Stuck with a long layover and can’t stomach another terrible airport meal? GateGuru has provided us their comprehensive list of airport restaurant rankings, based on approximately 35,000 reviews from travelers. From the casual food court spot to sit-down dining in the terminal, here are GateGuru’s top 25 airport restaurants.
Overview: For a true taste of local homemade ice cream, this is your place. With the “wackiest/funniest workers” around, expect to have things your way. With innovative flavors like Mexican Vanilla, Sweet Cream, and Sweet Leaf Original and lots of mix-ins like Oreo’s crush, Reese’s crush and strawberries, the possibilities are endless.
What the flyers are saying: “They take a craftsman’s approach to making each customized order.”
Best tip: “Get a bottle of Sweet Leaf Original sweet tea to go.”
Overview: Great selection of wine at reasonable prices and knowledgeable staff in an airport? Better believe it. This little slice of paradise is a great place to relax, munch on some food and have a glass of good wine before your flight. Like the wine you were sipping on? Everything is available for take away.
What the flyers are saying: “An oasis of calm and good taste. What a refreshing experience!”
Best tip: Trust the staff when they make a recommendation. And don’t forget to use the GateGuru coupon for free olives!
Overview: You don’t have to stand in long lines in downtown Chicago to get the classis taste of Garrett’s -- yes, the “famous one that even Oprah talks about.” However, one traveler said, “I don’t buy it because of Oprah, I buy it because it’s good.” Local and global favorite: the Chicago mix.
What the flyers are saying: “Simply the best stuff on earth.”
Best tip: If you are still on the fence, “ask for a sample, they will give you a small cup of the cheese and caramel to help make your decision.”
Overview: Breakfast, lunch or dinner, the great American menu here is sure to please. A classy joint in a convenient location away from the airport turmoil with décor that will make you forget you are in the airport. The burgers receive the most praise.
What the flyers are saying: “Have to try the vanilla milkshake … just like Grandpa used to make!!”
Best tip: Not the cheapest of joints but you won’t be disappointed.
Overview: Can’t decide between sushi and a sandwich? Come here and have both, paired with creative cocktails to wash it all down! The sushi rolls are fantastic; the pork belly entree receives high praise from those less fish inclined. With a fancy atmosphere and great ambiance, you’ll forget you are in an airport.
What the flyers are saying: “Proper respect for cocktails.” “Not many eateries are worth buying a plane ticket to get to, but this is one of them.”
Best tip: Despite the Atlanta airport being paid Wi-Fi, the bonus of One Flew South is that it has its own free Wi-Fi!
Overview: Don’t let the long line discourage you, this places moves fast thanks to great service -- and is well worth the 5-minute wait. You cannot go wrong with anything here; sandwiches, salads and soups are all worthy, with a special callout to The Wreck. You know you have a winner when you can spot flight crews dining.
What the flyers are saying: “Quite simply … the best food and value you will find at any airport.”
Best tip: If you call when you land, they will prepare your order ahead of time so you don’t have to wait in line. Now that’s service!
Overview: Everyone has their favorite burger place, and this one steals the hearts of East Coasters. The Idaho potatoes can’t be beat (hint: get them Cajun style). Best part, they serve burgers for breakfast!
What the flyers are saying: “You simply cannot find a better burger or fries ... Look for high quality beef augmented by fresh vegetables (jalapenos)!”
Best tip: “Be sure to get a few extra napkins, especially if you plan on eating it on the plane.” Sounds like our kind of burger joint!
Overview: A great local fast-food seafood chain but don’t let that fool you; this place is top quality. A smart, friendly staff trained well to handle the long lines that accumulate here. Smoked salmon chowder, fish and chips, crab cakes, everything on the menu here receives high praises.
What the flyers are saying: “Never had anything here that I don’t love! Have to try the smoked salmon chowder.”
Best tip: Go for the grilled options to be healthier.
Overview: Name says it all; this is where you come for a great sub. Only the freshest, best tasting ingredients go into the made-to-order sandwiches here and at a reasonable price. No wonder there is a usually a long line, but don’t let that discourage you as they know how to keep it moving.
What the flyers are saying: “A really good sub on great bread. The friendly staff keeps the order flowing, so don’t let the line out the door keep you from enjoying a treat.”
Best tip: Try the spicy relish!
Overview: “Not typical airport junk food. Delicious and health conscious!” From fresh squeezed OJ to generous portions of balsamic chicken, this place is worth a trip from other concourses. Tucked away in the quieter Concourse E, this is a great place to come for healthier options.
What the flyers are saying: “Best fresh squeezed OJ I have ever tasted.”
Best Tip: Crew gets a discount.
Overview: Best sit-down restaurant in the Indianapolis airport. Tremendous praise for all the food here: prime rib sandwich, filet sliders and calamari, you can’t go wrong. With prompt and polite service, Harry & Izzy’s provides you with everything you need for an enjoyable dining experience that makes you feel like you’re not in an airport.
What the flyers are saying: “Outstanding prime rib sandwich.”
Best tip: Order the shrimp cocktail, but be careful, when they say it’s spicy they mean it!
Overview: As quick as fast food but the quality of a restaurant. Hidden and a little hard to find (tucked in the corner right next to the bookstore), this best-kept airport secret away from the noise is a superb place to get food and a smile from the staff.
What the flyers are saying: “A hidden gem.”
