Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends


Meal service on flights? All but vanished. Fortunately, travelers relying on airport meals to avoid inflight hunger fits have an ever more appealing assortment of restaurant choices. Be it a snack or a fine dining experience you crave, here’s a handful of savory stopovers, full of local flavor, en route to your next destination.


Lemonade at LAX

Lemonade at LAX

Lemonade – LAX, Terminal 5

Lemonade’s cafeteria-style a la carte dining encompasses freshly prepared salads, veggies, proteins, pastas, sandwiches and soups. The Los Angeles-based establishment offers more healthy options than most, while lemonade flavors like cucumber mint, watermelon rosemary, and blood orange guarantee their name is well earned.


Root Down at DIA

Root Down at Denver International Airport ©Adam Larkey

Root Down – Denver Intl. Airport, Terminal C

If you can’t venture into the city for the original, Root Down at DEN offers New American cuisine using locally farmed and sustainable ingredients. With dinner, lunch and takeout menus, items like lamb sliders and Thai carrot curry soup have earned the location a reputation as one of the very best airport eateries.


Cafe Versailles at MIA

Café Versailles at Miami International Airport

Café Versailles – Miami Intl. Airport, Terminal D, E and F

In an era of overwhelmingly expensive options in airports, Café Versailles offers Cuban sandwiches, pastries, empanadas and coffee at a counter and at a reasonable price. The guava and cheese pastry with a cortadito is a sweet mini-vacation in itself.


flights cheese plate

Surdyk’s Flights at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Surdyk’s Flights – Minneapolis-St. Paul Intl. Airport, Terminals 1 and 2

A local purveyor of beer, wine and spirits, Surdyk’s offers a refined experience as an airport wine bar serving charcuterie, cheese plates, salads, sandwiches and a full breakfast menu. In addition to a grab-and-go food selection, Surdyk’s Flights naturally sells signature wine flights and cocktails, as well as a buy & fly service for wine by the bottle.


Legal Sea Foods at Boston Logan

Legal Sea Foods at Boston Logan International Airport

Legal Sea Foods – Boston Logan Intl. Airport, Terminals A, B, C

For all you chowdah heads, a stop at Legal Sea Foods is a must. With a test kitchen in Terminal A and locations in B and C, you can dip in for a crab cake or a lobster roll before you roll out.


High West Distillery at Salt Lake Intl.

High West Distillery and Saloon at Salt Lake City International Airport

High West Distillery and Saloon – Salt Lake City Intl. Airport, Terminal 1/Concourse E

While it may not offer ski-in service like its Park City sister, the airport version of High West Distillery and Saloon still stands up to its reputation for Rocky Mountain whiskey from Utah’s first legal distillery since the 1870’s. Better known for spirits and small plates, High West also offers breakfast fare like its sourdough waffle with real maple syrup in case it’s too early* for a Peach Mule and pretzel.

*Per Utah law, alcohol is available at 11:30am when accompanied by food


Shake Shack at JFK

Shake Shack at JFK ©william-brinson

Shake Shack – New York’s JFK Intl. Airport, Terminal 4

Regarded by many to be an East Coast tradition, Shake Shack is the lone fast food chain to make our list. With Stumptown cold brew coffee (a notable Portland, OR, import) and locally sourced classics like burgers and custard, the price and all-American appeal make it a tasty pit stop flying in or out of the country.


Salt Lick at Austin Airport

Salt Lick at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Salt Lick Bar-B-Que – Austin-Bergstrom Intl. Airport, Gate 12

If you believe in the existence of excellent airport BBQ and/or brisket in a breakfast taco, spice it up with Salt Lick sauce to boot. Mega meats and sides at the Gate 12 Salt Lick Bar-B-Que, or visit the Taco Bar at Gate 10.



Tortas Frontera at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Tortas Frontera – Chicago O’Hare Intl. Airport, Terminal 1, 3 & 5

It’s been written about. A lot. In summary: Rick Bayless. Mexican food. Griddle-baked tortas. Local ingredients. Guacamole.  Margaritas… to go!


One Flew South at ATL ©Garnish Photography, courtesy of Green Olive

One Flew South at ATL ©Garnish Photography, courtesy of Green Olive Media

One Flew South – Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Intl. Airport, Terminal 2/Concourse E

At the crossroads of soul food and the sushi bar, One Flew South is considered one of Atlanta’s best restaurants and offers fine dining well suited for a long, leisurely layover. Seaweed salad, thyme-roasted pork belly, pulled duck sandwich, and salmon bruschetta are a few highlights, in addition to a full sushimenu.

Tagged: California, Family time, Midwest, New York

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Amy Burkhardt

Amy Burkhardt

Amy Burkhardt is an occasional itinerant who has lived and worked in five states over six years while writing for advertising, travel, and automotive clients. When her exact geographic whereabouts are in question, Amy can easily be found on Twitter @aim4thahardt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *