The University of Wisconsin-Madison has endless food and dining options all around campus. Since it is situated in a city, the capital city, there are hundreds of restaurants, cafes, fast-food, coffee shops and delivery places. State street is where you will find a variety of different cuisines and as you head up towards the capital there are even more options. There are hundreds of restaurants to cater to any of your cravings that you may find. There are also many restaurants that have discounts for students which is also great for all of us college kids on a budget. It is especially nice in the spring/summer time when it is warm out and restaurants have outdoor seating. Nothing better than enjoying a nice meal while admiring the beautiful campus in Madison.
While the main "off-campus" area is only feet away from "campus," it features dozens of ethnic restaurants. The best is too hard to choose, so here is a sampling of restaurants. From Greek to Afghan to African to Laos to Thai, State Street has it all!
The food at UW Madison, through the dining hall, is pretty decent. Rheta's is the best dining hall on campus. It's located under Chadbourne hall. Food in greater Madison is amazing. Try Ian's Pizza or The Old Fashioned for great collegey food.
There are a handful of dining halls on each side of campus, some that are contained within residence halls but are open to the public and others that are independent buildings. The food is prepared on site, much of it being purchased from local producers. The food quality and variety are generally above average compared to what you would usually think of for a college cafeteria. The dining halls offer a lot of great vegetarian and gluten-free options and are conscious of religious preferences and food allergies in preparation and serving of food. At UW-Madison we don't have a food plan so you pay for everything a-la-carte. Students who live in University Housing get a discount on food because they pay to live in housing. Students who live off-campus can still purchase food at any of the dining halls for a slightly increased rate by putting money in their Campus Food account. Paying with cash is the most expensive way to buy food in any of the dining halls so I would recommend using one of the other two options (Housing Food account or Campus Cash). Overall, there is no place where you're going to get so much bang for your buck as at one of the university dining halls and they're something you should definitely take advantage of if you're so inclined.