Night Life


  • Angelic Brewing Company
    322 W Johnson St, Madison, WI 53703*608-257-2707

    Description : DOWNTOWN. Inside this popular brewpub, its name is reflected thematically in artwork, providing a curious contrast to quaffing crowds. College folks hang out evenings, partaking of house-made microbrews and enjoying live bands, which play regularly. Spread across a variety of levels, the pub also sports lots of gleaming wood and brass, a clean space for sampling a Bacchanal Blonde, Purgatory Pale Ale, Paradise Lost Porter, or Devil's Dubbel. Pub fare includes pizzas, sandwiches, salads, pastas, and a handful of hot entrees. A late-night menu provides sustenance after the sun goes down.
    Hours : Dining Daily 10:15am-10pm; Bar Sun-Thu 10:15am-2am, Fri-Sat 10:15am-2:30am
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card,Discover,American Express

  • Capital Brewery
    7734 Terrace Ave, Middleton, WI 53562*608-836-7100

    Description : MIDDLETON. This prominent local microbrewery ­ which has won a number of prestigious awards at beermaking competitions ­ offers patrons a place to kick back and sample the house product. The Bier Garten is Capital's seasonal, outdoor spot where folks flock to hear live bands play during the summer. When cold weather sets in, the Bier Stube puts patrons in the thick of things with its views of production equipment. In addition to its own lagers, Capital imports English ales, and the brewpub also makes root beer and cream soda.
    Hours : Bier Garten May-Sep Wed-Fri 4pm-9pm, Sat 1pm-9pm, live music Fri-Sat 6pm-9pm; Bier Stube Oct-May Wed-Fri 4pm-9pm, Sat 1pm-5pm; Tours Fri 3:30pm, Sat 1:30pm and 3:30pm
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card

  • Essen Haus
    514 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703*608-255-4674

    Description : DOWNTOWN. A Teutonic spirit runs deep and proud at this local institution, which caters to folks of German heritage and aficionados of the culture. The staff wear authentic costumes, and oompah music rings out as eager patrons tuck into wienerschnitzel, sauerbraten, orange-glazed duck, and a variety of wursts. Beer-lovers can choose from 16 German varieties on tap or more than 200 international brands. A convivial ambience and instant camaraderie provide additional reasons to polka over and spend the evening.
    Hours : Tue-Thu 4pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-11pm, Sun 3pm-10pm; Bar Tue-Sun 3pm-2:30am
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card

  • Great Dane Pub & Brewery
    123 E Doty St, Madison, WI 53703*608-284-0000

    Description : DOWNTOWN. Set in what was originally a 19th century hotel, this incredibly popular brewpub attracts everyone from business folks to college kids. A pub-like ambience characterized by aged wood and stone sets the scene for this neighborhood gathering place, which is well-frequented by professionals during the lunch crush. Plenty of burgers and salads appear on the menu, along with fish-and-chips, brats-and-mashers, chicken pot pie, and a fragrant peanut stew. You'll also find steaks, pastas, and hearty appetizers. Just don't forget the house-brewed ales and lagers, made all the better by their freshness.
    Hours : Sun-Thu 11am-2am, Fri-Sat 11am-2:30am
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card,American Express

  • J.T. Whitney's Pub & Brewery
    674 S Whitney Way, Madison, WI 53711*608-274-1776

    WEST. Winner of a number of international and domestic awards for its beer-brewing prowess, J.T. Whitney's offers a laid-back venue in which to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The comfortable tavern features a separate dining room and bar, along with a stage where live bands play occasionally. Board games, darts, pool, and pinball add a little action to the night, and a good selection of pub fare and dinner specials tames hungry bellies. Don't forget to sample their microbrews ­ an innovative collection of ales, porters, stouts, and pilsners ­ or even their homemade rootbeer and sodas.
    Hours : Mon-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-10pm; Happy hour Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card


  • Cafe Montmartre
    127 E Mifflin St, Madison, WI 53703*608-255-5900

    Description : DOWNTOWN. Unassuming yet eminently entertaining, this self-described "wine bar and jazz cafe" promises a good time. First of all, its drinks menu provides international vintages, draft and bottled beers, cordials, single-malt scotches, tequilas, and whiskeys. To accompany them, try paté, baked brie, pizzas, salads, or sandwiches. SHows are well-attended - call ahead for dates and times, or check local listings.
    Hours : Mon-Thu 3pm-2am, Fri 3pm-2:30am, Sat 5pm-2:30am, Sun 10am-3pm and 5pm-2am
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card,American Express

