• Railroad Bill's Dining Car

  • (20)
  • White Veg-options

Serves meat, vegan options available. This diner introduced an extensive, separate vegan menu in 2018 offering all-day breakfast and brunch foods. Choices include tofu scramble, french toast, tempeh bacon, breakfast sausage, breakfast sandwich, biscuits and gravy, salads, and a lunch veggie burger (ask for vegan patty). Staff is knowledgeable about the vegan items. Open Mon-Sun 7:00am-2:00pm.

Venue map for Railroad Bill's Dining Car
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20 Reviews

First Review by Bgeezy


Points +26

25 Jul 2023

Fun place!

I had the vegan breakfast tacos, and my mom had the vegan Bill's breakfast.. delightful!



Points +20

27 Jun 2023

Vegan Menu!

As newly vegan, this was a great treat! I love that they offered a vegan menu when they came to greet us at the table! We didn’t have to ask. Even the specials board included a vegan option. I definitely satisfied a comfort food craving with the half order of vegan biscuits and gravy and a side of tofu scramble. My husband had the vegan cheesesteak and it was tasty too. Probably not low calorie or low sodium, but as an indulgence it was a perfect lunch. We’ll be back.

Updated from previous review on 2023-06-27

Pros: Vegan menu, Atmosphere and outdoor option, Friendly

Cons: I wish the biscuits were fluffier


Points +374

07 Jun 2023

Excellent food- separate vegan menu

Excellent food. Ask for the separate vegan menu.
Huge portions. From breakfast to lunch great variety of choices. We recommend the vegan steak Philly sandwich.
Eclectic antique shopping attached.

Pros: Huge portions , Good selection of vegan options


Points +322

07 Jun 2023

Nice Option, Decent Food

Call atmosphere being attached to the antique shop. there is a separate vegan menu with several options. I had the French toast with tofu, scramble and sausage and it was quite good. A little bit bland, but still tasty with syrup overall nice option with pretty good food.

Pros: Separate vegan menu (many options), Cool atmosphere

Cons: Food is a bit bland


Points +353

16 Feb 2023

Death row meal

Such a fun place and love that they have a vegan menu. I got the biscuits and gravy and it was perfect!! Can’t wait to try something else. Cute antique store next door too. Price was super reasonable!

Pros: Fun decor , Vegan menu , Delicious

Cons: Paid parking


Points +726

26 Oct 2022

Its okay.

I got french toast & tofu scramble plate. The vegan menu is not on the wall, instead you must ask. Water tasted badly of chlorine/chemicals. The food was overall very mediocre. The building is VERY cool though, and there's an antique store attached.

Pros: Cool old building

Cons: Mediocre vegan food, Bad tasting water


Points +110

20 Nov 2021

I hate giving a bad review

I really appreciate their vegan menu, but I just can’t give this place a good review.

The problem is, they need to learn how to cook. We’ve been their three times, and I just can’t go again. The tofu is always bland with too much tumeric. The biscuits are never light or fluffy. The French toast is burned.

I want to like you, I do. Please hire a better cook.


Points +20

02 Oct 2021

Long wait/okay food

It wasn’t very busy when we stopped at Railroad Bill’s. It’s a cute restaurant. We were excited about their vegan menu. You have to ask for it. If we hadn’t looked on their website we wouldn’t have known they even had one. The staff was nice. It was a little weird to order and pay at the counter but it worked. We waited a long time for our food. Almost an hour. We got vegan biscuits and gravy and the vegan steak sandwich. The food was just okay.

Pros: Staff is nice, Cute restaurant , Cheap food

Cons: Long wait, Food is just okay


Points +132

10 Jul 2021

Great French toast!

The French toast was the perfect combination of texture and flavor, the fruit topping was delicious, and it was nice to have a tofu scramble side option. The vegan sausage was pretty well-done and dry, but it was still flavorful and tasty when dipped in syrup.

Updated from previous review on 2019-11-29

Pros: Separate vegan menu, Good coffee, FRENCH TOAST!


Points +50

14 Mar 2020

Vegan Options in Des Moines, IA East Village

Everything vegan is clearly marked. Generous portions and reasonable prices.
Free Banana Oat Bars while one wairs!


Points +137

15 Aug 2019

Great vegan brunch menu

We stopped off on a road trip and it was worth the detour. It’s in a great old building connected to an antiques shop. The fully vegan menu included enough options for our family to get different meals. The tofu scramble was great - “Bill’s Breakfast” (specify vegan) and the avocado toast had a great corn salsa on top. We were there on a Thursday at lunchtime and there was no wait to order and very little wait for food. I would definitely stop here again.

Pros: Separate vegan menu, Nice space

Cons: Serves meat and eggs too


Points +188

14 Aug 2019

Great little find

Traveling through Iowa and decided to try this little diner with vegan options. The food was really good. I especially liked the avocado toast. I tried my husband’s French toast which was also excellent. The staff was very friendly and the antique store attached was really nice! We were able to sit outside which was an added bonus since we didn’t have to leave our dog in the car. If you’re in a hurry you may not want to go there.


