Union Street Diner, not to be confused with Court Street Diner, is one of Athens’ sit-in restaurants best known for being open 24 hours on weekends. The diner will serve you at almost anything on its menu at any time of the day. It boasts a genuine diner menu full of breakfast foods, sandwiches, and assorted dinner items from Salisbury steak to quesadillas. Union Street brings out an interesting mix of people; early risers and scatterbrains, people studying in a fast food place. It’s really very interesting to visit and see the crowd you find.
- Chili cheeseburger: The burgers I get here are always good; they are more than filling and the fries were delicious. The chili cheeseburger was good but the beef tastes somewhat bland. It would have been nicer if it had been cooked over some kind of grill or given some kind of spices.
- Barbecue bacon burger: The barbecue bacon burger is stronger but the sauce isn’t that great.
- Pancakes: Classic pancakes topped with a huge dollop of butter. Top them with syrup. A simple delight.
- Mac & Cheese bites: Fried macaroni and cheese topped with a ranch sauce. Crazy that it’s crisp on the outside, inside the cheesy mac is indulgent.
- Steak Philly: The cheesesteak is heavy laden with meat, charred onions and peppers, and cheese. A delicious alternative to all the great breakfast foods.
- Breakfast burrito: Stuffed with eggs and plenty of onions and fresh green peppers, this burrito is amazing with a little bit of hot sauce.
- Two eggs: Add on some hash browns and a biscuit and you’ve got a full meal. Get some hot sauce to top and add a meat on the side, like bacon, for a hefty breakfast for cheap.
- Chili dogs: That thick and beany chili over top two massive hot dogs and a reasonable amount of cheese on top. It’s always the simple things here.
- Banana Stuffed French Toast: Giant french toast stuffed with bananas and cream. You go to town on this one especially if you add a little syrup.
- Breakfast quesadilla: Stuffed with eggs and peppers for a simple but surprisingly cheesy dish.
The service is inconsistent, some times I have been served very quickly and food came in 10 minutes. Other times I’ve felt like I’ve been forgotten altogether, once I had to go find a waitress to order. Nonetheless I always feel like the people have the best intent; it’s just that in the rush things can be disorganized.
The prices for such a wide variety of options are modest. I’m happy with that at least. The clientele is such an interesting group, some days only older people are enjoying meals, and other days only college kids are around. The variety of people is impressive, but I really can’t recommend a specific demographic for this place. I imagine a 24-hour place inevitably attracts people all over the spectrum.
In short, Union Street Diner is definitely worth a visit. I know some people who swear by this place and some who can’t stand it. The food is good, particularly the burger options and the breakfast menus. If you can chase down a waitress fast enough you might actually get your food quickly.
- Union Street Diner might have some of the best morning hours in town, opening at 7 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and open 24-hours Thursday through Saturday.
- Breakfast foods are the main items on the menu, served any time, any day.
- Breakfast aside, the burgers and fries are also a very strong item at any time of the day.