  • Luther's Blues
    1401 University Ave, Madison, WI 53715*608-257-1184

    Description : WEST. Paying tribute to late local musician Luther Allison, this music venue is part of a complex that also houses an upscale restaurant, Crescent City, and a cafe, French Quarter. The upstairs music room is inviting, with gleaming woods, subtle lighting, and a polished bar. Great sightlines and terrific acoustics mean every concert is a good one, and performers range from local talents to well-known musicians. A dance floor welcomes folks to showcase their best moves, and a full bar menu offers up libations galore.
    Hours :Show times vary, doors usually open at 8pm; Box office Mon-Sat 3pm-8pm
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card

  • Orpheum
    216 State St, Madison, WI 53703*608-255-8755

    Description : STATE STREET. It was a major coup for Madison to salvage and renovate this former vaudeville theater, which was slated for a major, character-destroying overhaul. These days, its amazing French Renaissance interior has been restored, and the place now welcomes live musical performances, foreign films, and other cinematic treasures. Past performers have included Bela Fleck, Rockapella, and Earl Scruggs. The Orpheum also boasts a great lobby restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
    Hours : Performance times vary

  • Restaurant Magnus
    120 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703*608-258-8787

    Description : DOWNTOWN. Gracious and sophisticated, this restaurant has risen steadily in the eyes of patrons and critics since its much-anticipated premiere and is lauded for both cuisine and nightlife. A refined setting serves as apt backdrop for Nuevo Latino fare, which includes elk tenderloin medallions, grilled calamari steak, black pepper-sesame encrusted ahi tuna, lamb sirloin, and delicious Argentinian beef. Local, seasonal ingredients boost the cuisine's quality, and an enviable tapas menu features ceviche, scallop stew, Spanish serrano ham, and blue potato frittata. A full bar, live jazz nightly, and strong prospects for dancing also add appeal to Magnus. Fantastic desserts and incredible wines too. Tapas average about $10 each. Advance reservations a must, especially for weekends.
    Hours : Dinner Daily 5:30pm-10pm; Tapas menu Mon-Fri 4:30pm-midnight, Sat-Sun 5pm-midnight
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card,American Express

  • BARS

  • Blue Moon Bar & Grill
    2535 University Ave, Madison, WI 53705*608-233-0441

    Description : WEST. Distinguished by sweeping architectural curves and a two-level interior, this comfortable neighborhood bar is a great destination when you want to throw back a few and watch sports on their large satellite TVs. Pool and darts entice those with a competitive spirit, and a fantastic jukebox fills the place with classic tunes. Draft and bottled beers, along with a full bar, satisfy liquid cravings, and the menu boasts great burgers, sandwiches, appetizers, and daily specials. ATM on the premises.
    Hours : Sun-Thu 11am-2am, Fri-Sat 11am-2:30am
    Payment Methods : Cash Only

  • Blue Velvet Lounge
    430 W Gilman St, Madison, WI 53703*608-250-9900

    Description : DOWNTOWN. Retro styling and a young, upscale crowd impart a certain sophistication to this bar, whose dark, streamlined interior glows with blue neon accents. Apropos to the decor, a martini menu offers up tasty potions and contributes a dose of mid-century chic. (Try a fresh kiwi martini or perhaps the Cajun, with jalapeno-infused vodka.) Beer, wine, and champagne cocktails are also available, along with frozen and ice-cream drinks. If food's in order, a selection of appetizers can help ward off the munchies.
    Hours : Mon-Sat 4pm-2am, Sun 8pm-2am; Happy hour Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm, Sun All night
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card

  • Maduro Cigar Bar
    117 E Main St, Madison, WI 53703*608-294-9371

    Description : DOWNTOWN. Upscale and deliciously mellow, this establishment caters to folks who appreciate fine cigars and cocktails. As a result, you'll often find groups of business people scattered around, lounging on comfy sofas, taking in strains of jazz, and indulging in stogies from Honduras or the Dominican Republic. Maduro's poisons include premium scotch, tequila, bourbon, brandy, and all sorts of martinis, cordials, wines, and beers. Come Sunday, DJs spin house music and other intriguing mixes ­ a perfect cap to the weekend.
    Hours : Mon-Fri 4pm-midnight, Sat-Sun 6pm-midnight; Happy hour Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm, Sun 6pm-8pm
    Payment Methods : Visa,Master Card,American Express

