• Trackside Restaurants (was:Restaurants by the tracks)

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by 3rdrail
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned what may be the grand daddy of them all - the Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant. For atmosphere and locale, it just can't be beat. Just sitting in there with a nice Old Fashioned and thinking about all the rail travelers that have gone through there is a nice evening.
  by Jeff Smith
Along Metro-North, I believe there is one in Larchmont down by the outbound tracks, and there is the Town House II (if it's still there, and it was more of a bar) along Halstead in Mamaroneck, right across from the outbound platform. A restaurant is being considered for the old Mamaroneck station:

(Mamaroneck Station Up For Grabs

While it's at the bottom of an embankment along the tracks, it actually used to be trackside, and has a tunnel connecting to the platforms.
  by GSC
Ollie Klein's, a seafood restaurant in Belmar NJ, right on the Shark River, and the outside dining deck is literally a stone's throw from NJ Transit''s Shark River Draw. Diesel passenger push-pulls almost hourly in both directions, restricted speed over the draw, everyone in the restaurant watches the trains, great show.

Hard to get into during the summer, right in the middle of the Jersey Shore resort area, but the food is excellent, pricing a little higher than mid-priced. Full menu of wines, beer, and liquor too.
  by Jeff Smith
After a long hiatus in the thread: http://theloopny.com/blog/club-car-rest ... n-station/
The historic Mamaroneck Train Station is now open for business as a restaurant, after a ribbon cutting Wednesday.

John Verni and Chris Verni, brothers and partners in Verco Properties LLC, acquired the building from the MTA and converted the long-neglected station into space for a restaurant on the ground level and professional offices on a new second level.
http://theloopny.com/blog/club-car-rest ... n-station/
  by Rbts Stn
atsf sp wrote:The Sports Depot in Allston, MA is a great spot for CSX fans. It is located in an old New Haven depot. The Boston Line to Worcester runs right next to this building. The tables, if you ask for next to the tracks, are five feet from the tracks. CSX with ES44DCs, AC6000CWs, SD70MACs are regular visitors. Switching operations operate daily with GP40-2s. MBTA's worcester line runs past there at around 40mph, and the ocasional AMTRAK Lake Shore Limited can be spotted. The food isn't bad either!
Sports Depot changed hands last year, is now a Pizzaria Regina. Same location.
  by Gadfly
Our "hash house" back in the day was "Tatsis" restuarant near the NS tracks in Charlotte, NC. Most of the railroad men went there and around 11:30-12 PM, all those yellow, or white railroad trucks would be lined up in a row. We'd rush to slip out a couple minutes early to beat the rush, cuz we only had 30 minutes if you were a shop employee. I'd call down there and have 'em fix me a plate and it'd be waiting when I got there! Good old fashioned meat and potatoes eatin'! :)

  by Desertdweller
Yeah, GF.

There were railroad-themed restaurants and just plain railroad restaurants. The themed restaurants were for the general public. The railroad restaurants were for the railroaders.

It's been a while since I've traveled around the country, but I do remember some nice railroad-themed restaurants. I don't know how many are still in operation.

In Amarillo, TX, there is/was a nice Mexican restaurant in the old Santa Fe station. Trackside on a busy main line.

In Colorado Springs, CO there is a nice Italian restaurant in the old Rio Grande station.

In Kansas City, there is a very nice high-end restaurant in the east end of the Union Station. I think it was the old Harvey House dining room. Not for the weak of wallet.

As for real railroad restaurants I remember (some I have mentioned before):

LaCrosse, WI:
Under the old Rose St. viaduct (now gone) was a rule G restaurant called the Track Shack. It was known for good food in railroader-sized portions.
In the North LaCrosse CB&Q depot: The Q Lunch. Famous for its home-made bean soup. I think it is gone now.

Winona, MN: Shorty's Bar and Restaurant. Across the street from the Milwaukee Road station (now used by AMTRAK). I think this one is still going. It had a Rule G bar. The room separating the bar from the restaurant has been turned into a dining room, called the "Hiawatha Room" featuring "Hiawatha Burgers". Classy.

Madison, WI:
The Washington Hotel. Restaurant in front, Rule G bar in back. Located between Milwaukee Road and IC stations. Now gone.

East Hartford, CT:
Not strictly a railroad restaurant, but favored by the short line crews who worked out of the old New Haven yard. "The Grateful Cafe". A deli run by several women who are Grateful Dead fans.

  by wurlitzer153
Here's a few places I know of:

North Baltimore, Ohio:
The Whistle Stop Inn, right next to the B&O main

Mentor, Ohio:
Deeker's Side Tracks, formerly known as Gatsby's, is in the LS&MS/NYC station on the Water Level main. It seems to attract the young bar crowd at night, but looks decent.

Lake City, PA:
All Aboard Diner, in a former LS&MS/NYC station. Decent food, and always ask to sit in the bay window.
  by mainetrain
CSX River Sub

Tappan, NY

Morgans Irish Pub

Lunch Specials, American/ Irish Fare

Outdoor tables, horseshoe pits that are right on the tracks. I mean right on the tracks. A northbound ethanol train w BNSF leading a NS cooked by last week doing what felt like 50mph and shook the whole building.
  by Rbts Stn
Desertdweller wrote: In Kansas City, there is a very nice high-end restaurant in the east end of the Union Station. I think it was the old Harvey House dining room. Not for the weak of wallet.
As of a few years ago, Pierponts was a steakhouse in the station, I believe.
  by Desertdweller
Pierponts may have been the name of the place, it's been a long time (7 years).

It's definitely worth a try just for the experience.

  by Earle Baldwin
When in North Jersey Coast Line territory, try Gianni's in Red Bank. It features an unobstructed view of NJCL action directly across Maple Avenue. The restaurant is located behind Foodtown a few hundred feet north (railroad direction east) of the Broad Street grade crossing at the south end of town.

  by 2nd trick op
The White Palm Tavern here in Topton, Penna. just opened its sidewalk cafe', which sits about 30 yards north of NS' Reading Line, for the summer season.
  by ExCon90
Just remembered two in Pasadena, CA: The La Grande Orange restaurant occupies the former Santa Fe passenger station (La Grande was the name of the Santa Fe terminal in LA prior to Union Station, so that may be where the name came from) at the Delmar stop of the Gold Line. I haven't tried the restaurant, but it's fairly upscale and looks good; the bar is very comfortable and has a good selection of wines and beers, plus a good view of the Gold Line passing by every 12 or 15 minutes in each direction on the original Santa Fe ROW. The other one is a French restaurant called Bizou, at the corner of Raymond Blvd. and Holly St.; from the Gold Line Memorial Park station (the next stop north of Delmar on the Gold Line), as you come up the stairs from the platform, facing south, turn right on Holly and head west. After a few feet you cross the abandoned Santa Fe ROW, which looks to be no more than about 50 ft. wide between the buildings on either side (and one of the reasons why the Gold Line had to be put under ground at that point). The restaurant, at the next corner, Raymond Blvd., isn't within sight of a railroad, but as you come out, if you turn right and go south on Raymond to Colorado Blvd, about a block and a half, and turn left on Colorado, you encounter the same ROW at the spot where countless photos were shot of the Chief sticking its warbonnet nose out into the middle of Colorado Blvd. (for a possible then-and now-comparison). The ROW has not been encroached upon; I guess there's very little commercial value in a parcel of land 50 feet wide and a few blocks long, and the Southern California climate being what it is there are no weeds.
  by Dylan24001
I think there is one on Route 28 in Hyannis MA. It is right on these old tracks, I don't know the name though