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Night Out on a Budget in Madison

Get out of the house without breaking the bank.

Jazz band playing for small crowd in dark bar

If you like spicy margaritas and craft beer, you’ll love The Mason Lounge.

Photo by @johngreenler

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With the holiday season approaching alarmingly fast, a night out can be therapeutic but expensive. Here are a few options that will leave enough cash in your pocket for buying holiday gifts.

Get the look

While department stores are great in a pinch, let’s explore some options that are more sustainable — for your wallet and the environment.

Upshift | Indecisive? Bring a bag of your unwanted clothes + fill up a new bag for a flat fee of $30. Complimentary wine while you shop

Pink Poodle | 608today reader, Nancy G., suggests this consignment store for its carefully curated collection of both men’s + women’s clothing.


With specials galore + a seemingly endless variety of options, finding affordable drinks in the 608 is relatively easy.

Mason Lounge | Craft beers, handmade cocktails, and an eccentrically cozy interior — this bar is home to the best spicy marg in town, according to City Editor Ally.

Caribou Tavern | If you know, you know. Dating back to the 60s, this classic neighborhood bar hosts a crowd of regulars that will instantly make you feel at home.

Let’s eat

Madison is full of high-end eateries + cheap bar food. Some of its gems, however, fall somewhere in between.

La Kitchenette | With an average cost of $16 a plate, this spot offers French cuisine that won’t break the bank.

Ha Long Bay | An extensive menu + large portions allows patrons to grab a few apps and split an entree with no risk of leaving hungry.


Sporting events, music shows, and shopping in the city can get expensive. Here are some options that will leave less of a dent in your wallet.

Comedy on State | Enjoy one of the best open mics in the country with no drink minimum + specials cheaper than the entry fee of $5.

Bolz Conservatory | Escape from the cold to this tropical conservatory filled with exotic plants, a rushing waterfall, and free-roaming quails. For only $6, it’s a great way to kick off your night.

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