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It’s a familiar feeling. That late-night, after-dark, rumble-in-your-tummy sensation that can be quieted by only one thing: junk food. (Or kale chips if you’re one of those types.) Stressed out during an all-nighter at College Library? Good thing you have A8 China on speed dial. Need a break while walking home after hanging out with friends? Ian’s sure looks nice at this time of night. In our quest to create the definitive list of the best late-night snacks on campus, we asked you — our wonderful readers — to think back those late nights.

Bucky frying Hamburgers
Photo Credit: UW-Madison Archives


Mark Esselman ’80

The Woodlands, Texas

In the Southeast dorm towers in the 1970s, a mad dash to “the Gritty” for stale popcorn and a beverage was a regular respite from academics!

Hugh Bell ’63, JD’66


In the 1960s, just off campus for a Nibble Nook hamburger.

Ellen Clark Deeb ’70

Santa Monica, California

My all-time favorite spot where I would assuage my late-night cravings after the Memorial Library had closed was The Plaza on North Henry. Even though I have since become a vegetarian, I used to love their Plazaburger with its incomparable sauce. I wonder if they would serve their veggie burger with that same sauce? Another fabulous place in the mid-sixties was The Pad on Gilman Street, which offered up the best submarine sandwiches I have ever tasted. Yet another favorite hangout was Brown’s Restaurant.

Barry Temkin ’70

Skokie, Illinois

After a few games of pinball at Burgerville on State Street, I would often hit the McDonald’s around the corner on Lake Street for a bag of fries and coffee. It had opened in 1968 as the country’s first sit-down McDonald’s and closed in 2006, later to become a post office.

Masashi Itano ’49

San Mateo, California

While attending the UW from 1945-49, my favorite snack was a bratwurst sandwich at the Log Cabin on State Street. I ate most of my meals at the Sigma Kappa Sorority where I washed dishes and waited on tables for four years, so what little cash I had was well spent at the Log Cabin. During the latter years in Madison, a beer was included.

Ronald Harris ’55

Indianapolis, Indiana

I had two favorites: the Brathaus and a lighter snack at the Toddle House.

Rudy Schmidt ’72

Loved those brats at the Brathaus.

Claudia Smith Cole ’66

Fairfax, California

A steak sandwich from the Brathaus. I can taste one now and feel the juices running down my chin!.

Rick Frederick ’66

Loudon, Tennessee

After we took our dates back to their dorms or sorority houses (12 p.m. curfew in 1960), we loved to go to the Plaza bowling alley for Plazaburger or the Italian Village for greasy pizza. A real favorite was the Nibble Nook for five burgers and fries for a buck!

Pete Fowler ’68

Vancouver, Washington

A late night steak with cheese at the Brathaus (now State Street Brats) on State Street ended many a Thursday night with the gang. For a really late night when only breakfast was in order, the Aluminum Room at the Chez Toddle, better known as the Toddle House, was always fun. For a really, really late night that effectively went into the next day, a bloody or a screwdriver at Johnny Giblin’s just off State Street was the only answer. It was quite an eclectic crowd in there on a Saturday or Sunday morning. And, of course, a hot ham and cheese sub from The Pad was always in order on study nights.

Next Time …
Didn’t get to see your name in print this time around? Never fear! For each issue, we ask our readers to share memories. For the Fall 2016 issue, we’re cooking up something a little bit different.