Tag Archives: food

Conde Nast Traveler’s Best Airport Food In The World — With My Own Picks

I am a long-time subscriber to Conde Nast Traveler magazine.  I enjoy the writing, the photos and just seeing the travel possibilities.  The magazine checked in with its list of trusted travelers, including three celebrity chefs — Daniel Boulud, Jamie Bissonnette, and Dominique Ansel –and asked them what were their favorite foods at airports around the globe.

Conde Nast created a wonderful slide show with commentary on the top 25 on the list. I’ve eaten at nine of the restaurants, including the winner, Chef Rick Bayliss’s Tortas Frontera, at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.  Below are my picks for another five restaurants you should try on your travels. Manga!

  1. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

    Photo by Benét J. Wilson

    Obrycki’s Restaurant & Bar, Baltimore-Washington International Airport, between Gates B9 and B11: here in Baltimore, we love our crab houses, and this one is very popular. If you’re not going to order the Maryland Blue Crabs, try Obrycki’s crab cakes, the crab soup or the hot crab dip.

  2. Singapore Foodstreet, Changi Airport, past security in Terminal 3: Anyone who is a fan of the city’s famous hawker stalls will love this concept, which offers samples of the best Singaporean foods, like roasted duck, satay and chili crabs.
  3. Legal Test Kitchen, Boston-Logan International Airport, across from Gate A3: Of course Legal Seafoods made the Conde Nast Traveler list. Who doesn’t love their iconic clam chowder? But I would have also included the Test Kitchen, which gives travelers a taste of items being considered for the menu. A great alternative to a lobster roll is the lobster wrap, made with avocado and bacon on flatbread.
  4. Photo courtesy of Boston-Logan International AirportGordon Ramsay Plane Food, London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, post security across from Harrods: It’s the name of the chef that draws you in, but it’s the good food that brings you back. It offers Express Meals that guarantee a two-course meal in 25 minutes or a three-course meal in 35 minutes, using a seasonal menu. It also has a picnic menu for easy takeaway food.
  5. Andale, Oakland International Airport, Terminal 2: If you’re a fan of Mexican food, you will love this outpost, which offers regional fare that you can’t get at chain restaurants. A good alternative to buy-onboard plane food is the restaurant’s take-away quesedillas and tacos. Or you can sit a spell and enjoy tostadas or chili verde.

So what eateries did I miss? Tell me below, in the comments.


Random Aviation Photo

Over at my Facebook group “I Love Sitting In 1st/BizClass,” we were having a discussion about  the cover photo I posted. There were concerns over a United Airlines snack box picture I used for this week’s art. So below is a photo of United Airlines food that is befitting the members of my group. I took it at my recent sneak peek of London Heathrow’s new Terminal 2. Enjoy!


Frequent Travelers Weigh In On Best Airport Eateries


The Vino Volo at BWI Airport. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

I recently had a discussion with a friend who disparaged the lack of food selections at an airport we won’t name here. That led into a discussion on what airports were doing it right when it came to offering the best food and beverage offerings.

So I decided to tap the knowledge of my friends in my “I Love Sitting In 1st/Biz Class” Facebook group and ask them their favorite eateries.  These are folks who have spent more than their fair share of time in airport restaurants, so I value their opinions.

Mary Kirby of the fabulous Runway Girl Network and I agree on our favorite — Vino Volo, which serves world-class wines by the glass and in educational flights, along with “delicious nibbles, nice environment and usually some access to power outlets.”

Below are thoughts from other group members. Enjoy!

Kristin VanderHey Shaw: This may sound lame, but I really love the Garden State Diner at Newark Liberty. Comfort food at its finest! Rice pudding, omelettes, sandwiches, egg creams. It reminds me of my parents’ hometown in New Jersey.

Martin Rottler: One Flew South at Hartsfield-Jackson for excellent airport food, BBQ in Memphis (worth the connection),  and In & Out LAX because it’s the In & Out at LAX. (Read my review of One Flew South here)

Kevin Schorr: I have to second the vote for Vino Volo but it’s tough to find a seat at the IAD-C Concourse location during the evening push. Le Grand Comptoir at Houston Intercontinental is a nice substitute for Vino Volo.

Micheline Maynard: Cartel Coffee at Phoenix Sky Harbor. And yes, Legal Test Kitchen at Boston Logan. Also, Frontera and Garrett’s Popcorn at Chicago O’Hare.

Mark Adamski: Rick Bayless Tortas at Chicago O’Hare (in T1, T3 and T5) .

Morgan Johnston: I love that I can get my Salt Lick fix in Austin-Bergstrom. And for ambience and plane watching alone, Legends Restaurant & Bar at Long Beach Airport is a good time.

Albert Rodriguez: Anthony’s and Ivar’s at Seattle-Tacoma. Both great, and also popular. We also have a Vino Volo stocked with regional wines.

Jason Chiu: Pappadeux’s lunchtime seafood buffet at Houston Intercontinental. Pig out, then pass out. Not a good combo if you’re working the flight…

Andrew Wimpenny: La Carreta at MIA! Typical Cuban food.

Jeffrey Eslinger: Le Grande Orange in Phoenix Sky Harbor.

Dean Starovasnik: Just ate at Jekyll Island Seafood Co. in Terminal. F at Hartsfield-Jackson, serving actual Jekyll Island shrimp and scallops. They have a distinctively sweet flavor due to the sugar cane-related sea grasses upon which the sea creatures dine. Was impressed they had actually trucked them in the five hours from JI. Nice meal in a still brand spanking new terminal.

Rahsaan Johnson: Legal Seafood at Washington National (and now Boston). Pappadeux at Houston Intercontinental. And the Unnamed Coworker likes Lori’s Diner at San Francisco International. (He likes the grilled tuna and chicken salad sandwich with slaw.)

