By Summer P. at 2015-06-10
I will get them every time I walk downtown Madison.
I had the Mad City sauce!
Best fries in Madison. And I know fries.
By Stacey L. at 2015-12-01
I had not previously had frites before my trip to Mad City, so I can't speak on authenticity or compare them to others around town. I can say that they were tasty and crazy filling. Having never been before and making the awesome, adult life choice to eat fries for dinner, my boyfriend and I each ordered a large frites. A small order comes with one sauce, and a large comes with two - as a sauce lover, I figured I might as well just go for the large since it was the same cost as a small with an extra sauce. I did not need a large. My boyfriend and I could have easily split one. Having four sauces, though, was awesome. I regret nothing.
Mad Sauce - their signature, I couldn't put my finger on the exact flavor but I'm guessing it was ketchup, mayo, and maybe something else.
Game Day Garlic - I want all the garlic, and sadly this mostly just tasted like a sweet mayo.
Bascom Hill BBQ - tasty, thick barbecue sauce.
Isthmus Honey Mustard - one of the best honey mustards I've had. A really good balance. Probably my favorite of the four, which surprised me.
The frites themselves were extra thick and extra crispy. The insides were creamy and piping hot. Like, insanely hot. Due to the thick crust they stayed hot for the duration. It's a double-edged sword - nobody likes cold fries, but it's also nice to not burn your mouth. Snapping the frites in half helped let the steam escape and come down to an acceptable temperature.
Looking forward to trying a few more of their sauces!
By Belinda L. at 2015-08-11
They are located right in the middle of State St. They are open late. They serve thick hand cut fries and poutine. Need I say more?
A small order of the fries comes with choice of one sauce while the large version comes with two. Of course you can always ask for additional sauce for an extra charge. For me the small is perfect, sometimes it might even be too much, depending on how hungry I am.
My favorite sauce is the madtown mango, mango chutney aioli with garlic and lemon. There's a reason why this sauce is the first one on their list, number 1. Poutine is also great, made with Wisconsin cheddar and gravy *yum yum*
For those looking to spend the afternoon or a couple hours with friends munching on fries, there are plenty of games in store to keep you occupied.
By Kara D. at 2015-12-21
When it comes to frites, this is pretty fantastic. My husband and I stopped here after doing some Christmas shopping on State St. It was pretty empty when we got there around 1:15 PM. We ordered a large frites with the #4 (queso) and #9 sauces. Our frites came out piping hot pretty quickly. I thought they were cooked well, seasoned well and the sauces were excellent. There was just enough of the sauce to finish out the frites. The portion size was great and the price was proportionate to the amount of frites we got. Filled us up so much, we decided that was lunch!
I'd definitely come here again to try out more of the sauces.
By Shruti W. at 2015-01-10
Mad City Frites is definitely a nice addition to State St, especially as a place to hang out and catch up with friends or study. They have games, plenty of space, outlets everywhere, and a nice ambiance. I was not a fan of the frites, however.
The place is small but spacious, with some fun little nooks facing State St (perfect for people watching!) and a few comfortably sized tables. You order frites or poutine at the counter, with your choice of sauces (1 or 2 depending on the size of your order). The food is made to order. I tried a large order, which comes with 2 sauces. The sauces I chose were garlic and the Mad Sauce (a tangy-sweet sauce).
The frites were way too large for my tastes. They were too big and thick to get crispy at all, and after eating a few it was like just eating starch. This could have been redeemed with flavorful sauces, but I found the sauces lightly seasoned and very heavy. Both were aioli-type sauces and were more sweet than savory, which was surprising for the garlic sauce.
I think Mad City Frites could benefit from offering a thinner cut fry for those of us who enjoy crispier frites. I also feel that beer would be an awesome addition to a place like this, so I hope they are working toward getting an alcohol license! I did enjoy the ambiance here, and would recommend it as a spot to meet up with friends if you don't mind a thicker cut fry.
By Emily S. at 2015-02-13
A friend and I stopped in here one day mid morning to check it out. We were the only people in the place and had our choice of tables. The interior is very urban industrial and I love that there are little spaces in each table to hold the fries. After we ordered, we watched the employee grab the potatoes and cut them fresh right in front of us. I love this - they are truly made to order and are not a bunch of precut frozen fries that they make up.
