Just because you’re stuck waiting for a delayed flight or staring at the clock during a 4-hour layover, you don’t have to resign yourself to eating greasy hamburgers or tasteless sub sandwiches for dinner. Believe it or not, there are actually some pretty awesome airport restaurants out there. Yes, they are few and far between, but they do exist. Next time you have the choice of layover airport, take a look at what’s on the menu. You may just find some grub worth grabbing.
One Flew South – Atlanta International Airport
In Terminal E of what is one of the world’s busiest airports, One Flew South is ATL’s premier restaurant for fine dining. A unique blend of Southern and Asian food, the menu spans an eclectic range from pork belly sandwiches to sushi. Cocktails are a hot item here, and the upscale, fine-dining atmosphere will make you forget you’re in an airport.
Plane Food – London Heathrow Airport
For fine dining in the London Heathrow Airport, book a table at Plane Food, owned by world-renowned master chef and television personalty, Gordon Ramsay. The modern atmosphere, combined with big windows overlooking the runways, makes for a relaxing place to chill while munching on things like steak, risotto and pear cheesecake tart.
Prima Taste – Singapore Changi Airport
At Prima Taste, you can sample the tastes of Singapore without even leaving the airport. The restaurant offers a variety of regional dishes, including pig intestine noodles, fried battered mutton, fish-head curry, spiced pork-ribbed soup and laska. The restaurant itself isn’t must to behold, but the dishes speak for themselves.
Plant Cafe Organic – San Francisco International Airport
Terminal 2 of the San Francisco International Airport is the country’s most environmentally and sustainably designed terminal and home to Plant Cafe Organic. As you might expect from a fine San Franciscan eatery, Plant Cafe serves up only fresh, organic food with an emphasis on sustainability. They serve juice, smoothies, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Items include paninis, lasagna and much, much more.
The Encounter – Los Angeles International Airport
For a “futuristic,” technicolor fine-dining experience, where else would you stop but LAX? If you’re spending any time in the movie capital of the world, The Encounter is an attraction in itself. Both the extra-terrestrial atmosphere and the out-of-this-world food make the restaurant worth a visit. The menu includes items like Peking Style Roasted Duckling and Flame Broiled Prime Flat Iron Steak.
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen – Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
We could say something cliche about everything being bigger in Texas, but we’ll spare you the groan. Suffice it to say, the portions here are LARGE. Pappadeaux specializes in Cajun and Creole, offering a glut of spicy food. The menu is full of oysters, gumbo, shrimp, crab cakes, crawfish, steak, chicken and more. When you’re in the deep south, you better eat like you’re in the deep south.
Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar – Schiphol Amsterdam Airport
Bubbles combines fresh seafood with roulette wheels. That’s right–there’s a casino inside the restaurant. You may not make as much progress in that novel you’re reading, but waiting for a flight has never been so much fun. Bubbles has a full bar and a menu rife with all manner of sealife: salmon, shrimp, oysters, caviar and more.
Tian Xia Dumplings – Hong Kong International Airport
This particular restaurant is perhaps a little less glamorous than many of the others on our list, but for some authentic and astounding Hong Kong street food, swing by Tian Xia Dumplings in Hong Kong International’s enormous Terminal 2. The dumplings are phenomenal and have earned worldwide attention from multiple publications.
Globe@YVR – Vancouver International Airport
Specializing in cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, Globe@YVR is one of the only fine-dining establishments at the Vancouver International Airport. The restaurant boasts a magnificent panoramic view of the runways and a mountain range looming in the distance. Guests can enjoy lamb, duck, salmon, scallops and more.
Incheon Bibimbap – Seoul-Incheon International Airport
Seoul’s primary airport include a sprawling complex comprising a golf course, casino, spa and Museum of Korean Culture. You certainly can’t complain about your layover being dull. To supplement its state-of-the-art facilities, the airport has a plethora of succulent dining options, including Inchean Bibimbap. As you might assume, the restaurant specializes in the tradition Korean dish bibimbap, which is a medley of rice, fresh vegetables, chili paste, sliced beef and fried egg. There’s no better way to begin or conclude a trip to Korea!