Week of: Dec 10th

12/09/18, 4:56 pm

Live shows galore. More Holiday Markets. And of course, more opportunities to dance.

Monday (12/10)

  • The Moth Madison StorySLAM presents: INSTINCTS @ High Noon Saloon: Listen to your peers tell stories about their animal instincts. The stories are sure to be interesting and who knows, maybe you'll realize you too have a special skill? Show begins at 7:30pm; $10 General Admission #live.show

  • 2 FREE weeks @ FORWRD: Have you been indulging a bit too much this holiday season? Or just looking to jumpstart your New Years resolution a few weeks early? FORWRD is offering 2 weeks free at their health and wellness training facility. Good bye hangover, hello healthy habits. Starts Dec 10th and running for two full weeks

Tuesday (12/11)

  • Women in Tech Happy Hour @ Capitol Chophouse: Come meet other badass ladies in the Madison Tech scene. Food and drinks will be sold and friends/partners are welcome! 5:30-7:30pm #free #social
  • Robin Room for a Cause @ Robin Room: Eat delicious Sujeo bites, drink classic Robin Room crafts and help support a local family needing medical treatment? This sounds like a pretty good trifecta to us. 5-9pm; raffle every 30 min to win booze! #food #free #fundraiser

Wednesday (12/12)

  • Storie Party Madison -- True Dating Stories @ Wilmar Community Centre: We are here for all the story slam events this week. Watch professional story tellers tell the horrifying and hilarious real life dating stories of Madisonians. 7-10pm; $20 #live.show #comedy

Thursday (11/13)

  • MSCR Pottery Sale @ Madison School & Community Recreation: Who doesn't love local pottery?? Check out this 3 day event selling a wide range of pottery at affordable prices. 8am -6pm; open through Saturday #free #market #holiday

Friday (11/14)

  • Holiday Market @ Working Draft Beer Company: Beer. Food. Local makers. Who needs Amazon when there are dozens of local businesses hosting markets?? 5-9pm #free #market #holiday

  • Walking in a Willy Wonderland @ various locations on Willy St: Missed last week's Atwood Winter fest? Don't fret! Willy Street has theirs this week! Check out live music, delicious fare and a whole bunch of fun specials happening at local shops. This is the perfect opportunity to check out some of the new businesses in the area. 5-9pm #free #holiday #music

  • Dyke Dive @ The Wisco: Dyke Dive is BACK and ready to party. And this time it's asking you to bring your ugly sweater. Enjoy the musical makings by DJ Saint Saunter. Dyke Dive is an inclusive space open to all queer people and friends of queers. 8pm-1:30am; no cover but $5 suggested donation to artist #dj #dance

Saturday (12/15)

  • Holiday Gift Wrapping Soiree @ Good Day Collective: Take the opportunity to meet the amazing women behind the beautiful pop-up AND the women behind Chroma.Press. Wrap gifts, create custom leather and paper products and enjoy the warm, creative space. 11am-6pm #free #local.goods #holiday

  • Wisconsin Women in Folk @ High Noon Saloon: Escape the cold with the warmest voices in Wisconsin Folk music. 20% of all ticket sales will be donated to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Doors open at 1:30pm and show begins at 2; $10 #music #fundraiser

  • Tone Madison Best of 2018 @ Barley Pop: Listen to some of Tone's favorite music from the year, learn more about what they are doing and how to help support their incredible work! All while drinking beer. Heck yes. 5-9pm #free #music #social

  • MadMen Holiday Soiree @ Majestic: The show may be long over but it's the holiday party that keeps on giving. Dress up in your best 60s faux furs and sip on a manhattan. How else do you celebrate the holidays? 8pm-12am; $25 ahead of time or at the doors #dance #party #holidays

  • Damsel Trash with Gender Confetti and The German Art Students @ Crystal Corner: If you haven't been to a proper show at Crystal Corner (or it's just been too long) this is the perfect opportunity. Seriously, you won't want to miss this. 9:30pm-1:30am #free #music #party

  • JAMS with Project Pablo @ Robinia Courtyard: Robinia is opening up a SECOND dance floor and starting the party even earlier. This warm welcoming is for Montreal based DJ Project Pablo. Get your groove on all night long. 9pm-2am; $10 before 11:30/ $15 after #dj #dance

Sunday (12/16)

  • Makers Market @ Communications: Did you really think we would go a week without a local holiday market? Check out more amazing local creators. 10am-5pm #free #market #holiday

We happily take submissions for events happening in the Madison area! Send us a message and we'll be in touch.

