Madison, Wisconsin: Ella's Animatronic Deli

A place where everything seems to be spinning or whirring or chattering gears at once. The most unique Ice Cream Parlor and Kosher Deli in our experience.
Address:
2902 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI
Directions:
I-90 exit 135. Take US 151/Washington Ave. south about three miles. Cross under Hwy 30, and the Deli will be a quarter-mile south, on the right, at Johnson St.
Phone:
608-241-5291
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Ella's Animatronic Deli. Madison, Wisconsin - ADHD Sufferer's Dream Come True
Ella's Animatronic Deli: Video by tipster Bryan shows a deli decorated with too many restless figures and contraptions. Watch Video.

Visitor Tips and News About Ella's Animatronic Deli

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Animatronic orchestra. Ella's Animatronic Deli

My daughters used to go to ride the carousel with their high school friends on memorial occasions like Homecoming or Prom. Now they meet friends there for a meal and carousel ride when they come back to visit. It is a Madison tradition!

[cathie, 08/13/2011]
Ella's Deli sign and carousel. Ella's Animatronic Deli

The first thing that catches your eye about Ella's is the outdoor carousel. It was built in 1927 and is one of the few remaining original carousels.

Inside, the walls, ceiling, and tables are all decorated with art and animated displays created by Madison artists (some by the owners and employees). Ella's started out as a small kosher deli and grocery store in the 1960s and still serves kosher foods. The menu offers everything from corned beef to phosphates.

[Mandy Crandell, 10/08/2010]
32 scoops of brain-freezing folly. Ella's Animatronic Deli

Save room for dessert! You cannot go wrong with any one of their sundaes, but my personal favorite us the Sparkling Kazoo! Two tiers, 32 scoops and loads of fun.

[Robb, 02/07/2010]
Ella's Animatronic Deli

The most astounding Ice Cream Parlor & Kosher Deli in the Midwest. There's a functioning merry-go-round outside, which isn't really that big of a deal. The interior is chock full of animatronic characters: Superman, Batman, a UFO and a fisherman with two huge trout circling him are among the many ceiling residents. Every bit of shelf or counter space house little moving dioramas. Some of my favorites include the "singing" feet by the front door, the Beatles, and the dancing frogs in one of the far corners. Then there are the themed glass-topped/box-type tables, of course being Wisconsin there are Green Bay Packer and Badger tables, but also filled with different gum packages, old ice cream and milk packaging, an airplane table, and a table with one of those marble mazes where you direct the marble by influencing the level of the board with knobs. They are constantly changing and adding new things to the interior. Oh yeah, and they've got AWESOME sundaes (try the grilled poundcake turtle sundae) and delicious sandwiches.

[Heidi, 07/08/2001]

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