In all honesty, one of the main reasons I had for not attending the University of Wisconsin was my cheese phobia. Yes, cheese phobia is a real thing. I hate cheese. I hate the smell of it, the taste of it, and even the way it looks. I wound up discarding this reason because although it is the cheese state, I was confident I would be able to find other options in the vibrant city of Madison. After exploring the food in Madison this past semester, I have found several nutritious and delicious food options that don’t include cheese. Here are some of my personal favorites:
If you are a UW-Madison student, you have definitely passed this place while walking down State Street. Forage is a restaurant dedicated to salads and grain bowls that you absolutely must try if you have not had the opportunity. The food is fresh, tasteful, filling, and healthy. My go-to order is a build-your-own salad with half kale/romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, sweet potatoes, beets, chickpeas, dried cranberries, roasted chicken (which is amazing), and maple balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Everyone has their preferences which is why this place is great because you have so many options, but I definitely recommend my salad order because it NEVER disappoints! If you want something with more carbs, you can get a grain bowl which is another nutritious option.
The food at this restaurant is absolutely delicious. It is in a very charming location and has a great atmosphere. Part of the reason I love this restaurant is that it is not Italian like many of the restaurants my friends often want to go to. My favorite dish on the menu is called the So-Cal grain bowl (with salmon and add avocado). This bowl is flavorful, filling, and makes me feel good afterward. The burgers there are also delicious, as well as appetizers such as the avocado toast, roasted carrots + kimchi, and the calamari steak fries. This modern, light-filled eatery is definitely something you should try if you enjoy eating healthy and delicious foods and want a break from Italian.
Upon finding out my friend was having her birthday dinner at the pizza restaurant, Lucille, I didn’t think I would be able to find anything I’d like. However, I was surprised to see the great Mexican-style options on the menu. The first time I went to this restaurant I got the Adobada Tacos but substituted the braised pork for chicken. The second time I went I ordered the Bodega Bowl without cheese and substituted pork for chicken. Both these dishes were very yummy and great options for me at what I thought would be a restaurant that only had pizza. I love Lucille because it has a variety of foods for a pizza restaurant and such a fun atmosphere!
Tavernakaya is definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Madison. This Japanese restaurant has such a unique menu and everything I ordered tasted incredible. My personal favorites were the pork buns, brussel sprouts, chicken and broccoli, and the dragon roll. The food is so flavorful and will leave you wanting to return.