If you have a train enthusiastic child, The Choo Choo Restaurant is the place to go to take your child for a special lunch out. The Choo Choo Restaurant is located in DesPlaines, a good 30 minute drive from Libertyville. Open Saturday- Wednesday 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Thursday-Friday 10:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Normally I am against paying for food I can make just as easily at home, but the atmosphere at this little 50s style diner is worth the money and the drive. Much of the seating in the small diner is around the train track. The train runs continuously and has baskets on each car, on which the cooks place orders on. What better way to have your burger delivered to you than on a train?? My daughter was able to watch the waitress make her thick strawberry milkshake and my son probably ate more for lunch than ever just because he was so excited by the train he didn’t care what I put up to his mouth! Sure, I can make fries, burgers, grilled cheese, and cupcakes at home… but I don’t think I can ever compete with this little train!
Food is cooked quickly and prices are low. Be sure to bring cash, credit/debit cards are not accepted. If you arrive after 11am, be prepared to wait since there are only 27 seats along the track and 45 total. There is limited seating. They do have a birthday club, children 10 and under receive a free meal within 30 days of their birthday.
Our family used to go to the Choo-Choo Restaurant every Saturday when we lived in Des Plaines during the 1950s. The red baskets that you see in the picture used to be white glass plates which sometimes spilled its contents on those who were seated in the booths as the train came around the corner! It was great as you could also choose your favorite songs from the booth or counter music box-like jukeboxes. It was also fun to watch the waitresses, especially the shorter ones, who would try to reach across the track before the train would come around the corner and hit their left arm! I can still see the cook blowing his whistle, ringing the bell, and watching our food come out of the corner from the cooking area to our place. I always wondered how they knew where we sat and where the food belonged. The food always tasted better when you ate at the Choo-Choo! Deb G.