Arriving at the airport early or staying for a long layover can be a good thing, especially if you are at one of a growing number of airports offering delicious dining options. From fresh seafood to Texas-style barbecue, we pick five airport restaurants so good you won’t mind if your flight is delayed. No need for luggage shipping. We’ll handle your bags, leaving you hands-free to grab a great meal.
1. Tortas Frontera | Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Rick Bayless is a master of the Chicago dining scene. So people were excited when he opened casual, quick-serve restaurants at Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s Terminals 1, 3 and 5, and rightfully so. From the Pepito (beer-braised beef short ribs, pickled jalapenos, Chihuahua cheese, black beans, cilantro crema, and arugula)
to the Cochinita Pibil (pulled pork, black beans, pickled red onions, and roasted habanero salsa), their Mexican-style tortas are baked fresh on a griddle. Save room for the Guacamole Bar, which you can order “fully dressed” with bacon, pepitas, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers and Cotija cheese. All ingredients are locally sourced from farms and businesses throughout the Chicagoland area.
2. The Salt Lick | Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
The Salt Lick has two freestanding locations in Austin and they are both incredibly popular. The smaller airport outpost has a less extensive, but equally delicious, menu. What’s your preference? Beef brisket? Sausage? Pork ribs? The Salt Lick does them all amazingly well, and serves them up alongside coleslaw, baked beans, potato salad, and more. Take your meal to go and be the envy of every other person on your flight. Tip: try the peach cobbler!
3. Anthony’s Fish-Bar | Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Anthony’s is known for its fresh Northwest seafood. This locally owned company traces its history to 1969 when the first restaurant opened in Bellevue, Washington. Their food is sourced from fisheries committed to sustainable practices. And their location at Sea-Tac, while not on the water like most of their restaurants, provides panoramic views of Concourse C, so there’s always something interesting to see. Guests rave about the crab mac and cheese and the clam chowder.
4. Café Intermezzo | Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Café Intermezzo has been delighting Atlantans since 1979. The European-style coffeehouse looks like a page out of nineteenth-century Vienna and is a great stop for weary travelers at ATL’s Concourse B. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even late-night offerings. From an extensive coffee, wine and cocktail list to numerous pastry options, Café Intermezzo is a great spot to unwind between flights. Their Strawberry Spinach with Goat Cheese Medallions Salad is very popular – strawberries, mango, red onions, and candied walnuts tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, then topped with fried goat cheese medallions.
5. Deep Blue Sushi | JFK International Airport
JFK’s hip Terminal 5 has no shortage of dining options; our pick is Deep Blue Sushi, helmed by acclaimed chef Michael Schulson. The menu features sushi, tempura, yakitori and entrees like Shiso Lamb Chop with braised daikon. Visitors praise the tempura lobster roll, dragon roll, and sashimi tacos. The cool atmosphere is fitting for T5, designed by Eero Saarinen in 1962 for TWA and reopened after extensive renovations in 2008 as JetBlue Airways’ New York hub.
Which airport restaurants did we miss? Let us know your favorite dining spot!