Does eating in a restaurant next to railroad tracks sound appealing to you? It does if you are a train buff, or want to try something a bit different. Manassas, Virginia is known for its rich civil war history, and while a bit far off from the Nation’s Capital geographically, its now considered a suburb. Therefore, a lot of folks ride the Virginia Railway Express, as part of their commute, and Norfolk Southern has a lot of freight to move throughout this community. A classy restaurant next to the tracks might be unusual, but I think it adds to the charm of the City Square Cafe. They are happy to be located in the old town district, and highlight their location of being next to the tracks, by having paintings of the railroad. If you are a bit adventurous, sit at one of their patio tables, and dine while a train goes right next to you.
I discovered the City Square Cafe by accident. One day I was at a nearby hobby store, and realized that I had forgotten to eat breakfast. After asking the proprietor of that store where I should eat, he recommended this restaurant. I am forever thankful, as while I don’t go to Manassas as often as I used to, this place still gets my business due to its quality of food and service. As soon as you walk in, you are greeted, and sat at one of their small tables. While they are not uncomfortable, I have to admit being a 6’2 male, you aren’t going to have the legroom that you are used to. That’s due to the small size of the dining area, so if this is a major issue for you, consider eating in the outdoor section if the weather is cooperating.
The breakfasts here are incredible. While they do cost a bit more than what you’d be paying for a fast food meal, they are well worth it. I love the Belgian Waffles, with a side of hashbrowns and bacon. Its $9, but comes with a cup of their French Roast coffee, which is certainly an eye opener. The Pancakes Meal is also another fine choice, and at a couple dollars less, a bit better for those on a budget. As much as I love their breakfasts, this is their slow period, as a lot of folks haven’t seemed to discover it during this time of day. That’s okay, as I get to read my newspaper in relative silence, aside from a train rumbling by.
Lunch is their most popular time for diners. You might have to wait for one of their few tables, due to a lot of businesses being located close by. I’ve never had to wait for more than ten minutes, and its worth it for one of their fantastic Reubens or Club Sandwiches. You cannot find a better club sandwich in Manassas. Its huge, and loaded with fresh ham, turkey, and roast beef. Its a triple stacker of bread as well, and the chopped tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese are an added bonus, along with their special sauce thats a bit spicy. The fries served with it are piping hot, and at $9, I’d say its money well spent. Most of their lunch meals are sandwiches, but if you are into a steak or chicken breast, they are available for $15 or more.
Dinner is when I avoid the City Square Cafe. Its not their fault, as I’m just very frugal, and cannot generally afford $22 crabcakes, or $25 steaks. I’ve heard a lot of folks recommend them for dinner, and due to the cozy interior, I could imagine it being an excellent place to propose marriage or to have a romantic experience. The white table cloths, and service are a testament of quality. I’ve always been thrilled by how I was treated, and think its a fine place to go, even if it is a bit expensive. Sometimes you have to “pay for something worthwhile,” and this restaurant is one of those types of places. Its open daily from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Parking is available around the corner, and you can find it at 9428 Battle St Manassas, VA 20110.