Local Food

Looking for a Farmers' Market in the Madison WI area?

We have the best Farmers' Markets around. There is NO question about it. Madison WI Farmers' Markets are incredibly well attended and the number of neighbors that visit and purchase food, flowers, plants and more are growing each year. If you are like many of us and committed to providing healthy, local and organic food for your family than you need to know all of the places you can visit during the week to ensure your home is full of the right foods.

In an effort to support our local Farmers' Markets and encourage all to shop there more frequently, here is an easy schedule for Madison neighborhoods.


Northside:      2817 N. Sherman Ave., 8:30am-12:30pm

Monona:          Ahuska Park, E. Broadway, 9am-1pm

Westside:       Edgewood High School, 2219 Monroe St., 9am-1pm

Southside:      Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park St., 11am-3pm


Southside:      2524 Rimrock Rd., 2pm-6pm


Southside:      Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park St., 2pm-6pm

Middleton:     Greenway Station, 3pm-6pm

Eastside:         Wil-Mar Center, 953 Jenifer St., 4pm-7pm


Westside:       Hilldale Mall, Segoe Rd., 7am-2pm

Downtown:   City-County Building, 215 MLK Jr. Blvd., 8:30am-2pm


Middleton:      Greenway Station, 8am-1pm

Southside:      The Villager Mall, 2300 S. Park St., 2pm-6pm

Fitchburg:       Agora Pavilion, 5511 E. Cheryl Pkwy., 3pm-6pm


Southside:      The Villager Mall, 2300 S. Park St., 2pm-6pm


Downtown:    Capitol Square, 6am-2pm

Westside:        Hill Farms DOT, 4802 Sheboygan Ave., 7am-1pm

Westside:        Hilldale Mall, Segoe Rd., 7am-2pm


TOP THREE reasons to buy local at the Farmers' Market:

  1. Buying Fresh, Eating Healthy. When you buy fresh produce based on the season you have the opportunity to eat foods that are harvested at their peak and the fresher the produce, the better it is for you!
  2. From the Farm to your Table. Buying directly from a Farmer is a good way to learn about what you are buying, how it was grown and it is the best way to support our local Farmers.
  3. Help the Environment. When you buy in a store that gets their produce from another state please remember that the cost to the environment includes the transportation, packaging and energy costs to keep the food fresh. When you buy from the Farmers you are helping save in many ways.

Top 10 Madison Area Fish Fries

Fish FryMost true Wisconsinites love Friday Night Fish Fries!  We wanted to know where to find some of the best Madison area fish fries, so we set out to find out what people thought!  Here is the list that we compiled in no particular order...

Toby's Super Club

Toby's encompasses what a true supper club is all about.  The dinners not only consist of your entire, soup or salad, and bread, but you get fresh veggies with your bread, and they bring fresh cinnamon rolls for a sweet treat after your meal.  They feature both Blue Gill and Cod fish fries, that keep people coming back for more.  The bartenders and wait staff are very friendly, and even when it is crazy busy, they always seem to make you feel welcome.  The earlier you come the better, because this place fills up quick!

"Perfect hole in the wall with a huge amazing spread, worth the wait and plenty of bar space and strong drinks to kill the time!!" - Kathryn

3717 Dutch Mill Rd., Madison/McFarland 608-222-6913 Visit Their Website


The Avenue Bar

The Avenue Bar is a true Madison staple as far as restaurants are concerned.  They feature both fried cod and perch.  The place gets busy, so try to plan ahead with a reservation, but you still might wait a little bit.  They just went under new ownership the past year, and the place stayed pretty much intact, but a little bit more cleaned up.

1128 East Washington Ave., Madison 608-257-6877 Visit Their Website

Quivey's Grove Stable Grill

The Stable Grill features both beer battered and baked cod with potato, coleslaw and bread.  If you are really hungry, there is a choice to upgrade to all you can eat beer battered for $1.50 extra.  The atmosphere is warm and cozy, and the staff is very friendly.

"Baked cod and Parmesan potatoes are divine!" - Kathryn

6261 Nesbitt Rd., Madison 608-273-4900 Visit Their Website

Maple Tree

The Maple Tree's fish fry is sure to please people of all hunger levels.  They offer fried or baked cod and offer the option of 1,2 or 3 pieces, and also have lake perch.  All their specials come with soup and salad bar, potato or vegetable and fresh bread.

