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If your travels have brought you through Chicago O'Hare's International Terminal, then you may have noticed that it's hardly the nicest place to spend some pre-flight time. Alas, that was then and this is now, because as of last week, passengers are now being welcomed into a totally refreshed Terminal 5, featuring Chicago hometown brands and international boutiques.
The project totaled $26 million and two years of overhauling, but the terminal now boasts a wider variety of airside activities. Chicago restaurant masters, Lettuce Entertain You, have opened several of their mainstay eateries (Big Bowl, Wow Bao, Urban Olive, Hub51 and R.J. Grunts) and, if you need a pick-me-up, there's Intelligentsia Coffee for delicious brews and Wicker Park deli, The Goddess and Grocer for nibbles. No drama if you've got your heart set on Frontera Grill's tortas, since Rick Bayless has this terminal covered as well.
It seems that each and every week we hear about new restaurants hitting the airport dining scene, and this week is no exception. At this point you probably know that Sbarro and Starbucks are out in favor of some high end concourse cuisine, and that’s exactly what they’re getting over at Reagan National Airport’s Terminal A—the good stuff.
Fans of Top Chef and The Chew will want to head to the airport a little bit earlier than usual, as they’ll need time to check out one of the latest ventures from Carla Hall. It’ll be a little bit of time before things start serving up terminal treats, as it seems like the middle of 2015 is the target opening date.
The healthiest airport in the whole wide world will soon be found here at home in the nifty fifty. Well at least that’s the plan if the folks down in Dallas get their way, as they are eager to show that the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is the best option for hungry travelers.
In the past the place has done well when examined by the group known as the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, as they’ve scored in the top five for good-for-you options when on the go. However, the airport is now going all in with salads, greens, and other healthy habits.
You guys, we have a sad bit of news to share. The Encounter restaurant in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles International Airport has closed its doors, with no indication that it'll ever again welcome visitors for overpriced eats.
We previously shared our tips for making a long LAX layover a little more interesting by popping out of the terminal and heading up to this restaurant. Now that it's closed, there's no longer much reason to leave the secure side of the airport for a breath of Los Angeles air.
There's a secret waiting across from gate A20 at Phoenix Sky Harbor, and it might just be the cheapest airport beer in the entire United States. Opened just two months ago, Four Peaks Brewery will pour you a pint of any of its craft-brew drafts for $4.50!
This is not a mistake, a two-for-one special promotion or a discount because we smile pretty -- the receipt above reflects the every day price of two beers at Four Peaks Brewery in Sky Harbor. Seeing as we've paid not much less than that for a Coors Light at airports in the past (cough, JFK, cough), we were quite pleased as you can imagine (in all honesty, we were so pumped when we saw the tab for the first beer that we did the respectable thing and ordered another).
Thanksgiving Travel / Holiday Travel / MSP / ATL / ORD / Airports / Airport News / Airport Restaurants / Airport Bakeries / → All Tags
If you’re already on your way to visit the family for Thanksgiving we understand if you forgot to bring a pie or some dessert. Unfortunately, your Great Aunt Mildred won’t understand, so you might as well pick something up at the airport. We can’t guarantee that you’ll find the world’s best pumpkin pie, but at least there’s a few options at the airport.
For those connecting through–or heading to—Minneapolis-St. Paul there’s a solid option within Terminal 1, as French Meadow Bakery Café calls Concourse F home in its location near Gate 3. They’ve got cookies, pastries, and other organic bakery goodies, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they had something special just for the Thanksgiving. If you’re only looking for yourself it appears that they’re cooking up a warm seasonal fruit crisp, so go for that if you’re looking to sneak in an early dessert before Thursday.
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It’s been a little bit of time since we ran through the country’s airports to check out what’s new in the world of airport dining. Sbarros are closing and Starbucks are opening all the time, so we want to keep you up-to-speed regarding your opportunities for airport eats.
New York City's LaGuardia Airport has been pretty busy for the last few months (really, years), as the airport continues to upgrade and improve their offerings.
One of their most recent openings is that of the airport’s beer garden. Over the summer the airport debuted an almost 3,000-square foot spot simply known as Biergarten. Local brewers are the stars here with options chosen by the master brewer—Garrett Oliver—from Brooklyn Brewery. Expect lots of local options from breweries like Blue Point and Ommegang. Sausages are a plenty when it comes to their non-beverage options, and there’s a bunch of small plates to nibble on while you kick one back.
