Airport restaurants. Gotta love ’em. All that great food. All those fresh ingredients. All the... wait, you look confused. Don’t be. We’re talking about that elusive and rare breed of airport restaurant that may or may not be a destination in and of itself. And turns out, quite a few of those actually exist. The very simple explanation is that most of them are outposts of legendary local establishments. The kinds of places you probably should have already stopped by during your trip. But we’re not there yet. First, allow us to paint a picture for you: you’re in Terminal B. Lost. Hungry. Afraid. You want nothing more than to pull up a leather chair and ride out your delay over sriracha popcorn shrimp. And grilled octopus tapas. And a martini made to the exacting specifications of a world-renowned mixologist. You know, the kind of stuff the rest of the outside world is eating and drinking. But alas, not an oasis in sight. You could: A) go to Sbarro, B) eat a pack of Dentyne Ice or C) not do any of that and check out one of the spots we’re about to enlighten you with instead. You may not even want to make that flight after all. But you probably should, because, well... you’ll lose all that money. Anyway, here you go.
“Allow us to paint a picture for you: you’re in Terminal B. Lost. Hungry. Afraid.”
And here they are : the only airport restaurants in America that make the thought of a two-hour layover a glorious one.
Among other things, you’re in for Pat LaFrieda burgers and buttery lobster rolls here. The menu’s by the Porter House chef, so yeah, also steaks.
This renowned seafood emporium’s flight-friendly outpost is where you’ll grab some sriracha popcorn shrimp and fried pickle chips. And try to block out that boarding call.
Thank Rick Bayless for this oasis of margaritas done right and grilled tortas stuffed with, well, anything from beer-braised short ribs to chipotle chicken.
Nashville’s oldest temple of comfort-food goodness doles out its signature fried chicken and pork-laden beans cafeteria-style. Get some of... everything.
A tiny counter of juicy beef brisket and pork ribs from a famous Texas ranch. See it. Believe it. Then maybe, like, consume it.
A sweeping lounge where you’ll pull up a stool and settle in with a not-weak cocktail or two. The drink menu’s all Jim Meehan of PDT fame, so...
A multipurpose sandwich spot with shelves full of local cheeses, breads and cupcakes. A reasonable solution for last-minute grocery shopping. Or not, because you’re in an airport.
Prototypical deli offshoot from a 65-year-old Beverly Hills spot. BLTs. Pastrami burgers. Smoked-salmon bagels. All there. Might have something to do with why it’s so great.
The first tapas bar to hit an American airport has all the grilled octopus and veal stew you want. Formidable Spanish wine list, too.
Solid craft beer bar with dozens of Belgian options. Pairing your brew with sweet potato fries and chili is probably a good idea.
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