Here's a collection of train-themed restaurants in Chicago for your choo choo train loving children. Many places even deliver your meal via box car! Don't miss these train activities, too.
Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant
Serving lunch and dinner
Kristy Pepping: Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant allows your children to play while they eat, and in fact, it's a popular birthday party spot. There is an interactive O-scale model train or kids can enjoy being the engineer on a ride-on train. Kids also love the 1600 square-foot arcade. Plus, food is delivered at the counter on a model flatbed train car.
The menu may surprise you with creative entrees like Hot Honey Panini, Toasted Pastrami, or maybe a Pot Roast Melt. There are regular, and more common items too, including an easy-to-please Lil Engines menu and decadent desserts!
The Junction Diner
Joseph Kelley: This themed restaurant has a large interactive model train table, and a train that goes around the diner's counter style seating delivering food. Check out their party packages when planning your next birthday party!
The Choo Choo
Joseph Kelley: Since 1951, this train-themed restaurant's success can be attributed to its friendly environment, homemade food, and a model train run that delivers food to your counter seat. Popular meals on wheels include old-fashioned burgers, Chicago-style hot dogs, and sloppy Joes. Milkshakes and malts are also recommended. If it's your birthday, they'll play a special song for you--train whistle toots and all! And you can even arrive via the Metra! The UP-NW Des Plaines train stop is 1 block away.
The Lantern Of Lake Forest
Shila: Family friendly and close to the Lake Forest Metra stop on the UP-N, inside this sit-down restaurant you'll find an extensive menu of classic American-fare favorites: salads, wraps, flatbreads, burgers, ribs, sandwiches, and more. You may find the occasional karaoke, live music, or balloon artist on the schedule. While this restaurant doesn't serve food via train, there is a model train run that circles the ceiling overhead some seating.
The Silo Restaurant
Serving lunch and dinner
Shila: "A Northshore tradition since 1968," The Silo Restaurant (a vintage barn) withstands its time serving a menu of award-winning pizza, as well as baked sandwiches, fold overs, pasta, meatballs and more. A train run circling overhead adds a nice touch to the casual, family-friendly vibe. Also check out The Boz, an illusionist and balloon-animal artist who's a recurring weekly guest for young patrons.
2Toots Train Whistle Grill
Joseph Kelley: All seating at this train-themed restaurant is available on the tracks, where food can be delivered right to your seat via authentic 50’s “O” scale Lionel trains. The Bartlett and Glen Ellyn locations are both within walking distance of UP-W and MD-W Metra stops, which can double your family's train-themed adventure.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Shila: Caboose Restaurant is a cozy counter-service spot located right by the Mundelein Metra stop. You can dine-in or carry-out; inside you'll find a train themed mural, and model trains displayed. The subtle train-themed decor at Caboose compliments actual live trains passing you by outside.
Shila: Chessie's is a casual dine-in experience offering an extensive American-fare menu worthy of special occasion banquets and fine catering. The restaurant is housed in an old train station, and where you get the most train-themed experience (albeit a nostalgic one) is when you're seated in their authentic, old passenger rail car.
Whistle Stop Cafe
Shila: Whistle Stop Cafe is your family's stop to an exceptional breakfast and lunch offering American comfort fare with train-themed names like Choo Choo Chicken, Freightcar Skillet, and Tator Tot Side Tracks to name a few. No train car serves you food, though, this casual restaurant is clearly fitted with train-themed decor and model train memorabilia displayed on the walls for patrons to enjoy.
Windhill Pancake Parlor
Shila: This restaurant is loaded with unique decor, especially around the holidays, that kids will love checking out. People of all ages love to sit at their train counter where your meal is delivered right to you! Seats are limited at the counter, so reservations are recommended.
Primary photo: Dan Paul on Unsplash
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