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0 Layers
4.1
53 votes

Fritz's Railroad Restaurant

2450 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, Missouri 64108 USA

$
$$$$
Budget
Open Now
Fri 10:30a-9p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • Public
    Restrooms

“A Kansas City Tradition Since 1954”

When it comes to gimmicks, they don't get much cuter than the one used by Fritz's Railroad Restaurant. Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the idea behind Fritz' is fairly simple: provide quality, inexpensive diner food, but rather than deliver it by waitress, the food is delivered by a model train that runs a long track through the whole building. So simple, but so much fun. Brilliant ideas like this don't just happen overnight, though. Way back in 1954, the Fritz and his wife Virginia opened a classic diner at 32nd and Brown Avenue in Kansas City. About a decade later, he added a second location, and all was right in the world. The food was great, his business stayed busy, and the diner was a town staple. But unbeknownst to nearly everyone, when he wasn't at the diner, Fritz was actively toiling away in the basement of his home, working on a fun little invention. You see, Fritz was a bit of an inventor, and by the early 70's he had patented a system of food delivery that he called the "Skat Cat". The Skat Cat was something that Fritz developed out of necessity, as the turnover rate in diners tends to be pretty high, and he often found himself short-staffed as he worked two diners at once.  The device was a "food delivery service" that used a series of elevated rails and pneumatic lifts to automatically deliver food. Plates were cooked in the kitchen, loaded onto the Skat Cat, and then zipped out into the restaurant to be lowered down to the appropriate table.  Once his patent was in effect, Fritz installed the Skat Cat in his second location, and it was an absolute hit. Unfortunately, his chosen name never caught on, and people just started to refer to his unique delivery system as "the train". Like any good businessman, Fritz decided to give the people want they want, and embraced the train concept. Shortly thereafter,  he and Virginia rebranded their diner as Fritz's Railroad Restaurant, completely redecorated with train memorabilia. Today, Fritz's still uses the patented food delivery system to great effect. Hungry guests set themselves at an open booth, and once they've perused the menu, they don't wait for a server to take their order. Instead, they pick up a phone located on the booth and give your order to a man behind the front counter. You can't miss him, because he's dressed as a train conductor.  As you wait for your food, you'll notice the little trains as they zip above your head, busily delivering orders to other booths. Eventually, the little train will come to rest over your table, and a pneumatic lift will slowly lower a tray to your booth.  You know how kids love to sit and complain about how long the food is taking? This isn't the kind of place where that happens. Fact is, your kids are going to go absolutely bonkers here. There's a good chance that you won't be leaving without a few Fritz-branded conductor hats and maybe a model train or two. While the whole train-delivery service is most definitely the star attraction here, you can rest easy, because the food is pretty great too. While it's mostly your usual no-frills diner fare, the burgers are particularly legendary, but they offer some killer breakfasts and amazing fried mushroom appetizers. If you're coming here for the kids, which of course you are, you'll be happy to know that they keep the children's meals on the plain side, so you won't be picking anything off the plate for them. This isn't to say you won't enjoy Frtiz's Railroad Restaurant as an adult, because you totally will. There's something so simple, and yet so satisfying about watching a half-century old train zip above your head and deliver a plate of french fries. Who knows, you might just want one those little conductor hats for yourself by the time your meal is through. -Roadtrippers Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the idea behind Fritz' is fairly simple: provide quality, inexpensive diner food, but rather than deliver it by waitress, the food is delivered by a model train that runs a long track through the whole building. So simple, but so much fun. Brilliant ideas like this don't just happen overnight, though. Way back in 1954, the Fritz and his wife Virginia opened a classic diner at 32nd and Brown Avenue in Kansas City. About a decade later, he added a second location, and all was right in the world. The food was great, his business stayed busy, and the diner was a town staple. But unbeknownst to nearly everyone, when he wasn't at the diner, Fritz was actively toiling away in the basement of his home, working on a fun little invention. You see, Fritz was a bit of an inventor, and by the early 70's he had patented a system of food delivery that he called the "Skat Cat". The Skat Cat was something that Fritz developed out of necessity, as the turnover rate in diners tends to be pretty high, and he often found himself short-staffed as he worked two diners at once.  The device was a "food delivery service" that used a series of elevated rails and pneumatic lifts to automatically deliver food. Plates were cooked in the kitchen, loaded onto the Skat Cat, and then zipped out into the restaurant to be lowered down to the appropriate table.  Once his patent was in effect, Fritz installed the Skat Cat in his second location, and it was an absolute hit. Unfortunately, his chosen name never caught on, and people just started to refer to his unique delivery system as "the train". Like any good businessman, Fritz decided to give the people want they want, and embraced the train concept. Shortly thereafter,  he and Virginia rebranded their diner as Fritz's Railroad Restaurant, completely redecorated with train memorabilia. Today, Fritz's still uses the patented food delivery system to great effect. Hungry guests set themselves at an open booth, and once they've perused the menu, they don't wait for a server to take their order. Instead, they pick up a phone located on the booth and give your order to a man behind the front counter. You can't miss him, because he's dressed as a train conductor.  As you wait for your food, you'll notice the little trains as they zip above your head, busily delivering orders to other booths. Eventually, the little train will come to rest over your table, and a pneumatic lift will slowly lower a tray to your booth.  You know how kids love to sit and complain about how long the food is taking? This isn't the kind of place where that happens. Fact is, your kids are going to go absolutely bonkers here. There's a good chance that you won't be leaving without a few Fritz-branded conductor hats and maybe a model train or two. While the whole train-delivery service is most definitely the star attraction here, you can rest easy, because the food is pretty great too. While it's mostly your usual no-frills diner fare, the burgers are particularly legendary, but they offer some killer breakfasts and amazing fried mushroom appetizers. If you're coming here for the kids, which of course you are, you'll be happy to know that they keep the children's meals on the plain side, so you won't be picking anything off the plate for them. This isn't to say you won't enjoy Frtiz's Railroad Restaurant as an adult, because you totally will. There's something so simple, and yet so satisfying about watching a half-century old train zip above your head and deliver a plate of french fries. Who knows, you might just want one those little conductor hats for yourself by the time your meal is through.

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Reviewed by
ABATTLDONKEY

  • 8 Reviews
  • 11 Helpful
September 02, 2014

Diner is a run of the mill diner, however if you have kids (especially those that love trains) this is a must stop!! the diner is excellently laid out in a retro look/feel, the food was pretty good, and the staff absolutely blew me away. The staff were some of the nicest people i met on our cross-country road trip. The trains dont start delivering food till 11:00 AM (dont know why) but the staff ran the train around the track no less than 4 times JUST so my boy would laugh and get excited. I tipped well, and recommend this place to anyone.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
astopperan

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 09, 2014
Rated 5.0

We went to the original one in Kansas and it was an awesome stop for our long distance drive with a two year old. The train delivers your food. Pretty awesome. Food is typical diner/burgers.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
theincredibles

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
June 21, 2016
Rated 5.0

Clean restaurant, friendly and attentive staff. Food prices are gentle and food was enjoyable. It's a great stop if you have a little one who enjoys trains our 5 year had a huge smile and greatly enjoyed his experience of having a train bring him his food. The rest of the family had a pleasant experience in a diner with a train that brought our food.

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Fritz's Railroad Restaurant

2450 Grand Blvd
Kansas City, Missouri
64108 USA

Hours

Open now until 9:00 pm
  • Sun, Sat: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Fri: 10:30 am - 9:00 pm
  • Mon - Thu: 10:30 am - 7:00 pm

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Private Parking
  • Free Parking
  • Yes Parking

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