Shop & Eat Local at Hilldale in Madison
My perfect Saturday afternoon? A bit of shopping and a delicious meal! It’s a weekend tradition I was born and raised with. We’re very lucky to have Hilldale, Madison’s premier shopping destination just a few minutes away from our current home! It’s the perfect mix of specialty shops like Kate Spade, Free People, LUSH, Sur La Table, and Lululemon and local stores & restaurants (over 50 retailers to be exact!).
Kyle & I love our beautiful city of Madison and all that is has to offer. We can’t wait to highlight the places we love on La Petite Farmhouse. We’re excited to be partnering with Hilldale to give you a look at our favorite local shops and restaurants there. We’re big believers in supporting local businesses and these movers & shakers are doing exciting things for the fashion, design & food scene in our area.
Here’s a look at a few of the local shops & restaurants we love!
Interior design lovers shouldn’t miss a stop inside The Home Market. They specialize in high-end customized furniture and decor. Stepping inside feels quite literally like home. The way they mix neutrals, rustic modern elements, and vintage finds feels pulled together and perfectly eclectic. They also feature handcrafted furniture from local designers, smaller items like dishes and linens, and coffee table books. Our top pick? Their exclusive candles, handmade in Milwaukee with scents like “Charred Embers & Pine” that you can’t buy anywhere else.
When I first heard that Pier South was opening in Madison, I couldn’t contain myself. As a born and raised Florida girl I gravitate towards all things colorful & preppy. What I didn’t realize was how hard brands like Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, Southern Tide and Lauren James were to find in Wisconsin. Until now! The family-owned Pier South carries a wide selection of preppy & “Southern”-style apparel & accessories for men, women & kids. Even on a dreary winter day in the Midwest, slipping on a brightly patterned Lilly Pulitzer dress never fails to help me create my own sunshine! Our top pick? The exclusive “Madison” Vineyard Vines graphic tees!
Twigs is a one-stop shop for a curated selection of high-end and hard-to-find apparel & accessory labels like Diane von Furstenberg, Joie, Milly, and Tory Burch. They just expanded their location in Hilldale and the store is absolutely stunning. I’m obsessed with the wood branch chandeliers, reclaimed wood shelving displays, and on-trend styling. They have amazing customer service and will make sure you walk out of the store with a look that you feel stylish and amazing in. My favorite piece? Dainty necklaces by Gorjana.
I couldn’t think of a better name for this acai bowl spot in Hilldale. I first tried an acai bowl in Hawaii so I was so excited when I could get one right in Madison at Bowl of Heaven! Acai bowls are blended with fresh & frozen superfruits and come in many delicious combinations. It’s my favorite dessert ever- delicious, healthy, and natural! They also serve up smoothies and cold pressed juices if that’s more your thing! My go-to? The Sunset Acai Bowl- pineapple, mango, strawberries, unsweetened coconut, and MAQ 7 superfruit blend.
In my personal experience, the best shopping is done after a good lunch with friends! Cafe Hollander is a European-inspired restaurant with a locally-sourced menu and the most amazing beer list- making it an excellent candidate for a day of shopping at Hilldale. I love that the made-from-scratch dishes have ingredients from local Wisconsin suppliers. Kyle grew up on a family farm, so this makes our hearts & bellies extra happy.
For the two of us, the decor is one of our favorite parts of eating here. It’s designed with reclaimed wood, beer signs & unique pieces from world travels, and patios that beg for you to come enjoy a beer on a beautiful spring afternoon. They even have garage-like doors that open on days with gorgeous weather!
We were able to try a few dishes from the menu (and can personally recommend them all!). Our apologies in advance if you’re reading this post before lunch time!
Here are our top suggestions for what to order from the Cafe Hollander Menu:
Cheese Curds-- This Wisconsin staple is battered in pretzel crumbs & comes with a zesty sriracha ranch dipping sauce.
Frites Cone- Cafe Hollander is known for this quintessential Belgian snack. Don’t miss the basil aioli (Pro Tip: try it with the cheese curds!).
Goat Cheese Bruschetta- Kyle & I are usually not big tomato fans but this was our absolute favorite dish of the night! The secret is in the sweet balsamic glaze!
Buttery Brie Burger - Cafe Hollander has many unique burger pairings, but this one takes the cake. It’s topped with truffle oil butter, forest mushrooms, brie, and comes with a side of aus jus. Decadent and delicious.
Sausage & Sweet Mash - The aleppo chili sausage is perfectly balanced with sweet roasted butternut squash & roasted brussels sprouts. It reminded us of a dish we enjoyed in Europe on our honeymoon!
Crab & Brie Stuffed Salmon- This seafood pairing took salmon to an entirely different level. Kyle said it was the best salmon he’d ever had. The lemon butter sauce adds the perfect level of tartness to round out the savory flavors of crab & brie.
Blackened Shrimp & Apple Salad - This dish is full of energizing spring flavors like grapefruit & arugula. Our favorite part was the blackberry vanilla vinaigrette dressing- so unique!
The staff at Cafe Hollander is also able to make great recommendations regarding which beer (or bloody mary if that’s your thing) would pair best with your meal.
Just one more thing to note about Hilldale! Our favorite local shopping area is getting a facelift. Construction started in January and by mid-summer they’ll be unveiling even more places to explore. Excited is an understatement! There’s a hand-painted mural by Nate Otto featuring Madison landmarks, so even while under construction Hilldale is looking good!
Thank you so much again to these local gems for having us in their shops & restaurants to share our picks. Be sure to follow along all of the progress happening at Hilldale on their instagram, @HilldaleMadison.