Say goodbye to soggy sandwiches and limp-looking salads: After years of airports offering little in the way of fine food, some are now boasting top-notch restaurants that will satisfy even the most discerning (and hungry) traveler. Here, a few of the best in the U.S..
Want to try the World’s Best Mac & Cheese? We thought so. Head to Beecher’s in Concourse C to try this Pike Place Market staple (pictured above) or one of their delicious grilled sandwiches. You could also pick out a selection of cheeses for an in-flight nibble that puts those boxed snacks to shame.
From acclaimed chef Alex Raij of New York City’s Txikito comes Piquillo in JetBlue Terminal 5, serving wine, sangria and tapas that are light years ahead of the usual airport offerings. Try the crispy fried artichokes, garlic shrimp or a plate of olives; for something more substantial, go for an entrée like the skirt steak or paella.
Can you think of an airport restaurant that lists the local farms where its meat comes from? Tortas Frontera in Chicago does. This Mexican favorite from chef Rick Bayless uses high-quality ingredients from local providers to make delectable tortas (griddle-baked sandwiches), homemade guac and more. Thankfully, there are three locations in this vast airport: Terminal 1, B11; Terminal 3, K4; and Terminal 5, M12.
If you have to deal with a stopover, try to plan it for Atlanta so you can saddle up to the 30-foot sushi bar at One Flew South in Terminal E. In addition to sushi, this renowned Asian-fusion restaurant offers rice bowls and inspired entrees like salmon hot pot and thyme roasted pork belly.
Should your travels take you to D.C., skip the regular fast-food fare and instead grab something to eat at Bar Symon, an upscale burger joint from Iron Chef Michael Symon. In addition to artisan selections like the Lola burger (topped with bacon, Cheddar, a sunny-side-up egg and pickled red onions) and rosemary fries, the restaurant features power outlets at every table and barstool, plus flight-status screens so you can keep an eye on things from Concourse D.