Give these elevated bar snacks a try

Dining spots around Madison bring snacks to the bar that aren't your ordinary basket of pub mix.

It’s not hard to find a basket of potato chips, pretzels or pub mix on the counter at a local bar in Madison. Even a few of our favorite fine dining spots and supper clubs have great bar stool lineups, but they kick the classics up a notch.


Photo by Courtney Terry

Check out the bar menu, which includes a bistro hot dog with Gruyère and Dijon mustard. Sure, it’s an expensive hot dog, but it’s also Sardine. Next try the tin of sardines with lemon and crostini, the mixed olives or the chicken liver toasts with fruit compote and baby greens.
Drink rec: A glass of the house wine
Tip: Take a dollar off the East Coast oysters and order discounted drinks during happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Location: 617 Williamson St.


Photo by Courtney Terry

This item on Cadre’s bar menu sounds fancy — châteaux blancs — but it translates to “the white castles,’ aka sliders served with frites. Adventurous eaters can also try the truffle salt popcorn, restoratif (unlimited bone broth) or the chèvre (goat cheese) cheese curds.
Drink rec: A selection from the aperitif lineup
Tip: Happy hour is 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Cadre recommends making a reservation, just in case.
Location: 2540 University Ave.


Photos courtesy of The Del-Bar

The Del-Bar
Stay true to a classic happy hour with a full drink menu and a range of small plates that includes all kinds of seafood, Wisconsin pub staples and vegetarian-friendly options. Try the tempura asparagus, oysters, stuffed mushrooms or the slider cheeseburger.
Drink rec: A Wisconsin brandy Old-Fashioned sweet
Tip: Enjoy the happy hour in the lounge through 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. But get there early to beat the line.
Location: 800 Wisconsin Dells Parkway, Wisconsin Dells

Emma Waldinger is associate editor at Madison Magazine.

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