Places that usually have interesting things going on

Week of: Dec 2nd

12/02/18, 7:54 pm

Holy moly there is a TON of stuff happening this week. Markets, discussions, comedy shows and more. This is just a SAMPLE of what's going on. Seriously, if you are looking for an interesting night out this is your week.

Monday (12/03)

  • Feminist Poetry Slam @ Union South: We don't think this needs much explanation. This event is open to everyone and everyone is welcome to read their poetry! Just register online before hand. Complimentary treats and hot drinks will be served (sorry, we're doubting they will be spiked) 7:30-9pm #live.show #free

  • Crossroads: How (not) to think about artificial intelligence @ WID: Join this free public lecture series talking about politics, policy, public perceptions and more. Join the discussion about artificial intelligence and all the complicated issues and possibilities that come with AI. #discussion #free

Tuesday (12/04)

  • Inside the Trauma of Family Separation @ Community Immigration Law Office: Join to view The Atlantic's documentary documenting the fight to reunite families with a Q&A after with the head attorney featured in the film. 7-9pm #free #documentary

  • Lady in Leadership Panel @ 2650 Humanities: We understand that it might feel weird to attend a panel at UW if you are not a student but we think this panel discussion is worth it. Listen to badass women at the top of their field discuss their field and navigating their careers. Panel members include: Chris Taylor- State Representative, Katrina Morrison-Planned Parenthood Public Affairs Coordinator, Maria Saffiotti Dale- Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts at the Chazen Museum of Art, Kim Sutter- Director of Services at Porchlight, just to name a few. 7-8:30pm #discussion #free

Wednesday (12/05)

  • Spotlight Cinema @ MMoCa: The final viewing of the fall will be showcasing "Hale County this Morning, this Evening", a documentary showcasing the lives of two young African American boys in Alabama. The film won the Special Jury award at Sundance! 7-9pm; $7 for nonmembers

Thursday (12/06)

  • LLC Level 1 Final Showcase @ Plan B: If you missed the Lady's Laughs Festival you have an opportunity to get a taste of what you missed! Come watch some of the newest members of the Madison Comedy Scene perform. 7:30-9pm; $5 suggested donation #comedy #live.show

Friday (12/07)

  • Good Day Market Holiday Edition @ Madison Masonic Temple: Another local, curated market that also is serving up some delicious drinks? You betcha. Shop locally crafted goods, relax in a curated campground lounge, drink some Kin-Kin coffee and check off all the gifts on your list. If you haven't been to the Good Day Collective on the Square yet. We repete: CHECK. IT. OUT. That is all. 4:30 -9pm #free # holiday #local.goods

  • Atwood Winter Festival @ various locations around the Atwood Neighborhood: You can bet we have several local craft events on this week's list! Follow the lanterns around the neighborhood to see what local businesses are doing to celebrate the holiday season. Cheers will be made. Merriness will be had. 5-9pm #free #holiday #festival

  • Ugly Sweater Portrait Party @ Stateline Distillery: If you have been looking for the perfect opportunity to pull out your ugly Christmas sweater and snap your holiday card photo, you are in luck! Stateline will be bringing in Ilana Natasha Photography (which if you haven't check out her work, we will wait for you to do so now) to take portraits. Did we mention you can bring in your dog to get in on the ugly sweater action?? 6-10pm #free #holiday

  • Wintersong @ Barrymore Theater: Enjoy an night of indie acoustic music with all proceeds going to the Second Harvest Food Bank. The night is an event dedicated to the giving back to the community for the year of support. Enjoy great local musicians and a magical night. 8-11pm; $18 ahead of time, $20 at the door #live.show #fundraiser #music
  • UW Vet School Drag Show @ FIVE Nightclub: We're pretty confident you probably weren't expecting this match up but we are here for it. Come watch some amateur drag queens being schooled by the masters while raising money to support a great cause, GSAFE. GSAFE is a local organization that supports LGBTQ+ students in the area. 8-11pm; $8 ahead of time, $10 at the door

  • TV Dinner @ Gena's: Check out the female DJ duo who will be spinning a range of sets including funk, soul, disco, hip hop and more! 10pm-2am #free #dj

Saturday (12/08)

  • Good Day Market Holiday Edition @ Madison Masonic Temple 10am-3pm
  • Funky Christmas @ Majestic: We don't know about you, but we think the best way to celebrate the holidays is with a little funk. Enjoy a night dedicated to the funk kings Ottis Redding and James Brown with Madison's own 8 piece soul band Don't Mess with Cupid. 8:30-11:59pm; $10 #music #live.show

