Best Nightlife

Out of all the clubs and bars in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer a carefully vetted selection to let you explore Madison nightlife on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Madison Best Nightlife list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.

The Casbah

Adding a touch of novelty to Madison, The Casbah offers a visual and culinary jaunt to the Mediterranean world. Spread across three floors, the establishment specializes in traditional fare like grilled lamb chops, couscous dishes, Tunisian...  Read More

Upscale and deliciously mellow, this establishment caters to folks who appreciate fine cigars and cocktails. As a result, you'll often find groups of business people scattered around, lounging on comfy sofas, taking in strains of jazz, and...  Read More

Set in what was originally a 19th century hotel, this incredibly popular brewpub attracts everyone from business folks to college kids. A pub-like ambience characterized by aged wood and stone sets the scene for this neighborhood gathering...  Read More

Blue Velvet Lounge

Retro styling and a young, upscale crowd impart a certain sophistication to this bar, whose dark, streamlined interior glows with blue neon accents. Apropos to the decor, a martini menu offers up tasty potions and contributes a dose of...  Read More


For more than a generation now, Cardinal Bar has been one of the city's best places to catch new music and dance the night away. Set in a Victorian building, the club offers great sound and lighting, and musical styles range from the latest...  Read More


Catering to Madison's gay and lesbian residents, Club 5 actually encompasses several venues, including a busy dance club, a restaurant, an outdoor patio, and distinct areas for men and women. The dance club draws in large crowds, as people come...  Read More


When you feel the need to trade in typical, rowdy clubs for a more subdued experience, Opus stands out as an ideal oasis of urbanity. Dimly lit and romantic, the establishment provides an optimal environment wherein patrons can enjoy...  Read More

Capital Brewery

This prominent local microbrewery – which has won a number of prestigious awards at beer-making competitions – offers a place to kick back and sample the house product. The Bier Garten is Capital's seasonal, outdoor spot where folks flock to...  Read More

Porta Bella's Cellar

Situated in the space beneath Porta Bella, a well-known Italian restaurant, this cozy haven is especially favored by couples and small groups. The romantic place invites intimacy with its warren of rooms, and its wine selection includes Italian,...  Read More

Vintage Spirits & Grill

This kitschy downtowner is hard to miss, with its telltale purple facade and Art Deco design. Inside, you'll find a laid-back atmosphere that encourages folks to kick back and hang out. Draft beer flows freely, whether it's pints of Irish stout...  Read More

comments powered by Disqus

Build your own lists that you can easily reference or share stories with your friends.

Login ×

Forgot login/password?
Don't have an account? Create Your Account!

Enter your username or email in the box below and click
"Remind Me".

Remind Me ×
Create Account ×
Create Account ×

Already have an account?

Add to List ×
Save ×

Go to Lists Close Window ×