The Colorado Restaurant Where Diners Can Eat Inside An Airplane

If you're an aviation nerd and a foodie, there's a themed restaurant in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that you need to try. It's aptly named The Airplane Restaurant, and you can dine inside a fully-intact Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter — a large aircraft once used for transport and the refueling of jets. The restaurant is filled with aviation memorabilia and rare artifacts so you can learn a little history while you dine on a burger or salad. To round out the experience, the waitstaff dress as flight attendants and you can explore the cockpit while you wait for your food, or after your meal.

The restaurant's namesake plane was built in 1953, spent years refueling other planes across the globe with the U.S. Air Force, and was once nearly abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean when its crew couldn't find the Azores islands before it was finally decommissioned. In a 2020 Newsweek article, restaurant owner, Steve Kanatzar, revealed that it took eight semi-trailers to transport the aircraft from Texas to its current home in Colorado. Shortly afterward, the restaurant opened in 2002.

These days, the airplane-turned-restaurant can seat up to 275 diners including its attached building, but there are only 42 seats actually in the aircraft. If you want to snag one of the coveted tables in the KC-97, you might have to wait, because, according to its website, the restaurant only takes reservations for large parties.

Eating at The Airplane Restaurant

You're probably wondering what the menu is like at The Airplane Restaurant. To fit its vibe, many of the dishes have aviation-themed names: Think appetizers like "runway chicken wings" and "air tower nachos" and sandwiches like the "reuben von crashed" and the "Philly flyer." Other menu items include cheesy artichoke dip served with pita and vegetables, a Craisin walnut salad with feta, Angus beef steaks with fries and coleslaw, a buffalo burger, and a few seafood dishes like catfish with hushpuppies.

The restaurant has decent reviews on Yelp and Google. As of the time of writing, it has a 3.3-star rating based on 403 reviews on Yelp. One recent review described the spot as a "great experience for the airplane enthusiast" and others noted that it has "great diner food and a fun collection of airplane memorabilia." On Google, it has a better score with 4 stars based on over 3,000 reviews. The few negative reviews mention the quality of the food, though many diners still recommend the fries. 

If you find yourself in Colorado Springs, the unique eatery is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and stays open until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.