Dexter's Pub

Bar, Eatery

301 North St
Madison, Wisconsin, 53704-4920
United States

(608) 244-3535 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 53 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by DaPeculierDane:
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DaPeculierDane from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere - Until recently, Dexter's was known as the Sandlot, a neighborhood/sports/dive bar popular with the drinking and volleyball crowd. Dexter's remains relatively unchanged.

It's a spacious place, divided into two areas. One half of the joint is comprised of beat up old tables and booths reminiscent of a 50's diner. The other half has a lengthy bar and large open fry kitchen. Glass beer coolers form nearly an entire wall behind the bar. Above and around the bar are perhaps a dozen flat panel TVs. Dexter's is a great place to watch sports and they do carry the Big Ten Network.

Expect a decent crowd during games or on summer nights. When I've been there the crowd has been 50/50 sports fans and neighborhood old men with small glasses of light beer (a constituency I very much enjoy drinking with).

Quality/Selection: Thirteen taps mostly consisting of Tyranena, Lake Louie, Sprecher, Capital, New Glarus and other local and regional craft selections. Bottle selection is similar. Many seasonal and one off releases from these breweries are offered. A large blackboard displays the list of taps as well as an on deck section featuring upcoming releases.

Service is friendly, quick, and likes good beer. Dexter's has only been open a short while and they're already hosting beer festivals (two weeks ago they hosted a chocolate and beer tasting for charity, an event formerly held at Wonder's Pub with salsa).
I don't know yet if Dexter's will fill the beer void left by Wonder's closing on the East/North sides but I'm starting to think that it might. The goals of the owners seem geared toward quality beer in a comfortable, uber casual environment. I'm optimistic that the place will only improve with time.

Food: I haven't eaten much at Dexter's yet so I won't rate the food but I have high hopes. What I have had has been good and some of the simple bar snacks and sandwiches coming out of their kitchen look and smell better than most. I was immediately impressed to see the cook using very fresh, high quality vegetables and meats. I'll try a Philly steak sandwich next time I go. They look authentic and smell amazing. Next I'll probably try one of their homemade pizzas, which look and smell just as good.

Overall, Dexters makes a solid addition to the Madison beer scene in a neighborhood that has until now been completely devoid of good beer.

Update: June 19, 2008 - I'm raising quality and selection scores from 3.5 to 4 and adding a food score of 4.5. Dexter's has been adding one killer tap beer after another to its list. I've tried 4 or 5 items off the menu and they are all great. In fact, I can now say with a certainty that Dexters makes my favorite bar food in Madison. Try the Philly with a side of Au Jus!

Feb 26, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of hoosier222002
hoosier222002 from Illinois

4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Jul 06, 2017
Photo of Rilesmiles
Rilesmiles from Wisconsin

4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Nov 20, 2016
Photo of Billolick
Billolick from New York

4.24/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

must hit spot in Madison if ya want a real, non tourist kinda place...locals come here...local wisconsin kinda, down to earth food, over the top beer options with more then ample local options...really enjoyed our visit..great with the guys, but not a romantic date kinda spot

Jul 20, 2016
Photo of CoreyC
CoreyC from Wisconsin

4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Love this place. Feels like a small locals bar (although the restaurant can be fairly busy)but has an awesome tap selection of high quality uncommon beers with a high tech display showing ABU, IBU and quantity left, and it changes regularly.

May 31, 2016
Photo of Duff27
Duff27 from Illinois

4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Jan 10, 2016
Photo of egrace84
egrace84 from Illinois

4/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Jan 10, 2016
Photo of 22Blue
22Blue from Kansas

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Oct 25, 2015
Photo of TheStoutHound
TheStoutHound from Wisconsin

4.45/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Dexter's is a small/medium WI style bar/restaurant. The vibe/atmosphere is nothing special and there is nothing wrong with it either. The staff is friendly and always as quick as physically possible. This place gets packed a certain times, especially Friday nights, so sometimes you have to be patient. The food is awesome. Best fish fry in town, great burgers and pizza too. Oh, and the cheese curds, yeah get those!
Important part, BEER: 23-25 tap beers and a solid bottle list. Of the tap beers, they typically have 2-3 one-off's or specialty barrels. Always a good variety on tap and almost always something that you have probably never had. The bottle selection is great too. You can find local BA beer on the list even in the off season and they'll hold back vintage stuff and put it on the menu at different times. The place gets some of the best tap takeovers in Madison/the state. Prices are fair. Their tap/bottle menu is available on their website.

Oct 22, 2015
Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
UWBadgerFan4Life from Wisconsin

4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Jul 08, 2015
Photo of A_Rad
A_Rad from Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Jul 04, 2015
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Gatordaddy from Maryland

4.24/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Jun 17, 2015
Photo of djhowell
djhowell from Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Apr 30, 2015
Photo of atone315
atone315 from Wisconsin

4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Stopped in on a Thursday afternoon, around 2pm. I could see how this place could be more lively at night, so take my rating for vibe accordingly. There was a bar area with a few high-tops and a restaurant area that looks like it has seen it's better yourself a favor and sit in the bar area. I had a burger, the wife had a hummus plate.....both tasty and more than enough to fill us both, in fact we both took some home. About 20 taps, all craft, and a ridiculous amount of quality bottles, this place was definitely a nice spot to kick off a 4 day beer weekend in Wisconsin's capitol.

Feb 27, 2015
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Feb 24, 2015
Photo of redleg411
redleg411 from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Feb 06, 2015
Photo of Diaper-Daniels
Diaper-Daniels from Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Jan 23, 2015
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italianstallion from Wisconsin

4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Dec 20, 2014
Photo of twb0392
twb0392 from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -5.7%

Dec 14, 2014
Photo of Soneast
Soneast from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -5.7%

Dec 13, 2014
Photo of s_wit
s_wit from Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Nov 28, 2014
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

4/5  rDev -5.7%

Nov 21, 2014
Photo of OBD
OBD from Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +12%

Nov 18, 2014
Photo of DCLAguy11
DCLAguy11 from California

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Nov 14, 2014
Photo of KAF
KAF from Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Nov 09, 2014
Dexter's Pub in Madison, WI
Place rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 53 ratings