The smoked salmon sandwich at Colectivo.
Over the last 12 months, our reviewers have grazed all around the city. They've found worthy food and drink in Mexican markets, East Towne Mall and an industrial park off Stoughton Road, in addition to more expected locations downtown, east, west, north and south. Here's a recap, with hat-tips to some of our favorite noshes.
Note: With a growing number of restaurants focusing on seasonal ingredients, menus now change frequently, and not all items may still be available.
608 Restaurant & Bar
212 State St., Madison
A Wisconsin-style tavern with an emphasis on local ingredients, plus liquor.
PICKS: Corn chowder, 608 Burger, onion rings; Old Sugar product in the cocktails.
2105 Sherman Ave., Madison
The falafel food cart has expanded to a full restaurant near Maple Bluff.
PICKS: Falafel, falafel with eggplant, chicken schnitzel, tabouli, lentil soup.
Bassett Street Brunch Club
444 W. Johnson St., Madison
A brunch-all-day spot on the ground floor of the new Hampton Inn, with floor-to-ceiling windows, a bar and a U-shaped diner counter.
PICKS: Horchata latte, fried chicken and biscuit, shrimp and grits, butternut and blue salad.
Belle Pizzelle European Bakery and Cafe
300 East Towne Mall, B-140, Madison
Outside of the food court, this cozy bistro is a welcome respite from traditional mall fare.
PICKS: Pelmeni beef dumplings.
Buck & Badger
115 State St., Madison
Up-north, lodge-style dining with a pleasant fireplace and worthy list of local tap beers.
PICKS: Cheeseburger, fried chicken, apple cider glazed carrots.
453 W. Gilman St., Madison
Cheba Hut offers six vegetarian subs, 10 meat "deli classics," five "old school" flavors (also meat), five grilled chicken subs and five salads.
PICKS: The Pakalolo sub with ham, pineapple and green bell peppers; the Kind, with turkey, mushrooms, bacon and Swiss; the Jamaican Red, a spicy chicken breast sandwich; the Silver Haze hummus sandwich.
Colectivo Coffee Roasters
25 S. Pinckney St., Madison
The newest location for Milwaukee-based Colectivo is on the Square in Tenney Plaza, and it wants to be your destination for almost everything downtown: Brewed coffee, coffee beans, Wi-Fi, smoothies, breakfast, lunch, dessert and even a beer after work.
PICKS: Pour-overs, lemon-blueberry scone, smoothies, house beer.
334 State St., Madison
The long-time favorite is back downtown, this time in the location formerly occupied by Chautara. There's a new Peruvian menu, though the famous fish fry has been retained.
PICKS: Empanadas, ceviche, salchipapas, fish fry.
231 North St., Madison
A sandwich shop with more personal attention to your food than you'll get from a chain.
PICKS: Italian beef, meatball sub, Tex-Mex pasta, panini.
Dhaba Indian Bistro
8333 Greenway Blvd., Middleton
Dhaba, the Indian term for what we might call a truck-stop diner, makes its own modifications to the typical Indian-American menu and is a sight more dressed up than a truck stop. Vindaloo and masala, tandoori and biryani -- yes, your favorites are all here.
PICKS: Lobster korma, lamb biryani, karhi pakora, kheer.
1374 Williamson St., Madison
Inside Grampa's whitewashed cinderblock façade is a surprising elegance, blending warm industrial and bygone-era touches. Dark walls, gorgeous multihued wood floors, Edison bulb sconces, salvaged pressed-tin ceilings and a cozy copper bar delineate an intimate space.
PICKS: The pork confit and caprese starters; the Barberini pizza; sticky ginger cake; ice cream sandwiches.
131 E. Mifflin St., Madison
Heritage Tavern is both cozy and elegant. Vintage details like ceiling rosettes, white hex tile and retro serving pieces add nostalgic charm. The menu is heavily tilted toward sharing, due both to the first courses' overall heaviness and the generously sized portions. In keeping with chef Dan Fox's reputation as a pork connoisseur, meat eaters will find lots to love.
PICKS: Great Lakes whitefish filet, pork schnitzel, beef rib loin, gianduja chocolate tart.
House of Brews
4539 Helgesen Dr., Madison
Page Buchanan's taproom off Stoughton Road offers no food. Almost in spite of itself, the taproom succeeds and draws a massive beer-geek crowd for one simple reason: The beer is great.
3698 Kinsman Blvd., Madison
Karben4 has teamed up with the Underground Food Collective to offer a modest but fun food menu and is currently serving up some of the buzziest beers in town.
PICKS: Grilled cheese, with versions featuring either cucumber and tomato or tomato jam and onions; Polish sausage sandwich; summer sausage sandwich.
KJ's Curry Bowl
7005 Tree Lane, Madison
Fare consists of nachos, burritos, quesadillas, stir-fries, fajita bowls and milkshakes. However, at the back of the menu, where there is a short list of curries, KJ's reveals itself to be a Sri Lankan establishment -- one of only a handful in the United States.
PICKS: Satay; curries (chicken and potato, chicken, potato, dahl and green bean); Saturday-only Sri Lankan specials like chicken kottu.
