Neighborhood Pubs

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Photo by Martha Busse

Tipsy Cow

102 King St.
287-1455, tipsycowmadison.com

On any given Friday, you could stroll down Main Street and encounter as many as four—yes, four—different sandwich boards advertising fish fries. The one you want to pick is the one camped at the corner point of Main and King—that’d be Tipsy Cow, where tasty, beer-battered Atlantic cod is served in a cozy atmosphere that never feels cramped, despite its unusually shaped triangular space.

Toiling away in the Tipsy’s basement-level kitchen, chef Bob Kulow and his staff jack the beer batter with New Glarus’s Spotted Cow ale and a garlic- and serrano-pepper-seasoned flour that adds a noticeable (but not overwhelming) kick to the proceedings. Tip: Trade the tartar for the signature Tipsy Sauce, the Cow’s tasty take on Thousand Island dressing.

Not surprisingly, the lunch crowd rivals the dinner rush on Fridays, but the staff always manages the schools of hungry customers. “You can get in and out of here,” says co-owner Sue Kirton. “We do fish fry fast, but with really good flavor.” We’ll second that. 

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