12 Airports with the Best Food Slideshow
September 10, 2015
Airports are gateways to the cities they're in, and finally they're starting to do them proud
London’s Heathrow Airport
With Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food, Caviar House & Prunier, and Wagamama, there is very little chance that even the pickiest eater could go hungry in Heathrow Airport. Wagamama, for the uninitiated, is one of London’s most popular eateries serving mouth-watering noodles in sleek, zen spaces for prices that even the U.S. dollar can withstand. Caviar House serves fresh seafood, Scottish smoked salmon, and of course, Prunier caviar.
Hong Kong International Airport
As a well-trodden hub of international business, Hong Kong’s international airport has delicious eats of many varieties. Tian Xia Dumplings has a window on their kitchen as the chefs within turn out boiled dumplings, Shanghai-style noodles, and fish soup noodles. Grappa’s serves Italian food for any weary travelers missing the West with dishes like seafood pasta, comforting risotto, and even an osso bucco. You can also find authentic Singaporean street foods at Chen Fu Ji, which are a great choice if your connecting flight is going anywhere other than Singapore.
Los Angeles International Airport
Since 1961, passengers to and from LAX have had the chance to dine at the cool, 70’s Encounter Restaurant (pictured), which sits at the top of the odd, spider-shaped building out by the parking lots. That restaurant is what has kept LAX consistently on “best airport food” lists (with the help of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf), until now. With Wolfgang Puck to-go selling his salads and pizzas inside, and LA staples like Loteria Grill, Cole’s French Dip, Monsieur Marcel, and Campanile all set to open soon, LAX will be a destination in and of itself. Did we mention that Pink's Hot Dogs is already up and running?
New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport
Layovers at J.F.K. usually conjure memories of delays on the tarmac and a life-sized sculpture honoring Captain Sully (don’t go looking for it, we made it up), but now with Piquillo, you can fondly remember that time you tucked into chorizo in red wine sauce, Galician-style octopus, and stuffed baby eggplant with a hearty glass of Spanish Rioja. Or slip into Brasserie La Vie for a croque monsieur, frisée aux lardons salad, or moules frites before catching the next leg of your trip.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport
If you’re going to waste hours upon hours of your life stuck in as sterile environment as an airport, make sure it’s Amsterdam’s Schiphol. Their Bubbles Champagne and Seafood bar is reason enough, but their Chocolate bar, cozy library, in-terminal casino, and their outpost of the Rijksmuseum don’t hurt. Oysters, herring, a glass of Champagne, a small, decorated box of truffles, and a snooze (er, read) in the library should be enough to make you forget that horrible 12-hour flight you still have to endure… in coach.
You’re in Seattle on a four-hour layover and you’ve heard all about Ivar’s. Do you go through customs, leave the airport, get to Ivar’s with a huge line outside, eat at Subway because otherwise you’ll be late, and begrudgingly check in and run to catch your next flight? Geez. No, you should just find Ivar’s in the airports Central Terminal and enjoy. Same goes for Anthony’s and Dish D’Lish — their airport outposts serve fantastic fare on the quick for hustling fliers.
Frankfurt Airport is a major layover hub, with many flights from the states stopping there before their final leg elsewhere in Europe. As a result, many of the food options have been more about business than pleasure; sustenance, as opposed to cuisine. But in an effort to make itself a destination and not just a stopover, the airport now boasts classic German fare like Mayer’s Bretzels (that’s pretzels), Hermann’s (for sausages), and Käfer’s wine bar (for a tipple). The airport is also home to Hooter’s, but we highly doubt it’s any better than it is at home.
Singapore Changi Airport
The food at Singapore’s Changi Airport is good enough to actually check-in three hours before take-off. Prima Taste is the perfect stop for authentic Singaporean food — whether you’re missing it already or feel like sampling some over a layover. Spicy pork rib soup, curries, and soft shell crab should be enough to lead you into a delicious food coma for your flight. If you need to wash all that down with something bubbly, head to Harry’s Bar or for a sweet and salty local delicacy, make your way to Ya Kun Kaya Toast for, what else, kaya toast.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Long flights can be the perfect time to really indulge in the little things. You may not display that copy of Us Weekly on your coffee table, but that won’t stop you from flipping through every last page (she did wear it better!) on the flight. Likewise, why not sample a Chicago-style hot dog while you’re stuck at O’Hare? It doesn’t mean you’ll start making them at home. Make your way to Gold Coast Dogs’ airport outpost in Terminal 3 and 5. Rick Bayless’ Tortas Frontera has a new O’Hare location and Garrett’s Popcorn is a must-have, as well.
Newark Liberty International Airport
Don’t cured olives, Marcona almonds, smoked salmon rolls, braised pork tacos, and a solid wine list sound like the rewards you get for having arrived at your destination? Why wait when you can get instant gratification at Newark Airport’s Vino Volo, a wine bar with a mouth-watering, well-paired menu. Situated in Terminal C, you’ll enjoy a wine flight and choose your snacks based on red or white — there’s a menu for each.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Whether you’re arriving bright eyed and bushy tailed for Austin City Limits or are slowly trudging yourself home after SXSW, Austin’s airport will welcome you with open arms and three little, powerful words: Salt Lick BBQ. Yep, they went there. And they won’t judge you for tucking into a family-sized helping of beef, sausage, or pork ribs with sides like potato salad, beans, or pickles. Just tell people you’re training for “Man vs. Food Nation.”
There are so many delicious food items that come rushing to hungry minds when you bring up Brussels. Chocolate! Waffles! French fries! Now, if you’re lounging around at Brussels Airport, you can add Beaudevin Wine and Tapas Bar! Voted the best wine bar in the world (by the Airport Food & Beverage Awards), Beaudevin is a green-tiled, tranquil, and sleek environment that serves an international wine list and a tapas menu that’ll invite you to stay a while.