We've all been there, or we have plans to go there. The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is always hopping — I've flown in at midnight and there's been just as many people there as when I departed at 4 a.m. But what about the food? Airport food has a bad rap for being overly expensive and majorly gross. However, being a foodie city, Austin really takes the cake on airport food compared to other Texas airports (looking at you, DFW). Read on to find out my ranking of Austin-Bergstrom food from best to worst.
Annies, in my opinion, is the best restaurant in the airport because everything is fresh and there are tons of options. I recommend the tomato soup studded with brie — they also have delicious sandwiches that they'll warm up for you. The atmosphere is great, too; the subway-tiled walls are usually bouncing back the soft sounds of live music, and you can sidle up to the bar for a good drink.
When you think of Texas, specifically Austin, you might think of tacos (they are kind of a big deal). In my opinion, Maudie's has some of the best tacos in town, and that doesn't stop at the Austin-Bergstrom airport. The tortillas are fresh and warm, the shredded chicken remains moist throughout the day, and the queso is heavenly.
Amy's isn't necessarily a restaurant, but it's so good that it must be mentioned. Instead of buying over-priced candy at the airport, just indulge in some Amy's. They have the same toppings as their other locations in Austin and the sweet ice cream is sweet will give you a happy feeling — something we could all use while dealing with the stress of flying.
Of all the Austin-Bergstrom Airport food, Salt Lick is a traditional Austin classic. If you're craving some of the best Texas barbecue, make sure to stop by their grab-and-go storefront. They have all of their classic food items and the simple sides — but go earlier in the day because the fresher it is, the better.
5. Hill's Cafe
Hill's is an old-school Austin restaurant serving some of the best chicken fried steak in Texas — and thankfully, you can get it at the airport. Personally, though, I would recommend the grilled cheese as your airport food of choice. It tastes just like your mom used to make it — the sourdough bread is perfectly buttered and the cheese is melted to perfection. The whole sandwich is grilled to make the cheese gooey, but never soggy. The "famous corn nuggets" are delicious and I love 'em.
If you're looking for some home cooking that will last you for a long flight, Hoover's is where it's at. I always go for the rotisserie chicken, which is always moist but never greasy. The sides are pretty good but skip the mac and cheese — it doesn't have that nice, cheesy flavor. The bread that comes with every meal is a soft, sweet, and delicious way to end the meal.
Of the two Mexican grab-and-go restaurants in the airport, Nuevo Leon is definitely second. It tastes a little bit like Taco Bell (nothing wrong with that), and isn't as fresh as Maudie's. However, their salsa is ahhh-mazing — the flavor explodes on your tongue and you end up appreciating that the helpful servers gave you five containers of it.
8. Wok & Roll
Of all the Austin-Bergstrom airport food I tried, I would have to say this was the worst. First, the main part is a buffet and the food is overflowing onto the counter which is kind of gross. The food is all over-breaded, over-fried and over-sauced. The crab rangoons should have been salty, but they were strangely sweet and there was way too much fried dough. If it's early in the day, it might be more fresh, but if it's after 5 PM, it's probably better to skip it altogether.
Now you have the proper knowledge to go forth and eat a delicious meal your tastebuds will love at the Austin Bergstorm International Airport. Have fun, airport foodies!