Madison, Wisconsin is known for a couple of things – beer, cheese curds, Badger football, amongst others – and Gameday is perhaps the best combination of all three. While many students and Madisonians alike will attend football games at Camp Randall, others have a hankering for the bar scene. Through extensive research, we’ve updated our rankings from last year – below are our top five bars to enjoy Gameday at.
Honorable mentions: Kollege Klub, Union South, Wando’s, Nitty Gritty.
5. Jordan’s Big Ten Pub – 1330 Regent St.
Proximity is everything, and the Big Ten Pub is perhaps one of the closest bars to Camp Randall. If it isn’t obvious from the name, competition and the famous “Big Ten” atmosphere are palpable, and the bar also famously takes place (like other Regent St. bars) in a parking lot tailgate open to anyone. Rain or shine, expect this place to be packed.
4. Chasers Bar and Grille – 319 W. Gorham St.
Although Chasers isn’t necessarily right next to Camp Randall, the scene makes up for itself. Chasers benefits from having one of the better patio spaces of any bar in Madison, which on a cool fall afternoon helps immensely. But on top of that, their inside space is also conducive to a good time – it’s one of the more popular locations to enjoy a Badger basketball game, so football isn’t too much of a turnaround. Expect to see lots of students if you choose Chasers on Gameday.
3. State Street Brats – 603 State St.
Our former #1, Brats will always be one of the best sports bars in Madison. Perhaps one of the most famous pub venues in Madison, its prime location in the middle of State Street combined with a multi-floor whirlwind of decorations, students and large televisions makes it an easy choice on Gameday. Not drinking for the game? That’s ok – Brats’ food selection – if it isn’t obvious from the name – is pretty darn good as well. Make sure to check out the upstairs bar and experience one of the largest TV screens in Madison outside of Union South.
2. The Double U – 620 University Ave.
It’s rare to see the kind of success that the Double U has in its first year, but the location itself has been home to other bars as well. Fully loaded with a giant downstairs space and a gorgeous rooftop patio, both with a multitude of TV’s, the Double U is fully equipped to handle a Gameday, and will do so for the first time this football season. This location has already become immensely popular amongst students, surpassing most other bars as the premier location to enjoy any kind of sporting event.
1. Lucky’s Bar and Grille – 1421 Regent St.
Hands down the best parking lot tailgate in Madison, Lucky’s plays host to one of the consistently rowdier Gameday events. Bargoers are able to enjoy large TV screens, food and an outside atmosphere all with the backdrop of Camp Randall just blocks away. Did we mention that it’s connected to Greenbush Donuts? Get here early because it fills up quick – TV-watching location is a hot commodity.
Photo courtesy of UW-Madison.