We were lead to Ella's a few years ago by the hotel we were staying at. Ever since then, we try to get there for the ambience, fun atmosphere, and great food. Ella's is interesting for locals and for those just passing through the Madison area--it is not your normal fast food mundane. Great variety in the menu; child-friendly, full service restaurant with a homey, cheerful atmosphere. Memory lane feeling for older people, and memory making place for all ages. The decor is fascinating, and food and service are terrific. There is a huge ice cream counter with many delicious choices.
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This is a great place to take anyone for breakfast or lunch. The food is great and reasonably priced. The milkshakes are made before your eyes (at the bar) and are so delicious! The only problem is that Mickie's closes around 2 and is VERY busy on Saturday mornings during the fall before Badger Football games. So either I recommend you wait until at least 15 minutes after the game starts, or you get there early and prepared to wait in line. But don't worry, the wait is definitely worth it.
Michael's has amazing frozen custard, and a great variety of sundaes (my favorites are the peanut butter cup, Viva Las Vegas, and hot fudge brownie). They always have vanilla & chocolate, plus a daily flavor. My only gripe is that they recently reduced the number of daily flavors from 2 to 1, and it's often something that's not very exciting, such as butter pecan or vanilla chip, so there's not as much choice.