Certain trains have a selection of food and drink that can be either served at the seat or you can buy at a bar. For some operators this can mean in first class that it is free, while other operators offer everyone something. Below you can see per operator what you can expect. Keep in mind that some trains are card only, some are cash only and some are officially both but only accept cash on some routes due to phone reception.
With České dráhy there are different services with different offerings. The best is the dining car on the Eurocity between Berlin and Prague, Budapest and Prague and a few other trains, where they cook on board the train for you. Food and drinks are quite a lot cheaper after the first stop in Czechia (“Happy hour prices”). An example of the breakfast offer is visible below. All menus are visible here.
The SuperCity/Pendolino and railjet also have a bistro car with food and drinks on board, this is mostly steamed or microwaved. The drinks are served cold and quite affordable compared to other operators. For the Pendolino, a free drink and a cold sandwich is included in the price of first class. See an example of this below. Some other intercity trains also have a bistro car. The intercity trains without any dedicated car have a minibar trolley that moves through the train and offers only drinks and small snacks.
Night trains have their own offering, where you can order drinks or microwaved food from the couchette or sleeping car attendant. With a sleeper or deluxe sleeper a light breakfast is included.
With Regiojet between Prague and Budapest (via Vienna) there are many classes, and only the cheapest doesn’t come with a free drink. All the other classes get free coffee or tea, whereas the business offering includes sparkling white wine or orange juice as well. Furthermore you can buy more drinks and food like sushi with the attendant.
In Germany with the main operator Deutsche Bahn there are multiple offers of food and drinks on IC and ICE trains. On the loco hauled IC1 coaches, for example between Amsterdam and Berlin (until 9 December 2023) there is a BordBistro, where you order at the bar and then either take to your seat or eat in the bistro. Below is a Erdinger Weissbier. The menu is available here.
On ICE trains there is a class higher, the BordRestaurant. Here you sit down and your order will be taken at your seat. You can still order at the bar to take to your seat. Below is an example of the sweet breakfast.
An example of the Currywurst is visible below. Thanks to Koploper77 for the image.
The UK has many operators, all with a varying level of service. London Overground, c2c, Chiltern Railways, Elizabeth Line, Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink, Heathrow Express, Merseyrail, Southeastern, South Western Railway, West Midland Trains and London NorthWestern Railway have no catering on board on any services.
For the East Coast Mainline there are 6 different operators running (partly) over the line.
One of these operators is LNER. LNER has a to go counter where you can pick up things to take back to your seat, or you can order at your seat using the QR on the seat in front in second class.
In first class they have different menus depending on which train you’ll take. There are four different first class menu’s, Brunch, Deli, Dish and Dine. See this page for the menu scroll down a bit to see which train will have which menu. Below is an example of the 2023 winter menu Hog Roast Sausage Roll (this has now been removed from the menu) with a LNER Hop on Board Golden Ale. Below that the chicken casserole. Alcohol is included on LNER’s first class offering.
For Hull Trains there is no catering option for second class passengers. For first class they have a breakfast and rest of day menu. With Hull Trains there is no alcohol included, but it is available for an extra charge. The menus are available here.
Lumo has standard class only seating, and you can get some light refreshments, but if you want a sandwich or something more substantial you’ll need to prebook at least two hours in advance. See this for more information.
Grand Central has a buffet car where you can purchase the drinks and food you’d like, or you can scan the QR and buy it via there, then pick it up (in standard class) or have it delivered to your seat (in first class). See this for the menu. In first class some light refreshments and coffee and tea are included.
Transpennine Express has a complicated system where the offering in first class depends on what train type you’re in. Some routes don’t have any catering at all, while others operated by the Class 185 train only have cold food. Alcohol is included. See this page for more information. Standard class has a food trolley with some snacks and drinks. See this page for more information.
CrossCountry has a catering trolley that goes around the train where you can purchase food and drink. In first class non-alcoholic drinks and snacks are available all day, mostly in coach A. Sandwiches are available for those on longer journeys. The menu is available here.
Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway has their special Pullman dining service, which is served in first class seats (even for standard class). You must ask the conductor if there are any seats available. This is not complimentary, but with a first class ticket you can reserve a seat in advance. The price and more information about the services this operates can be found here. GWR offers a at seat trolley service in standard and first class for all other trains. In first class this offer is complimentary with tea, coffee, juice, sodas and some light snacks. There is no catering on any regional train.
