Trackside Cafe at Strasburg Rail Road – Restaurant Review

Posted on: June 27th, 2012 by


As we plan to do with all of our Weekend in series, our Weekends in Lancaster series will show you where you can stay, play, and eat with your family on your family vacations to Lancaster. This week’s What’s Cooking Wednesday post will focus on the Trackside Cafe at the Strasburg Rail Road.


Trackside Cafe at Strasburg Rail Road

The Trackside Cafe is reminiscent of an old-fashioned general store. On the one hand you can order up freshly prepared food, soda in old-fashioned bottles, or hand-dipped ice cream. On the other you can dig through barrels and barrels of hard candies and possibly be reminded of your youth or what our parents/grandparents would have experienced at the general store.



Ordering your food at the Trackside Cafe

  • Step up to windows that face the station platform and bring your food to one of the outside eating pavilions.
  • Head inside to the counter and order. There is limited seating available inside for eating.


The inside seating area of the Trackside Cafe


Trackside Cafe Menu Selections

  • Hot dog with fries $4.99
  • Burgers, cheese steaks, grilled chicken, salads and other entrees start at $7.99
  • Kids meals $6.99 come packed in paper boxes
    • Hot Dog
    • Grilled Cheese
    • Chicken Tenders
    • Include a juice box or small soda
    • Include choice of 2 sides: tater tots, apple sauce, string cheese, or sugar-free Jello
  • Soups & sides beginning at $2.49
  • Beverages
    • Soda starting at $2.99
    • Sweet Tea & Lemonade $3.99
    • Bottled Water $2.49
    • Coffee $1.99
  • Desserts
    • Whoopie pies starting at $1.49
    • Cake Slice $3.49
    • Pie Slice  $2.99
    • Cookies $1.99
    • Kettle Corn Bag$3.99
    • Ice Cream beginning at $1.99


Trackside Cafe Hours of Operation

  • The Cafe is open 30 minutes before the first Strasburg Rail Road train leaves each day.
  • It closes 30 minutes after the last train has returned.
  • Open each day the train runs February-December.


The Trackside Cafe Box Lunch was more than enough to fill my boys’ bellies.

When it came time for lunch on Sunday we headed over to the Trackside Cafe. I ordered from inside the restaurant but due to the crowds we ate in one of the covered pavilions outside. To keep things simple I ordered the chicken tender with fries for me and the chicken tender kid’s meals. My husband had a burger with fries.


I really liked that the kid’s meals come boxed up. Since my husband had staked out a table with the boys, it was me who was carrying the 2 trays of food. Having the kid’s meals boxed meant I was a little less scared of spilling our purchases as I made my way back to him. You could also take those box lunches on the train (regular 45 minute train ride) and get off at the Picnic Grove to eat them.


All of the meals came with a decent amount of food and it was hot from being made as we waited. Yet, we only waited a few minutes to have it prepared. The kids’ chicken tender meals came with 2 large pieces of chicken and I chose fries and jello for their 2 sides. With the exception of the jello, it was more than enough food. My two younger boys could easily have shared one kid’s meals. (A tip that might save you a few dollars.) In all we were pretty satisfied with the selection of food available, the amount of food we got, and the taste.


Visit our article here on how to Make the Most Out of Your Day Out With Thomas.


Click over to see the rest of our Family Travel to Lancaster series.

Visit Lancaster

Want to find more local family restaurants? Read our Family Restaurant Review series or visit our local Restaurant Directory.


To arrange a review of your restaurant contact


In full disclosure, this post was sponsored in part by Strasburg Rail Road and Day Out With Thomas who provided us with some regular tickets  to enjoy Day Out With Thomas activities and a meal at the Trackside Cafe to make our articles possible. We were responsible for our own travel and lodging costs. As always our opinions are honest and our own and based on our experiences at Strasburg Railroad.

Posted in: All, Family Vacation Ideas, Places to Visit in New Jersey, Restaurants

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Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! As her boys transition from tweens to teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally. She has been a Jersey Girl for 35+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 15+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 10 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

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