Everyone’s been faced with the same oh-so-difficult decision when stuck in an overwhelmingly large airport: what to eat. With spring break just around the corner, airports are bound to be packed with lots of hungry stomachs.
When you don’t have time to prepare snacks ahead of time and prepackaged sandwiches and bags just don’t cut it, have no fear. With just a little bit of searching, I can assure you that airports are actually the home of some high-quality food. No need to sacrifice decent food while jet-setting around the world.
Pink’s Hot Dogs: Los Angeles (LAX)
Pink’s originally began as a family-owned hot dog stand in 1939, and since then has become a Hollywood hot spot. With its infamous success, Pink’s opened an outpost in LAX. Located in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, Pink’s won’t fail you, whether you’re craving a classic hot dog or looking to mix it up with a pastrami ruben dog.
Legal’s Test Kitchen: Boston Logan International (BOS)
Run by Boston company Legal Sea Foods, Legal’s Test Kitchen is a Boston native hotspot. It’s located in Terminal A, and the dishes offered at Test Kitchen are the actual test dishes for the company’s other restaurants. What better way to know what people like than have travelers from all around the world taste it for themselves? Take-out salads, wok stir fry, and of course, clam chowder all make the menu at Legal’s Test Kitchen.
Shake Shack: New York-Kennedy (JFK)
This uber popular burger chain will silence any pre-flight growling stomaches. Don’t worry what time you’re trekking through the airport, for this is the only Shake Shack to serve breakfast: hello red-eye flyers, I’m looking at you. If you don’t have time to stop at one of Shake Shack’s 66 locations, let’s hope you have a layover at JFK.
Tortas Frontera: Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
This farm-to-table hotspot is best known for its incredible tortas, AKA authentic griddled sandwiches. There are three locations in Terminal’s 1, 3, and 5, so there is no reason you can’t get your hands on these tortas during your next layover.
Their famous Pepito torta with braised beef short rib and garlic shrimp torta with smoky garlic mojo and goat cheese are crowd favorites that are sure to win over both your heart and your stomach. And just in case you’re not already planning your next trip to Chi-town solely for airport tortas, they have a guacamole bar… need I say more?
One Flew South: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL)
One Flew South is known as the “first upscale dining experience at the world’s busiest airport.” Serving southern food with an Asian flare (taking on the fitting name southernational), One Flew South is not worth missing out on. Plus, its incredible cocktail selection is necessary to ease any pre-flight jitters. Trust me, there’s a reason CNN named them one of the top 10 airport restaurants.
Tagliare: New York-LaGuardia (LGA)
It’s essentially a crime to step into New York and not have a slice of New York pizza. Yes, it is that good. Run by the same family as Brooklyn’s iconic DiFara pizzeria, Tagliare serves up both sicilian and thin crust slices. The baby artichoke is a fan favorite and worth the trek over to Terminal D.
Klein’s Deli and Coffee Bar: San Francisco International (SFO)
Klein’s Deli and Coffee Bar is the perfect go-to spot for when you’re short on time but aren’t looking to sacrifice the quality of your food. Located in both Terminal 1 and 3, Klein’s was once known as Potrerohill. Klein’s now features a takeout counter, boasting fresh chocolate chip cookies and drool worthy sandwiches (all of which are named after famous, empowering women).
Amy’s Ice Creams: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
In the middle of a long travel day, there’s nothing better than a little sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you from getting angsty from what may seem like endless flight delays. Amy’s Ice Cream is the home to local homemade ice cream that comes in all kinds of unique and tasty flavors. Mexican Vanilla, Chocolate Cake Explosion, and Macadamia Chocolate Chip are only a few of the over 200 flavors Amy’s switches between every day.
And if you’re not already craving a big bowl of ice cream right now, Amy’s boasts 20 flavors of ice cream that contain alcohol (Amaretto Peach, anyone?).
Who doesn’t love a little luxury when stuck in the airport? Vino Volo will soon be your go-to spot, as this plush wine bar also has locations at Newark, Philadelphia International, and Detroit Metro Airport. Vino Volo specializes in small plates of cured meats, olives, cheese, and (of course) wine.
Find a wine that hits your fancy? Vino Volo will send a bottle to your home, which will arrive when you’ve completed your travels.
Shoyu: Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)
Chances are, you’re looking for an upgrade from your dorm-room staple (and best friend) ramen. Noodles and dumplings are made fresh daily at Shoyu, attracting travelers nationwide to this super modern foodie heaven. Trust me, with fresh, high-quality ingredients but traditional techniques, your bowl of ramen will step it up to the next level.