The GWR sleeper has a lounge car where they sell snacks, light bites and drinks for anyone on board. Room service is available for those in a cabin. A light breakfast is included and needs to be ordered at the host in the evening for those in a cabin.
Greater Anglia has a café bar in coach C and a trolley service on their London-Norwich InterCity services, where standard class passengers can purchase refreshments and hot drinks. First class passengers can go to the café bar and show their ticket to get free coffee, tea, water and snacks. For more information see this page.
Avanti West Coast
Avanti West Coast has click&collect from the on board café bar and the café bar for standard and standard premium class passengers. See this page for their menu. For first class Avanti has a bit more, including cooked on board. Alcoholic drinks are included with first class, but only on board of the train. In the lounge in London Euston they sell alcoholic beverages. See this page for the menus on weekdays and weekends.
Caledonian Sleeper has a “club car” were people in beds can go to (with priority given to the more expensive rooms if it is full) to purchase food and drinks, or to eat breakfast in the morning. Room service is also available for those not in seats, you must contact your host to pick where you want to eat the complimentary breakfast as included with the double and the club room. This must be done in the evening before you go to bed. Keep in mind that the breakfast offer is also different for the Club and Double rooms compared to the classic and seated accommodations. For menus and what you can buy where see this page.
Scotrail has some food on board their HST Inter7City services and on some scenic routes. The trains with catering on each route is available here. They offer just some sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Please note that alcohol is not allowed on board of any train inside Scotland. In first class on some services you will get free hot drinks, bottles of water and flavoured shortbread.
Transport for Wales
Transport for Wales has some trolley services and some full meal services. First class meal services and a bar coach is only available on their Premier service between Cardiff and Holyhead and Cardiff and Manchester. See the menu for First Class here. See the menu for the food bar here. See the menu for the trolley services here. The trolley services are on the following routes.
- Camarthen – Manchester Piccadilly
- Cardiff Central – Holyhead
- Aberystwyth – Birmingham International
- Llandudno Junction – Manchester Airport
- Holyhead – Birmingham International
Northern has a limited service on the Settle-Carlisle railway ran by the community. See this page for more info about what services have food and see the picture below for the menu.
Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
Irish Rail operates a trolley service on the Intercity services from Dublin to Cork. See this page for more information. The line between Dublin and Belfast has catering on board the Enterprise intercity service, where they offer cooked meals on board of most of those services. See this page for more information.
SBB CFF FFS operates a bordrestaurant in most of their IC services. This menu can be found here. This consists of microwaved food and some hot drinks. Below is a cappuccino shown.
SOB has a vending machine on their FLIRT trains that some snacks and drinks, including alcohol. You need a machine readable form of ID and be 18+ to purchase the alcohol.
SNCF Lyria has a bar coach, in the middle of the train. Here you can buy mostly microwaved food and some hot and cold drinks. Below is the pizza they offer shown. See this page for the menu. In business 1st the meal is included.
PKP Intercity offers food cooked on board for a reasonable price. Below is an example of the dumplings.
ÖBB offers food and drinks on a trolley service on some D, EC or IC services, whereas in their Railjet and some EC services there is a restaurant carriage. The picture shows the Schnitzel and the Viennese milk & curd cheese strudel with vanilla custard below. See the whole menu here.
The main operator ZSKK has a dining car in some of their InterCity and EuroCity where they cook fresh food for you. The menu is found here. Below an example is found of the Minipárky Zipser, part of the breakfast menu.
There are no food offerings on TCDD regional services at all. Mainline services may offer a restaurant car with either hot food and snacks or just snacks. YHT services always have a restaurant car. No alcohol is sold at all in any of the train types, and the legality of bringing your own drink is a gray area.
The following mainline services are confirmed to offer catering:
- İzmir Mavi (Ankara-Basmane)
- Konya Mavi (Basmane-Konya)
- Ankara Ekspresi (Ankara-Halkalı)
Eurostar services (both formerly Eurostar and formerly Thalys) have a bar on board and offer a light meal in Standard Premier, or a full meal in Business Premier/Premium included in the fare. See this page for more information.
The top picture show’s Eurostar Red (formerly Thalys)’s premium lunch menu, the bottom picture shows one of the beers they sell in the bar.
European Sleeper is a new contender in the night train space and they do Interrail discounts too! You can order food and drinks from the on board attendant, the menu below is provided by Richard. Included with the sleeper class is a light breakfast in the morning.