  • Opus Lounge
    116 King St, Madison, WI 53703*608-441-6787

    Description : DOWNTOWN. When you feel the need to trade in typical, rowdy clubs for a more subdued experience, Opus stands out as an ideal oasis of urbanity. Dimly lit and romantic, the establishment provides an optimal environment wherein patrons can enjoy international wines, sip well-mixed cocktails, or munch globally-inspired appetizers, including sushi and tapas options. Prices run a bit towards the high side, but for ambience and style, it's hard to find a place of Opus' caliber in the vicinity. DJs play Sunday and Monday.
    Hours : Mon-Thu 5pm-2am, Fri-Sat 5pm-2:30am, Sun 7pm-2am; Food Sun-Wed 5pm-11:30pm, Thu-Sat 5pm-12:30
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card,American Express

  • Porta Bella's Cellar
    425 Frances St, Madison, WI 53703*608-256-3186

    Description : DOWNTOWN. Situated in the space beneath Porta Bella, a well-known Italian restaurant, this cozy haven is especially favored by couples and small groups. The romantic places invites intimacy with its warren of rooms, and its wine selection includes Italian, domestic, and international selections. You'll also find a choice of beers (including microbrews), and a full bar ensures that any cocktail you desire is only a bartender away. In addition, a menu of light fare satiates hunger pangs that may develop over the course of the evening.
    Hours : Tue-Thu 6pm-close, Fri-Sat 5pm-close
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card,Discover,American Express


  • Cardinal Bar
    418 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703*608-251-0080

    Description : DOWNTOWN. For more than a generation now, Cardinal Bar has been one of the city's best places to catch new music and dance the night away. Set in a Victorian building, the club offers great sound and lighting, and musical styles range from the latest electronica, hip hop, and house to '80s, Latin, and jazz. A full bar, including a selection of local microbrews, is available, and bartenders know just what you need. Folks of all interests and inclinations frequent the place, and everyone is welcome. A favorite of college folks and twenty-somethings. Cover charges vary but are usually less than $5.
    Hours : Tue-Sun 8pm-close
    Payment Methods : Cash Only

  • Club 5
    5 Applegate Ct, Madison, WI 53713*608-277-9700

    Description : Catering to Madison's gay and lesbian residents, Club 5 actually encompasses several venues, including a busy dance club, a restaurant, an outdoor patio, and distinct areas for men and women. The dance club draws in large crowds, as people come in regularly for great music, sound, and lights. Video shows add interest to the night, and female impersonators and male reviews also perform weekly. The men's club offers pool tables and darts, and the women's club adds in a jukebox. Full bar too.
    Hours : Mon-Sat 4pm-2am, Sun 2pm-2am; Restaurant Tue-Thu 5pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-10pm
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card

  • Club Majestic
    115 King St, Madison, WI 53703*608-251-2582

    Description : DOWNTOWN. Once a vaudeville theater, this architectural beauty has been revamped into one of Madison's most stylish clubs. Boasting upholstered furniture, the original proscenium arch, a bit of industrial style, and VIP seating in what were originally the theater's boxes, Majestic is an upscale alternative for young professionals. Resident and guest DJs spin everything from house and trance music to club classics and fusion. Two bars, lounge areas, a private room, live music, and film screenings also add to the club's repertoire. An ideal choice when you want big-city style without leaving Madison proper.
    Hours : Tue-Thu 8pm-2am, Fri-Sat 8pm-2:30am
    Payment Methods : Cash

  • Inferno
    1718 Commercial Ave, Madison, WI 53704*608-245-9583

    Description : For club-goers craving immersion in sound and light, rhythm and spectacle, this expansive venue suits the need admirably. The place offers three separate levels and two bars, and music runs the gamut from swing and reggae to ska, dance, '80s, hip-hop, trance, and industrial. Perhaps a bit more hardcore than other local clubs, Inferno also hosts fetish nights and features live bands from time to time. Call or check local listings for special events.
    Hours : Tue-Sat 9pm-close
    Payment Methods : Cash

  • Pearls Nightclub
    4402 E Washington Ave, Madison, WI 53704*608-244-4703

    Description : EAST. If you're in the mood for a little dancing but don't want to limit your nighttime possibilities, Pearl's can accommodate a variety of needs. DJs crank out classic rock tunes from Wednesday to Saturday, and patrons take to the dance floor with abandon. At times, live bands play as well. Beyond music, Pearl's also offers big-screen televisions tuned to sports, and there are pool and darts too. To sustain your body against all the activity, select a few munchables from Pearl's menu of appetizers and sandwiches.
    Hours : Daily 2pm-2am; Happy hour Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm
    Payment Methods : Cash,Visa,Master Card,American Express