forage kitchen madison wi
Conscious Living

Find Your Healthy Place Madison Highlights — Forage Kitchen

** First of all, we want to thank you for your suggestions on healthy options as we dive into the Madison restaurant scene with excitement. We are looking forward to trying many different restaurants and feel fortunate to live in Madison where there are so many delicious options.  

A few weeks ago, when I introduced this series, I compiled a list of questions that we would be looking to answer at our featured restaurants. We decided to review these aspects of each restaurant:

  • The food
  • The knowledge of the staff regarding different diets or preferences
  • The overall experience

Without further ado, let’s review our first featured restaurant — it didn’t disappoint!

Forage Kitchen, Madison WI

Forage Kitchen, located in downtown Madison, is right on the corner of State Street and Lake Street.  Becki, co-owner of The Healthy Place, two friends and I were able to get out for a girls night last week and let me tell you, we were very happy with our choice to check out Forage Kitchen.  

Forage Kitchen is a small restaurant that specializes in different salads and bowls, which are similar to salads but also have a grain added in like quinoa or black rice.  You can create your own secret recipe, or select one of their amazing signature dishes. Their menu also has juices, smoothies, and acai bowls so you can also stop there for a late breakfast (they open at 9 AM).

What’s an acai bowl, you ask? The acai is a berry that is native to the Amazon and has many nutritional benefits. It’s low in sugar and full of antioxidants and omegas — perfect for a smoothie bowl. The acai smoothie bowls are then topped with fresh fruit and granola.

To top off their amazing menu, they make their own kombuchas, with flavors including raspberry and ginger and a variety of lemonades.  My personal favorite is the ginger lemonade!

Their Backstory

One of my favorite parts about Forage Kitchen is that it was started by two UW- Madison graduates who were looking to bring a “health-conscious eatery” to Madison.

Their mission is to show Madisonians that “healthy food is anything but boring.” They strive to create healthy food without compromising flavor. If you go to their website, their blog shares more about their background and how they got started.

Do they offer a variety of healthy options?  (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan)
YES! While they aren’t an exclusively gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan restaurant, there are so many options. Because they don’t have a separate gluten-free or vegan kitchen, some of you with serious allergies may be hesitant, but they can and will take precautions if you mention your needs.

One of the aspects that I appreciated the most were that the only oil they use is extra virgin olive oil and all of their dressings are gluten-free, vegan and homemade!

Do they use seasonal, local foods when possible?
Yes, the owners have their own small garden which they get some of their produce from and the rest comes from local farms.  According to their manager, anywhere from ¼ to ⅓ of their produce is locally grown or sourced, depending on the season. The rest is wholesale.

It should be noted that they don’t prioritize organic foods, but after some questioning, the manager explained that they want to offer healthy, whole-food options to everyone and they don’t want the price to be a deterrent for people.

Do they accommodate food sensitivities and allergies?
Yes, they can absolutely accommodate you needs. They use a different, clean bowl to mix every salad and upon speaking with the staff, they can change gloves and even take food from a different part of the container that hasn’t been contaminated. Just make sure you say something right away so there’s no risk of contamination.

Do they have separate menus?
Nope, they only have one menu, but it naturally has many gluten-free and vegan options so that a separate menu isn’t necessary. Because of the nature of this eatery, your menu is as wide as your imagination. You can personalize anything on the menu. Even their custom bowls can be changed!

Do they have separate kitchens/ food preparing spaces?
No.

Are the servers/staff knowledgeable?
Yes, everyone I spoke with was knowledgeable and helpful.  When one of the staff members didn’t know how to answer my questions, they put me in contact with a manager who was ready to answer all my questions cheerfully.

What is the atmosphere like?
It’s lovely. It’s a smaller space, but there is also an option to dine outside, right on State Street. And in such beautiful summer weather, who wouldn’t want to do that?

Is the food delicious?
Absolutely! I can’t wait to return and try something else on their menu.

Well, we are off to a great start with our restaurant series!   Located near the heart of campus and downtown, it is the perfect option for a healthy and delicious meal.   You can dine in or take it to go and the price ranges from $7-$12 for your meal. Next time you are downtown, consider stopping by Forage Kitchen!  

Stay tuned for upcoming restaurant reviews as we continue to search for other awesome options in and around Madison!

 

— Melissa


The Healthy Place – Apple Wellness
6313 McKee Road Suite 100
Fitchburg, WI 53719
608-663-2640

The Healthy Place – Apple Wellness
550 Junction Road
Madison, WI 53717
608-203-5245

The Healthy Place – Apple Wellness
2824 Prairie Lakes Drive Suite 108
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
608-825-0080

The Healthy Place – Apple Wellness
6709 Frank Lloyd Wright Ave Suite 100
Middleton, WI 53562
608-203-8611

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