May 11, 2015

Choo Choo! Climb Aboard for More Train Depots-Turned-Restaurants

  • By: Jamesha Gibson

The Bavarian Chef in Fredericksburg, Virginia offers travelers "warm, gemütlich hospitality."

In a previous post, we introduced you to three train depots-turned-restaurants which served up hot dishes that would make any Amtrak traveler envious. Today, we are giving you three more train depots-turned-restaurants that invite you to travel with them to taste-bud heaven.

The Bavarian Chef

200 Lafayette Blvd
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
(540) 656-2101
German | $$

After the Civil War, Fredericksburg, Virginia, quickly regained its prominent position as a hub of local trade in the state. As trade increased, the town expanded, and railway freight and passenger services become popular, leading the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad to build the Fredericksburg Station in 1910. With this addition, the city of Fredericksburg blossomed and is currently a busy travel and trade center servicing both passenger and freight trains.

Inside the Station house is the Bavarian Chef, which specializes in serving travelers with "warm, gemütlich hospitality." The interior of the restaurant is reminiscent of German bahnhofs and serves traditional German cuisine such as the Karlsbadener Sahnegoulasch and the Wiener Schnitzel, both house specialties.

The D&R Depot Restaurant takes travelers back to the golden era of railroads.

D&R Depot Restaurant

63 Lake St.
Le Roy, NY 14482
(585) 768-6270
American | $$

The former Buffalo, Rochester, and Pittsburgh Depot, which now houses the D&R Depot Restaurant, was built in 1901. The brick building with moon-shaped windows was constructed to replace a wooden structure that burned down in 1899 as well as to better accommodate the heavy railroad traffic that came through the town of Le Roy, New York. Passenger service boomed and continued at the depot until the late 1950s, after which the depot was abandoned and only freight trains passed on the nearby tracks.

In 1991, the depot was revived with the establishment of the D&R Depot Restaurant. The D&R rests in a location that has long tradition of food innovation (after all, Le Roy is the place where JELL-O was invented) and provides delicious traditional American-style food. Their homemade Chicken Pot Pie and French Onion soup (complete with complementary scissors to cut the thick, creamy cheese on top) are sure to make your mouth water.

The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel has three restaurants that offers a variety of cuisine choices.

Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel

1400 Market St
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 266-5000
American | $$

The Chattanooga Terminal Station, also known as Chattanooga’s “Gateway,” was built in 1908 by the Southern Railway Company. Crowned with a lavish dome and servicing nearly 50 passenger trains per day the Terminal Station soon became a signature landmark in Chattanooga, welcoming many famous guests including Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Roosevelt.

In the 1960s, passenger traffic stalled, and by 1970 the Terminal Station closed to the public. The grand building was in danger of demolition until a group of businessmen, inspired by the Station’s history, spearheaded an effort to save it. They invested $4 million in the Terminal Station’s restoration, and in April of 1973 reopened it as the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel.

This luxurious vacation complex (also a Historic Hotels of America member) features three unique restaurants for guests and tourists to enjoy. The Gardens Restaurant offers a view of the beautiful formal gardens in addition to a full service breakfast buffet. The Victorian Lounge and Bar has an atmosphere of nostalgia, featuring antique chandeliers that takes you back to the extravagance at the turn of the twentieth century. It also features a full bar of that offers premium liquor, locally hand-crafted micro brew, and frozen drinks. Finally, the Silver Diner pizzeria gives you that 1950s ambience along with a delicious fresh-baked pizza.

$ = Value, $10-19 per person
$$ = Moderate, $20-29 per person
$$$ = Expensive, $30-39 per person
$$$$ = Splurge, $40+ per person

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

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