Jamie Baker: Shake Shack, JFK T4. This thread is now closed.

It’s pretty amazing — I’ve eaten at ALL of these restaurants except for five — Cartel Coffee, Le Grand Orange, Legend’s, Jekyl Island and Lori’s Diner. So what did we miss? What are some of your favorite airport restaurants?

 And for those you you who want to keep up with what I’ve been doing over at About.com, click here to see a roundup of all my posts for April. Enjoy!

Related blog posts on airport restaurants:

Best of Aviation Queen: Travel Internationally, Eat Locally

Kids: it’s been a busy week, and it’s only Tuesday! So please enjoy this best-of, originally written on April 11. 2011.

Here’s a question — why do people fly half way around the world for travel and then go straight to McDonald’s to eat?  For me, half the fun of travel is trying out local flavors and cuisines.  I’m ALL about taking in what the locals eat — and drink.

Back in February 1994, I took my first international trip since living in Brussels in the mid-1970s.  I went to Singapore to cover the Singapore Air Show.

Back then, the Internet was in its primitive stages, so I bought a “Lonely Planet” guide to get an idea of what I would do in my off time.  I’ve always been a big foodie, so I wanted to check out what was available locally.

Photo courtesy of Steel Wool, via Flickr

Singapore is a very modern city that nearly had its ethnicity beaten out of it after decades of British colonial rule.  The city is clean, modern and efficient.  Unfortunately, it looks like any large north American city, and the restaurant scene is similar.

Lonely Planet told me about the famous Singapore food courts, which focus on local cuisine and delicacies in a basic setting at amazingly reasonable prices.

My boss wanted to have dinner at TGIFriday’s that first night we arrived. I demurred, saying I could go to TGI any day of the week at home.  But how often was I going to have the chance to eat foods from China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Indian, sometimes fused together?

Some of the dishes I still remember include chili crabs, fishball noodles, hor fun, shark’s fin and satay bee hoon.  The servers are very helpful in navigating the dishes, some of which might be a bit much for some American palates.  Alcohol tends to be expensive, so we all just drank Tiger Beer, which wasn’t bad, although I’m not much of a beer drinker.

I love Paris, and have been many times for work and play. One time, I had a wonderful meal from Michelin-starred chef Guy Savoy — and at a fraction of the price of his usual expensive restaurants.  I ate at a tiny six-table bistro across the street from his flagship restaurant, where, on that night, Savoy himself was running across the street between the two eateries, cooking in both kitchens.  He visited each table and praised us for being so smart by eating at his little bistro with the smaller price tag.

I traveled to Sweden several times in the 1990s and fell in love with reindeer, especially a leg loin with a lingonberry sauce.  Everything is served with Aquavit (similar to vodka), Sweden’s national drink.  I did not, however, develop a taste for herrings in cream.

Photo courtesy of Carlaarlena, via Flickr

I’ve been to Brazil at least 10 times since 1994.  I could do a whole blog post about the wonderful food of Brazil, some of which is similar to soul food.   The national dish is feijoada, a wonderful stew of black beans, beef and pork. It is served with white rice and is eaten with your choice of farofa (made of toasted cassava flour and is similar to corn meal), pork rinds, bananas, fried collard greens and Brazilian pepper sauce.  And of course, you MUST drink Brazil’s national drink, the  caipirinha, is made with cachaça (Brazilian rum) and two limes, muddled with sugar served over ice (I make a mean one).

I made several trips to Oberpfafenhofen, Germany, near Munich, to visit a now-defunct aircraft manufacturer.  The trip was never complete without a visit to Kloster Andechs, a monastery where the monks’ vocation is to make beer.  Again, I’m not a big beer drinker, but this beer, coupled with the sausages, also made by the monks, was a meal that could become a vocation.

I attended a conference in Baveno, Italy, in the Lake Maggiore region north of Milan.  The resort where we stayed had some of the worst food I’ve ever had in my life.  But the trip ended on a high note when we were leaving. Our flight was leaving out of Lugano, Switzerland (too many strikes in Milan).  The airport had a divine little restaurant run by a retired Michelin-starred chef who ran it as a hobby.  I still dream about the pasta I ate there.

In April 2008, I went to Seoul, South Korea, with another reporter to write a series of stories on Korean Air.  Our host was a young woman who was Korean but had grown up in the United States.  She had created a list of places for us to eat, and all of them were American or Western.

But both of us wanted to focus on Korean cuisine, and our host obliged.  I’ve always been a fan of Korean food (I could eat kim chee every day), but the highlight of my trip was to a hidden jewel of a restaurant called Sanchon.

Sanchon’s food Photo courtesy of Julie Facine, via Flickr

Sanchon, owned and operated by a former buddhist monk, serves Korean Temple Food.  I’m probably one of the biggest carnivores on the face of the earth, so I was highly suspicious about an all-vegetarian menu.  I ate at Zen Palate in New York City and I still have nightmares about that meal 20 years later!  But I digress.

The meal was fantastic.  We sat on the floor, and our server brought a series of dishes in small bows nestled in baskets, and each one was delicious.  We were also served a wonderful tea.  We also went to a Dak-gui (grilled chicken) restaurant and a traditional Korean table barbecue restaurant.

So when you’re planning that next international trip, take a quick surf on the Internet and see what’s what in local cuisine at your final destination.  Food is a key part of the journey and you’ll really miss out if you stick with restaurants you can easily visit when you’re at home.

I’d love to know some of the great places you’ve frequented when traveling internationally!

– See more at: http://www.aviationqueen.com/travel-internationally-eat-locally/#sthash.K5H9B8mk.dpuf