"They have lightly battered, deep fried cod or you can get it broiled... and blackened! So delicious!!!! Plus a salad bar, great choice of sides and wonderful staff" - Krista

6010 Highway 51, McFarland 608-838-5888 Visit Their Website

The Esquire Club

The Esquire received many rave reviews for their fish fry when we asked around.  They have been family owned and operated for 63 years!  The Esquire Club also is one of the first places to start the traditional "Friday Night Fish Fry."  They are best known for their Ocean Perch which is served family style, with French fries, coleslaw, and bread.

"All you can eat ocean perch! We never go anywhere else.  Family owned and operated for forever." - Kristen

"They have great ocean perch." -Mary

1025 N. Sherman Ave., Madison 608-249-0193 Visit Their Website



Brocach has a great all you can eat Fish and Chips fish fry featuring, harp battered haddock filet, lightly fried, and served with thick cut fries, curry slaw and tartar sauce.

The atmosphere of Brocach is very homey and truly feels like an Irish pub, which it should.  Brocach has lunch, dinner and late night menus including Irish specialties as well as daily lunch and dinner specials.

"Pan Fried Walleye is amazing, and practically melts in your mouth!  This is the best walleye I have had, and quite possibly the best fish dinner ever!" -Caitlin

7 W. Main St., Madison 608-255-2015 Visit Their Website


Alt n' Bach's

Alt n' Bach's is a great mom and pop family owned restaurant/bar that is just off the beltline at Todd Drive, but if you don't know about it, you might not have known it was even there.  Their Friday Fish Fry features all you can eat lightly battered cod or cod lite.  The restaurant is very family friendly, including a kids menu, very casual, and has a lot of seating.

2602 Whalen Lane, Madison 608-271-9955 Visit Their Website


Rex's Inn Keeper

Rex's Inn Keeper is another great example of a wonderful old supper club.  They have fried or bake cod, both of which are both very good.  Their salad bar is an additional charge, but worth it, especially once you see how big it is.  They accept reservations, but you will get normally get seated in a reasonable amount of time if you don't have them.  Keep in mind that the parking lot may look packed on a Friday, but they have a large banquet room in the back that can account for many of the cars you may see.

301 North Century Ave., Waunakee 608-849-5011 Visit Their Website

South Bay Lounge

South Bay Lounge may not be a place you think of for a great fish fry unless you have been there yourself.  They have a variety of fish options on Friday's including, Beer Battered Deep Fried Cod, Baked Cod, Beer Battered Blue Gill, Walleye, and Corn Bread Catfish.  All the fish dinners come with potato choice, coleslaw and roll.

"I love South Bay Lounge if you want a casual fish fry (awesome walleye)." - Julie 5404 Raywood Ave., Madison 608.222.6382 Visit Their Website


Fitzgerald's has an all you can eat fish fry buffet consisting of beer battered haddock, baked haddock, and seasoned haddock, along with many other items.  On Saturday's they have Prime Rib Buffet that will leave you full and talking about it for weeks to come.

3112 Parmenter St.,  Middleton 608.831.7107 Visit Their Website

My Ideal Backyard. Creating a Sustainable Oasis for Madison Area Homeowners

Learning how to make garden beds with Growing Power

We work with many Madison area first time home buyers. We sit and drink coffee or tea together and our clients tell us their dreams in a home. With first time home buyers we usually hear things like: We are tired of sharing walls with neighbors, we want more privacy and we want to paint the walls whatever colors we want. We want to invite our friends over to to grill on the deck. And of course:

We want a yard. A place to let the dogs play. A place to garden. A place to grow food, plant flowers. A place to compost or build a chicken coop. 

So we help them buy their first home. They get their yard. And then what?

They love their new home but don't know what to do now that they have the yard. We have heard it many times. And now in perfect partnership with Sustain Dane we are excited to bring you a springtime seminar:

MY IDEAL BACKYARD: Turn your yard into a sustainable oasis. 