At this point we get it—everybody loves food trucks—as everywhere and everyone seems to be getting in on the mobile restaurant craze. We’ve seen food trucks make appearances in cell phone lots and waiting areas at the airport, and even airports have launched their own on-the-go eats. However, now things have gone a little too far, as Los Angeles International Airport is getting their own food truck right inside of the terminal.
It’s not a real food truck, as one business is planning to pretty much set up a fake food truck within Terminal 4. It’ll be like a food truck facade, and everything will be prepared inside and served from the side of the “vehicle.”
Last year, one of the more popular sushi "conveyor belt" restaurants set up shop in London Heathrow's Terminal 3 and we guess things have been going swimmingly for Yo! Sushi since they also plan to open in the newest Terminal 2, the Queen's Terminal. Once the shiny new digs open in June of next year, Star Alliance passengers will be able to skip the traditional airport fare and grab some nori rolls before hopping on the plane.
Besides having 80 different options for waistline-conscious travelers, the Yo! Sushis at Heathrow will accept pre-orders via the internet. Yep, you've read correctly; the ease and convenience of a sushi train has just gotten, well, easier and more convenient. While you're tap tap tapping on the keyboard to check-in for your flight, you can also order that spider roll and a few pieces of sashimi. Once you clear security and belly up to the rails, Yo! Sushi will have your order ready. This is just sheer brilliance!
Best of all, if you're planning to take the rolls on the plane with you, the risk of being olfactory offensive to your fellow travelers is quite low. And that's something we can really get behind.
Airport Restaurants / Airport Dining / SAN / ATL / JFK / Airports / Airport News / → All Tags
We’re not sure if this is the year of airport eats, but it’s getting pretty darn close. Gone are the days of prepackaged sandwiches and stale pizza, as airports around the globe are really creating their own restaurant scene. Here are just a few airports worth checking out on your next layover.
Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
The suburban shopping mall is expanding out towards the airport, as a chain restaurant favorite is finally making an appearance within the terminal. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is now home the world’s only airport edition of PF Chang’s, so feel free to get an order of those lettuce wraps between flights. Asian inspired cuisine can be found on the upper mezzanine of Concourse A—the former home of a Chili's—and they’ll even be serving breakfast.
New York's JFK Airport
At New York’s JFK the hits keep on coming over at Terminal 2, as Delta keeps pouring in the cash and new ideas to spruce and spiff things up. The plan is to bring new ideas and flavors, as well as whole bunch of iPads—after all, it’s more fun to order that way. New options that will be rolling in include Due Amici—think rustic Italian tastes with plenty of meat and cheese platters—as well as the BRKLYN Beer Garden and its 20 beers on tap. A French sandwich shop—Croque Madame—will be serving stuff up right in the terminal, as well as a Japanese spot called Shiso.
Food trucks at the airport are hardly a new concept, as we’ve seen them pop up all over the place. The latest airport to get in on the food truck fun is San Francisco International Airport, as a whole bunch of on-the-go eats are on their way to just outside the terminal.
Things started up as a test earlier in the summer, but the project must have received a passing grade—as the trucks are staying around as a permanent addition to the airport landscape. The Off The Grid trucks will now be doing their thing each and every Thursday—that’s tomorrow—between 11am and 2pm.
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New restaurants seem to be popping up at airports across the country faster than we can keep track of them, so we took some time to check out some of the newest options. Here’s just a few of the latest establishments competing with Sbarro for your airport restaurant dollars:
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
There’s a new less than healthy option for you to enjoy down in Atlanta, and it’s full of Southern flavor. Bojangles'—famous for fried chicken and plenty of other stuff—got its start in North Carolina, but is now busy expanding elsewhere. The latest stop is Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, as the place should be open this month over in Concourse T. We’d recommend sitting down to enjoy their hand-breaded chicken, buttermilk biscuits, and sandwiches, as the aromas might not be quite as enjoyable once aboard the airplane. If you need to something to take with you get some of their super sweet iced tea—delicious.
Dayton International Airport
Unless it’s your final destination there’s probably a good chance you’re flying to—rather than through—Dayton, Ohio. So if you’re headed into town or departing be sure to leave some time to enjoy a couple of new airport restaurants later this year. A brand new Starbucks will be bringing the caffeine fun to Concourse B, and over at the airport’s Main Concourse the airport will welcome a Chick-fil-A. In addition to the new options it sounds like they’ll also be upgrading and updating the Max & Erma’s location over in the Main Concourse. All the construction should be done before the end of the year, as the new spots will be open this fall.