The energy around Madison during Badger games is hard to replicate. The streets flood with red-and-white-clad sports fans, buzzed undergrads, and a general sense of camaraderie even among strangers (unless they’re cheering for the opposing team).
If you’re looking for a place to get into the game day spirit, here are spots to check out.
Party Like a Local
Whether there’s a home game or an away game, you can bet there’s a party on Regent Street. Situated in close proximity to Camp Randall Stadium, the near-west residential neighborhood boasts dozens of bars and restaurants that will often turn their own parking lots into tailgate destinations.
The sleeper hit: Hong Kong Cafe. Reader JJ P. says this spot is great because while it’s on Regent Street, it’s not as crowded as some of the surrounding bars. Plus, who wouldn’t love football with a side of dim sum?
The Family-Friendly Option
For every home game, Union South hosts Badger Bash, a free family-friendly tailgate offering food, drinks, and entertainment.
Badger Bash has been around for more than 50 years. It started off as a modest way for both fans and the UW-Madison Marching Band to warm up before kickoff and has since become one of the biggest pre-game events on the isthmus.
East Side: According to Angie S. Wilson’s Bar and Grill is the spot to be. "Food, drinks, staff, seating inside and out and ALL the TVS to watch the game,” what more could you need?
Downtown: Prost! on East Washington Ave. is the “best place for a more relaxed gameday,” Alex W. says. The German beer hall boasts a solid selection of beer, tailgate-esque food (e.g. pretzels and sausages), and big TVs. “The atmosphere is lively but never overly crowded or rowdy; a hidden gem for a quieter gameday.”
If You Want to Get Away
Of course, rowdy fans and loud noises aren't everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re looking to get out of dodge come game day consider using this time to go grocery shopping or take a day trip.
Have you been to Paoli? Reader Amber M. says “Paoli is usually busy, but the game days make them less so. Plus the trees are beautiful this time of year!”