Sometimes, the best part of the meal is the appetizer. From cheese plates to tuna tartare, we’ve put together the ultimate collection of food joints with the best appetizers. From crowd favorites to unique dishes, check out the best places for appetizers in Wisconsin.
While the appetizer list at the Old Fashioned might not be lengthy, they have some of the tastiest options in Madison. Wisconsin is known for cheese so of course a cheese plate is completely necessary. While you’re at it, order a side of cheese curds to share. What they lake in lengthy at the Old Fashioned, they make up for in taste.
Ben and I have a tradition of going to Madison for our anniversary weekend because ... what’s not to love?! . It has the best farmers market, friendly people, perfect fall weather, delicious beer and food, and this year instead of booking a hotel or Airbnb we pitched a tent. . We hadn’t been camping in WAY TOO LONG (like 6 years?? unacceptable!) and it reminded me of how happy I am when I can wake up in the woods. . This mini trip was the perfect balance of city//nature, healthy + soul food...ok maybe a little too much soul food but I will eat extra veggies this week. . Our go-to camping dinner is roasted chicken sausage with foil packets of veggies, which leaves room for s’mores! . Sometimes when I travel I stick to my “nutrition plan” 100% and say no thanks to junk food. . Sometimes I say BALANCE! and love eating my way through a different city or country! Our fave restaurant in Madison is the Old Fashioned. Get a salad and cheese curds! . Do you try to stay healthy when you’re traveling or do you have a YOLO mindset?
Mahoney’s Restaurant prides itself on providing comfort food with a modern twist. On their appetizer menu you’ll find cheese curds, a hummus flatbread, sesame tuna tartare, peanut chicken lettuce wraps, pretzel and cheese, boneless wings, and their tomato and mozzarella crostini. If you’re looking for the ultimate comfort food on their appetizer list try the Bavarian-style pretzels and cheddar ale cheese sauce.
If you’re looking for a restaurant that is a little more on the fine dining side—look no further. In turn, you’ll find their appetizer menu is on the classier side as well. Try their molasses glazed quail with roasted matsutake mushrooms and mustard greens or their grilled pear and Roquefort tart with caramelized onions and walnuts. Broaden your palate at Sanford Restaurant.
Café Hollander has five area locations around the state. While their entire menu is delightful—their appetizers are to die for. Try their goat cheese bruschetta made with toasted baguettes, goat cheese, a balsamic glaze, chive oil, and tomatoes. If you’re looking for something a little more on the comfort food side of things, order up their big soft pretzel served with whole grain mustard.
Back on schedule!! Cafe Hollander’s house-made cheese curds are very unique as they use pretzel crumbs to coat the white cheddar cheese. At a cost of $9.95 you get around 25 curds that come with a side of sriracha ranch and excellent presentation! The sauce is very good but the curds themselves are very ordinary and bland. I’d rate these 5/10. Side note: notice the Belgian table bread in the back which is to die for ðŸ¤¤ . . . #cheesecurds #nofilter #ooeygooey #milwaukee #wisconsin #friedcheese #official #food #good #tasty #omg #cheese #wow #beautiful #amazing #offcial #foodporn #foodie #comfortfood #foodcritic #sauces #saucey #curds #cafehollander #cheddar #brookfieldplace #review
Eddie B’s offers an up north, cabin feel for its patrons. On top of its neat atmosphere, Eddie B’s White Spruce Inn has a full line of tasty appetizers to help kick off your meal. Try their cheese garlic tomato bread, loaded potato skins, or battered mushrooms. Otherwise kick it back with a classic basket of steak fries and onion rings.
Sobelman’s is most widely known for their gigantic Bloody Marys. One could argue that their fully loaded Bloody Mary is an appetizer and drink in one meal. Their traditional appetizer menu calls for bacon wrapped jalapeno cheese balls, gouda mac and cheese bites, and their famous Milwaukee Pretzel Company pretzel and cheese.
If you’re looking for something new—head over to Crawfish Junction. Most loved appetizer goes to their alligator bites. Try their fried Florida alligator tail served with their famous zesty sauce. Other fan favorites include fried crawfish and fried green beans. Stop by Crawfish Junctions for some not so normal appetizers.
There’s no surprise that Monk’s makes our best appetizer list. Their widely diverse menu also calls for some top-notch appetizers. Try their deep-fried pickles, cheese curds, deluxe nachos, or some sweet chili cauliflower bites. Monk’s offers a ton of different appetizer options for everyone at the table.
You’ll find homemade, farm fresh, locally sourced food at Grasse’s Grill. Your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised by their appetizer menu. Grasse’s really knows how to take a classic dish and make it their own. Take for instance their artichoke and pesto spinach dip and their cheese head cheese curds served with house-made ranch. Does it get better? No.