If you’ve got a train-obsessed kiddo and have maxed out on visits to museums and transit stations, bring your family all aboard one of Chicago’s train themed restaurants.
From working model trains that deliver food straight to your table to actually eating in a refurbished streetcar, here are the best train themed eateries they’ll go loco for.
- Address: 200 Applebee Street, Barrington (located in the Ice House Mall)
Chessie’s offers a unique and charming opportunity to dine in an original Illinois Railway train dining car – an experience kids will love! While a bit more formal than most train-themed diners, Chessie’s caters to kids with chicken fingers, quesadillas, spaghetti, and more. The outside echoes of a train station nearby adds to the ambiance of the restaurant.
The Junction Diner
- Address: 7401 Madison Street, Forest Park
Consistently named one of the best family-friendly spots in the Chicagoland area, The Junction Diner has no shortage of trains. Here, kids can play with a light up train village and ride on a coin-operated engine. The Junction Express rides the countertop rails to deliver delicious homemade fare directly to guests. The Flying Yankee, the Junction’s version of a breaded chicken sandwich, along with donuts made in-house are must orders.
2Toots Train Whistle Grill
- Address: Locations in Naperville, Bartlett and Glen Ellyn
2Toots Train Whistle Grill prides itself on being the only train delivered establishment to provide all seating around the tracks, giving every patron an unobstructed view to relish in the fun. Reminiscent of an oldies diner from the 50s, 2Toots serves up American fare including burgers and hot dogs, crinkly fries, sandwiches, salads and more. Save some room for premium hand-dipped shakes in a variety of flavors to choose from.
Windhill Pancake Parlor
- Address: 3307 W. Elm St., McHenry
While the interactive train table and train counter that delivers meals straight to customers brings train-loving littles in, the overall atmosphere is what keeps them coming back. While Windhill serves lunch and dinner, breakfast is their shining star, as it’s served all day. Have a sweet tooth? Must-try staple menu options include funnel cake fries, lemon bread French toast, s’mores crepes and cinnamon ice cream waffles.
The Choo-Choo Diner
- Address: 600 Lee Street, Des Plaines
- COVID-19 updates: Temporarily closed
Des Plaines may be the birthplace of McDonald’s, but most people associate the town with its historic, casual family restaurant, The Choo-Choo Diner, where a model train has delivered its famous hamburgers to hungry patrons for nearly 70 years. When plans for a new police station threatened to close the restaurant a decade ago, the community banded together to save this local gem.
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