What to Eat at America’s Busiest Airports During Thanksgiving (Slideshow)!


10. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

If you love the Food Network and are at this airport, then you’re in luck, the Food Network Kitchen is now part of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. It offers both a sit-down dining area and a grab-and-go section for travelers who need to make quick connections. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and snacks are offered and are made by using local ingredients from companies such as Gran Forno and We Take the Cake. Try the salmon burger with Key lime mayo or a Florida shrimp po’boy.

9. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Though Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is smaller than most of the airports on this list, it can still get busy during the holiday season. Mayorga Coffee offers 100 percent Arabica coffee for travelers who need a pick-me-up during their layover. Even if airport sushi might sound a bit sketchy, Matsutake is a good option with menu items such as sashimi and spicy tuna rolls. Unlike many airport dining options, there is a wait staff to serve you, letting you relax a bit before heading to your final destination. 

8. Denver International Airport

Denver is home to the largest airport in America. The 52 square-mile complex offers many dining options for travelers whether they are passing through or coming home. Boulder Beer Tap House, Colorado’s first microbrewery and one of the oldest breweries in the U.S., set up a location in the Jeppesen Terminal in 2008. Travelers can grab a beer or try something off the snack menu such as mozzarella sticks or pub chips.. Another choice for those looking to try some of Colorado’s famous brew is New Belgium Hub and Spoke. Hub serves beers and sandwiches in Concourse B and Spoke serves tea and coffee café-style in Concourse A. 

7. Orlando International Airport

Orlando is the busiest airport in the state of Florida. Whether you’re a businessman or on your way to or from this city, there are a few restaurants that are worth checking out. McCoy’s Bar and Grill, located on the upper level of the Main Terminal, serves classic American dishes such as burgers, BBQ chicken pizza and cobb salad. It great for those traveling late at night because there is a late night menu that is served until 12:30 a.m. and the bar is open until 1 a.m. every day. 

6. John F. Kennedy International Airport

Instead of waiting around for hours munching on fast food, try Piquillo, a tapas restaurant located in Terminal 5 of JFK. Chef Alexandra Raij create the restaurant that serves typical Spanish dishes such as buñelos de bacalao (fried salt cod fritters) and alcachofas con jamón (artichokes with Serrano ham and sweet peas). It is the perfect place to sip on Spanish Rioja before heading off to your final destination. If tapas aren’t up your ally, try a slice of New York pizzas at Gino’s Pizzeria, a local favorite since 1977. Of course, a burger from Shake Shack is always one of our favorites too.

5. Boston Logan International Airport

The crowds have dropped a bit at Boston Logan since 2010 when it was ranked number three. However, solid food options have remained. Legal Sea Foods originally started as a fish market in 1950. Now, the airport boasts four restaurants in Terminals A, B, and C. It’s the perfect place to get patriotic with a bowl of Legal Sea Food’s New England Clam Chowder. This dish has been served at every presidential inauguration since 1981! In a certain way then, not trying the chowder would be like not eating turkey on Thanksgiving. 

4. LaGuardia Airport

LaGuardia is solidly at the middle of the pack when it comes to busyness, but when it comes to food, it offers more than mediocre food for travelers. Two pizzerias, Crust and Tagliare made The Daily Meal’s 31 Best Airport Restaurants Around the World. At number 6, Crust serves thin crust Italian-style pizza. You can get one from the menu or create your own. Tagliare, also located in Terminal D is run by Domenick DeMarco, whose family runs Brooklyn’s famous Di Fara Pizza. It came in at number 14 and features a breakfast stromboli for early morning travelers. Custom Burgers by Pat LaFrieda and The Astor Room are other options for those who don’t feel like pizza. 

3. San Francisco International Airport

Cat Cora’s Kitchen in Terminal 2 of the San Francisco Airport is always worth a try. Created by Iron Chef Cat Cora, this restaurant uses fresh, organic ingredients to serve health-conscious food at its restaurant, cocktail, and tapas lounge. The chef suggests trying the grilled avocado Cobb salad and the baked jalapeño poppers stuffed with creamy feta and breaded with panko breadcrumbs. 

2. Los Angeles International Airport

Another airport that’s always busy during Thanksgiving, LAX has several dining options for travelers with layovers. From classics such as the futuristic Encounter Restaurant, to newer spots like Wolfgang Puck, and LA staples such as Cole’s French Dip. Don’t forget about Pink’s Hot Dogs either. Pink’s has been operating in the LA area since 1939 and with 35 hot dogs and 12 burgers to choose from, it’s hard to go wrong. 

1. Chicago O’Hare International Airport

O’Hare was at the top of Orbitz’s list of busiest airports over the Thanksgiving holidays in 2010 and 2012, just missing the top spot in 2011 when LA nudged its way in. One of the top places to eat in the airport is Tortas Frontera, located in Terminals 1 and 3. Created by Chef Rick Bayless, Tortas Frontera features south-of-the-boarder food with a guacamole bar, chips and salsas and lots of tortas (Mexican grilled sandwiches). And of course there is Gold Coast Dogs’ in Terminals 3 and 5 if you’re looking for a classic Chicago hot dog.