Eating and Traveling are 2 of my 3 favorite things. And they occur simultaneously, often. Eating food at an airport is usually either a hassle, or a quick necessity...and rarely delicious. What if airport dining could be a pleasure? Crazy concept?....maybe.
So I'm kind of weird. I actually enjoy spending time at airports. I'm fascinated with air travel in general and just like being around it... watching the planes land and take off, seeing the pilots hustle about the terminal. Air travel definitely isn't as prestigious and romantic as it was several decades ago, but I still like finding ways to enjoy it. I like to get there as early as possible prior to my flight, of course for logistical reasons, but I also like to have a good meal before I board. Unfortunately, options can be limited, especially at my home bases, O'Hare and Midway.
Yes, Chicago airport food has definitely improved, but it is far from haute cuisine and chic dining. No, we don't need 3 star Michelin restaurants at our airports, but how about things other than soggy or overly dry and processed genetically modified turkey sandwiches? Even the "Wolfgang Puck" restaurants still offer the same boring dry turkey sammies. Yes, Rick Bayless makes an appearance with Tortas Frontera, and there is a sushi spot called Wicker Park Seafood (I haven't tried it, reviews seem positive). But for the most part, you're stuck with all Chili's-esque options. Processed and microwaved "bar" food. Is it THAT hard to bring in some fresh and organic options?
I'm spending a lot of time in New York lately. Laguardia is a cesspool of nastiness. Zero options for a good meal. JFK on the other hand is like the Garden of Eden of airport dining. High end steak and sushi options, healthier fast casual options, and streamlined bars at every other gate. I had a delicious sushi dinner last night in the Jet Blue Terminal at Deep Blue. It was sexy and sleek and the food was actually great.
I do have one way to ensure that you can at least get the best meal possible at ANY airport you go to. There are a few great apps out there can be very helpful. Gate Guru is my favorite. Not only will it give you the updated arrival and departure boards at every airport but it also has a complete list of all food, shops, and amenities and what terminal and gate they're at. It also features reviews of other travelers so you know which to hit up, and which to steer clear of. Happy travels all, and please share with me which airports YOU feel have the best food!