liberty station fried chicken

Restaurant of the Week: Liberty Station

Open daily for lunch and dinner, Liberty Station American Tavern and Smokehouse serves American comfort food that will leave you delightfully full while still craving “just one more bite.” The restaurant opened its doors in June 2020 on Rimrock Road near the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

When you walk into the restaurant, you’re greeted with a fresh modern feel and the clamor of happy customers. During our visit on a Saturday evening, the upbeat energy was felt as soon as we opened the front door. People were cheerful, tables were full and there wasn’t a seat left at the bar; this was clearly the place to be.

Although the bar opens at 11 a.m., the “happiest hour” takes place between 3 and 6 p.m. daily. Favorites from the signature cocktail lineup include the Liberty Maggie, The Hemingway and the Spritz, Sparkle & Shine. Each drink proved to be the perfect seasonal refresher for a warm summer evening.

Liberty Station Madison

Separating the inside diners from the outdoor seating are beautiful glass garage doors that provide an inclusive feel to the entire facility. During our recent visit, we were fortunate enough to get a spot on the patio, which we highly recommend if visiting in the summer. The patio has beautiful string lights, a gorgeous American flag towering over the restaurant and firepits, an ideal setting to sip Liberty Station’s signature cocktails and relax after dinner.

We started our dinner with a round of shareables: cheese curds, Brussels sprouts and firecracker shrimp. The cheese curds were so fresh they squeak in your mouth, a Wisconsinite’s favorite experience. The Brussels sprouts were cooked to perfection with chunks of smoked bacon mixed in (you almost thought it was healthy). Probably our favorite starter was the firecracker shrimp, which are tempura battered with a Thai sweet-chili sauce.

Brisket grilled cheese

With so many delicious selections to choose from on the main menu, we landed on The Tavern BBQ Platter, which includes brisket, pork shoulder and spareribs. When we tell you the brisket literally melts in your mouth it’s so tender, we’re not kidding. Each “from the smoker” option comes with your choice of two sides; we snagged cornbread and the mac and cheese. If you’re a fan of carbs, the cornbread comes with a flavored butter that you could eat by the spoonful alone, while the mac and cheese puts the emphasis on comfort food.

To close out our meal, we dove into the dessert menu and tried the crème brûlée, topped with grapefruit, making it a delightful twist on the normal treat. The roasted s’more tarte and, our personal favorite, fried cornbread with vanilla ice cream and a sugar-and-cinnamon coating, rounded out the decadent dessert menu.

Liberty Station Madison is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information about Liberty Station, visit

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