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Madison is the nation's best college town for 'food and drink'

Big Ten's best college town. Best college town for food and drink. Are you even surprised?

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Thrillist.com came out with its list of the best 13 college towns for food and drink this week. Guess who was No. 1?

Hint: It's not Minneapolis. From the ranking, where Madison is again atop the list:

Wisconsin alums are so apt to boast about all the beers they consumed on the picturesque Memorial Union Terrace that you wonder if they ever went anywhere else (to be fair, it’s pretty sweet). But there’s also plenty of non-university affiliated eating and drinking that’s not to be missed.

Drink here: Beer fests are a dime a dozen these days, but Madison’s Great Taste of the Midwest is one of the handful that continues to rise above the pack, so it’s no surprise that Madison makes for a fantastic beer town year-round. Ale Asylum is a fast-rising brewery with an inviting, pizza-slinging taproom. One Barrel is a creative nanobrewery churning out beers in denominations you just might be able to guess. Karben4 focuses on malty, English-style brews and Vintage Brewing turns out massive flavor from its modest storefront. But cocktail culture is catching up here, thanks to establishments likeMerchant that have popped up in recent years, and you’d be remiss to leave town and not down a brandy Old Fashioned (a Wisconsin staple) at... The Old Fashioned.

Eat here: If you’re feeling fancy, nearly 40-year-old fine-dining institution L’Etoile is helmed by Chef Tory Miller (a James Beard Midwest winner in 2012), whose more casual establishment Graze is also not to be missed. Heritage Taven is another elevated farm-focused destination (another fine cocktailing choice as well). "But this is Wisconsin," you exclaim, "where is my cheese-crazed spot with a kitschy name?!" Calm down and head toFromagination to eat all the cheese in fondue or sandwich form (or just buy some for later). Need more lactose-centric names? Cure any hangover with a scrambler fromMickies Dairy Bar. Or just keep it classic and eat your weight in brats and cheese curds at State St.

Burlington, VT., came in second to Madison, while Ann Arbor, Mich., represented the only other Big Ten school on the list at No. 4.

Here's the full ranking:

1. Madison, Wis. (Wisconsin)

2. Burlington, Vt. (Vermont)

3. Boulder, Colo. (Colorado)

4. Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan)

5. Berkeley, Calif. (Cal)

6. Oxford, Miss. (Ole Miss)

7. Charlottesville, Va. (Virginia)

8. Chapel Hill, N.C. (North Carolina)

9. Eugene, Ore. (Oregon)

10. New Haven, Conn. (Yale)

11. Athens, Ga. (Georgia)

12. Missoula, Mt. (Montana)

13. Amherst, Mass. (UMass)