Best tip: Have to try the turkey/brie/ apple sandwich.
Overview: Don’t think you can find chicken marsala and marinated skirt steak with tomato, basil and balsamic glaze on an airport menu? Think again. With fast prompt service and over 40 options (you can go for a simple panini or burger) you might just plan your trips around flying out of this terminal.
What the flyers are saying: “I eat here several times monthly. Never had any menu item that wasn’t good.”
Best tip: Only place open that serves alcohol in the entire airport past 9:30 p.m. -- a key for those taking the red-eye.
Overview: Sushi here is always fresh and prices are comparable to outside locations. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The fried rice is extremely tasty and big enough for two.
What the flyers are saying: “This place made me a believer that it is possible to have fresh sushi at the airport.”
Best tip: Ask for a cup to pour your soy sauce and wasabi into -- the to-go trays are not very good for mixing the sauce.
Overview: Not only does this place have a great view but also the staff is super friendly and attentive. Their breakfast can’t be beat, even though you don’t think of a seafood place for breakfast (think salmon bagel and other local fare). Salmon and chips is a must, with the most reviews, but the mahi-mahi taco is a close second. Top it all off with a Bloody Mary.
What the flyers are saying: “Anthony’s wins for best local/regional tap selection I’ve ever seen in an airport.”
Best tip: Go to the bar and they’ll plug your laptop in on their side!
Overview: Keeping true to the Bartalotta’s chain of restaurants, you will only find excellent food and service at this airport location. Whether sitting at the bar (Spotted Cow on tap) or in the “patio” area across from the main restaurant, you won’t be disappointed with pasta or pizza here.
What the flyers are saying: “Salmon pizza for breakfast!”
Best tip: Save room for the gelato!
Overview: Come with a big appetite cause the portions here aren’t small. If you’re looking for Cajun and Creole, this is your place. Not a fan of spicy, they have something for everyone; if you want healthy get your dish grilled with veggies, very gluten-free friendly. Lastly, you can’t beat the lunch buffet, great prices and solves the problem of having too many good things to choose from.
What the flyers are saying: “Hands down the best airport dining deal anywhere.”
Best tip: “Awesome alligator.” ’Nuf said!
Overview: An oasis in the midst of fast-food junk in the world’s busiest airport. Soup, salad, sandwiches, pasta, sandwiches and treats, the atmosphere here really makes you feel like you are sitting in a café. With 2 pages of tea options and lobster ravioli, you wouldn’t believe it until you experience it for yourself. Don’t have time to sit? Take it to go.
What the flyers are saying: “So relaxing I almost missed my flight!” Enjoy, but don’t let this happen to you!
Best tip: Try the black bean burger.
Overview: Looking for some genuine Texas food at the airport? Look no further. Great brisket, turkey, sausage and a stuffed potato the “size of your head.” Beware, you will be offered money for a bite if you take this on the plane with you.
What the flyers are saying: “The restaurant is world-famous for its BBQ and the little shack at the airport lives up to its name.”
Best tip: Get a plate order instead of a sandwich -- much easier to eat.
Overview: Limited menu but still the best chicken in the world. Even with long lines and weary travelers, this place gets it done. No lemonade but can’t pass up the sweet tea. Looking for a healthier option? Go with the chargrilled chicken garden salad.
What the flyers are saying: “Any layover in ATL must include a pilgrimage to the almighty delicious Chick-fil-A.”
Best tip: “Always ask for extra pickles.”
Overview: Breakfast lunch or dinner, this spot has something for every meal of the day. Don’t let the food-court location fool you, skip the fast-food locations for this “tasty beyond tasty” Mexican food. Signature rice bowls, tacos or 7-layer salad for a healthy option, you will leave here happy.
What the flyers are saying: “A little pricey but well worth it.”
Best tip: Don’t try to eat this on your lap while at your gate, but you can bring it on the plane with you!
Overview: A true diner, something for everyone. Located right at the top of the gates, a very good typical diner with better quality than you’d expect. Excellent service, fair prices and a ’60s throwback feel with mini jukeboxes at each table, this place is well worth the visit.
What the flyers are saying: “Best milkshakes!”
Best tip: Don’t have time to sit? Try the to-go kiosk.
Overview: Although tinier than its downtown location, this place still packs all the great tastes into the sandwiches. As one New Yorker said, he was extremely reluctant to try the Reuben but glad he did, as he would “recommend it absolutely.”
What the flyers are saying: “The best Jewish deli in the Midwest.”
Best tip: Must get it on rye, “seeing them hand-slice fresh rye bread just made me smile.”
Overview: Tofu, bison burger, unfries (baked fries), steamed brocolli, egg white breakfast burrito, acai smoothie. Not exactly what you expect to see at an airport restaurant but it all tastes good here! Allergies? Not a problem as everything is clearly marked with ingredients.
What the flyers are saying: “Safe, tasty and healthy food options for everyone.”
Best tip: Calories are listed so you can be sure you are making the best selection for yourself.
Overview: “I wasn’t planning on eating in the airport but the smell of this place was killing me.” Quick service, good prices and great old-fashioned Memphis BBQ. Extremely generous with the sauce, this is Southern hospitality at its best.
What the flyers are saying: BBQ spaghetti. Sounds a little strange, but it’s a specialty of this place and you have to try it.
Best tip: Don’t neglect the sides! Potato salad and cole slaw are a must.