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The Best Airport Eats?

Buzz Poole
01/03/2012 - 00:00

Happy New Year – Here’s to 2012 being a year of great trips and adventures!

Memorable travel experiences certainly don’t have to include a flight, but a great many do. Last month, The New York Times reported a growing international movement lobbying to streamline the rigmarole of airport security. The article compares the proposal to the all-seeing tunnels created for the movie Total Recall. But, as refreshing as it is to think of being able to stroll through security without having to unpack computers and remove belts, jewelry and shoes, the realization of such a system is a long ways off. So that means early arrivals at airports in exchange for piece of mind. But what happens when security is a breeze and you suddenly find yourself with two hours to kill before boarding?

The good people at Eater have compiled a guide to eating in some of the country’s biggest airports. American food culture has been changing noticeably over the last twenty years and these changes have become very obvious in airports. No longer are travelers trapped in terminals expected to eat nothing but fast food. Across the country, options abound. From expensive to cheap, vegetarian to grass-fed beef, celebrity-chef to national chain, myriad food options are on offer, and it sounds like many of them are well worth trying. I tend to fly either very early in the morning or late at night, so I don’t have a whole lot of experience eating my way through airports, though I have imbibed some great coffee and passable pints at most of the ones I pass through.

The Eater list includes one international airport, Barcelona’s. I’m sure over time this list will feature more foreign airports. The airport I have the most experience with in terms of killing time and eating is Heathrow. On more than one occasion I’ve settled into a little booth at Brasserie Chez Gerard tucked away in Terminal 3. The spacious bistro ambiance makes you forget that you are dining in an airport, and the food is satisfying bistro fare. But on my last couple of trips through Heathrow, Giraffe has lured me with a more flamboyant menu, fusing various world cuisines into delicious, affordable meals that hit the spot if you want something a bit brighter than French onion soup. I’ve never tried the conveyor belt sushi place in Terminal 3, though it is always crowded. I have brought several Pret A Manger sandwiches on flights with me, however.

Airport food is never going to be as good as the food just outside of the airport, but it will always be better than what’s available on the plane, and for that we should count ourselves lucky!

What’s your favorite airport eatery?

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