  • Municipal Resorted: Grand Reopening Ceremony @ Municipal Building: We can't say that we've been exactly missing this building but that doesn't mean we can't be excited for it's reopening! Come check out and learn about the newly restored historical building while enjoying music, art and interactive art instillations. 11am-4pm #free #historical

  • 100thanks @ Ovation: Start off your holiday party season off right! Celebrate the Madison entrepreneurship community with 100state with dancing, tap cocktails, chatting with local entrepreneurs and did we mention an opportunity to dress up?? And tickets get you two free drinks. Heck. Yes. 8pm -12am; $10 ahead of time, $15 at the door #holiday

Sunday (12/09)

  • Merry Madness: Indie Art Show @ Plan B: Have we listed too many local markets yet? We don't think so either! Check out more local vendors while sipping on a Bloody Mary and enjoying Slide Food Cart snacks! There will even be raffle tickets being passed out. We think this is the perfect way to nurse your Sunday morning hangover. 12-5pm #free #holiday #market

  • Stuff your Stockings @ Brink Lounge: Another holiday market! Music, drinks, kids coloring corner, ornament making station and more. Why choose one market when you can go to allllll of them? This market is also a fundraiser for the Second Harvest Food Bank. 10:31am- 4pm; $2/ FREE with nonperishable good #market #fundraiser #holiday

We happily take submissions for events happening in the Madison area! Send us a message and we'll be in touch.

Places that usually have interesting things going on

Week of: Nov 24th

11/25/18, 4:39 pm

Hope you all have been fully mashed and stuffed and are ready for the big ol' sprint towards Christmas. We are. We even got one of those sustainable Christmas tree-plants and everything.

Monday (11/26)

  • The Organizer @ WUD Film: The Organizer is a film depicting the controversial Community Organizer and ACORN founder Wade Rathke. What makes him controversial? You can ask him! He will be hosting a Q&A after the viewing. Learn about ACORN and what it means to be a Community Organizer. 6:30-9pm #film

Tuesday (11/27)

  • Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home @ Chazen Museum: This exhibit will be showcasing 14 contemporary artists and their responses to the issues of housing insecurity and homelessness. The pieces are mixed with personal experiences and the artist's perspective. Please bring socks and gloves as a donation; all donations will be given to PorchLight and The Beacon. Exhibition will run until Jan 6th; FREE to the public #art

Wednesday (11/28)

Sit back, relax; it's Hump Day! Which means Madison has a TON of regular events going on. Maybe attend a crafting night at Revel, open mic nights at Genna's or The Comedy Club

Thursday (11/29)

  • Christine's Kitchen Grand Opening : The owner of Slide Food Cart and the commercial kitchen space that allows more beloved food carts to operate, is opening a retail space! Buy delicious local products IN STORE and support the community. Eat good food and do good? Hell yes. That's what we call a win-win. The space will be open Thurs-Saturday #food

  • Settlin' @ Wisconsin Historical Museum: The WHM is apparently THE venue. Come listen to author Muriel Simms discuss her book Settlin': Stories of Madison's Early African American Families. Simms collected the stories of 25 Madison families about their struggles and successes and sets the stage for an oral history. This is going to be a discussion about the side of Madison that many of us often miss. 6-7pm #discussion

  • Film-Makers' Cooperative: New Work 2018 @ Arts +Literature Laboratory: Enjoy a range of experimental shorts and documentaries from New York. We are not film experts but we're pretty confident this is going to be an experience you don't want to miss. The films will run a total of 75 min. Doors open at 7:15 and seats are limited; $5 entry charge for non-members #film

  • Wurk @ Cafe Coda: If you haven't been to the new jazz bar on Willy yet, this is the perfect reason to go. Listen to Wurk play some funk-fusion while sipping on delicious cocktails. Cafe Coda prizes itself on being a Jazz Club with great bartenders. And man have they delivered. 8:30-11:30pm #music

Friday (11/30)

  • Opening for Nathaniel Mary Quinn: This is Life @ MMoCA: We fricken love art. We also love a chance to dress up. MMoCA is the perfect place for both. Join MMoCA for the gallery opening celebrating the solo exhibition of contemporary artist Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Drinks will be had, DJ M. White will be playing, hors d'oeuvres will be passed AND Quinn himself will be giving a talk about his work. 6-9pm with Artist speaking 6:30-7:30. Seating is limited #art
  • Queer Pressure @ Robinia Courtyard: One of our favorite regular events is BACK this week and the Lineup is (insert praise emoji here). Enjoy the music makings of three bad-ass women and dance the night away. As always, Queer Pressure is a place of inclusion and celebration. 10pm-2am; $5-$10 cover charge #music

Saturday (12/1)

We know what you're thinking... Really? Nothing to recommend on a SATURDAY?? But we do! We recommend enjoying the first night of December with a glass of mulled wine and start binging all the terrible holiday movies on Netflix.

