This weekend is the 45th annual Monroe Street Festival, so it seemed only fitting that our guide today explores the whole Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood. You may know it as the home to Madison’s only Trader Joe’s but this near westside neighborhood is full of hidden treasures.
To get the inside scoop on Dudgeon-Monroe, we caught up with two members of the neighborhood association, Diego Saenz and Lisa Grueneberg. Here are their must-sees and must-dos in the area.
Where to Dine
DS: DMNA has really great places to eat or get a drink. You'll often find me eating a slice of Salumetto at Pizza Brutta, sitting down for the bone in pork shank at Kettle Black Kitchen, indulging in a cruffin at Bloom, grabbing a beer at Garth's Brew Bar, taking a Hawaii Style tuna bowl home from Miko Poke, or trying not to drip from my waffle cone of Ultimate Oreo and Zanzibar (or Zoreo whenever they have it!) from Chocolate Shoppe.
LG: The plethora of dining options is one of the best things about Dudgeon-Monroe. We can walk out our front door and have almost too many choices of where to go to eat. For special occasions Fairchild is great. For a great lunch, One & Only or Pizza Brutta. For takeout, Marie's Soul Food and Miko Poke are family favorites.
What to See
DS: Lake Wingra is a treasure! Anyone visiting the neighborhood should stop by Wingra Park and experience Lake Wingra. With its undeveloped shoreline, no motor boats, and a large portion of the lake shore being the Arboretum, going out on the lake feels like you are in a national park. Strolling down Monroe Street and exploring the shops and restaurants is a great weekend activity. There’s something for everyone!
What Makes Dudgeon-Monroe Unique
LG: The neighborhood is made up of people from all over the world who intentionally chose to live in an area with smaller lots, sidewalks, and high walkability. It results in a very friendly environment for social outings and events. Most residents came from elsewhere and love Madison because they chose it! On our block, you can hear parents speaking Swedish, Hebrew, and German to their bilingual children.