You know the routine, flights get switched, delayed, cancelled, and you end up spending what could turn into hours, sometimes days inside of an airport. The only thing that perks me up when I’m stuck inside of an airport for hours on end is food.
Now some of us think of airport food and shutter at the mere thought of being exposed to a meal that slightly resembles something we used to eat out of our high school cafeteria. Calm down people, I’m not talking about the airplane food, but rather the food you eat prior to boarding the plane, in a nice airport restaurant. Check out what the world’s airports have to offer for the international traveler with a big appetite.
ENCOUNTER RESTAURANT, LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
In 1961, LAX opened the "Theme Building," a spider-legged combination of mid-century modernism, Jet Age optimism, and urban futurism that was to serve as the main gateway for passengers entering the airport. Encounter opened in 1997, a 70-foot-high, Jetsonsesque restaurant that serves simple bistro fare with unobstructed, 360-degree views of the runways below. Dinner for two can set you back as much as $75.
MOCHICREAM, NARITA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, TOYKO
This airport treat puts a twist on traditional Japanese mochi, known as glutinous rice cakes, by injecting them with fluffy cream, along with the standard red bean paste. Try offbeat favors such as blueberry or caramel pudding. And a mochi will only cost you $2.
LADURÉE, CHARLES DE GAULLE AND PARIS-ORLY AIRPORTS
The city’s most famous macaroons, made of delicate almond meringue domes, come in delicious flavors such as chocolate, lemon, and caramel with salted butter. Look for them inside the Ladurée store at Charles de Gaulle. And at Orly Airport a petite cart sells a massive selection of the pastries. Get a box of 18 for $50.
PIQUILLO, NEW YORK JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
JFK's Terminal 5 features one of the world's best food courts complete with a steakhouse, brasserie, and trattoria. With flavorful tapas and bright Spanish riojas, Piquillo is a notable standout, especially for flyers who prefer lighter fare while sitting on the busy tarmac for hours on end. Although a food coma which puts you to sleep would be perfect for passing the time. Before you know it, you wake up from your nap and you’re finally airborne!
LEGAL SEA FOODS AT BOS (BOSTON'S LOGAN AIRPORT)
Legal is a Boston favorite and there's actually a different Legal concept in each Logan terminal. Terminal A, after security, has Legal's Test Kitchen with a shortened menu, but fast delivery. Terminal B, before security, has Legal C Bar with lots of beer options and a full menu and Terminal C, before security, is the traditional restaurant.
HARBOR VILLAGE AND EBISU AT SFO (SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT)
These eateries both serve large bowls of noodles, and they're both in International Terminal food courts, before entering the security area. Harbor Village is located in the south food court and Ebisu in the north one. Either one makes for a decent Pacific-style dinner.
YA KUN KAYA TOAST, CHANGI AIRPORT, SINGAPORE
This breakfast of champions includes toasted crust-free bread abundantly smeared with coconut jam and butter, complete with soft-boiled eggs and coffee with condensed milk. Breakfast for two is only $10. This should hit the spot prior to an early morning flight or following a redeye.
WAGAMAMA, LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT
Located smack-dab in Heathrow's Terminal 5, Wagamamahas a pan-Asian menu featuring gyoza, soba, udon, and ramen where travelers can indulge in a comforting bowl of noodles during a layover.
TIAN XIA DUMPLINGS, HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Hong Kong International Airport’s “Terminal 2” is an entire building devoted to shopping and eating some amazing dumplings. In fact, you have no choice in the matter because no planes fly out of “Terminal 2.” Instead, this glorified food court has Tian Xia Dumplings, where you can eat as many of the best dumplings in the world as you want. However, the décor leaves something to be desired, but what this place lacks in ambiance it makes up for in flavor.
So to the busy executive world traveler out there, bon appétit and happy landing!