.

Aislyn: And many times, they wind up on the menu.

Itaru: So, like, ramps, I’ll put on the menu for sure. Um, watercress, um, I’ll use. Chanterelles, if I have enough, then I’ll definitely use [them], um, oyster mushrooms, maitake, or hen-of-the-woods sometimes. It’s, it just depends on what I’m able to get.

Aislyn: One thing I heard again and again, from chefs and other people involved in this world, is how supportive Madison is, at least in the food community.

Itaru: I think we’re getting better as a city. We’re really supportive of each other. I think we just try to lift each other up and, you know, I think everybody wants to, you know, grow Madison as a food scene.

Aislyn: Wisconsin is a diverse place, and that cultural diversity has also shaped Madison’s food scene in major ways. In the 19th century, Wisconsin began to see big waves of immigration—people who wanted to take advantage of the cheap and abundant land, jobs, and the relatively free political climate. In the early days, it was primarily German, Irish, Norwegian, Greek, and Italian settlers. And most of the Italians settled in Milwaukee and Kenosha, where chef Dan Bonnano grew up in his dad’s Italian deli.

His restaurant is called Pig in a Fur Coat, and with it he’s brought a little Italian flair to Madison, though he’s quick to say it’s not an Italian place.

Dan Bonnano, chef: I don’t like to put myself in a box and it’s—the kind of the cuisine is, I use all Wisconsin local meats and vegetables, but I put my own history and twist on it, so a lot of Italian because my background, my parents are both born in Italy, a lot of my food is Italian.

Aislyn: When you arrive at Pig in a Fur Coat, one of the first things you might see in the display windows that front the restaurant is a white ceramic pig wrapped in a fur stole that looks right up Joan Crawford’s alley. And the food is both surprising and comforting. Imagine eating bomobolini—those little Italian doughnuts—topped with foie gras or gnocchi with short ribs and cashews.

Dan also runs a deli now, just like his dad. It’s called Alimentari and it’s just around the corner. So go to Pig in a Fur Coat for dinner, and then to Alimentari the next day for a meatball sub. Dan says he also appreciates the city’s culinary diversity.

Dan: We have a lot of great chefs, you know, they get inspired by the local products around and they come from all different types of backgrounds. And so you get a lot of different types of different cuisines and restaurants and experiences, which I love.

Aislyn: Madison also has a fairly sizable Laotian population. And that means there are some fantastic Laotian restaurants, including a relative newcomer that’s gotten a lot of buzz.

Jamie Brown-Soukaseume, chef: My name is Jamie Brown-Soukaseume. I am the chef and co-owner of Ahan in Madison. We’re kind of like a modern take on a Laotian restaurant.

Aislyn: Jamie grew up 30 minutes north of Madison, surrounded by the sights, sounds, and delicious smells of her mother’s cooking.

Jamie: I would, like, wake up every morning to her cooking something and like, you [could] always hear her cooking or breaking down a chicken or something like that.

Aislyn: Her mother emigrated from Luang Prabang in Laos. So when Jamie opened Ahan four years ago, she wanted to pay tribute to her family’s culinary legacy.

Jamie: I like to stick to, like, really authentic flavors, things that I’ve learned, like, how to make from my mom or like, you know, inspired by eating other Laotian food or family parties. But I like to kind of do, like, my own, you know, local and modern plating and take on it. There are some things that are, like, you know, recipes passed down from my mom’s grandmother and stuff like that.

Aislyn: One of those dishes is her khao soi Luang Prabang, which I ordered on a cloudy, rainy day. It was so fragrant and warm, filled with chili, ground pork, rice noodles, and so many flavorful herbs. This dish is one of Jamie’s favorites, too.

Jamie: Very like, very comforting, but also some bold flavors like the fermented soybeans and the, you know, the pork, the tomatoes, the fish sauce. I always feel like it doesn’t matter what time of day or, like, even what the weather’s like, sometimes it just seems so comforting.

Aislyn: But true to her Midwestern roots, Jamie will occasionally use beets or other classic Wisconsin ingredients in her food.

Jamie: Even though there’s, like, no cheese in Laotian cooking, I do try to, like, sneak it in sometimes. It’s just funny—a very Wisconsin thing.

Aislyn: Jamie, too, loves the Madison culinary community. She is one of the many local chefs who worked L’Etoile under chef Tory Miller. They recently collaborated on a new event.

Jamie: We just did a dinner together a couple weeks ago and it was so much fun. It was, like, kind of highlighting our cooking styles together plus his Korean American heritage, and my, you know, Lao American heritage.

Aislyn: So a meal at Ahan is a must on a visit. But there’s another experience you have to have while in Wisconsin: Eating at a supper club. Which it turns out is not easy to define.

Shaina Robbins Papach, restaurant owner: It’s interesting because I think whoever you ask would say something very different. So it’s a little bit subjective.

