Airport Food That Almost Makes Up for Having to Spend Time at an Airport

Airport Food That Almost Makes Up for Having to Spend Time at an Airport | Chicago Restaurants | Groupon

A guide to steer you away from chain burgers and toward hidden gems like cochinitas pibil tortas, Montana trout, and hoppy craft beers.



Legal Seafoods is on the all-access side of security. It's a chain, but a good chain. You can get a whole host of New England–style grub here (lobster rolls, crab cakes, clam chowder, AND boston cream pie.) Oh, and Sam Adams beers, available in two different sizes: thirsty, and extra thirsty. – Lisa Ladehoff


The Copper Horse Restaurant is the only viable option in this eight-gate airport, but it is stocked with decent airport food (chicken-fried steak, pork chops, trout), and the bartender tells great stories about people he has thrown out. – Stephanie McDaniel


Buffalo, home of buffalo wings. Check out Anchor Bar, which claims to have originated the buffalo wings. Who cares if it's true or not—it's delicious. – Beth MacKay


A Bojangles tucked into a wall of Concourse B serves crispy fried chicken and sweet, sugary bo-berry biscuits. – Stephanie McDaniel


There is a Great Lakes Company in Concourse C. I repeat: There is a Great Lakes Company in Concourse C. Perfect for grabbing a last-minute six-pack of Christmas ale. – Shannon Jewitt


No matter what terminal you're in, the spicy scent of Texas barbecue calls. Just give yourself plenty of time to clean your fingers after digging into a plate of ribs—preferably from The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que in Terminal A or Railhead BBQ in Terminal D. – Stephanie McDaniel


In the Great Lakes terminal there’s a New Belgium bar. It's kind of hidden, but the plus side is the flights nearby are usually delayed so you have lots of drunk passengers to make friends with. And Chelsea the bartender is awesome. – Beth MacKay


Check out Harry's Tap Room, which is focused on natural, organic, and local ingredients, and most importantly, has wine. – Beth MacKay


Though the beer is (relatively) cheap at the Budweiser Bar & Grill, beware: the restaurant's layout makes every table a smoker's paradise. – Jasmine Feldmann


At the Kona Brewing Company outpost, all of the beers are the same as the original location—even seasonal options. Plus, the burgers are tasty. – Melanie Zanoza Bartelme


Terminal E has the best food options—indulge in Gulf Coast seafood at local favorite Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen if you have time for an upscale meal, or takeout from Pappasito's for a quicker Tex-Mex bite. – Amy Browning


There's a Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs. Just remember that it's pre-security check, so grab your hot dog and delicious cheese fries with bacon and ranch dressing before heading to your gate. – Beth MacKay


The Woodford Reserve Bar & Grill has plenty of fine bourbon. The space itself (traditional, yet cold) is reminiscent of the opening scene in Hunter S. Thompson's "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved." – John Flaherty


Miami airport has a ridiculous amount of stores and restaurants, especially in its new terminal. The restaurant selection is really great—almost too great because it will take you forever to decide. – Beth MacKay


Midway has something every airport needs: a food court. – Beth MacKay

The best breakfast option is hidden at Gold Coast Dogs: fresh-brewed Metropolis Coffee and a hefty bagel sandwich have fueled many an early flight. – Hillary Proctor

Get a proper pint of Guinness from Reilly's Daughter, an authentic Irish pub (for an airport), spawned by a legendary, since-closed, authentic Irish pub on the South Side (for a strip mall). If you ask nicely, they'll even pour it into a to-go cup. – John Flaherty


You're in Wisconsin, so just ignore everything else and go right to Miller Brewhouse. Cheese curds, brats, and beer. – Beth MacKay


If I'm anywhere in the New York area, a deli-style black-and-white cookie is a mandatory snack. The most decadent version is at Crumbs Bake Shop alongside its dozens of pristine cupcakes. – Hillary Proctor


Rick Bayless’s Tortas Frontera washes away the panic of a cancelled flight. Keep yourself (and your hunger) in check with a griddled torta filled with tangy cochinitas pibil and a mountain of freshly made guac. – Melanie Zanoza Bartelme

You may be tempted to try the famed Billy Goat Tavern, but this airport stall doesn't do justice to the original. They serve fries—totally antithetical to the brand. No fries, chips! – Amy Browning

Garrett Popcorn Shops’ buttery aroma is designed to lure hungry travelers. Yes, it's totally touristy—but just try to tell me that a fistful of warm cheese-and-caramel popcorn won't brighten your four-hour middle-seat flight to LA. Also, Garrett's is a thoughtful, last-minute gift for the kind soul who's picking you up. – Jorie Larsen


Order a green corn tamale from Sir Veza's Taco Garage (Terminal 4) and enjoy the complete lack of a winter wonderland outside the windows. – Kevin Moore


Brookwood Farms plops a massive helping of North Carolina barbecue and country vegetables into every styrofoam container. You'll have enough for two meals with a slice of sweet-potato pie on the side. – Stephanie McDaniel


Genesee Pub & Alehouse in Concourse B is worth a visit. – Beth MacKay


Grab a light snack at Pinkberry—maybe one of the greek-yogurt bowls—then seek out the yoga room to work out any delay-related stress. – Melanie Zanoza Bartelme


Vino Volo, a wine bar in the central terminal, has wine flights and tapas, cheese, and more. – Beth MacKay


There isn't much here that doesn't have to do with slot machines, but there is a Cinnabon. It always makes the sting of losing feel a little less harsh. – Melanie Zanoza Bartelme


The best people watching is at Cibo Bistro & Wine Bar, where the sleek decor and easy access to the nearby terminals entreat even senators to stop by for a martini. – Stephanie McDaniel



Malinche provides an impossibly civilized airport dining experience, complete with beautiful views and table service (extremely relaxed, in true C.R. fashion). If you're on your return trip you may think you've had your fill of licuados (fresh fruit blended with ice), but get one anyway—they're delicious and they come in hilariously tall goblets. – Daphne Sidor


You can get haggis, neeps, and tatties at Wetherspoons, or cranachan at The Gathering the second you step foot on Scottish soil. Yum. – Stephanie McDaniel


It makes me feel like a traitor to quality food, but I can't help stopping by to see the donuts at London's most conspicuous Krispy Kreme. It's like breathing in America. – Stephanie McDaniel