I am not a fry person by nature. I never order them when I am out, and if they happen to come with the meal, I rarely eat them. However, I was super impressed by these fries. They were nice and thick and fried perfectly. They weren't overly greasy or soggy, nor were they hard and crunchy. I liked them a lot. We chose the "Campus Queso" and the "Game Day Garlic" sauces. The cheese looked totally not special, but it actually had a strong (though not too strong) beer taste to the cheese. It went well with the fries. I was more a fan of the garlic, which was creamy and garlicky (obviously) and just...better.
My friend and I shared a large, which was more than enough food for both of us. And $5.50 for the fries and two sauces? Maybe I'm still thinking in terms of Chicagoland pricing, but that seemed pretty darn reasonable to me. I realize that this is a very limited menu, but personally, I think that's okay. You go to Mad City Frites for fries and you get...fries. Good ones. :) I'm excited to go back!
By Chelsea M. at 2014-12-10
So delicious! The frites were thick cut, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and piping HOT! The saracha sauce was amazing! They need to bottle that so that I can put it on everything! It is mild but flavorful, not overly spicy. We also tried the garlic lime sauce. It was thick with a mild garlic flavor and the bright touch of lime. Also good, but that saracha sauce... OH MY! This was my first time trying poutine, so I don't have anything to compare but it was spectacular. Rich gravy and soft cheese curds. It was salty so I can't wait for them to have some beer to pair it with.
Service was quick and they came to check on us twice. Exceptional service, food, and attention to detail. In fact, I think one of my favorite parts, besides the food, were the holes cut into the tables so that you can place your cone of frites upright.
I'll be back!
By Ka L. at 2015-02-09
Frites is on.
What can you get? Thick cut double fried fries. With sauces to choose from.
The venue was clean and spacious and I loved the cut out holes in the table so we can put our fries and sauces.
I wasn't very impressed by the mad sauce but I was pleasantly surprised by how good the fries were, despite being really thick. There was a nice crisp on the outside, and lots of flesh in the inside but yet was not too dense.
Poutine was not to my liking. Why isn't the cheese curds more melty... And the sauce was too salty with the fries. Need to adjust the amount of salt.
As for variety.. How about some curly fries? Waffle fries? Potato chip? Thin cut frites?
And I just really want aioli to go with my frites. Thank you very much.
Verdict: Try it! Great place for snack, but I wish there was more variety on the menu.
By Rebecca L. at 2015-06-30
Impressions: solid fry seasoning, not quite frites IMO. Probably works best as a post-bartime snack stop. They're fast and greasy and have a lot of open space in the shop.
I really wanted to love this place because I LOVE fried potatoes! However, the general lack of options, too-thick cut fries, and lackluster dips meant this fell short of my expectations. Dips I tried: garlic and pesto ones. I forget the clever names they had, but I ended up preferring the ketchup.
By Christine N. at 2015-11-21
We took our two kids (5.5 & 3) here for a snack on a weekend afternoon in late October. The ladies working when we went were very nice to the kids (came out and gave them stickers), and us as well.
The fries were thick and nice and crispy. There were a lot of smaller bits of fries in the large order I got to share with the kids, which was really my only complaint. I ordered the 'Big 10 Buffalo" and "Madtown Mango" sauces. Both were good but I preferred the mango sauce. A large order comes with two sauces, which seems like it is enough, though the kids probably ate 1/2 of my larger order and they used copious amounts of ketchup.
My husband ordered the poutine and said it was great. I had a taste, but it's not really my thing. He guarantees me that if you like poutine, you'll like theirs.
I wouldn't treat this as a meal place but for a snack or bar food it seems pretty good. We would go there again.
By Allie L. at 2016-01-07
Every time we go here we load up on sauces. If you have a friend, split a large frite, and double down on the sauces. Grateful Red pepper aioli is the best. It's my favorite. We also get Game day Garlic, Mad Sauce, and a few from Sauce of the week (can't remember off hand though) If I'm going to get take out, I usually like to get a whole meal, but when I'm craving fries, I'm going to Mad City frites. They're also on the Hooked App so you're also able to get a deal if they post it. Nothing like good food with a discount.
