Best First-Class Airline Food Slideshow

Expect a lot more than just peanuts and soda with these first-class experiences

13. TACA Airlines

Awaking on an international flight to a perfectly crisp French toast topped with fresh peaches and drizzled in a rich, creamy custard sauce, you'd swear you were still in a dream state, especially when it's paired with a refreshing mimosa. But on TACA, that meal can be a reality if you're a first-class customer. 

12. American Airlines

American Airlines is the first U.S. airline to offer first-class passengers the chance to reserve their meal selections ahead of time. So if you anticipate that you'll want roasted chicken with balsamic reduction, roasted sweet potatoes, and asparagus, you can make your selection well in advance of your flight. And if happen to have a sweet tooth, they're always serving a warm classic: chocolate chip cookies baked fresh onboard.

11. Lufthansa

Lufthansa offers a new selection of outstanding wines every two months, and we're sure there will be that perfect one to complement dinner menu selections such as  poached lobster tail and claw in saffron reduction with simmered mushrooms and butternut squash.

10. Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic has customized their first-class service to always be in tune with your body clock, no matter where you're flying to. So if your body is calling for dinner (even if it's 7 .am. in your destination) then let the dischi volanti pasta with wild mushroom and watercress sauce, served with roasted cherry tomatoes and pine nuts, satisfy your craving. To top it off, pair it with an Aberfeldy 12-year-old single malt.

9. Qantas

In Qantas first class, even vegetarians can indulge in an eight-course tasting menu, which offers signature dishes like delicately wok-fried mushrooms with impeccably seasoned tofu. All meals are designed by Sydney chef Neil Perry and are prepared on board and made to order with the finest ingredients. Consulting one of their Sommeliers in the Sky will allow you to pair your dish with the perfect award-winning wine or champagne.

8. British Airways

There's nothing quite like the taste of the British countryside — breast of Gressingham duck with braised kohlrabi, parsnip mash, and caramelized apple and parsley sauce — especially when paired with a fine French Chablis wine. Drawing inspiration from one of London’s most luxurious and iconic hotels, The Dorchester, British Airways has added the indulgence of high tea for first-class passengers, featuring a selection of finely cut sandwiches and sumptuous cakes, served with a variety of teas from around the world.

7. Air France

Quality, seasonal, and organic ingredients are front and center on Air France's first-class menus, developed by the Studio Culinaire Servair and chef Joël Robuchon. Passengers can create custom salads to start their meal and then enjoy a farm-fresh main course accompanied by a basket of warm bread. And of course, every meal should be completed with a touch of refinement: a dessert created by Lenôtre, a fresh fruit basket, or a refreshing sorbet.

6. Cathay Pacific

While Cathay Pacific's Asian menu selections are breathtaking (such as their wonton soup and seafood stir-fry), the ricotta ravioli with cherry tomato ragù and arugula is an unexpected masterpiece. Because all dishes are made to order, passengers can choose what they'd like to eat from an array of Asian and international selections, all freshly prepared in a state-of-the-art galley boasting rice cookers, toasters, and steam ovens.

5. Swiss Airlines

Swiss Airlines' Taste of Switzerland program was designed to highlight different regions of the country on flights throughout the year. Until September 2013, first-class passengers will enjoy meals inspired by the cuisine of Canton Nidwalden, featuring dishes such as beef tenderloin with ofetori, Nidwalden-style mashed potatoes made with veal bacon and cheese. First-class meals are also complemented by regional wines, and of course, no Swiss meal would be complete without a selection of local cheese.

4.Thai Airways

Timeless traditions are at the core of Thai Airways' Royal First Class menu, which is evident in dishes like Prawn Chu-Chee, a traditional Thai dish made with prawns, chiles, coconut milk, fish sauce, and Kaffir limes. With almost 40 dishes on their menu, Thai Airway's advanced-order service caters to even the most innovative individual preferences. Not to mention that Royal First Class passengers are welcomed on board with a glass of Dom Perignon or Bollinger champagne, served in crystal glasses of course. In addition, the premium bar service includes aged whiskies, Napoleon brandies, and a full range of ports and liqueurs.

3. Emirates

The essence of the United Arab Emirates cuisine is evident in the regional and seasonal ingredients used in the seven-course first-class lunches and dinners. The meals include the passengers' choice of three hors d’oeuvres; soup; salad; at least four entrée options; two desserts along with five types of cheese, served with port; fresh seasonal fruit; and freshly brewed coffee, a selection of teas and liqueurs, and friandises/sweets. It's appetizers like thin-sliced tangerine-marinated smoked chicken breast, served on lentil salad with za'atar dressing and a glass of Dow’s Vintage Port 1985 that transport you. Guests are also provided with bone china tableware, fine linens, and flowers.

2. Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is known for immersing first-class passengers in the traditions and tastes of Asian cuisines; take their baked Chilean bass in Oriental XO sauce with mixed vegetables and fried rice as well as braised beef short ribs in Chinese wine and five-spice with mixed vegetables and egg noodles as examples. The pecan-crusted veal with red onion marmalade and candied sweet potatoes paired with vintage Dom Perignon is a nontraditional delight, however, for those who may want something a little more familiar. But whatever your entrée selection (passengers can select their meals ahead of time if they wish), it’s Singapore Airlines desserts, like raspberry tiramisu, that bring the travel experience to heavenly heights.

1. Etihad Airways

From the anytime snack-and-sandwich kitchen to the chef’s signature dishes on the Taste of Arabia menu and the extensive tea selection (rose with French vanilla or Arabian mint and honey), Etihad's first-class offerings cater to all of your culinary whims. But it's the ability for passengers to customize meals from The Grille menu with sides like mixed garden vegetables and  Mediterranean ratatouille and sauces including veal jus, herb cream, and Café de Paris butter that remind you just how one-of-a-kind Etihad's in-flight dining experience really is. If that’s not enough, they also have a chef on board whose job it is to explain menus and make sure that each guest has the best dining experience possible.