Planes and Trains: 8 Restaurants Where Kids Can Watch The Action


Have a little who loves watching planes fly into the air or the trains glide along the tracks? Here’s a fun idea that combines delicious food with built-in entertainment—eating at a train station or small airport restaurant. From a cafe by an airstrip of twin-engine flyers to a brick-lined bar and grill with windows that let you watch the trains whiz by, we found some of the best spots in NJ for you to take your planes-and-train-obsessed little ones. (feature image credit: @boontonstation1904)

Station Restaurants To Watch The Trains

Bradley Beach train station nj mom

The Bradley Beach train station has the Back in Time Cafe, a prime spot to watch the trains come and go. Photo Credit: istock/Davslens Photography

Millington Station Cafe
Make a stop at Millington, where this cafe serves all-day breakfast and lunch daily while trains go by. Kids will love the mini-sized Choo-Choo Pancakes, while parents can feast on tasty omelets or healthy wraps. Want to make it even more transportation fun? Take the train, get off to eat at the Cafe, and hop back on the train for the ultimate kid thrill. 
1931 Long Hill Road, Millington, NJ 07946

Boonton Station
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Boonton Station was erected in 1904 and restored multiple times to preserve the notable architecture and charm. The Tavern and Bar are steps away from the working train station in a room that reflects the elegance of train travel in the early 20th century (it was originally where travelers would wait for trains). Open for lunch and dinner, kids can feast on mac and cheese, shrimp, and burgers, while parents can enjoy seasonal specials that include pasta dishes, salmon, chicken, and soups.
202 Myrtle Avenue, Boonton, NJ 07005

Westfield Station Cafe
Start your day with a yummy breakfast, or take a break from being out and about at the Westfield Station Cafe. With a cozy and relaxing atmosphere and mouthwatering breakfast treats like Apple Pie Pancakes and Lemon Curd French Toast, it’s an ideal place to bring the whole family and let your kids watch the trains come and go.
339 South Avenue West, Westfield, NJ 07090 

Back in Time Cafe
Thanks to outdoor seating and a prime spot inside the action, kids can watch and hear the trains whistle as they come and go. But the train spotting is only part of it—with delish dishes like Nutella French Toast, homemade scones, and shore faves like crabcakes and chowders, this cafe is a must for dining, too. Open from spring through December. 
615 Main Street, Bradley Beach, NJ 07720

Boxcar Bar
The Boxcar Bar is steps away from the tracks in the original 1907 station, where commuters go to and from New York City every day. The brick-lined bar and grill is an excellent spot for dinner with the kids (reservations are recommended) with steak, burgers, tacos, and yummy cocktails. Catch live entertainment at night, and in warm weather, sit at the cafe-style tables and watch the train cars go by. 
25 Chatham Road, Short Hills, NJ 07078

Airport Restaurants To Watch The Planes

Runway Cafe

Watch the planes fly in at Runway Cafe in Lumberton. Photo Credit: @runwaycafesj

Runway Cafe
At this cozy cafe in the South Jersey Regional Airport, your littles will have a blast watching the planes flying in and out of the airport. Play a game of I-Spy and look for choppers, small personal aircraft, and stunt planes—you never know what you might see. While your kids keep their eyes peeled on the runway, you can feast on delicious items like Cinnamon Toast Crunch French Toast, cheesesteaks, specialty burgers, and paninis. 
68 Stacy Haines Rd, Lumberton, NJ 08048

The Airport Cafe
Open daily for breakfast and lunch, the cafe at the Blairstown Airport is a great spot to get up and close to planes on the runway. Kids will love being in the epicenter of aircraft speeding down the tarmac while enjoying a classic breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, eggs, bacon, and breakfast sammies. 
36 Lambert Rd, Blairstown, New Jersey 07825

Sky Cafe
This family-style restaurant at the Sky Manor Airport will delight littles with the perfect view of the airplanes as they come in for a landing and head into the sky on takeoff. Sit down for breakfast and lunch, with gourmet offerings, like Ahi tuna salad, crepes, buttermilk fried chicken, and yummy stacked burgers. 
48 Sky Manor Rd #48, Pittstown, NJ 08867

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About Author

Karen lives in Central Jersey with her two dogs, one cat, husband and daughter Olivia. Graduating from Seton Hall University with a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations, she has been writing and working in the social media field for a few years. One of her proudest moments as a writer so far has been interviewing Tim Gunn from 'Project Runway' and subsequently winning Honorable Mention in NJ for Feature Writing. When she is not busy as a mom, she enjoys reading, going to the beach and watching the Real Housewives.