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“Great Adventure”

Madison Food Explorers
Ranked #5 of 9 Food & Drink in Madison
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Learn about Madison's history and culture on a unique and informative walking food tour with authentic Madisonians. Our Lake to Lake Tour features top Madison attractions like Frank Lloyd Wright's Monona Terrace and the State Capitol building, accompanied with food samples that are uniquely Wisconsin - artisan cheeses, brats, locally-brewed beer, and ice cream. You'll leave with a better understanding of Madison's farm-to-table culture. Tours start at 12:30 pm, rain or shine. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Happy Hour Tours with a Scandinavian twist also available on select Thursday evenings. Please see our calendar. Private tours by foot or bus may be arranged.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 1 October 2013

,Andrea are tour guide,did a great job . The history of Madison and its Restaurants made it a fun . The tour started on time ,and the next 3 1/2 hr went by very fast .The mix of tasty food and history was a nice way to spend the day .We have friends that grew up in Madison , and they don't know 1/4 of what we now know about the town and the restaurants, The cheese shop {Fromagination} was a reminder of old world charm and the smell was wonderful. I would go again.

2  Thank Rex C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"lake tour"
in 17 reviews
"food tour"
in 13 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 10 reviews
"monona terrace"
in 8 reviews
"multiple stops"
in 2 reviews
"terrific guide"
in 2 reviews
"delightful afternoon"
in 2 reviews
"brat"
in 6 reviews
"spent the afternoon"
in 2 reviews
"monroe st"
in 2 reviews
"ice cream"
in 6 reviews
"lake mendota"
in 6 reviews
"state street"
in 7 reviews
"union terrace"
in 2 reviews
"erica"
in 18 reviews
"history"
in 39 reviews
"information"
in 9 reviews
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30 - 34 of 82 reviews

Reviewed 24 August 2013 via mobile

My husband and I went on the lake to lake tour with guide Stanley. We we super excited to eat and tour our way through Madison!! We've done 3 walking food tours prior to this one and were excited to add it to our list.
There were many things we loved about this tour; Stanley's enthusiasm, the beautiful day and great walking weather, the folks we chatted with on the tour and *most* of the food.
The tour was extremely slow to get going. We were all very hungry; eating small breakfasts and no morning snacks in anticipation of a heavy food afternoon.
The tour began promptly at 12:30. We spent a very long time in the Convention Center talking about Frank Lloyd Wright. And then when we left the history part of the tour continued for an hour. The first tasting of any food did not happen until a little after 1:30. First stop was Merchant, a funky restaurant/bar, where we were served a Small quarter of a cuban sandwich and a tiny arugula salad dressed in vinaigrette. The Cubano was very good but the serving we seriously tiny. Then we lingered waaaay too long (in my opinion) at the Merchant sitting at the table even though everyone had been done for a while.
After the merchant we made Lots of little stops to look at landmarks around the capital area. And we did a little walk through of the capital building, which was very beautiful, but my tummy was still rumbling!!!!

2:22 was our second stop at Fromagination Cheese Shop. This was an absolutely adorable shop with oodles of cheese as well as other gormete food stuffs like cookies, pastries, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, jams and jellies and other gift stuff . 3 small pieces of cheese and 2 crackers. There were also a few samples around the store for tasting but really it was a very small food sampling.

Shortly after that around 2:44 we made it to Ian's Pizza for a half-slice of Mac and cheese pizza. Ehhh. Did not like it. They had some really cool other kinds and just an awesome menu in general. Just was not into the Mac and Cheese slice. Ick

Next up was a little after 3:00 and we stopped at Himal Chuli which was a Nepalese eatery for a Mango Lassi. I was disappointed that we did not get to go inside the restaurant. We just grabbed-and-go our drinks and walked to our next stop.

At around 3:17 we stopped into State Street Brats where we were served half to a third of a brat and A half pint of Spotted Cow beer from New Glarus Brewery. Good tasting. But again, a very small sample

Lastly we walked to UW campus to the student union for a vanilla malt. It was good. Wish we had gotten to try the ice cream. I'm sure they have some great flavors there. The union was amazing however, right on the lake. Lucky students. The tour ran over, ending around 3:45.
My husband and I left still feeling kind of hungry which has NEVER happened to us after a food tour. So, we had a fun time but left with mixed feelings about the tour. Not sure how much we will recommend this one to ours friends. Would rather send them down to the zerve.com food tours in Chicago.
My advice to make this tour better would be to have the guide give a LOT of the historical info while people are eating. Our guide could have been talking while we were eating. It also would have made all the difference to have been given a drink or food sample or cheese at the start on the tour at the Monona center

7  Thank StefieLou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

I was just in Madison for a conference, and whenever I go to a new place I always struggle deciding where to eat. Especially when a city is known for good food, like Madison is, it can be hard to prioritize. Also, traveling by myself, I usually shy away from sit-down restaurants. This tour was a perfect way for me to hit a variety of well-known restaurants/destinations, while also allowing me to get a little bit of the background/history of the city, which I am never motivated to go learn about on my own. Andrea was great and made a real effort to involve us and point out specific things she thought we might find interesting. I left feeling like I had a solid "Madison 101" understanding, both of the city and of the food. Thanks for a great experience!

1  Thank Rachel D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2013

We've visited Madison before but never took this tour. Now I'm sorry we didn't schedule both tours. The Monroe St. food tour was informative and the food was interesting and delicious. Our guide, Kyle, was great! He was a great speaker, very knowledgeable about the history of the area and a fun guide. I would highly recommend this tour. The food was great and the people at the restaurants and stores were very welcoming to the tour group. We're headed back to Monroe St. tomorrow for some more eating and shopping on our own. Can't wait to come back to Madison to take the other tour. Highly recommend it!

1  Thank DannyDanni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 June 2013

Both tours were excellent! The restaurant and menu selections were spot-on delicious and well-presented. The tour guides - Stanley and Erica - have thorough knowledge of the area history and are engaging and fun in the ways they shepherd the tour group along. The stories they tell of settlers to the area, the WI capital city, and University held interest for the whole group. The details of how Madisonians live - mini-libraries, chicken coops, construction in action, Farmer's Market rules, and many more were terrific. I absolutely loved all the restaurant/business owners or reps passion for their product and use of local products. The owner of Maurie's Fine Chocolates story is not to be missed - the lady knows chocolate science and art like no other!

1  Thank walkingtourfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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