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“Enjoyable but nothing WOW!”

Dotty Dumpling's Dowry
Ranked #3 of 990 Restaurants in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $15
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night
Description: Dotty Dumpling's Dowry is a Madison institution favored by the locals for over 40 years. Located in the heart of downtown, Dotty's offers award winning hamburgers, Friday fish fry, homemade soups and chili, fresh salads and so much more! Cozy up in a booth or at the bar and pick from 24 Wisconsin craft beers on tap while enjoying some Blues or Motown music in the back round. Dotty's is a Madison tradition enjoyed by guests of all ages!
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Enjoyable but nothing WOW!”
Reviewed November 10, 2012

This place came highly recommended and it was fine but nothing WOW. My husband and daughter had burgers - said they were good but the fries needed to be cooked some more. I had the fish fry - the fish was really good. Again, the fries were undercooked and limp. Great beer selection.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Nancy E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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592 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Noblesville, Indiana
Level 6 Contributor
169 reviews
89 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
“Nothing Special”
Reviewed November 2, 2012

We stayed overnight in Madison, so I tried to find a "unique to Madison" joint. There were mixed reviews on here, but their menu looked interesting. We decided to do '"carry out" and head straight to our hotel. When I called to place our order the person who was taking our order was lacking any sort of friendliness or customer service skills, but it is a college town restaurant so that is to be somewhat expected. The second disappointment was that there wasn't any "carry out" parking...not even ONE space! We drove around the block 3 times and then finally parked on the street in a no parking zone. My husband ordered the Melting Pot Burger, which he said was good but nothing special. I ordered the Heart Throb because I thought the Heart Throb sauce sounded tasty, it was ok. The best part of our dinner was the Sample basket, but then again, anything deep fried is good! The Mac n Cheese triangles were my favorite! The ranch dressing tasted homemade, and I LOVE a good Ranch! Not sure it we would have eaten there if our opinion would be any different, it was a burger but nothing for us to rave about. My husband did say, the decor in the restaurant was cool and unique. Next time we're in Madison over night, we'll be trying something different.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank misssarahg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“First visit... so NOT disappointed”
Reviewed October 29, 2012

Dotty's had been really built up by friends. So how nice to have it match the hype! Had a spot at the bar on a busy night, the bar staff danced around each other so fast and kept up with the pace. Nice beer selection, great burger selection and even with the packed house, had a very intimate and lovely dinner with my guy.

Visited April 2012
1 Thank Sandandski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa City, Iowa
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“What is melting in the pot?”
Reviewed October 25, 2012

One goes to a burger joint to get their signature dish yes? I ordered the "Melting POT" their #1 most ordered burger and now I understand why. Melting Pot "Cheddar, Swiss and Provolone cheese, bacon, and English Garlic sauce." Wisconsin = Cheese and that is what was melting. Lots of gooey, warm, cheesy goodness! But why? Cant' one make a similar burger with these three cheeses at home? NOPE...the magic is in the English Garlic Sauce...that "spell" that binds the cheese, meat, and bun with your taste buds. Like this could go at a higher level...yes it can. Eat this generational fave with Spotted Cow beer...and it makes this black and gold fan actually cheer for the sea of red with big "w" on their chest. Shhhh...I was intoxicated. Melting POt Burger at the tripple "D" is a sure hit. If you dont like it...then take it to go and eat the styrofoam.
Oh...the service was great even on a game day. Got seated, 1 hour limit on table, and food was fast, moutwatering, staff was cheerful, fans were very well behaved and upbeat. Definitly a local joint.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank arisedragonlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Game day lunch!”
Reviewed October 22, 2012

We lived by Dotty's when we were students and have enjoyed the bar and its food since our glory days. We came here for lunch hoping to sit down and be able to watch the Badger game while eating...it was great! No wait and we were able to rest and enjoy a delicious burger and fries. Hot fries, great bbq sauce, beautiful day. Recommend!

Visited October 2012
Thank ChiLiz05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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