Whether it’s for work or leisure, airports can sometimes be downright stressful, and if you arrive for a long layover with a rumbling stomach only to discover your options include Subway, a generic café, or a humdrum steakhouse, it’s pretty disheartening. However, not all airports are on the bandwagon of providing travelers with bland dining options. We researched the top airports in America with the most tasteful eats that transform layovers from an annoyance into an experience.
Kevin Alexander and Liz Childers from Thrillist,” a digital lifestyle brand, investigated the top spots for airport stops. Their top five choices also lined up with many of the airports “Food&Wine” Magazine chose for best eats in America. The leading picks are Dallas/Fort Worth International, San Francisco International, Los Angeles International, JFK International and Newark Liberty International.
Texas is a BBQ state, and it isn’t too shabby when it comes to Mexican food either. So, it’s no surprise that Dallas boasts four BBQ spots, including Cousins (a Ft. Worth special), and eight Mexican stops like Urban Taco and Pappasito’s Cantina. There are also eight bars, so you can basically plan your own BBQ and beer crawl through this airport. Also, boring breakfasts are out of the question. The Cereal Bar and Café features pajama clad employees who serve customers their favorite cereal and assortment of toppings. For winding down after a long flight with a hearty glass of merlot, Food&Wine says La Bodega Winery is spot-on.
Known for its eclectic food possibilities, San Francisco even has prime joints in its airport. Alexander and Childers praise Cat Cora, primarily a seafood restaurant that sells gourmet dishes like lettuce gyros filled with spicy halibut and crab, avocado and mango sandwiches, and Plant, a café with all organic produce. Ditch the idea of always succumbing to a McDonalds or Wendy’s burger, Food&Wine says a fulfilling burger can be found at the Burger Joint.
LAX. You either love it or hate it. And yes it’s busy and painfully crowded, but Alexander and Childers state that it showcases food for any palate. From the Caviar and Champagne Bar to The Larder Tavern, which sells dishes like romesco and manchego pork burgers, it’s a gold mine for your stomach.
Just like New York itself, JFK’s restaurants contain intriguing atmospheres and unusual, décor. Deep Blue, an iridescently blue lit sushi house, and Piquillo, a Spanish tapas join with a vaulted tile ceiling crafted to look like the inside of a wine cellar, are just a few examples. Newark Liberty won’t leave you hanging with generic chains. It gives travelers options like Grand Central Oyster Bar, the old-school culinary restaurant, Gallagher’s Steakhouse and Vino Volo wine and appetizers.
So, the next time you book travel, keep an eye out for these destinations to turn your travel and layovers from tolerable to enjoyable and stomach satisfying.