It’s possible you’ve heard of a pub crawl — in which a thirsty group of adults hops from bar to bar, generally imbibing beers or cocktails at each stop. Chances are slim to none, though, that you’ve heard of a restaurant crawl. The stomach just isn’t elastic enough to make such a concept seem pleasant, let alone possible.
Physical limitations aside, Ellsworth’s main drag would be a fine place to embark on such a culinary voyage. The downtown stretch is just two blocks long, but in a rural part of the country, it boasts a relatively deep restaurant lineup.

If you were to stretch such a crawl across the whole day — or you were just looking for breakfast — Riverside Cafe (151 Main St.) would be one place to start. It offers Main Street’s closest thing to a classic diner: eggs and pancakes, burgers and quiche. With large booths and lots of coffee, it’s a quintessential brunch stop.

What’s more, a look at the omelet menu will give you a rough idea of the downtown’s geography. Each is named after a street going through town. The Bayside includes tomato and mozzarella; the State Street has spinach, mushrooms and Swiss; the Bridge Hill has corned beef hash, onions and American cheese.

For lighter breakfast options, or for those who happen to be entering the lunch hour, Karen’s Cafe (101 Main St., behind Union River Book & Toy Co.) has soups, smoothies and an inventive sandwich menu. Flexit Cafe and Bakery (192 Main St.), which opened earlier this year on upper Main Street, has similar offerings, though with couch space, free wireless Internet and more of a lounge-type atmosphere.
John Edwards Market (158 Main St.) is, for the most part, an organic and local food market. But on most weekdays, they serve a homemade soup or salad and several types of sandwiches.
Another lunch option is 86 This!, a burrito-and-wrap restaurant that moved into a new space at 125 Main St. earlier this year.

They now sell beer and wine to accompany their cleverly named offerings, which are made from fresh, local ingredients.

Offerings include the Beet Knick and Minor Threat wraps, the Rockabilly and Yam I Am burritos, as well as rotating specials such as soups and chili.

Finally there are the places that serve up lunch but in a way that feels more like dinner destinations. At 112 Main St., The Cellar offers some of Ellsworth’s finest dining. Its appetizers include raw shellfish and artisanal cheese and charcuterie plates. Entrees include the bacon-wrapped tenderloin and a butternut squash ravioli.

For a taste inspired by the southwest, visit The Mex (185 Main St.), where burritos, fajitas, empanadas and other Tex-Mex staples are served in a large restaurant space with colorful tiles and south-of-the-border decor. Equally important, they make a variety of margaritas and fry their own ice cream (a delectable process they’re happy to explain).

Rounding out the downtown restaurant crawl is a place that is open between April and December and, like the Mex, channels a different regional cuisine. Mainely Meat on Maine (193 Main St.) is, first and foremost, a barbecue restaurant. Its kitchen staff begins smoking ribs, sausage, chicken and other meat around 9 a.m. in anticipation of the lunch and dinner crowds. Once the meat is smoked, it then gets heated on a griddle or a grill. It’s then served with a variety of sauces.

Crossing the scenic Union River Bridge, the final stop is on the ground floor of Rooster Brother (29 West Main St.) where ham and cheese on brioche, muffuletta, Cuban and other gourmet sandwiches are prepared daily for take-out. Light breakfast fare such as scones is available with house-roasted coffee.