Iconic Madison Restaurants – Ella’s Deli

3-31-17, 5-17-17

 

I admit it, it had been years since we have been here.  You get into habits of going to the same places and sometimes forget to go to the truly unique destinations.

We heard that Ella’s Deli is for sale.  It started a ripple of panic through the city in May.  Since the early 1960’s the restaurant has only had one owner, Ella Hirschfeld. She wants to retire and looking for someone to continue the legacy, not close the restaurant. Ella’s was originally on 425 State Street, I remember it in 1984 when I was attending college downtown. This location opened in 1976 and has provided generations of fun for thousands of children, now their grandchildren.

A family-friendly restaurant, there is a carousel ride that opens as soon as the snow stops flying, this year it was March 31. I stopped by there to see it, it’s spring when the carousel is open for rides!

The carousel is made by C.W. Parker, made in Leavensworth, Kansas in 1927. A real beauty! The control booth is pretty too.  Ella’s was awarded by the National Carousel Association  in 2001 for their work in restoring this beautiful piece of history.

 

Get a token inside to take a ride at the cashier station. The carousel is $1.50 per rider. If an adult is standing next to a child for safety, the adult rides for free.

The inside has so many things to look at, it’s easy to spend hours there.  Learn more about the attractions here. A panorama of the dining room from the entrance.

We took a thorough tour after having lunch and this is the result, see video. A real visual treat!

The food was delicious too, we sat by the window with a carousel view.

Some of the displays, so unique! The rest of them can be seen in the video.

There is a refrigerated case of meats and cheese that you can take home too.

Ella’s is a friendly place we are glad we were here. Even if you are just visiting here for a day, Stopping here should be on your list. You don’t have to be a kid to have fun here!

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