For many years the thought of having to eat in one of the bland, uninviting airport restaurants that are on offer, was as unappealing as the food. With a small selection of processed, shrink wrapped, greasy options, many people choose to wait until they reached their destination to have a meal. However, that is all about to change, ensuring that people want to eat in the airport.
Through an extensive nomination process that involved traveling around the world and experiencing what an average traveler has to endure The Daily Meal compiled a list of 31 top airport restaurants around the world. Over a period of six months, and whilst experiencing many different airports, the list grew and developed. Experts such as Nikos Loukas were consulted, and no bagel was left unturned as the restaurants were strictly judged.
There were two core criteria according to which every airport restaurant was judged – style/decorcuisine and the overall dining experience. Many would argue that the food should sell itself, however, in bland, uninviting surroundings; even the best food will seem unappealing. The menus had to be inviting, and innovative, and the plating fresh, precise, and of course taste delicious. Here are the top ten airport eateries every traveler should try while on holiday.
1. Barcelona - Porta Gaig
Terminal one was finally completed in 2009, which provided travelers with a new and exciting space to enjoy a meal before traveling. Chef Carles Gaig created Porta Gaig, which produces traditional Catalan cuisine. You can experience delicious homemade croquettes, slow roasted veal, and succulent chickens.
2. Austin-Bergstrom - Salt Lick BBQ
Barbeque food is a staple meal in Texas, and the Salt Lick BBQ provides authentic, delicious meals for travelers at Gate 12 in the airport. It all begun 45 years ago on a small ranch in Driftwood, Texas and has grown and developed into a thriving business. The signature dishes of pork ribs and beef brisket are amazing.
3. Chicago O'Hare - Tortas Frontera
Situated in terminal one of the airport, you can experience Mexican food which will excite your taste buds. Created by Rick Bayless, Tortas Frontera is unique, and intriguing, offering a guacamole bar, with numerous toppings, including sun dried tomatoes, bacon and pepitas. You can enjoy breakfast until 11am, which is distinctive and tasty.
4. Amsterdam - Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar
If you want something different, Bubbles Seafood and Wine Bar is the place as they offer, champagne, and raw seafood. Built imaginatively around a saltwater aquarium, you can find this restaurant in the departure lounge one. With over 50 different champagnes to choose from, and delicious Dutch delicacies on offer, you will never tire of visiting this airport.
5. Baltimore-Washington - Obrycki's
Obrycki's was originally in the Fell Point neighborhood of Baltimore, and begun life as a bar, however, food was added to the menu and was an instant success. There are two of these restaurants located throughout the airport, one between gates B9 and B11 and the other between gates A10 and A11. One serves a full menu, including, crabcake sliders, club sandwiches and hot crab dip, and the other is more a pub style menu.
6. New York City - Crust
Crust is a unique pizza restaurant, which is located in terminal D of the airport, and offers thin crust traditional style pizzas. The straightforward style is enhanced by the artisanal toppings, which are cooked to perfection. Whether you want to order from the menu, or design your own, there are a huge array of toppings to choose. There is a breakfast menu available if you are traveling early, which includes hash browns, pancakes, and delicious smoked bacon.
7. Washington - Five Guys
This restaurant is located within Concourse A and B and is far from a standard burger place. You can enjoy made to order burgers, which have numerous toppings, and sauces. President Obama often enjoys a burger here on his way through the airport.
8. New York City - Custom Burgers by Pat LaFrieda
Located in terminal D, this burger place is exceptional, offering homemade burgers made by the fourth generation of the LaFrieda family. Impressively they make over 75,000 burgers a day, to the 90 year old family recipe. The distinctive taste is created by American Black Angus Beef, short rib and brisket.
9. Los Angeles - Encounter
Encounter brings fresh, Californian cuisine to the futuristic building within the dining space in the airport. The themed decor is excellent and ensures that you have an interactive meal whilst at this airport. The menu is extensive, and will guarantee that every member of the party can find something they want to eat.
10. Boston - Legal Sea Foods
Legal Sea Foods begun as a humble fish market and has grown into a household name in restaurants. The location in Terminal C opened in 1992, and there are now four restaurants in the airport, ensuring that every area is covered.