This summer Denver’s Union Station re-opened to the public after a $54 million renovation. The 120-year-old building, that once loomed over our city like a mausoleum, was transformed into a chic, elegant and metropolitan edifice. With all 10 restaurants fully operational, including second locations some of our city’s most loved eateries, now is the time to explore this spectacular space. Whether you’re out on the town or looking for lunch or with family, Union Station has something for you. Take a look at our guide, and get a visual taste of this beautiful building before experiencing it for yourself:

 The Terminal Bar

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Where: The Great Hall

Go for: A wide range of local beers on tap and a more relaxed atmosphere. 

The Low Down: With top notch service and a timeless aesthetic, Terminal Bar is where you’ll want to spend a Saturday night with friends. With roughly 27 beers on tap, this self proclaimed “gastropub” will serve you burgers and fries while you watch commuters zip through. If you’re on the go, step up to the terminal window and order a beer from the front. Want to stick around longer? Grab a table on the patio and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city.

Fresh EXchange

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Where: The Great Hall

Go for: A fast and healthy meal, perfect for a solo lunch hour.

The Low Down:  Fresh EXchange is one of the eateries in Union Station that reminds you the space is still hub of transportation. Designed for people on the move, this fast-casual serves up your typical cafeteria lunch fare with wraps, paninis, sandwiches and salads. Come here if you have little time to spare and are dining alone.

Milkbox Ice Creamery

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Where: The Great Hall

Go for:  A selection of Little Man’s ice cream including the fan favorite, flavor Salted Oreo.

The Low Down:  Although Union Station is designed to feel a bit like a time-warp with its overall 1920s theme, nothing feels quite as old-timey as Milkbox Ice Creamery. Whether it is the gleaming white subway tiles, the vintage light fixtures or the smell of waffle cones, something about this space feels wholesome in a very turn-of-the-century way. Come here with family on a Sunday afternoon, and grab a scoop of Little Man Ice Cream, one of Denver’s most popular ice cream shops, without having to deal with the long lines.

Acme Burger & Brat Corporation

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Where: The Great Hall

Go for: The malt seasoned fries are a no brainer.

The Low Down: Acme Burger + Brats is another place in Union Station to grab a quick bite to eat. Serving up  hamburgers, hot dogs and brats, local style. The hot dogs and brats are from Denver’s Tender Belly while the potato buns are made in house. This is a good choice for those looking to work in the Great Hall since you can grab your food and post-up at one of the working stations scattered throughout the expansive centralized area. Pro tip: swing over to Terminal Bar just across the hall and grab a local beer to wash it all down.

Snooze an A.M. Eatery

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Where: Northeast side of the Great Hall

Go for:  Their variations of eggs Benedict. The Bella Bella Benny is a personal favorite.

The Low Down: If there is one restaurant in Denver that has a cult following, it is Snooze. Known for its infamously long lines, this brunch focused eatery is popular for church-goers and hung-over party kids alike. And although some might think it’s overrated, the Union Station location might be more worth your time since there’s plenty to explore while you wait for your table. Plus, the beautiful sunny interior accented by hues of orange and yellow and crowed with a local mural from Colorado Crush (picture above), just oozes happiness.

PigTrain Coffee

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Where: The Great Hall

Go for: Cold brew on tap and the booze infused coffee cocktails.

The Low Down: No hub of transportation is complete with out a killer coffee stop and luckily Union Station decided to do it up right. PigTrain, with their well trained baristas and a wide selection of caffeinated drinks, provides a unique and personalized experience. Take some time to chat with the employees and let them whip you up something new. You might even end up with a new go-to order by the time you leave.

 

Mercantile Dining & Provision

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Where: The far northside of the Great Hall

Go for: an delicious dinner from one of Denver’s best chefs or pop into the deli and purchase some locally cured meats and cheeses from their very own Fruition Farms.

The Low Down: From Fruition—one of our picks for Denver’s 10 most influential restaurants— comes Mercantile Dining & Provision. The part deli, part high-end restaurant, continues Union Station’s theme of collectivism with a bustling atmosphere. With an open kitchen on one end and a market place on the other, there is a lot to see at Mercantile. Stop by either to pick up some artisan crafted goodies or sit down in the back and get wined and dined by one of Denver’s best Chefs,  Mr. Alex Siedel. Either way you’ll be glad you came.

Stoic and Genuine

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Where: The south end of Great Hall

Go for: a seafood dinner unmatched by anyone else in town– their oyster selection is particularly delicious.

The Low Down: When you think of a Denver train station, the last thing you’d probably want to eat is seafood. But  superstar chef and restaurateur, Jennifer Jasinski, has worked her magic and made Stoic + Genuine one of Denver’s best new restaurants. They have helped bust the myth that you can’t get fresh seafood in a landlocked state with top notch offerings. Here you can have everything from a wide selection of oysters to an authentic lobster roll. Want to know more? Read our full review here.

The Kitchen Next Door

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Where: The south end of Great Hall

Go for: a sit down lunch or a casual dinner. Don’t forget to try the garlic smashers.

The Low Down: The Kitchen Next Door Union Station is the third location of the Kitchen Next Door and the eighth Kitchen variation in Colorado. But despite its growth, the Kitchen still puts out a very unique vibe. Once again the space distinguishes itself from all other locations with individualized touches (how awesome is that neon sign?). This, along with killer food that is expertly crafted with local ingredients at a fair price, makes the Kitchen feel less chain and more high-end. Come for a casual lunch or an after work bite and chow down on their extensive menu of comfort foods.

The Cooper Lounge

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Where: Mezzanine level. pro tip: in order to get upstairs you have to check in at the Great Hall.

Go for: an expertly crafted cocktail when you’re feeling fancy. You can’t go wrong with a Timeless Fashioned or a Palisade Sour.

The Low Down: The Cooper Lounge is hands down the most beautiful and elegant bar in Denver. Located on the mezzanine level, overlooking the Great Hall, this gorgeous space has all the details perfected. From the heavy crystal tumblers to the tufted couches, everything in this bar is pure luxe. Come here after a swanky dinner, or get dressed up and make a night of it. The bartenders are incredibly friendly and knowledgable so you’ll skip all the pretentiousness too. The cocktails are a little pricey , around $14 on average but if there’s one place that’s worth it, it’s here. Because the atmosphere and service–they literally serve you your cocktail on a silver platter– cannot be beat.

 All photography by Roman Tafoya

 

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