Part book club, part get-your-hands-dirty workshop, these series of interactive classes teach how to put together a sustainable backyard. Learn the building and gardening skills necessary to install a raised bed, to put in a water catchment system, and to build a chicken coop--and then make them happen!

Throughout the program, participants meet with experts and practitioners to learn the reasons for backyard gardening--and then will take those skills to their own homes.

Each week, participants meet at one person's backyard and install that week's lesson.

Limited availability so sign up today!


  • Thursday, March 17th, Madison Children's Museum, 6:30 - 8 pm Initial design: Kate Hieber-Cobb, Madison Area Permaculture Guild
  • Saturday, March 26th, Madison Children's Museum 1--2:30 pm Review Backyard Designs
  • Saturday, April 2nd, 1 --4 pm Install garden beds: Megan Blodgett, Willy Street Co-op
  • Saturday, April 9th,1 -- 4 pm. Madison Children's Museum Introduction to Chicken Coops: Julie King, Rooftop Ramble Coordinator, Madison's Children Museum
  • Saturday, April 16th, 1 -- 4 pm Install a chicken coop
  • Saturday, April 23rd, 1 -- 4 pm Install water conversation and irrigation systems: Jim Guither, rain barrel program
  • Saturday, April 30th, 1-- 4 pm Worm bins and bee-keeping: Kiera Mulvey, Madison-area Agriculture Supported Coalition
  • Saturday, May 7th, 1-- 4 pm Canning, jarring and enjoying your backyard: Sustain Dane staff

SIGN UP TODAY! Or contact Phil Busse at Sustain Dane with further questions: phil@sustaindane.org, 608.819.0689

Pie Palooza is this Weekend in Madison WI!

wholepies for pie paloozaFor the LOVE of REAP we present Pie Palooza! Sunday November 7th at the Goodman Community Center.

We are lucky to have REAP: Research, Education, Action and Policy on Food Group (REAP) is building a regional food system that is healthful, just, and both environmentally and economically sustainable. And to keep REAP strong there are great fundraiser events throughout the year that help bring our community together to educate and celebrate all that REAP is doing and engage its members. Pie Palooza is a Madison favorite that many of our clients rave about! With so many Madison residents harvesting their own food in their backyard gardens and their passion for eating locally grown food, the members of REAP have created a powerful community. We all look forward to gathering together for events like Pie Palooza. Much of this information comes directly from REAP's website...   Pie Palooza is a delicious Sunday brunch including:

  • a choice of two slices of scrumptious sweet or savory pies,  baked by area chefs using local products
  • a farm-fresh salad
  • and beverage.   

All proceeds from Pie Palooza support REAP Food Group programs, which promote the inclusion of healthy, local, sustainably grown foods in schools, restaurants, food stores and home kitchens. 

Here are the pies that will be available: Bacon, Potato and Cheddar Quiche Mushroom, Cheese and Herb Quiche Greens, Fennel and Feta Pie with yeasted crust Savory Autumn Vegetable Tart Autumn Harvest Quiche w/squash, onion, parsinips, spinach, & sweet potatoes Spicy Crawfish Cheesecake Pie Mushroom Leek Asiago Strata Bacon Lardon, Leek, Gruyere, Tomato Quiche Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Pie Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Tart Apple Crisp Cheesecake Pumpkin Whoopie Pies w/cinnamon cream cheese Local Raspberry-Almond Tart Sweet Potato Pecan Pie Hickory Nut Bourbon Caramel Pie Cranberries and Cream Apple Pie with Cheese Crust Pumpkin Pie with hickory nuts and caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie

*You can also buy a whole pumpkin or apple pie too! See website for pre order info. 

How do I get tickets for Madison's Pie Palooza?Tickets are sold for three timed seatings to assure good selections and shorter lines for everyone.

Seating times are 9:30-10:30am, 10:30-11:30am, and 11:30am - 12:30 pm. Walk-ins welcome at 12:30 (and for other times if not already sold out.) Advance tickets are $16. Tickets at the door are $18. Purchase your tickets online.

We hope to see you there!

REAP Food for Thought Festival, Madison WI

REAP vegetablesThe annual Food for Thought Festival is a fun, festive forum that explores and celebrates our many opportunities to eat more pleasurably, healthfully and sustainably.

