My boyfriend and I are beyond obsessed with Whole Foods. As soon as we heard that they were building a Whole Foods at Union Station we knew it was going to be epic. But we had no idea how incredibly life-altering this new location was going to be until we went there for the grand opening on Black Friday. It was my kind of Black Friday shopping, with no crowds. Everyone was still overloaded with leftovers from Thanksgiving and the grocery store is the last place people are going to.
A New Way to Shop for Food
When I walked through the automatic doors it felt like entering a whole new world full of magical things. This new location is fully equipped with a juice bar, coffee shop, second-floor lounge, bar, a little set up of street food restaurants and more. And all the specialty food departments are created by local Colorado businesses making this market literally feel like home.
This is the first Whole Foods that serves beer and wine in Colorado. The new addition at Union Station is called Birdcall and has been created by the founders of a popular Denver burger joint called Park Burger. Birdcall serves southern inspired fried chicken sandwiches, salads, milkshakes, and breakfast biscuits that I cannot wait to try. Plus, they have 20 local Colorado beers on tap.
Lots of Local Love
The variety of food does not stop there. The Tel Aviv Street Food venue has been brought to life by Etai’s Bakery Café and Izzio Bakery. Here they serve Israeli styled pita sandwiches and other commonly known cuisines of Israel. Then there is Allegro Coffee Roasters, a well-known Thornton grown coffee shop.
Then the chef masters who brought together restaurants like Mercantile and D-Bar created a pastry line called Füdmill. They are providing this local Whole Foods with a variety of croissants, pastries, and focaccia breads.
I can’t forget about the tower of cheese that has 100 pounds of cheese cut to order by the American Cheese Society’s Certified Cheese Professionals and the very first mac and cheese bar. Is your mouth watering yet??
Then for the seafood lovers, there is an assortment of fresh poke, noodle, and rice bowls served by Kikka Sushi. With a fresh poke bar and ceviche bar. My favorite part of this Whole Foods is the in-house salad chopper that chops fresh produce on the spot and is customized for every customer’s needs.
The Produce Section
My obsession with Whole Foods started when I discovered the freshest produce that I have ever come across. At first, you hear how overpriced this supermarket is but after you shop here a few times you realize that you get what you pay for. The prices are higher because you are getting a well thought out product that has no artificial ingredients in anything and is most likely bought by a local farmer or business.
Plus, there is an endless variety of options, just in the produce section. Organic, locally grown, and unique vegetables you encounter for the first time. I love the discovery of finding and trying new things in the produce section at Whole Foods there is no other grocery store that can compete.
My shopping list always consists of turmeric, cucumber, beets, watercress, apples, kale, pears, tomatoes, tri-colored carrots, bananas, mixed greens, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and onions. I buy these items every week for my smoothie that I have every morning and for days I want a simple salad for dinner. This routine is how I stay healthy for much of the week and then I will make a couple of dinners a week based on what I am craving.
Exclusive Items Only at Whole Foods
After shopping at my local Whole Foods for a few years now I have discovered many exclusive items that I can’t find anywhere else. I am a pretty healthy eater that is conscious about all the additives in processed foods. Vegetables are my faves but I also love my Whole Foods doughnuts. I know you weren’t expecting that but they are the best dang doughnuts. I often go for the chocolate cake doughnut that has chocolate fudge frosting with cacao nibs and chocolate chips on top. They also are the only place I have found in Colorado that has apple cider doughnuts. A warm, autumn spiced doughnut covered in cinnamon sugar is the perfect treat to indulge in with a strong cup of coffee.
Another must-have in the bakery section is the rosemary sourdough bread. I always pick up a loaf to have a batch of soup or to make the best fancy sandwiches that would impress the Queen of England.
Cool Place to Hang
Every detail of this Whole Foods was very carefully and artfully thought out. As you go upstairs to the second story lounge you see the history of the Union Station area. The walls are covered in blueprints of what I believe is Union Station. They have hung old iron doors on the walls that used to be the entrances to underground tunnels that lead to different railroad platforms.
The wrap around balcony looks over Union Station and the newly developed part of the city. This area used to be dead with empty shops and no one wanting to spend time here. But now it is my favorite part of the city. Walking around the streets I felt like I was exploring a new city I had never been to.
The city planners have done a phenomenal job of conserving the history of the area. The Union Station is the coolest and most unique aspect of Denver and a must-see for the visitors of Denver. Make sure to take in every element of historic charm when wondering this great city.