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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, April 21, 2024

Here are The Daily Cardinal’s 2024 Local Bar Guide award winners

Good vibes, great deals and extravagant eats landed on top in The Daily Cardinal’s 2024 Local Bar Guide awards.

Back from a nearly decade-long hiatus, the Cardinal’s annual bar guide saw 16 bars compete for five awards — Best College Bar, Best Cocktail Bar, Best Food, Best Atmosphere/Vibe and Best Weeknight Special. 

In the end, four bars emerged victorious across the five categories.

Read on to see the winners:

Best College Bar: Monday’s

A strong performance from a bar with even stronger drinks gave Monday’s the coveted Best College Bar Award. Located at 523 State St., Monday’s is best-known for its generous pours, free popcorn and lively holiday lights criss-crossing the ceiling. If you haven’t tried it yet, grab some friends and spend a thirsty Thursday at Monday’s.

Best Cocktail Bar: Leopold’s Books Bar Caffè

Is it a speakeasy, a hidden gem bookstore or a steampunk coffee shop? With its unique vibe and a rotating menu of rich drinks at not-so-rich prices, Leopold’s has quickly become a favorite among college students and community members alike looking for a classy cocktail joint. Give it up for the Best Cocktail Bar, and take a trip down to Regent Street to give it a try sometime soon.

Best Food: Vintage Spirits & Grill

Speciality burgers and sandwiches stacked high with flavor carried Vintage over the finish line for the Best Food award. If that’s not your vibe, don’t worry: Vintage also has a delicious BBQ mac and cheese, colorful loaded nachos and a laundry list of other dishes to choose from. Make sure to wash your food down with a pint from Vintage's expansive tap beer list.

Best Atmosphere/Vibe: Vintage Spirits & Grill

And they’re back! With a patio along University Avenue, cozy booths and inviting string lights, Vintage locked up the Best Atmosphere award. It’s the only campus-area joint to snag two Cardinal honors. Make sure to play some foosball and get some fresh air next time you visit.

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Best Weeknight Special: Whiskey Jack’s Saloon (Thursdays: 25-cent rails 7-8 p.m., 50-cent rails 8-9 p.m., $1 rails 9-10 p.m.)

No other bar near the UW-Madison campus has deals quite like Whiskey’s Thursday special. With just $10, you’re set for the night when you head to Whiskey’s. What’s better than $1 rails? Fifty-cent rails. What’s better than fifty-cent rails? Quarter-dollar rails.

See a full spread of the winners in our latest print edition. 

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