Best airport dining for holiday travel

best airport diningThe holidays mean different things to different people, but one thing that’s fairly ubiquitous is airline travel. And with airports comes some pretty godawful, overpriced fast food and full-service restaurants. That’s why the team at Gadling (and a few well-traveled friends) gave their picks for the best airport dining at a variety of domestic airports.

From Cubano sandwiches to Nigerian fufu, there’s an eclectic mix of world cuisines, along with some regional and traditional American classics. Maybe layovers aren’t so bad, after all.

Dallas-Forth Worth Airport: Pappasito’s Cantina, Terminal A, Gate A28.
Tex-Mex made from scratch, salsa to tortillas.

Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston: Real Food Co., Terminal C.
Four words: Texas barbecue. Huge portions.

Miami International Airport: La Carreta, Terminal D, 2nd Level.
Mmm, Cuban food. Artery-clogging goodness from a popular Miami chain.

Albuquerque International Sunport: La Hacienda Express, between Concourses A and B.
Cheap, delicious Southwestern cuisine. Tip: adovada breakfast burritos.

[Photo credit: Flickr user freebeets]best airport diningWashington Dulles International Airport, Washington DC: Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Midfield Concourse, Gate B58.
Old school burgers don’t get much better than this, airport or no.

Logan International Airport, Boston: Legal’s Test Kitchen, Terminal A, between Gates 4 and 5.
Clam chowder like it’s meant to be.

Memphis International Airport: Jim Neely’s Interstate BBQ, near Gate B14.
Honest-to-god pit barbecue from this popular local chain.

Portland International Airport: Stanford’s Restaurant & Bar, on Main Concourse, behind Gates A, B, and C.
Steak, ribs, burgers, and a banging happy hour Sun-Fri, 3-6pm and 9-11pm.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: Anthony’s, Central Terminal.
Regional seafood, including Puget Sound oysters. Slurp with PacNW beer and wine (there’s also a full bar).

San Francisco International Airport: Ebisu Sushi, Terminal G Food Court.
A branch of the insanely popular, recently remodeled Sunset District original, which has been packing them in for over 20 years.
best airport dining
Raleigh-Durham International Airport: 42nd Street Oyster Bar, Terminal 2, near Gate C-1.
For over 70 years, the downtown location has been a Raleigh institution for its massive raw bar (one of the biggest in the Southeast), seafood, steaks, and Southern hospitality. The airport outpost is a “miniaturized version.”

Chicago O’Hare International Airport: Two new Rick Bayless restaurants, Terminals 1 and 3.
Bayless, the acclaimed chef/Mexican cuisine authority behind Chicago’s Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, and Xoco, will be opening two restaurants at O’Hare this fall, er, winter. The names of the small, casual eateries haven’t been announced yet; word is that one is an outpost of Frontera, and Bayless says the other will be a torteria, with a guacamole bar and “good margaritas.” Count on it.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: African food at the taxi driver’s cafeteria seven minutes walk outside of North baggage claim, Concourse E.
Look for dishes from Ethiopia, Somalia, and Nigeria.

Got a favorite food stop at a U.S. airport? We’d love to hear about it!

[Photo credits: Five Guys, Flickr user Adam Kuban; oysters, Flickr user VirtualErn]