La Nena/Fruteria Ali inside Mercadito Madison
3559 E. Washington Ave., Madison
Inside a pleasant mercadito is La Nena, a counter that offers takeout tacos, tortas, gorditas and huaraches. A second counter called Fruteria Ali is set up to make raspados (snow cones), fruit parfaits, smoothies and juices.
PICKS: The suadero (steak) and papas con chorizo tacos; panbaso; huarache with huevos con chorizo; the diablito, a spicy tamarind raspado.
3502 E. Washington Ave., Madison
Wisconsin's only Venezuelan restaurant is a modest but cheerful dining room.
PICKS: Pabellon, the Venezuelan national dish, with shredded beef, black beans, rice and deep-fried plantains; arepa, empanadas or pastelitos.
5510 University Ave., Madison
Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine in a beautifully updated space (formerly the Shish Cafe).
PICKS: Mohamara, zaluuk, harira, lamb shawarma.
Minerva Indian Cuisine
515 Junction Rd., Madison
Minerva's specialty is the food of Hyderabad, the capital of the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The food of this diverse region -- a mix of influences from the Persians, Turks, Mughals and British -- is full of spices and pickles, rice and meats. There are also Tamil dishes and a few from Malabar and Pakistan.
PICKS: Cut mirchi, 20 types of dosa, lamb mango, shrimp moilee.
Next Door Brewing
2439 Atwood Ave., Madison
The taproom for the nanobrewery has a cool, semi-finished-basement vibe, with golden wood, painted cinderblocks and wall-mounted TV cabinets. The orange and blue color scheme is warm and slightly retro. And there's a real live menu, serving plates large and small, with nightly flourishes that may be gone the next.
PICKS: The Atwood burger, poutine, mix-and-match skewers, ssam pork sandwich.
Nonno's Ristorante Italiano
704 S. Whitney Way, Madison
There are big portions, and good depth of flavor, at this old-school Italian spot in Whitney Square.
PICKS: Risi e bisi, bistecca a piacere, farfalle Piemontese, grilled salmon.
8452 Old Sauk Rd., Madison
Novanta offers red and white Neapolitan pizzas with a variety of toppings; there's also an option to build your own pizza. It features a mozzarella bar, with a selection of olive oil and extras, and a few panini and salads, with a modest selection of beer and wine, too. It's all done carryout style in the small, narrow cafe, with a register up front and friendly service if you choose to eat in.
PICKS: Mozzarella bar, pizza, Nutella dessert pizza.
One Barrel Brewing Co.
2001 Atwood Ave., Madison
There's a house-brewed tap list and a food menu with offerings from neighboring restaurants, including Stalzy's Deli and Tex Tubb's.
PICKS: Fraboni's frozen pizzas; a selection of cheeses and Underground cured meats; piragi buns from Stalzy's.
203 W. Gorham St., Madison
There's a small dining area for dumplings, to take out or eat in.
PICKS: Pelmeni (potato, beef or a mixed order) with a yellow curry sauce.
Sol's on the Square
117 E. Mifflin St., Madison
Sol's serves the traditional Korean cuisine starting with banchan, a foursome of pickled yellow radish, funky fried tofu strips, gloriously tangy pickled cucumber and a devilishly zingy kimchi. The flavors are clean and refreshing, the textures addictive.
PICKS: Ddeokbokki (dumplings), bibimbap, gimbap, bulgogi, budae jjigae.
827 E. Johnson St., Madison
The Spot seems a perfect fit for this sometimes overlooked east-side location. The price points are sane, the ambiance is cozy, the fare is approachable, and the mood is relaxing yet upbeat. Elegant wooden tables are cheerful during the day and beautiful to behold at night. During the warmer months, dining will overflow onto the back patio.
PICKS: Bibb salad, albondigas, Spot burger, churrasco beef with chimichurri, chicken paprikash; good cocktail and wine list.
515 Cottage Grove Rd., Madison
A new brick-and-mortar restaurant for the Library Mall food cart.
PICKS: Aji de gallina (shredded chicken blended with cheese and mild yellow chilis); lomo saltado al pisco (grilled beef tenderloin in a soy-sauce glaze, bell peppers and onions); pescado a lo macho (shrimp, clams, mussels and octopus); roasted pork and beef tenderloin sandwiches.
Taqueria El Jalapeño
1318 S. Midvale Blvd., Madison
El Jalapeño serves food that should make you feel good, like you're in someone's home, in a cozy little space on Midvale at the Beltline.
PICKS: Molcajete El Jalapeño (chicken, pork, shrimp, chorizo, steak, pickled carrots, cactus and cheese); lengua taco; carnitas (pork).
That BBQ Joint
1511 Williamson St., Madison
Small, friendly, mostly takeout barbecue spot, with limited eat-in seating.
PICKS: Whole chicken to go, Italian beef sandwich, jalapeño cornbread muffins.
811 Williamson St., Madison
The Underground Food Collective's butcher shop, in a newly renovated blacksmith's shop on Willy Street, is devoted to carefully curated, local, mindfully raised meats and artisanal sausages. A small menu of sandwiches is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., changing frequently.
PICKS: If it's on the menu, don't miss the whitefish sandwich.
-- Linda Falkenstein