We partnered up with graphic designer and artist, Cristina Martinez, on a tour of her home base of Madison, Wisconsin. Below are her recommendations to visiting this town:
Madison, Wisconsin might sound like a tiny little town out in the middle of nowhere, but it’s actually an amazing city and it’s incredibly bike friendly. I’ll be sharing my favorite spots and suggestions for exploring Madison by bike.
This coﬀee shop is nestled in my neighborhood and most mornings it’s my very ﬁrst stop. Crescendo is an intimate espresso bar and music cafe. They make a delicious oat milk latte and blueberry matcha latte. I highly recommend their avocado toast.
Mystery To Me is an independent book store here in Madison. They carry a wide selection of books and it’s a wonderful little spot to pick up something new. Everyone who works here is incredibly knowledgeable and they’re always more than happy to give you a suggestion to help you find the perfect read.
To get around the city, I usually take the Southwest Commuter Path which happens to be located within my neighborhood. This paved bicycle path connects to the Capital City Trail which essentially means that you can get nearly anywhere in town on a bike.
The Monona Terrace is a Madison staple and was designed by Wisconsin native, Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s a beautiful building with stunning views of Lake Monona and our capital building. It’s one of my favorite places to visit and sit with a cup of coﬀee and a good book (contingent upon good weather).
If I have a day oﬀ, you’ll ﬁnd me at Madison Sourdough at some point that day. They’re a modern communal oven bakery and patisserie who make the best Egg’s Benedict in town. At nearly any time of the day you’ll ﬁnd a long line awaiting you inside, but I promise it’s totally worth the wait to get your hands on anything they make. You can even purchase some of their delicious breads at our local co-op.
Madison Greenhouse Store is my go-to spot if I’m in need of a new plant for our home. The staﬀ is really knowledgable and helpful. They can even suggest specific products if you have pets at home and want to make sure your new plant is non-toxic.
I love heading over to Mad City Music to add to my record collection. They carry some great indie records that you can’t ﬁnd anywhere else in town.
This coﬀee spot opened up at the end of last year and ever since it’s been one of my favorite places to go. Located on the east side of town, Cafe Domestique is a bike-centered coﬀee shop that anyone who loves bikes and coﬀee will throughly enjoy. They serve a carefully curated selection of coﬀee alongside delicious treats from Batch Bakehouse.
We end our bike tour of Madison with one of the best restaurants in town, Pig in a Fur Coat. This spot has a special place in my heart since it was the ﬁrst restaurant my husband and I ate at when we were visiting Madison prior to moving here. Since then, it’s been the place where we go to celebrate our anniversary every year. If you go, I recommend ordering their poutine or chorizo stuffed dates.
Clearly I only mentioned a few great spots here in Madison, but as you can tell Madison is full of independent businesses that add charm and character to the city and are undoubtedly local staples.
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