Weary Traveler Freehouse

Weary Traveler FreehouseWeary Traveler Freehouse
Liked This Place
4.19 w/ 20 ratings
Weary Traveler FreehouseWeary Traveler Freehouse

Type: Bar, Eatery

1201 Williamson St
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703-4852
United States

(608) 442-6207 | map

Hours of Operation:
Food Service: 4:00pm - 1:00am
Bar: 4:00pm - close

Tuesday - Sunday:
Food Service: 11:30am - 1:00am
Bar: 11:30am - close

Added by cokes

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of jegross2
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5

The Weary Traveler is one of Madison's top 5 local restaurants in terms of food quality. The Bad Breath burger is revelatory (who would have thought that cream cheese on a hamburger could work so well!) and their West Of The Andes sandwich is truly scrumptious. If you are into "local finds" when you visit places, The Weary Traveler is a top notch choice for food.

The beer menu, on the other hand, is nothing great. They have two or three very good beers on the list (Two Hearted, Warped Speed, and a Crooked Tree brand IPA whose name eludes me at the moment), but the beer selections are too Wisconsin-focused. Wisconsin beer, for those who are not aware, tends to be the weakest in the midwest (well, second weakest, since Iowa is a part of the midwest). Outside of Central Waters, I cannot say I like a single brewery as a whole, though various breweries do have a good beer or two (e.g., the Satisfaction Jackson).

So if you're content with a Two Hearted or Warped Speed with your meal and you're looking for beer, then by all means you must spend the night at the Weary Traveler. However, if you want good beer and good food, then I suggest changing your bar scenery after your meal.

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Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 5

Fantastik place.

Atmosphere: Kitschy art covers the walls. Live music can be found most nights of the week. If its not, they play good vinyl. A large cupboard, which contains dozens of board games, lines one wall. The place is split into two sides. One is better lit and more apt for dining or games while the other is kept dark and intimate for conversation. The place looks good, sort of antiquey. Great tin ceiling, nice wood furniture, leather benches, etc…

Selection: Tap usually consists of 2 Danes, 1 or 2 Capitals, 2 Bells, 2 LAKE LOUIE!!! Bottles are mostly the standard macro imports but there are a few choice selections to be found. One that sticks out in my memory is Fuller’s IPA, they also currently have two Lake Louies in the bottle. What a deal. 4 different LAKE LOUIES available at one bar. I only know of one other bar where you can find that.

Staff: Great mixed staff. As I understand it, the owners use this place as a bit of a training ground for some of their higher end establishments like Magnus so there is some rotation of relatively professional wait staff. Still, the Weary has a large number of people who have been there forever and know their trade well. I eat or drink at the Weary almost weekly and have only had one or two bad service experiences in the last three years. Generally very friendly service from an interesting and eclectic staff.

Food: Hands down, The Weary serves up the best late night food in Madison. This place became a regular destination for me back when I waited tables and wouldn’t get off shift until after midnight.

I recommend the West of the Andes Sandwich. I’m giving the Weary a 5 for food solely because this sandwich is so good. Get it with the tenderloin. It comes smothered in chipotle mayo, fresh and flavorful pico, avocado and a side of mixed greens and rockets in a South American citrus vinaigrette. This is a great dish any time of day but the fact that the Weary serves it up late make this place all the more desirable.

Other highlights on the menu include the goulash, Thai soup, carne asada, and Bob’s bad breath burger. Also be sure to check out the nightly specials. These are usually near gourmet quality for a less than gourmet price.

Edit (11-13-06): Must lower selection from 4 to 3 and quality from 4.5 to 4. The Weary is still a great place for Lake Louie and grub but the selection of great brews has otherwise vanished.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is a "good" bar (hence the 4.0). It won't blow you away, but it can easily be an old stand-by.

It's kind of a neighborhood bar. Right off willy st., you'll see everyone from undergrads to grad students to folks in the neighborhood to old hippies.

The bar is nicely lit, and on the weekends they have live music. And, of course, I should comment on the beer: it is pretty standard, but they always manage to have a nice selection of local microbrews on tap.

They'll always have Lake Louie on tap, and also look for Capital Brewing Co, the Great Dane, and New Glarus. Sometimes you might even see the Angelic Brewing Co.'s beers on tap.

The food is good too, and they cater to vegetarians pretty well. Worth a visit.

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Photo of BarrelAgedG
4/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Gotta be honest, the first time I walked by here a few years ago it seemed a little too hippyish from the outside for my taste. I love this part of town, but don't really consider myself part of the demographic. My loss. After 3 years in Madison and some friends saying it was well worth it, I finally dropped in. Nice comfortable feel. We stopped by here after the Fete de Marquette in July and it was pretty full, but we had a table in about two minutes. I had a Two-Hearted. The selection was not overly extensive, but it was adequate. The waitress was polite and fast, and kept my wife's water glass full even though I only had one drink, which we appreciated. We played a game of Scrabble--one of probably a dozen games they have there for your enjoyment. Prices were fine. Worth going a little out of your way for. I've never eaten here but I hear from reliable sources that they make great grub.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place has the feel of a neighborhood bar/restaurant with a great eclectic mix of things hanging on the wall including hand written poems and large maps glued on as wallpaper. The bar is in the back with another dining room behind a wall that runs perpendicular to the bar.

They had a good beer selection with locals and some interesting imports. They have a good number on tap which is nice and a good number of different styles. The Lake Louie farmhouse ale when great with my West of the Andes sandwich which was also very tasty.

There menu is not large but the vegetarians and carnivores all had good choices. Some of the plates come with sides and some don't so make sure to ask if you are really hungry. The walleye sandwich is huge and comes with potatoes and the roasted veggie salad has a whole garden on there. I think our waiterss went on break after she gave us our food because we sat about 15 minutes with empty beer glasses before we could flag her down.

This is a fun place to hang out and great to take friends without feeling pretentious.

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Photo of rarevos
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I've heard that this place has gone through some changes in the past few years, and that it's not as good as it once was. I've only been here once, so any "woulda-coulda-shoulda-maybe-might-have-been" is beyond my abilities.

It's a pretty laid-back place on Willy Street in the Marquette neighborhood, which is a pretty neat area with a lot to offer. The Weary is a Free House, so you can technically go there and not order anything, if that's your bag. But you'll probably want something. The Walleye sandwich was great, and I'm a sucker for roasted potatoes. So as a lunch, that was terrific. That I got to try the pretty solid Lake Louie farmhouse ale on top of it was pretty cool.

Not a giant beer selection, but what's there on tap is local and/or craft; not a Bud Light in sight: a few Lake Louie, some Capital Amber, Spotted Cow, a Bell's Oberon and a few other things I didn't catch, one from Great Lakes. Admittedly, mostly quaffable session ales that go well with food, but you won't find a gajillion Double Imperial anythings here. Simple, easy to drink craft beer for a night out with friends. Wood paneling on the interior, and very low-volume music. Wood chairs, muted lighting, cozy tables, and clean bathrooms. Menu had more than a few things to be explored (goulash, giant salads, Bob's Bad Breath Burger, etc). Not your typical pub, but a great dinner or late-night stop.

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Photo of twb0392
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Weary Traveler Freehouse in Madison, WI
Place rating: 100% out of 100 with 20 ratings
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