Image:  kspoddar @ FlickrFace it:  most airport food is horrendous. Burgers, greasy fries, bland pizza…  we’ve all fallen prey to grabbing crappy fast food between flights.

But there are better alternatives.

More and more U.S. airport restaurants feature good and even great food.

Based on my own travel experiences, reviews at Chowhound, Yelp and FlyerTalk as well as articles from mainstream media such as Frommer’s and Condé Nast, here’s a list of some of the very best airport restaurants in the country; they range from the simple (fresh Mexican) to fine cuisine:

Atlanta (ATL)

  • Paschal’s  (Southern) Concourse A
  • One Flew South (Eclectic) Concourse E
  • Salt Lick BBQ  West Food Court
  • Schlotzsky’s Deli  (Sandwiches)  West Food Court

Boston (LOG)

  • Legal Sea Foods  Terminal C; also check out Legal C Bar in Terminal B (regular menu, numerous beer choices) and Legal Test Kitchen in Terminal A (shortened menu; quick delivery)
  • Todd English’s Bonfire Grill (Mexican Steakhouse; upscale)  Terminal B

Charlotte (CLT)

  • Brookwood Farms BBQ  Airside; center atrium
  • Yadkin Valley Wine Bar  (Wine; appetizers)  Between terminals D & E

Chicago – O’Hare (ORD)

  • Burrito Beach  (Mexican) Between H&K Concourses in Terminal 3
  • Berghoff Cafe (Deli sandwiches) Terminal 1; Gate 26
  • Billy Goat Tavern (Burgers)  Terminal 1; Concourse C

Dallas – Fort Worth (DFW)

  • Cousins BBQ    B27; D28
  • Dickey’s BBQ Pit   A19; C6; E12

Denver (DIA)

  • Cantina Grill Express  (Mexican) Concourse B Mezzanine  A personal favorite; a fresh, giant burrito and a beverage for about $10
  • Que Bueno  (Mexican)  Concourse B
  • Paradise Bakery  (Salads, sandwiches, cookies)  Concourse B Mezzanine  Get a cookie with your sandwich!
  • Lefty’s Front Range Grill  (Bar Food)  Concourse C

Detroit (DTW)

  • Sora  (Sushi)  Terminal A  Gate A35
  • DEMA  (upscale)  At the Westin; accessible from Concourse A

Los Angeles (LAX)

  • Encounter  (’60’s era “futuristic” theme; California cuisine)  Theme building – LAX lower level

Memphis (MEM)

  • Corky’s BBQ   Near Gate B36
  • Interstate BBQ   Near Gate B14

Miami  (MIA)

  • La Carreta (Cuban)   Terminal D, 2nd level   Check out the Cubano sandwich!!!

Minneapolis – St. Paul  (MSP)

  • Ike’s  (Steakhouse)  The Mall, across from checkpoint 1
  • Locanda D’Amico  (Italian)  Concourse F

Newark  (EWR)

  • Gallagher’s Steakhouse   Terminal C

New York – JFK  (JFK)

  • Jikji Cafe  (Korean)  Terminal 1
  • AeroNuova  (Italian)  Terminal 5   Terrific fresh seasonal Italian dishes from Mario Batali
  • La Vie  (French)  Terminal 5
  • Piquillo  (Tapas)  Terminal 5
  • Deep Blue  (Sushi)  Terminal 5
  • Todd English’s Bonfire Grill  (Mexican Steakhouse)  Terminals 2 & 7

New York – LaGuardia  (LGA)

  • Fig’s  (Todd English; upscale)  CTB – Concourse D

Philadephia (PHL)

  • Chickie’s and Pete’s  (bar food)  Terminal E    A local chain; features sandwiches & seafood
  • Vino Volo  (wine bar)  Between Terminals B & C

San Francisco  (SFO)

  • Harbor Village (Chinese/Pacific)  South food court
  • Ebisu  (Japanese)  North food court
  • Perry’s  (Burgers, Cobb Salad)  Terminal 1
  • Yankee Pier  (Seafood)   Terminal 3

Seattle – Tacoma (SEA)

  • Anthony’s  (Seafood)   Great fish & chips with slaw for about $11
  • Ivar’s  (Seafood)   (Anthony’s & Ivar’s are across from one another in the Central Terminal)

Washington Dulles (IAD)

  • Vino Volo  (Tapas; wine; appetizers)  Concourse C; Gate C4
  • Five Guys Burgers & Fries  Terminal A

Washington National (DCA)

  • Legal Sea Foods   National Hall North
  • Matsutake  (Hibachi Steak and Sushi)   National Hall Center
  • Five Guys Burger & Fries  North Pier

Do you have any favorite airport restaurants?  If so, please share by commenting…

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