By Elizabeth Woessner | Online Editor
Eighteen months and $54 million since breaking ground, the 120-year-old Union Station will officially reopen on July 26 with a party and street festival beginning at 10am featuring live music, beer, food trucks, and more. The public is invited to tour this historic building and discover all of its new restaurants, shops, and bars. If that day just seems too far away, there are plenty of good eats and drinks to enjoy right now. Here’s where to eat at Union Station.
Start your day off with breakfast at Denver’s ninth and newest Snooze, an A.M. Eatery location. This popular breakfast/brunch spot, with its
infamously long lines, will open daily at 6:30am and serve breakfast and lunch until 2:30pm. With a menu filled with their signature pancakes, Benedicts, and sandwiches, Snooze offers dining in their modern comfortable dining room, on the patio, and to-go. You certainly can’t go wrong with the Chilaquiles Benedict with a stack of chilaquiles, topped with slow-braised meltingly tender barbacoa beef, perfectly poached eggs, roasted poblano hollandaise, and a fresh fiery pico de gallo. If you have a sweet tooth, go for the flight of pancakes. That way you can try three different big fluffy pancakes on one plate. Pancake choices abound, and include Pineapple Upside Down, Sweet Potato, Strawberry Malted, Blueberry Danish, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup, and of course, plain. It’s the perfect start to any day.
Wander over to the other side of the station to the third and newest location of The Kitchen Next Door from founders Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson. The 140-seat community pub features a delightful 1950s sign from the Union Station’s bygone Continental Room and Caboose Lounge. Start with a plate of cracklingly good, batter-free Salt and Pepper Calamari. Their interpretation of Fish and Chips is a pile of pollock pieces, lightly breaded and fried alongside fork-smashed potatoes, baked, and dusted with garlic and Parmesan. The Meatballs are made from local Colorado beef from Koberstein Ranch and are served with soft polenta, housemade tomato sauce, and gremolata. For lighter fare, plenty of sandwiches and salads grace the menu. The grilled and delicately spiced Lamb Kofta with cucumber, tomato, red onion, hummus, and tzatziki is the perfect dish to enjoy on a hot summer day.
The next burning question in our day of food is: Is it time for happy hour yet? Just pop across the courtyard to Denver’s first Thirsty Lion Pub. Happy hour runs from 3-6pm daily in this beer-centric British-style gastro pub. Choose from their featured ale, house wine, or well cocktails for only $4. If you still have room for some nosh, hand-cut Pub Fries, Bacon Cheddar Potato Cakes, Smoked Newcastle Barbecue Pulled Pork Sliders, and Oven-Baked Soft Pretzels are all available for under $6. Televisions are mounted throughout the restaurant for a perfect view of any game that happens to be in progress.
We are not done yet! Our day of food continues and it’s dinnertime. Walk past
the enormous fountain on the South Plaza and head straight to Stoic & Genuine. This is the fourth restaurant for the dynamic duo, Beth Gruitch and Jennifer Jasinksi, who also own rioja, Bistro Vendôme, and Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, and it’s a temple of fresh, sustainable, multi-coastal seafood. If you still have room for a libation or two, choose from one of their granita or specialty cocktails. One of our favorites is the Ned Kingsley with Evan Williams Single Barrel bourbon, Montenegro amaro liqueur, black pepper syrup, and bitters. A glass of Jose Michel and Fils Brut Champagne is the perfect foil for the Black River Sturgeon caviar or anything on the extensive raw bar. The seafood is flown in daily, so go to town with Alaskan King Crab Legs, Canadian Crab Legs, or a whole Maine Lobster, chilled, grilled, or steamed.
More Eats on the Horizon
Although the grand opening of Union Station is officially July 26, you can absolutely enjoy a full day of food and drink right now. Overlooking the Great Hall, two bars, the Terminal Bar and the Copper Lounge, will be serving up craft beer, fine wine, and specialty cocktails. After the opening, there will be even more to choose from. Milkbox Ice Creamery will dish up Little Man Ice Cream, Pigtrain Coffee will serve Denver-roasted coffee, Acme Burgers and Brats will grill freshly-ground beef burgers and local brats, and Fresh Exchange will be the place to grab a salad, sandwich, or wrap to-go. Finally, in September, renowned Fruition Chef Alex Seidel will open Mercantile Dining and Provisions farm-to-table restaurant and European-style market. Union Station is well on it’s way to becoming the epicenter of exciting dining in Denver.