Join us for the 12th Annual REAP Food for Thought Festival September 24-25 2010 - [Full Schedule]

Featuring Keynote Speaker Ann Cooper*, the "Renegade Lunch Lady"

Friday Night Forum 7-9 pm, Sept. 24 Room 3650 Humanities Building, UW Campus 455 N. Park St., Madison  [MAP] Food for Thought Festival Event Information 8 am - 1:30 pm, Saturday, Sept. 25 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. - Off the Capitol Square, Madison, WI Sara Alvarado will be at the Resilient Research Center table with information about Badger Rock Middle School in the morning.

And after you have juiced up at the Food for Thought Festival - come down to the Willy Street Fair (Saturday, 9/25 and Sunday 9/26) and don't forget to stop by the Alvarado Real Estate Group booth.

*About REAP

[from their wonderful website] Research, Education, Action and Policy on Food Group (REAP) is building a regional food system that is healthful, just, and both environmentally and economically sustainable. REAP is a non-profit organization located in Madison, WI.

REAP connects producers, consumers, policy makers, educators, businesses and organizations to nourish the links between land and table.

REAP is committed to projects that shorten the distance from farm to table, support small family farmers, encourage sustainable agricultural practices, preserve the diversity and safety of our food supply and address the food security of everyone in our community.

A "healthful, just and both environmentally and economically sustainable" food system is one that provides:

  • Nutritious, safe, and affordable food to all segments of society,
  • Fair compensation and safe, healthful working conditions for family farmers and food producers,
  • Support for agricultural and processing practices that protect our soil, water, and genetic diversity,
  • Access to a variety of regional foods that come to our table with minimal energy-consuming transportation or packaging,
  • Public policies that promote a secure and sustainable regional "foodshed."

The Alvarado Real Estate Group is a local real estate company made up of a team of EcoBrokers. We are connected to many homeowners and families that are committed to learning more about sustainability, living in an eco friendly and healthy way and leaving as small of a carbon footprint as possible. That is why it is a part of our business and personal lives to support these organizations and community events. We appreciate you for your partipation and support as well. Thank you.

What is a Madison WI Real Estate Broker doing in the dirt?

Growing Power

Will Allen, Growing Power

Visiting 2 acres of greenhouses and learning all about soil, fish farming and worms is not the typical day for a Madison real estate broker. I was able to turn my phone off for a couple of hours and really tune into what makes Growing Power such an amazing place. It isn't just Will Allen that makes it such a great place; it is his inspiration that permeates the place.

As a business owner I learn from everyone and from every organization every day and that is how I constantly strive to be better. Getting involved with what lights me up in the community is how I stay inspired. Even during our busy seasons, I know that if I let myself drown in real estate, I will do just that, drown.

Two years ago I started meeting with a group of passionate educators and community members who were ready to see a new kind of school in Madison WI. With my Nuestro Mundo Community School experience and my passion for healthy living, working and learning spaces I found myself making the time for the many meetings it takes to start a school. As our vision for the school became clear and our connections within the Madison community presented themselves we started to grow Badger Rock Middle School.

Our culturally and environmentally sustainable charter school is part of a large project with Center for Resilient Cities and Growing Power and will be built on 4 acres of land on the South Side of Madison WI across from Badger Bowl. Urban agriculture is a main ingredient thanks to the land that the school will be built on and our friends at Growing Power.

The planning team takes a trip to Growing Power for a tour and a collaborating meeting with Will Allen

The three things that are made very clear at Growing Power are:

1) Production - this place is about producing and distributing what is grown

2) Education - students learn, then learn to teach and teaching is the best way to change the world

3) Community - creating neighborhood through growing makes a community strong

And as a Realtor it is very clear to me the true importance of community and strong neighborhoods. People want to be a part of a something bigger. We all want to live in healthy environments and strive to eat healthy foods. We want to be friends with our neighbors and feel safe in our homes. I am fascinated by neighborhoods that hold their value in a depreciating market but am not surprised by it either. Those communities stay strong because of the schools, the block parties and the camaraderie to stand up for their neighborhood when they need to.  Keep it up Madison!

Will Allen, Growing Power