So many guests in Ely tell us that one of the most pleasant surprises about our area is how amazing our restaurants are. “We wish we had more time just to eat,” they say.

We completely understand. While we can’t help you secure an additional day to focus on food here in Ely, we can help you plan how to use the time you have. We think a great restaurant day would look something like this.

Breakfast: Britton’s Café

Reviews state Britton’s has the best blueberry pancakes ever. But if that doesn’t appeal to you, there’s plenty more to love at Britton’s. Omelets, French toast and scores of other delicious breakfast offerings make this restaurant a wonderful way to start your day of dining in Ely. Bring cash and be ready for a traditional diner experience with a one-of-a-kind taste.

Lunch: Gator’s Grilled Cheese Emporium

It’s time to rethink grilled cheese and Gator’s is the place to do it. A Certificate of Excellence winner three years in a row, Gator’s is your stop for all things sandwich, mac ’n’ cheese and just cheese in general. A wide array of salads and pizzas are available, and desserts are baked in-house. If you’re feeling especially hungry, try to tackle The Mutt. This gargantuan sandwich includes ham, chicken, turkey, prime rib, bacon and mac ’n’ cheese stacked between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Finishing it gives you a gift voucher for your next visit as well as social media fame. Plus, Gator’s will donate to the local animal shelter simply because you bought one, so why not give to yourself and those in need?

Dinner: Insula Restaurant

A relative new kid on the Ely restaurant block, Insula Restaurant is making a name for itself quickly. From sandwiches to scallops, walleye piccata and lamb, Insula Restaurant’s menu can fit any level of formality. Insula prides itself on using locally sourced solutions, and with a score of seafood options and an extensive drink list, it can make for a great family dinner or a fun date night as well.

Dessert: Northern Expressions Ice Cream Parlor

Who screams for ice cream? You will when you visit Northern Expressions. A traditional ice cream shop feel mixed with enormous portions makes Northern Expressions a must-stop destination when you need a cold treat on a hot day or any other day for that matter. There are always new flavors at Northern Expressions so try them all.

Nightcap: Boathouse Brewery

Sure, it’s not a meal, but you’re on vacation so why not add another stop? Boathouse Brewery is Ely’s only brewpub. A visit provides you the opportunity to sample any of the beers they brew on site — and get a late-night bite to boot. Beers frequently change so you can call ahead or visit their website to see what’s available. Find a flavor you like, take a 64-ounce growler to go and you’ll have a memory of your trip to Ely to enjoy no matter where your travels take you from there.