The best airport restaurants around the US

November 11, 2014 |

For many travelers, the airport can become more a part of the vacation than originally expected. Lengthy delays or canceled flights are the primary causes for extended durations spent at an airport, and a typical side effect of prolonged postponements is a grumbling stomach. While airport food courts tend to feature the same big-name fast food joints, there are still plenty of restaurants found amongst terminals that tend to put a point of emphasis on their culinary creations. Whether you have a few hours to kill before flying off for adventure travel or nasty weather conditions have your plane temporarily parked, here are some of the more acclaimed dining establishments from airports around the U.S.:

Yahoo! ranks best restaurant-friendly US airports
A recent report by Yahoo! Travel has ranked the best airports in the country in relation to their dining establishments. Topping the list was the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, primarily due to the sheer variety of eateries available, bursting with an eclectic lineup of restaurants. Dallas/Fort Worth International boasts eight Mexican restaurants, four barbecue joints, eight pubs and bars as well as Sky Canyon, a fine dining institute from the famous Stephan Pyles restaurant in Dallas. Rounding at the rest of the list included:

  • San Francisco International
  • Los Angeles International
  • JFK International
  • Newark Liberty International

Prime Tavern – LaGuardia Airport, Queens, New York
Prime Tavern is such an alluring restaurant option that it’s relatively common to see customers there who have no intentions of boarding a flight. The brains behind Prime Tavern is culinary aficionado and famous chef Michael Lomonaco, who also runs the iconic Porter House New York. If you’ve ever dreamed of enjoying a dry-aged steak served with sides of buttery lobster rolls, this is the place to make your airport-dining fantasies a reality. They also feature an accompanying beer list courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery, so diners can pair their meals with a locally crafted cold brew. Make sure you have plenty of time to spare before your flight, because the menu at Prime Tavern is anything but fast food.

Cat Cora’s Kitchen – San Francisco International
If you believe that it’s variety that makes an ideal menu, the food options at Cat Cora’s Kitchen may require an hour to finally come to a dinner decision. Whether it’s a bowl of Greek fisherman stew or a steaming plate of lobster macaroni and cheese, the list of delicious edibles seems practically infinite at Cat Cora’s Kitchen. The restaurant was created by renowned chef Cat Cora, who has helped build the foundation for a number of acclaimed establishments, ranging from California to Disneyworld. While plenty of time and preparation is put into each dish, arguably the best part of Cat Cora’s Kitchen is their take-out menu, so departing travelers can quickly grab a tasty bite before take off.

Tortas Frontera – Chicago O’Hare
One of the world’s most busiest airports also boasts arguably the most tastiest restaurant amid its terminals. Tortas Frontera is widely hailed as possessing some of the freshest ingredients you can find in the city of Chicago, let alone the airport. This southwestern themed restaurant is the product of famous chef Rick Bayless, and digging into a braised short-rib torta at his dining establishment is essentially mandatory for culinary enthusiasts passing through O’Hare. It’s also one of the more healthy options you’ll find at an airport, with an extensive array of salad options all featuring the freshest ingredients in the area. Oh, and no trip to Tortas Frontera is complete until you’ve had a go at their very own guacamole bar.

One Flew South – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
All it takes is a reservation at One Flew South to truly experience the ultimate taste of southern hospitality. This upscale restaurant blends a mix of southern and Asian cuisine, resulting in a menu that the chefs describe as, “southernational.” Whether you’re looking to indulge in some handcrafted BBQ pork sliders or take a stab at the selections of the sushi bar, washing your meal down with their signature cocktail list is highly recommended for anyone in dire need of a little relaxation after a long flight.