Sunday (12/2)

We happily take submissions for events happening in the Madison area! Send us a message and we'll be in touch.

Places that usually have interesting things going on

Best Coffee in Madison

11/23/18, 4:10 pm
By Olivia Wisden

(according to some coffee lovers on our team)

Disclaimer: UnderBelly does not receive any compensation from our recommendations but we dooooo take drink coupons and public high fives :D

In no particular order:

  1. Bradbury's : This tiny coffee shop packs as much of a punch as it's coffee. Serving up a local Wisconsin Coffee Roaster and a delicious rotation of guests roasters means that you can explore coffee from all over the world. Did we forget to mention they also have some of the best fresh muffins and crepes in Madison? This place is perfect to grab brunch, an afternoon meeting, work on your computer or just soak up the sunshine in the massive windows. We'd say their vibe is bright and airy (even for a tiny corner cafe).


  1. Johnson Public House : Locally known as JPH, this is THE coffeeshop in Madison. Hipster vibes galore and coffee second to none make JPH uniquely situated in Madison. They roast their own beans and sell them in house and around Madison (which our team is huge fans of and also really just dig their packaging). Serving up delicious, fresh basics and pretty damn good avocado toast means you can hang out here for hours getting work done. As we mentioned, this space is pretty dang hipster but in the "This is where the cool kiddos hang" sort of hipster vibe.


  1. Porter : We are a sucker for anything in a renovated old building, especially when that's a coffeeshop in an old train depot station. Sandwiches made in front of you, local goods sold on the shelves and enough exposed bricks to make us sing all the way home. Oh, and they have delicious coffee to top it off. We'd call this space cozy and warm with a hint of European bus station... but in the good way.


  1. Cafe Domestique: If you blind folded us, took us to Cafe Domestique and told us we were in a Amsterdam coffee shop we wouldn't question it. That is only partially because it is a bike themed cafe (ok mostly because of this). This adorable coffee shop takes great pride in being the go to place for bikers and coffee lovers alike. Grab an amazing, single origin pour-over while getting your bike tuned and you'll be making the way of the Madisonian. Warning: Seating is limited so be cautious when searching for a place to camp out for a few hours They rock the open minimalist vibe with cool artisanal mugs to match!


Week of: Nov 18th

11/18/18, 6:33 pm

We've been dreaming of a white... Thanksgiving? Nope. But there are a TON of great local holiday markets this week to help you avoid Black Friday insanity.

Monday (11/19)

  • In Good Company @ various locations around Madison: For the month of November various locations around Madison will be exhibiting emerging Veteran Artists. Check out the website to read more about the different artists and where the work is being exhibited. Shows run through November

Tuesday (11/20)

  • Evergleaming: The Enduring Love Affair with the Aluminum Christmas Tree @ Wisconsin Historical Museum: We're going to be honest here and say we have never been to the Wisconsin Historical Museum but did you know Wisconsin was once the leading producer of Aluminum Christmas Trees? Probably not. But they have an exhibit all about it! There will even be a 1960s replica living room to take pictures in so we're in. Open during museum hours 9am-4pm Tu-Sat. Show is running through Jan 12th

Wednesday (11/21) Wisconsin's honorary biggest night of drinking

Hope everyone enjoys drinking in their home towns, catching up with all the people from high school while pretending you haven't stalked their Facebook... Drink responsibly friends.

Thursday (11/22) Thanksgiving

Everyone's favorite Holiday -- Partaking in lively discussions regarding the most recent election with family from out of town.

Friday (11/23)

  • Old Fashioned Holiday Market @ Yahara Bay Distillery: There will be a ton of local vendors and probably a whole lot of booze to be had. Doors open at 11am and they will also be open Saturday until 5pm
  • Madison Makers Market @ various locations on the near east side: Shop local vendors, drink local booze. If it seems like we have a shopping preference you would be correct. Shopping starts at noon and goes until 5pm. You can even carry your drink as you walk from venue to venue!

Saturday (11/24)

  • Old Fashioned Holiday Market @ Yahara Bay Distillery: There will be a ton of local vendors and probably a whole lot of booze to be had. Doors open at 11am and they will also be open Saturday until 5pm

  • Small Business Saturday @ Good Day Collective: All Saturday is technically Small Business Saturday but the Good Day Collective deserves a special shout out. If you haven't checked out this amazing pop-up shop on the Square you absolutely need to. Ran by 3 bad-ass women, all whom have their own businesses, and came together to bring your pinterest dreams to life. We know where we're doing our holiday shopping. Doors open at 9am -6pm but the shops is open until Jan 8th!

