By Candice Wagener | Photography by Sunny Frantz
When you want a spot to watch the game check out these places around town that have winning eats.
Choosing which sports bar to watch your favorite teams at is often dependent on two variables: good viewing and drink options. But in a food-centric city like Madison, the grub should also be top of the list. Here are a few spots around town deserving of extra points on game days.
Truly a neighborhood joint in the “Good Neighbor City,” you’re greeted right when you walk into Midtown Pub and baskets of buttery popcorn sit at the ready on every table. Menu highlights include the MTP Primers, mini prime rib sandwiches on pretzel rolls topped with the Pub’s own horsey sauce (a horseradish-laced condiment with a little kick) and house-made chili, which is some of the best around town. On Wednesdays, indulge in St. Louis-style dry rub ribs that fall off the bone. Thursdays it’s all about Ma Pott’s meatloaf. Don’t forget to grab a candy bar (or two) on your way out. 2405 Allen Blvd., Middleton
PLAYER’S SPORTS BAR & GRILL
Nestled in the heart of Schenk’s Corners, Player’s is hailed as a consistent favorite by Madisonians, including some of our top chefs. The burgers are where this menu holds strong, using fresh ground beef delivered daily from Jenifer Street Market, locally-sourced produce when available and toasted buns from Madison Sourdough. Delight in novelties like the appetizer-turned-burger Jalapeno Popper or the Lotza Moza, topped with garlic sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella and two deep-fried mozzarella sticks. Cash only. 2013 Winnebago St.
JORDAN’S BIG 10 PUB
The fact that their motto is “Eat. Drink. Sports.” shows that Jordan’s prioritizes food. Try to resist the papas fritas, a hybrid of fries, carnitas tacos (braised pork, cotija cheese, jalapeno crisps), and elotes (Mexican street corn), topped with chili lime ranch. Sandwiches include specialties like the Ahi tuna BLT and pork Banh Mi, as well as paninis like Timmy’s Cuban, consisting of pulled pork, Swiss cheese, jalapeno and banana pep- pers, pickles and spicy mustard. The pub has also gained renown for their fish fry. It’s always good to have another spot in your back pocket for Friday night, right? 1330 Regent St.
Start with the house-made sweet potato hummus or Reuben egg rolls, which speak for themselves. Dexter’s raises the bar beyond cod for their fish fry with walleye, bluegill, jumbo shrimp and grilled, Alaskan King salmon. Their menu also offers vegan options, like the aptly-named The Vegan that features a Beyond Burger patty, Chao cheese (a plant-based, dairy-free cheese), and vegan chipotle mayo, and a stuffed grilled cheese with Chao cheese, butter alternative, shiitake mushrooms, pickled red onions and spinach. And, they serve 9- and 14-inch pizzas with a laundry list of toppings available. 301 North St.
MONK’S BAR & GRILL
Being a Sconnie-born franchise, Monk’s is all Wisconsin and proudly roots for the Badgers and local youth sports. Much of the appetizer fare is standard, but the cauliflower bites tossed in sweet chili sauce and topped with scallions and black sesame seeds are not to be missed. Monk’s is a family-friendly establishment, which carries over into their menu with three takes on mac ’n cheese including BBQ brisket, crispy chicken and tater tot bacon. They also have a separate kids’ menu, and the chocolate chip cookie sundae is a dessert the whole family will appreciate. 8313 Murphy Dr., Middleton; 2832 Prairie Lakes Dr., Sun Prairie; and 1050 N. Edge Trail, Verona.