Points +122

13 Aug 2019

Excellent French toast and service

Cool atmosphere, amazing food, and superior service! You should definitely check out this place. Came here on a Tuesday morning at 10 AM easy to get a table.
I had the vegan French toast with the tofu scramble both were fresh and tasty- they even make the bread in house! My Omni hubby had the chicken and waffles and said they were some of the best he’s ever had - chicken was battered and fried in house with a little kick. The waffle was light and fluffy inside and crispy outside! Great gem in Des Moines!

Pros: 5 vegan breakfast choices!, Super friendly service , Omnis love the chicken and waffles


Points +202

22 Jul 2019

It's great to see another vegan brunch option in Des Moines, but the food is just okay.

I agree with an earlier reviewer that the ordering process is a little stressful here - especially on a Sunday when the place is packed. The line to order is in the same small space as the area where people are getting their own silverware, coffee, and water. So you always feel like you're in the way.

It took a really, really long time for our food to arrive - at least 45 minutes. It's a small kitchen, so I get it. But it means the expectations are that much higher about the food.

The tofu scramble was very oily and could use some more seasonings in addition to turmeric. How about chili powder, paprika, and/or cumin? I liked the bell peppers & onions in it, though.

The scramble came with dry toast. Some vegan butter to go with it would be nice. (There was jelly available on the table.)

The "vegan crackling" was weird. It has the texture of a thin fried rice cake with soy sauce on top. It didn't taste bad, but the flavors also didn't make a lot of sense with this breakfast. I much preferred the veggie sausage.

I wouldn't hurry back to Railroad Bill's, but if I ended up there, that would be okay.

Updated from previous review on 2019-07-22

Pros: Vegan brunch options in an area where that's rare

Cons: Long wait, OIly & underseasoned food, No vegan butter for toast


Points +345

28 Apr 2019

Bean gravy?

Went here today and it was chaotic. You have to put your name in for a table and then also order in line that goes between tables. Everyone was very friendly. We waited about an hour and a half before we got food. We got almost everything on their vegan menu.
1. French toast was the winner though I’m a little skeptical about their syrup.
2. Avocado toast was close second the tofu scramble was great all the veggies on the toast tasted fresh and the toast was crisp, but not tough.
3 biscuits and gravy were probably the most disappointing as it looked like they had dumped refried beans on top as gravy. It looked like little cases of beans were in it. It didn’t taste like breakfast or even mushroom gravy. We added pepper and made due.
4. We actually liked the rice cracklings more than the vegan sausage. They are basically chicharrones but made of rice paper and a smoky sauce put on top. Nothing like bacon, but still really tasty.

Pros: Some options, French toast, Nice atmosphere

Cons: Chaotic on Sun, Bean gravy?, Syrup might be questionable


Points +95

11 Mar 2019

Nice breakfast place!

This place is awesome! I loved the vibes from their antique shop and their vegan menu! I had the biscuits and gravy and it was very good. Very big portions and lovely staff.

Pros: Vegan menu

Cons: Wait time to get your table (it can get busy)


Points +30

04 Mar 2019

Typical vegan menu

Items aren't bad just typical easy vegan fare, nice to have options. French toast was spot on


Points +600

27 Feb 2019


Omg vegan breakfast! They have an extensive vegan breakfast menu and I dream of the French toast and biscuits and gravy. Vegan breakfast foods like normies!!! Location is a little small and parking is unfortunate but it’s worth it. Great prices too.

Pros: A full vegan menu, Vegan breakfast

Cons: Inexpensive


Points +24

23 Dec 2018

Vegan menu

Most of the items on the regular menu are also options on the separate vegan menu. Some staff slightly confused about some of the options on the vegan menu but kitchen staff seemed to understand well. French toast and vegan sausage links were very good


Points +744

28 Nov 2018

Feels bad man

I feel bad giving this a less than positive review since they did implement a vegan menu.... But I don't like it. The seating is pretty limited and parking is meter parking on street. The restaurant is not heated so during the winter it can get very cold inside as all heat is coming from kitchen. I got the vegan biscuit and gravy and a side of hashbrowns. Kitchen staff came out to me and asked if hashbrowns should be vegan too which I appreciated and was unaware they would have been cooked with fat otherwise. My date had a non-vegan meat option. It is nice that they have both. I love biscuit and gravy and this would be the first place I've gone to that does a vegan pork subsitute rather than mushrooms. I didn't taste any of that in the sauce, instead it tasted like water and flour and the biscuit itself was crunchy rather than soft and fluffy. My date did not care much for his meat meal either. There is a cute antique shop next to the restaurant to check out which is nice. Want to love the place and support it with the new menu but it just wasnt for me.

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