Vintage Brewing Company deluges devotees with bountiful beers born out of Belgian, German, and American traditions. These refreshing hop-laden selections rest beside a slew of creative culinary concoctions, many of which comprise locally sourced ingredients. A plate of AJ's pretzels ($6) saunters in at the beginning of a feeding frenzy, with house-made pretzels perched on a pedestal and set to dive into a sea of VBC beer mustard and cheese dip. Vintage Brewing Company ups the burger ante with bratwurst burgers ($10.50) that explore what happens when two 4-ounce grilled brats are picked to live inside a beer-bread pretzel roll with oatmeal stout bacon sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and beer-cheese sauce. Throughout the visit, diners can pair plates with an array of bottles and cans, beers on tap, and wine.
Consistently voted Best of Madison in Madison Magazine and Madison's Favorite in Isthmus magazine, Steve's offers artisanal cheese, gourmet chocolates, and specialty meats. The University Ave. location is home to The Cheese Course, a specialty store-within-a-store offering local and obscure artisan cheeses lovingly hand-cut to order. Snag creamy Délice de Bourgogne triple cream ($16.49/lb.) and sharp Bob's 10-year cheddar ($18.49/lb.) along with Potter's organic artisan crackers ($4.50). Savory and sweet sauces and spreads include the quince and apple preserves ($5.49) and Kelly's Kitchen stuffed Peppadews ($4.99), while paper-thin prosciutto di Parma ($19.99/lb.) and frozen duck breasts ($16.49/lb.) are perfect for dinner, appetizers, or sharing with your second mouth. Steve's also offers velvety gourmet chocolates from local chocolatiers Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier and David Bacco Chocolats. The friendly staff will liberate your inner gourmand with helpful suggestions, and can also recommend wine and beer pairings.
Lucky’s satisfies appetites for pub fare and sports with a lunch and dinner menu and 50 televisions broadcasting all major sports packages from above a dark wood bar. Patrons can commence flavor explorations with six wings, which cooks toss with a choice of buffalo, barbecue, or garlic-parmesan sauce ($6.99), before strapping one to each shoulder to attract newly single griffins ($6.99). For the Wild West burger, grillmasters herd a beef patty and strips of applewood-smoked bacon onto a fresh kaiser roll smothered with barbeque sauce, grilled onions, and cheddar cheese ($6.99). As parents masticate on the sauerkraut-filled Regent Street reuben ($7.49), pint-sized palates can step up to bat with the minor leaguer’s menu and punt a slider hamburger into a side of fries or applesauce ($2.95).
The menu at Pancake Cafe is impressive—almost as impressive as their nine straight awards for Best Breakfast in Madison Magazine’s Best of Madison. For breakfast, the staff serves home-style meals such as oven-baked omelets or house-made biscuits and gravy. The eatery’s namesake comes in unexpected varieties, including an award-winning apple pancake that’s baked for 20 minutes with fresh fruit, baker’s sugar, and Sinkiang cinnamon glaze. Pancake Cafe also whips up gluten-free versions and an old-fashioned potato pancake capped with applesauce or sour cream. They even squeeze fresh orange juice by wringing out a traffic cone as aggressively as possible. At lunch, servers put the waffles down for a nap and begin presenting plates of white-albacore tuna melts, Angus burgers, and Chicago-style italian beef sandwiches.
Atomic Koi Cocktail Lounge's extensive drink menu includes a wide range of mixed drinks, each hand-crafted with precision by Atomic Koi's beverage-blessing bartenders. Fans of fruit can indulge in mango or pomegranate mojitos, swiftly concocted with fresh mint, lime, sugar, and rum ($5 each), and sweet teeth and their tongued companions can swirl through a chocolate martini ($6). For niche desires, the tenders turn out other inventive selections, such as the Dreamsicle ice-cream drink dancing in Three Olives Rangtang, Dr. Vanillacuddy's, amaretto, and orange juice ($7), or the Zen elixir, a champagne beverage bubbling with green-tea-liqueur brilliance ($5). In terms of straightforward yet satiating sippables, the bar provides a favorable selection of spirits, and the seasonal beers are said to change as often as the tangential conversations held around them.
With more than 450 stores throughout the globe, TCBY has become synonymous with high-quality frozen yogurt since its humble inception in Arkansas in 1981. Known as The Country’s Best Yogurt, TCBY serves up frozen treats packed with benefits such as live active cultures and vitamin D while remaining lower in fat and calories than traditional ice cream. New additions to the menu include frozen greek yogurt, which swirls with twice as much protein as the regular frozen yogurt, giving customers a treat to look forward to after strenuous routines of bench-pressing dairy-farm equipment. Revamped store designs infuse each space with modern, colorful touches, such as bright-green chairs and hanging orange lights, reflecting the dessert emporium’s dedication to happily moving into the future with its customers.