By O A. at 2016-03-05
Freshly cut frites served up with a choice of 14 sauces (beyond ketchup & mustard). All ages & demographics enjoying a stroll on State Street for a crispy treat. A little salty for my taste that took away from the sauces. I will be back to try more sauces.
By Rebecca J. at 2015-11-16
Mad City Frites takes fries to a whole new level. I went with a friend and got a Large sized frites with the number 1 and number 2 sauces, and it was SUPER filling (granted, we went AFTER we ate dinner haha). I love that their sauces have so much flavor, and that their fries aren't just "crisps". I'm a huge fan of huge potatoey fries so I absolutely loved Mad City's fries. All their sauces are really good so you really can't go wrong. Their Mango sauce is slightly sweet, and while mango and fries don't sound like they go together, they actually do. The garlic is very garlicy and not too salty, and again tastes great. One tip though, if you get a large, BRING A FRIEND TO EAT IT WITH. It is definitely a lot of fries. My only caveat with this place is that two sauces isn't enough for 1 large sized fries (especially if you really like sauces).
By Grace C. at 2015-01-01
Oooooh yes, this is one of the good ones. IMO, the State Street area has always been kind of lacking in non-food cart, non-sit down/dine in snack places. There are some, and it's expanding, but not much else as you move toward the Square.
Enter Mad City Frites. As others have said, they only do one thing - but they do it well. If you're looking for hot, perfectly textured fries with delicious dipping sauce or some good poutine, get here. Plus, cool design stuff: the tables have little holes in them for the fry cones!
By Katie K. at 2014-12-05
You say "fried potatoes" and I'm interested! While I've not been to Belgium, I do consider myself pretty knowledgeable when it comes to fries, frites, and chips, and I've got to say these are different from any I've had here in town.
Thick-cut, almost meaty, skin on frites tossed in seasoned salt, served hot and fresh. Could it get better? Add some "game day garlic" sauce or malt vinegar, and yes, it can. I loved the garlic sauce-- thick and flavorful. Also tried the beer cheese dip made with PBR, served warm, which was good. You could really taste the beer!
My friend and I thought picking up an order of frites would be a good side to our lunch, but really they could be a meal in themselves.
The atmosphere is nice and clean. The tables have holes for you to set your paper frite cone in, which is awesome. And they're working on implementing an automated ordering system which is pretty cool.
We met the owner (and her mom) and they were both so very nice! I am excited to go back soon!
By Lee H. at 2015-09-30
Be noted: this place ONLY serves French fries. Now that that is out of the way, I really liked it! The dips are nice, garlic aioli is my favorite. I didn't know there were so many ways to make fries!
My friends and I each got a different type and shared, it was a fun easy snack that we enjoyed while sitting in their out door seating area while people watching.
By Brian P. at 2015-03-25
I love a place with a small menu that they do well. And this place nails it.
Fries were great, as were the dipping sauces. We also ordered poutine which was on point.
Will definitely be stopping back.
By Ashley H. at 2014-12-10
Simple menu--potatoes and poutine only, and they do it well!
Order your fries (small or large) and choose your sauce. The large included 2 sauces, and ketchup, mayo, and malt vinegar were available at each table. My sauces were garlic and sriracha mayo. Personally, I would have preferred a less citrusy/bright garlic sauce with more of a roasted garlic flavor. My fries were made to order. For to-go orders, they'll put your cone in a paper bag.
As for the fries themselves, they were very good. For frites, a thinner fry than what's available at Mad City is more my preference, although these were excellent.
Restaurant has wi-fi and the tables have handy holes so that you can have your cone upright when you eat. Tip--the lighting is a bit dim. I was almost positive that they were closed when I walked by.
Overall, I recommend!
By Shannon H. at 2015-07-05
We stopped here because my daughter loves french fries and she was on vacation too. I love this idea and concept of business and was so happy to see it doing well. The fries had season salt on them and were very addictive. I wasn't a big fan of the sauces but both my kid and husband love them. I will definitely come back here.
By Norah T. at 2016-01-24
If you're craving French fries and like sauce options then come to Mad City Frites. They're some decent quality fries and have a nice quiet atmosphere. There are some party games on a shelf which we made use of and it sends like a good environment to bring your own game and friends to. Maybe make this a stop on your walk down State Street and get some small food items from other restaurants too, like a bar hop for food!