Located on Capitol Square, The Old Fashioned promises traditional, homey dishes featuring local meats, cheeses, and produce from small Wisconsin farmers. The tavern and restaurant is a popular destination for local Madison residents and students alike, offering a variety of unique burgers. My pick: The Old Fashioned House Burger- Grilled over a live fire, topped with fried onions, Bavaria’s hickory-smoked bacon, aged Cheddar, garlic sauce and a soft-cooked egg on a buttered and toasted roll. Photo courtesy of the The Old Fashioned.
Known for its wide selection of burger options, Dotty Dumplings is nestled in the lower part of campus. It’s been voted “Best in Madison” over 25 times by The Isthmus and Madison Magazine (two local publication) as well as being named “Best in the Big Ten” by USA Today. It’s a must-see spot! My pick: Stanley’s Blue Ribbon Burger- Topped with cream cheese, BBQ sauce, and an onion ring. Ranked #1 at the restaurant’s annual employee cook-off. Photo courtesy of Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry
A stop at this place is mandatory in order to get the complete University of Wisconsin experience. Revered as the #1 place to celebrate birthdays, the Nitty Gritty is especially popular among students celebrating their 21st. Sometimes even the school mascot, Bucky, makes surprise appearances! My pick: The Grittyburger- Plain and simple, this burger award winning 6 oz. burger is bathed in secret “gritty” sauce and served on a dark seeded bun. Photo courtesy of The Nitty Gritty.
AJ Bombers is a recent addition to the Madison burger scene this year with an expansion from Milwaukee, but it’s quickly become a campus favorite. With a tagline of “Happiness w/ a side of Burgers”, you can’t go wrong! My pick: The Milwaukee Burger- ¼ lb. burger with double Colby cheese, double Nueske’s bacon, topped with Schlitz onions. Winner of Travel Channel’s FOOD WARS. Photo courtesy of AJ Bombers.