Aislyn: That’s Shaina Robbins Papach, who along with her chef husband Joe, run the Harvey House, a modern spin on the supper club. Shaina grew up in Madison and moved back about six years ago to open the restaurant. And the Harvey House has this midcentury glamour going on, which makes sense because it’s built in an old baggage claim building behind the city’s historic train depot. The restaurant even has a restored train car that you can book. And honest to god, they serve the best martini I’ve had in recent years, the kind where you get a little glass pitcher filled with bonus martini alongside. Esquire even voted their martini one of its 50 best martinis recently. It’s the kind of restaurant you want to linger in for hours. And that’s exactly the point of a supper club, says Shaina.

Shaina: From my perspective, it’s a restaurant that, you, you might want to stay a little bit longer, that you might want to have an extra drink or an extra appetizer. That, you know, it feels maybe a little bit celebratory, something that—many times they’re in old buildings, they’ve been around for a long time, they’re generally family owned, they generally have pretty classic combinations of food. Sometimes they’re a little bit more German focused, sometimes they’re a little bit more, sort of, Norwegian focused, I would say, sometimes sort of more American classics, um, more steakhouse.

Aislyn: The supper club has been around for decades, but it really started to take off after World War II. And many of the supper clubs around Wisconsin have remained unchanged. A great way to peer into this world besides just visiting and eating is to watch a documentary called Old Fashioned—I’ll link to it in my show notes.

While every supper club is different, there are some themes. First, they’re all about community and lingering over a meal. You’ll start with a cocktail—maybe a Wisconsin Old Fashioned made with brandy and lemon-lime soda. Once you sit down, a traditional appetizer is the relish tray.

Shaina: Every supper club really starts with some little bite of something, and it’s different amongst all of them. Many of them start with some kind of crudité. It used to be sort of thought of as like, you know, the, the trimmings from the, the meal that was being cooked and, you know, you gave it to your guests just so they could have like a little snack before they started to eat. And some supper clubs still treat it that way. So it really is, you know, up to you. A slice of onion or it’s a piece of, like, the end of a carrot or, you know, it’s, it really is different. Or there’s some places that do a whole spread of charcuterie and cheese dips and fish spread and, you know, all sorts of things.

Aislyn: At the Harvey House, they serve relish trays on these gorgeous vintage cake plates.

Shaina: It’s a variety of different vegetables. We serve it with a whipped ranch mousse and we serve deviled eggs, which is definitely a classic for relish trays and even just for supper clubs in general. And then we also serve a salmon spread with rye crisps.

Aislyn: As for the main dishes at a supper club, Shaina says traditionally it’s a range.

Shaina: For the most part, you know, you see like a chicken cordon bleu, you see a French onion soup, you see, you know, a fish fry, those kinds of things.

Aislyn: The Harvey House used to have a take on a chicken cordon bleu, and they definitely have a twist on the fish fry.

Shaina: We do use Lake Superior walleye, which is, you know, a very beloved fish here in Wisconsin. Um, and we take the, the walleye and create a little fillet and then we take the trim pieces and create a, like, herbed mousse that we put on top of the fillet of fish. And then we slice a piece of rye bread very, very thin and top the fish and mousse with that. So the mousse, you know, sort of holds it all together. And then we cook the fish on the rye bread side, so the rye bread becomes very crispy and almost like a, you know, fried fish skin or a fried fish batter.

Aislyn: It’s comforting yet elevated. The kind of food you eat while dressed in your finest, with that martini not far off. If you want more of a jeans-and-sneakers meal, you have to go to their new restaurant, Butterbird.

Shaina: There aren’t very many places that serve fried chicken here in Madison and Joe started making fried chicken at some of our private events. And we loved the idea of creating kind of a Midwestern-style fried chicken spot that could be for families, for students, or, you know, kind of for anybody, in a place that our kids would enjoy coming.

Aislyn: Shaina says they serve classic Wisconsin sides and draft cocktails too. And yes, butter is involved.

Shaina: We call it Butterbird because with our rotisserie chicken, we baste it in butter. But when we started to think about fried chicken, we, we thought about, you know, the sort of style, not necessarily of the—you know, we’re not doing Nashville Hot. We’re not trying to be, you know, sort of southern sides, it’s more of, you know, we do mac and cheese bites, we do mozzarella sticks, we do, you know, sort of Midwestern salads, meaning that they have cheese and ranch dressing. And you know, it’s, it’s our version of a fried chicken spot.

Aislyn: One of the things that Shaina loves about Madison is that it feels like people are still falling in love with dining.

Shaina: It does feel like when people come and sit down that for the most part, like cell phones aren’t on the table, people aren’t like stepping away, particularly at Harvey House. But I find that at Butterbird too, that there is, there’s this sense of going into a restaurant and, like, a respect for a restaurant and sort of like a, a deep love for letting it kind of take you away to a different place.

Aislyn: Of course, when you visit Madison you’re going to want to do more than eat. And Madison has plenty of ways to help you digest. There are the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. You can kayak on Lake Mendota or Lake Monona. You can even get in touch with your inner lumberjack by taking a log-rolling class on Lake Winga. But one thing you really have to do, if you’re able, is cycle.

Garret Olsen, Madison Adventure Tours: To be surrounded by water and just the way that Madison has incorporated the city into that nature with the park systems, it’s a great place to be outdoors. It’s a really environmentally, you know, conscious city, really bike-friendly city.