Sunday (11/25)

  • Clothing Swap @ High Noon: Not only is this an opportunity to update your wardrobe right before all your holiday parties. One Barrel will be offering their Rose Cider (a personal favorite) and all proceeds will go to DAIS: Domestic Abuse Intervention Services in Madison. Doors open at noon

Places that usually have interesting things going on

Why online ratings should be a thing of the past.

11/15/18, 3:45 pm
By Olivia Wisden

We understand we are in the vast minority with this opinion. But online reviews for businesses should go the way of the dodo. No, we’re not crazy. At some point in the expansion of Yelp and Amazon, people began relying on these faceless opinions for everything . So we’re going out of our way to talk about why we won’t be including stars or ratings for our recommendations. Please take this journey with us.

You’ve probably noticed that in recent years everything has a rating. Music, videos, sheets, bars, pencils, salt; if you can find it online you can find a rating for it. And at first it made sense. How else are you supposed to know if what you’re buy is safe/legitimate/quality? By hoping that some stranger has also used that product and also has the decency to review it. At some point this review system has ballooned to what we have today. Today a half star difference on Yelp means the difference of 8-10% profit. I will repeat that. Today a half star difference on Yelp means the difference of 8-10% profit… Most often affecting small, local businesses.

If you weren’t aware already we have some bad news for you. Online reviews don’t actually tell you which is the better product. Amazon critics have been vocal about the swath of fake product reviews. Yelp allows businesses to pay for advertisements putting them at the top of your search page. Businesses are even figuring out how to game the system. They are able to hide their bad reviews and only show the positive, thus changing their rating. And this is only part of the problem.

This doesn’t even begin to talk about the fact that who reviews businesses are often one-side. When was the last time you left a Yelp or Google Review for a good experience? Or even a normal experience? When was the last time you heard someone threaten a business with leaving a bad review? If you work in the industry my guess would be sometime in the last month. Do you see the issue?

And worse yet, even understanding these things it’s hard to ignore ratings. Knowing what we do about Yelp and the restaurant world we still get swept away with the number. 3.7 vs 4.5 stars? No brainer.

So we are looking to change things. We still think that customer input is important. But we also know atmosphere and experience descriptors give you a better idea of a space. So heres to supporting local, eclectic businesses and giving the middle finger to the stars.

Week of: Nov 11th

11/13/18, 10:36 am

It's cold af outside but that won't stop Madison. Grab an extra roadie and don't forget your scarf.

Monday (11/12)

  • Sip and Social : Get your drink on and learn about Instagram. Education and delicious cheap wine is one of our favorite combos.

Tuesday (11/13)

Wednesday (11/14)

  • Trans Monologues (6-8pm): This FREE event will be held at the Madison Public Library and listen to trans experiences from people all around our community.
    #communityevent #lgbtq+

Thursday (11/15)

Friday (11/16)

Saturday (11/17)

Sunday (11/18)

Best Breakfasts in Madison

11/12/18, 10:48 am
by Olivia Wisden

Ok so we believe "Best of" lists are mostly... well nonsense. But people seem to love them so like it's famously been said Let the people eat breakfast!

(In no particular order)
  1. Marigold Kitchen Local ingredients: Check. Delicious specials: Absolutely. Bottomless coffee: Always. They don't only serve great pancakes (which they do), they have amazing lunch. Wisconsin winters demand hot soup on a chilly Wednesday and their soups are always on point. #capitol #GFfriendly

  2. Willaby's Cafe Have you been looking for the hipster diner of your dreams? Look no further. Willaby's serves pancakes bigger than a platter and scramblers with all the fixin's. This is the kind of place you bring your Aussie Couchsurfing guests to impress them with American portions. Also the food is just delicious. Especially after a rough Saturday... or Tuesday. #willystreet

  3. La Brioche Is any Madison Breakfast list complete without La Brioche? Well, none that we care about. A mix of French and Mexican inspiration with a whole bunch of feng shui (truly). Outdoor seating galore and fresh baked everything. Need we say more. Maybe but we suggest you just go eat there yourself. #nearwest #GFfriendly

  4. Manna Cafe Have you been looking for your grandma's house only in restaurant style? We didn't know how much we needed it but we are glad we did. Everything is house made and fresh, including the bread on your breakfast sandwich. Hell even their website is heartwarming! Manna is the definition of community and inclusivity.

    Madison has a MILLION brunch places but all of these places serve breakfast every day of the week