The 15 Best Airport Restaurants In The Country

Deep Blue Sushi

John F. Kennedy International Airport, Queens, NY

Step into this high-end sushi bar by chef Michael Schulson and you may completely forget that you're at the airport — make sure not to miss your flight! The modern and serene surroundings set the stage for a "treat yourself" meal to start off vacation. Fresh crudo, sushi and speciality rolls, plus tasty soups, fried rice and noodle dishes are highlights on the menu.

Beecher's Handmade Cheese

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, WA

The Sea-Tac outpost of this Pike Place Market staple has some of the best grab-and-go fare you'll find in any terminal, anywhere. Their "World's Best Mac & Cheese" stands up to its name, and the incredible selection of cheeses makes it possible to put together your own picnic to take onboard. Pair it with some in-flight vino and you'll feel first-class, even if you're riding coach.

(Facebook/Beecher's Handmade Cheese - SeaTac)
Tony Luke's

Philadelphia International, Philadelphia, PA

Though lesser known than Pat's or Geno's, this Philly cheesesteak joint shouldn't be overlooked. Order the classic cheesesteak (with Wiz or American) or a juicy, roast pork Italian sandwich on your way out of town to round out your trip the right way — with a nap on the plane.

(Facebook/Tony Luke's PHL)

Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA

Michael Voltaggio's stepped-up sandwich stand serves hoagies that you'll actually want to scarf down. Since they're also pretty affordable, you'll have change left for tasty snacks like Maryland crab chips or watermelon with Sriracha and lime. Sounds better than a bag of free pretzels to us.

(Facebook/Los Angeles International Airport)

William P. Hobby International Airport, Houston, TX

Seafood probably isn't your go-to when it comes to airport eats, but this beloved Southern chain passes the test. Long layovers in Houston give you plenty of time to chow down on Cajun specialties like gumbo, crawfish étouffée, and even adventurous apps, like fried alligator.

(Flickr Creative Commons/y6y6y6)
Vino Volo

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Austin, TX

The thought of squeezing into a crowded Chili's for a pre-flight meal is enough to give anyone airport anxiety, but this sleek wine bar is the perfect antidote. You can find Vino Volo locations in airports across the country, but the airy feel of this one in Austin nabs extra points. You'll find fancy cheese plates, apps and other eats, plus a calming atmosphere and helpful staff to make recommendations on glasses and flights. Cheers to that.

(Courtesy of Vino Volo)
Dooky Chase's

Louis Armstrong International Airport, Kenner, LA

The Big Easy never skimps on spice, and this outpost of the iconic family restaurant in Treme proves that even airport restaurants can boast big flavor. Dig into a comforting plate of shrimp and grits or red beans and rice, sample regional favorites like po boys and jambalaya, then finish on a sweet note with whiskey bread pudding.

(Facebook/TL Westgate)

Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Baltimore, MD

This newly renovated seafood joint is the place to go for a killer Bloody Mary and crispy crab cakes. The spot has a laid-back vibe, serving Maryland's prized crab in every form imaginable — omelets, eggs benedict, soups, sliders and dips, just to name a few — plus salads, wraps and a decent beer selection to keep everyone happy 'til takeoff.

(Facebook/Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport)

John F. Kennedy International Airport, Brooklyn, NY

This wine and tapas bar from Alex Raij, acclaimed chef of New York's Txikito, brings his Spanish influence to JFK's JetBlue Terminal 5. Rather than digging into greasy fast food, have a glass of sangria and share a few tapas plates with your travel companions at this spot, just past security. Cheese and meat plates, ceviche, and crispy artichokes are a few of the flavorful options. For something more filling, go with a sandwich, steak or paella.

(Flickr Creative Commons/Paul Brady)
Tortas Frontera

Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, IL

The Mexican flair of Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill makes its way to O'Hare with this sophisticated torta stand. The griddle-baked sandwiches have amazing fillings like chorizo, braised short ribs and smoked pork, and are best eaten with fresh guac and a marg in hand. The open-faced molletes are the only answer when your stomach demands a breakfast sandwich in the a.m.

(Flickr Creative Commons/T. Tseng)

LaGuardia Airport, Queens, New York

Sure, you order via iPad instead of an actual server, but the clean, elegant decor makes up for it. Great for a solo meal or pre-flight group gathering, Michael White's sophisticated menu has something for everyone, from rotating pizza offerings to pasta with meatballs and roasted chicken to fresh salads. Don't forget to check out the impressive wine selection.

(Facebook/LaGuardia Airport)
Phil's BBQ

San Diego International, San Diego, CA

If California spa food isn't for you, fill up on flavorful barbecue at this no-frills spot, complete with quick service and plenty of seating. Southern favorites like BBQ chicken and tri-tip sandwiches are served with classic sides, such as macaroni salad, baked beans, cole slaw and cornbread. Wash it all down with a cold, local beer and you'll be one happy passenger.

(Flickr Creative Commons/djjewelz)
Bar Symon

Washington-Dulles International Airport, Dulles, VA

Steer clear of the Golden Arches: When passing through D.C., you'll want to pop into this amped-up burger joint from award-winning chef, Michael Symon. In addition to their specialty burgers, piled high with all manner of toppings, the hip spot serves hefty breakfast plates, wings, sandwiches and perfectly thin and crispy fries (get the Parmesan and rosemary).

(Facebook/Bar Symon/R. Alan Adams Photography)
Root Down

Denver International Airport, Denver, CO

This eclectic and colorful restaurant is a favorite in downtown Denver, and the airport offshoot offers a quality menu of globally inspired cuisine made with organic ingredients. Start the day with brunch items, like almond buttermilk pancakes or pulled pork benedict served on corn bread. At dinnertime, they're serving flavor-packed bento boxes, banh mi turkey burgers, cranberry-chipotle buffalo wings and more (with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options), plus delicious drinks beyond typical fountain sodas.

One Flew South

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, GA

Diners at this Atlanta airport restaurant swear they'd choose to dine here even if they weren't trapped in a terminal. The Asian fusion spot serves everything from sushi and rice bowls to soup and sliders. The servers are conscious of your flight time, ensuring you get a good meal (the salmon hot pot and roasted pork belly are favorites) and still get to your gate without a mad dash. Escape that horrible fluorescent lighting, take a seat at the bar and browse the extensive beverage offerings (cocktails, sake, wine, and beer) ... this place is worth getting to the airport early for.

(Facebook/One Flew South)

This airport food is your ticket to travel bliss.