Aislyn: That’s Garret Olsen of Madison Adventure Tours. It’s an e-bike tour that takes you all around Madison. And he and his wife, Jade, launched it after taking an e-bike tour in Boulder.

Garret: We just assumed that it was already happening in Madison and we just didn’t know about it. And we’re sort of shocked that it wasn’t happening and we just knew that Madison needed it because it’s such a bike-friendly city. So much of our bike tour is happening on bike trails or dedicated bike lanes. The way the city is, it has a clear central downtown with, like, the Capitol being the centerpiece of it, kind of focusing around that area, it just makes sense.

Aislyn: I took their tour on my visit and I loved it. It’s a great way to kick off a long weekend or week in the city. The tours are about two hours long and they run from May through October, and after, you’ll have a really strong sense of Madison’s layout.

Garret: When you do the Uber or taxi from here to there, it feels like a time warp almost. You just sort of appear somewhere and you don’t necessarily get a feel for the city or an understanding of it. Just being able to be out and seeing people walking around and the environment and, and just sort of being part of that is a really cool way to experience the city. And then having the guide that kind of shows you and tells you as you go.

Aislyn: Then, if you want to pedal around the city on your own, you can rent a bike from the city’s bike-sharing program BCyle. It’s really easy and the bikes are everywhere. Here’s how I would end my time in Madison, although you could go any time. With a visit to Kosa, Madison’s first and only Ayurvedic spa. It was founded by Shilpa Sankaran, who you heard at the top of the episode. She was born in India, grew up in Madison, and then left for many years. And in 2019, she opened Kosa to offer something new in the wellness space.

Shilpa: The idea with Ayurveda, you know, it’s, it’s really about self-care and it’s about understanding that we have this kind of holistic relationship with our bodies. And the access to Ayurveda, because it’s pretty nascent in this country, is either, you know, you go all in and stay at a big resort or you, um, sign up at a clinic but you know, that’s really intimidating. So I really wanted to make Ayurveda accessible to people. So you can come in and just really let your curiosity lead the way and be more present with the certain, you know, you can get a massage and you can have a sauna and you can have a facial, but the whole experience is really grounded in the principles of Ayurveda.

Aislyn: It’s located in the Garver Feed Mill, a former beet factory built more than 100 years ago. Shilpa said it had been vacant for decades and totally fallen apart.

Shilpa: It’s actually incredibly beautiful and became what was known as Madison’s Graffiti Museum. And it was—there are beautiful pictures of it, but it was like Indiana Jones in there. You know, you needed a hard hat just to get around.

Aislyn: In 2017, a new kind of construction began, under the eye of a development team with the intent to preserve as much as it could of the old structure.

Shilpa: The developer from Chicago, Baum Revision, had this amazing vision to really bring it back to its roots of local food production. And so we have Ian’s Pizza there and their back of the house where they make their crust, you know, and where they prep, prep all their ingredients. We have a kombucha factory. We have a little ice cream–making operation down there. We have a coffee roaster, Ledger coffee roaster. So it’s a wonderful place. We have our farmers’ markets there in the winter and lots of events. And it’s just become this community and hub for the community to experience local businesses and um, just appreciate all the great things that Madison has to offer.

Aislyn: Including Kosa. Which is more than just a spa—it really does feel like a place of healing, of wellness. I spent a good chunk of a day there, getting a massage with customized oils, relaxing in one of the private steam and sauna rooms, and also eating. They cook all the food they serve on site, thanks to Shilpa’s mom.

Shilpa: My mom said, “Oh, we, we just have to have a kitchen because we need to cook the food because we understand the spices.” We make some home-cooked recipes that are really informed by our Ayurvedic chef and lead Ayurvedic counselor, Tanya, who—she brings in the Ayurvedic knowledge and layers that onto our family recipes and overall it’s just one of the best parts of the experience that people, it closes the loop for them and they say, “Oh, the food is like a warm hug in a bowl.”

Aislyn: Despite opening right before the pandemic, Kosa has seen fantastic growth over the last four years. And she gives a lot of credit to the Madison community for that.

Shilpa: I think it’s also just a great testament again to the things that just keep popping up here in Madison. So I think every time people come to visit, you’re going to find something new and different. I find it all the time, whether it’s a wellness space or a cool new product that was developed here or a great restaurant, a great experience. It’s just always going to be fresh here in Madison.

Aislyn: It does feel like a city that always stays fresh. And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Madison and its food scene. Plus the city has so much more to offer culturally and we’re heading into the perfect season for a visit. So maybe I’ll see you there.

In the show notes, I’ll link to all the businesses and resources I mentioned in the episode, I’ll also link to a story about Madison’s food scene that I recently wrote. And we’ll have a bonus episode focused exclusively on the city’s craft beer and spirits scene, so stay tuned for that. We’ll see you next week.

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This has been Unpacked, a production of AFAR Media. The podcast is produced by Aislyn Greene and Nikki Galteland. Music composition by Chris Colin. And remember: The world is complicated. We’re here to help you unpack it.