The 10 Best Madison Food Carts

Joe Marks
Joe Marks
Published on May 2, 2018

Looking to spice up your lunchtime routine?  Look no further than some of our favorite Madison food cart options.  With food ranging from the traditional (can you say cheese curds??) to the unique (Vietnamese-French fusion subs anyone??), you are sure to find something that will undoubtedly liven up the endless days of salads and sandwiches.

Melted | Grilled Cheese | Capitol Square This Madison food cart’s slogan is “The Cadillac of Grilled Cheese” and they mean it!  Melted’s menu changes weekly but look for sandwiches like the “Southwestern Bacon”, thick cut bacon, sharp cheddar, tomato, chipotle aioli, and ranch drizzle – YUM!  To find out what will be available from week to week, check out their menu.  Located around the Capitol Square, you don’t want to miss this Madison staple.

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SoHo | Asian Fusion | Fitchburg & Rotating Locations in and around Madison Looking for something fast, fresh, and a little different?  Check out SoHo! This Asian fusion Madison food cart owner’s philosophy is, “Cooking is an art form.  Be bold. Be creative. But never forget the fundamentals.” A fun take on some classics, come be wowed by SoHo’s interesting and delicious daily specials, like a burger inspired by a different country, or stick with tradition and try the pork dumplings.  Either way, you can’t go wrong! For the daily specials and locations around Madison, check Soho’s facebook page or take look at the website.  Not headed downtown?  Stop over at their permanent location in Fitchburg.        

Caracas Empanadas | Empanadas | Library Mall & Downtown Farmer’s Market A Madison Farmer’s Market institution, Caracas Empanadas can be found on the square every Saturday all summer long.  This Madison food cart has everything from beef, pork, chicken, cheese, and even a veggie option all wrapped in a tasty pocket of fried dough!  Plus try out the amazing dessert empanadas! Have one this summer while you browse the Downtown Farmer’s Market or stop over to Library Mall during the week to give Caracas Empanadas a taste!   

El Grito Taqueria | Tacos | Rotating Locations in and around Madison Street tacos at their finest.  El Grito Taqueria prides itself on using fresh, quality products all wrapped in a delicious tortilla!  Look for this Madison food cart at the top of State St. in the Capitol Loop starting in mid April.  For a complete list of locations check out their website.   

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Toast | Paninis | Rotating Locations in and around Madison A lunch classic with some unique twists as only a Madison food cart can do!  Try out Toast’s award winning Turkey Panini made with honey smoked turkey, pesto, garlic mayo, provolone cheese, tomato, red onion, black olives, and spinach.  YUM! Check their Facebook page for more information on upcoming events and locations.      

Banzo | Mediterranean | Sherman Ave. & Library Mall & Capitol Square Made fresh from scratch each day, Banzo’s traditional Mediterranean fare will not disappoint!  Try their famous falafel paired with a Chick Pita, chicken tenderloin in the house marinade.  Plus their hummus and pita bread is a Mediterranean staple not to be missed. Visit them starting in April at their Madison food cart locations on Library Mall and Capitol Square, or year round at their permanent location on Sherman Ave.  

Photo Courtesy of The Badger Herald

Slide Food Cart | Slider Sandwiches | Capitol Square Sliders of all shapes and flavors feature at Slide Food Cart, a one of a kind Madison food cart.  Try out the Power Ball, a mozzarella cheese-stuffed meatball with housemade marinara sauce on a bun.  Don’t forget to grab a bag of Slides renowned potato chips! A perfect combo you’ll want to be sure to try!  Find them on the Capitol Square or check their Facebook page for upcoming locations.    

Umami Buns | Chinese/Japanese | Library Mall In the mood for Chinese food?  Try Umami Buns! Voted Best Chinese by Madison Magazine in 2017, Umami Buns is sure to satisfy your craving.  Featuring several classic flavors, like Pork Belly, roasted house cured pork belly with pickled cucumbers, scallions, and special blend hoisin sauce, Umami Buns is a delicious lunch alternative.  Want to try more than what’s offered on their Madison food cart? Check out the permanent location, Umami Ramen & Dumpling Bar for their famous noodles and dumplings.

Saigon Sandwich | Sandwiches | South Campus A fun twist on mainstream lunch, Saigon sandwich features Vietnamese-French fusion subs.  A truly original Madison food cart, start your experience by filling out an order form to create your perfect sub.  Choose from meats ranging from veggie tofu to meatballs to BBQ pork. Top the whole thing off with some mayo and spicy jalepenos or dehydrated fried onions and you’re in for a flavor treat that’s unlike anything you’ve ever tried.  Find them on the corner of W. Johnson St. and N. Charter St. or check their Facebook page to find out where they will be featured.     

Curd Girl | Cheese Curds | Rotating Locations in and around Madison If you’re in Madison and you aren’t eating cheese curds, you’re doing it wrong.  Serving up this Wisconsin classic, Curd Girl, specializes in one thing: delicious, fried cheese curds.  Try their homemade dipping sauces to cap the whole experience. Check this timeless Madison food cart’s website for the latest locations.