Sound Off: Best food INSIDE Union Station

Photo courtesy of
‘it’s full. yet it’s empty.’
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’

I have mixed feelings about Union Station. It’s gorgeous,  yet it’s grubby. It’s full of good stores, yet it has nothing really that interesting.  It’s got good hustle and bustle, yet I hate the lost souls. Seriously, it’s love/hate. I love it but I really hate it. But mostly I think about Union Station and how much space is wasted with bad food. I recently had a discussion on Twitter with my tweeple (I’m getting addicted. We knew this would happen, didn’t we?) about Union Station and the lack of decent food inside.

We settled on Corner Bakery actually being the best option. And that’s fine, I like Corner Bakery (not as much as I love Potbellys!) but isn’t it sad that our epicenter of transportation doesn’t have good uniquely-DC food inside? There’s a decent Gyro to be had downstairs, and I don’t hate Cafe Renee, but ya’ll, it’s basically a food-void, in my opinion. This is distressing to me. So I ask you… Am I missing something? Is there a hidden gem in there that I just don’t know about? Or is Union Station just the way I see it – a black hole of mediocrity?

Katie moved to DC in 2007, and has since embarked upon a love affair with the city. She’s an education reform advocate and communications professional during the day; at night and on the weekends, she’s an owner here at We Love DC. Katie has high goals to eat herself through the entire city, with only her running shoes to save her from herself. For up-to-the-minute news and reviews (among other musings), follow her on Twitter!

14 thoughts on “Sound Off: Best food INSIDE Union Station

  1. I actually really like Kabuki (the sushi place at the bottom of the escalator). Granted, I’ve only had avocado rolls there and it’s hard to mess up an avocado roll, but it’s quick, cheap ($2.95 a roll), relatively healthy, and my go-to if I need a meal before the train.

  2. i am sad to say but i normally use uno’s as my fallback at union station. wrong, i know. but the bartenders there are great. my suggestion – saddle up to a bar stool and people watch with a chicago deep dish.

  3. Yeah, I totally agree. I live 2 blocks from Union Station and with the amount of restaurants there, you’d think I’d eat there often. But no. I’ve gone to Union Station specifically to eat maybe 2 times. Both were very meh. It’s full of mall cafeteria-esque restaurants and mediocre chains. Corner Bakery is definitely your best option.

  4. i don’t know what it is about union station, but it takes normally delicious things, like burrito brothers, and makes them bland and somewhat gross. also, the corner bakery there is worse than your standard cb (which i don’t find particularly appealing to begin with).

  5. love corner bakery, but how about the thai food place on the second floor? their tom kha gai soup combined with a bowl of rice saved my former cnn colleagues and I many a time during our weekend shifts. (the cnn building being right down the block from union station.) it was cheap, yet tasty alternative back in the day. of course, that was in 1999…

  6. I agree with the Kabuki option being the best. But other than that, it is the pits.

    The last time I ate there was just before a 4th of July fireworks, and I had to rush; got pizza from the place downstairs and regretted it with the first bite. It’s geared to tourist groups, and teenage tourist groups at that. It’s not meant for locals.

  7. Working down the street from Union Station for more than 2 years I have to say that I’m really bored with the food options there. At one point or another I’ve tried just about everything and have come to some conclusions:

    - The honey mustard and Asian chicken at Gourmet Station are pretty good.
    - The forever-special chicken teriyaki at Sakura Japan (took the place of Burrito Brothers awhile back) is delicious and there is always a line.
    - I second the goodness of the Aditi Indian Kitchen – never had a bad dish there.
    - America! has 50 million things on their menu – many are just average, but there are a few interesting ones that are quite good, such as the Navajo flatbread and the Hawaiian Loco Moco.
    - The Cookie Cafe right by Sbarro has awesome coffee – the line at Starbucks might be long, but not because they are better.

  8. The Indian place downstairs is the best by far (against admittedly weak competition).

  9. Kabuki is really the best. I work in the station and let me tell you, I pack my lunch! Pizzeria Uno is the worst of the worst! First, it smells not of pizza but of dirty mop water and I’ve seen soooooo many roaches. It should be shut down.

  10. I personally enjoy Union Station.

    Considering that it’s right on the Metro as well as close to the Capitol (It’s a beautiful walk, passing by a number of interesting monuments and fountains.) I have enjoyed eating at some of the non-chain restaurants there, the Indian and Greek restaurants especially.

    The only bad thing about it is the number of closed off and non-operational restaurant stations in the cafeteria.

    So I’m sorry, I just believe that this article is very very wrong.

    Union Station is a FANTASTIC place to get some grub.

    I’ve never heard a complaint or any feelings of dissatisfaction from those I’ve brought there to eat, and it’s personally one of my favorite cafeterias near the Metro.

    So don’t let this article shun you from trying a smaller restaurant in the station!