The atmosphere at the Weary Traveler covers a wide scope. Special occasion fun dining? Yes. A casual place to meet a few friends after work for a tasty microbrew? Ditto. How about small-town, folksy ambiance with a terrific menu? It has that, too. Is it a good setting for an impromptu business lunch or mellow, moderately priced evening date? Certainly. This eclecticism makes the Weary Traveler a neighborhood favorite.
The Weary Traveler wants patrons to not just fill their stomachs but also come to enjoy good grub, exotic beers and the overall enjoyable experience of neighborhood dining. Located at 1201 Williamson Street, the restaurant’s philosophy is unequivocal: Good dining depends on good ingredients. What the Weary Traveler has pulled off ever so subtly is that it has taken mainstream food, and localized, contemporized, and elevated it.
The Weary Traveler’s attractively sweet wood environs enhance its resemblance to an urbane downtown restaurant, but its location feels so comfortably removed from the hustle and jostle of urban digs. Set on a sleek corner of Williamson Street, the Weary Traveler’s interior showcases a whopping 90 percent salvaged materials, earning it awards from the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation for Preservation Advocacy-Entrepreneurship. The restaurant offers vast selections of tap beers and microbrews, and an upbeat, lively vibe and crowd that mixes brew buffs, culinary connoisseurs, and locals.
Weary Traveler is famous for its bad breath burger, a delicious offering of organic beef with cream cheese, garlic, and grilled onions. Heralded for its great drinks and bar menu, grilled cheese, spicy lamb dishes, delectable balsamic onion sauté, French fries, guacamole, dressing, and home fries, the Weary Traveler seems to have a little special something for all. The Weary Traveler’s West of the Andes Sandwich has achieved iconic stature, and its Grilled Canadian Walleye Sandwich, served on a homemade roll, slathered with homemade sauce, and decked with fried potatoes, is a winner.
Laid-back, mellow, and vegetarian-friendly, Weary Traveler complements the Williamson Street neighborhood in which it resides. Teeming with cool art galleries, hip coffeehouses and dozens of art studios, the Weary Traveler accentuates the character of the area affectionately known by locals as Willy Street.
Its neighbors include mainstays such as Broom Street Theater, founded in 1969; St. Vincent de Paul, Nature’s Bakery cooperative, and a slew of restaurants of assorted tastes and cuisines. Weary Traveler is the best of local Madison, satisfying the palates of the people in the Willy Street neighborhood who are well-traveled and educated about food, and who are interested and hungry for something familiar, fun, and friendly. It is one of the top places to eat in Madison outside of downtown.