I briefly mentioned The Choo Choo Diner in my article, 35 Rainy Day Activities in Chicagoland, but this restaurant deserves a post all to itself. Our all time favorite restaurant to go to as a family for a special treat is The Choo Choo in Des Plaines, IL. E and H love going because they love trains. Ethan and I love to go because, well, we love their burgers!
The Choo Choo
The Choo Choo is a 50’s style diner in downtown Des Plaines where delicious hamburgers are served via model train. When you visit the diner, you will be transported back in time where oldies are played on the radio and the decor is that of an old school train yard. If you have a little train lover, they will not be disappointed! Be sure to get there early to get a hot spot next to the track, you’ll definitely want to get your meal delivered wheels.
Don’t Miss Dessert!
You can choose Chicago-style hot dogs or French fries, but we never leave The Choo Choo without finishing off with a sprinkle cupcake topped with a toy train whistle. The cupcakes are baked fresh daily and worth every calorie! Bonus point if it’s your little one’s birthday because the cupcake will have a single candle and arrive on train while they play the most magical birthday song that we cross our fingers we will hear with each visit! But, if ice cream is your thing, their milkshakes are the bomb.
Extend Your Trip
The diner is just a block and a half rom the Union Pacific/Northwest Line on the Metro. It makes for an AWESOME day to take the train to The Choo Choo!
Tips and Tricks
- Just like in the 50’s, bring cash. Credit cards are not accepted. There is, however, an ATM that was just installed recently.
- Come early. We shoot to get there right upon opening so that we can get one of the coveted spots next to the train. The seating is limited and it just isn’t the same if you can’t be near the train.
- Do not plan on coming here with a large group. The booths hold 4, maybe 5, if you’re little. It is difficult to get two booths next to one another if there are more people. There are 27 seats along the tracks, 45 seats total.
- Bring quarters to ride the train ride!
- Don’t forget to fill out the birthday card while you are there to get a free meal for your next birthday!
600 Lee Street
Des Plaines, IL
Closed on Tuesday
Saturday & Sunday: 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Monday & Wednesday: 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Thursday & Friday: 10:30 am – 8:00 pm