While airplane food is either nonexistent or terrible, food at many airports has improved.  Usually we don’t have time to stroll around reading menus, so here is information that will help you make a beeline to the right food vendors.

 

New York City’s JFK Int’l. Airport:

The new Terminal 5, home to Jet Blue seems to have the best restaurants at JFK, according to a survey by Food and Wine.  You can only eat there if you have a Jet Blue ticket.  The good restaurants are a steak house called 5IVESTEAK and a Spanish taperia called Piquillo.  They both offer take-out so you can sit down if you have the time, or pick up and run for the plane. All the restaurants in Terminal 5 share a 300+ bottle wine cellar, so no more rot gut!  If you are even shorter on time, there is a good kiosk that I’ve had luck at called Croque Madame.  Try crepes, quiches, salads and sandwiches, all good.

San Francisco Int’l. Airport:

Terminal 2 is the hot spot here.  It opened in April and has many great food options.  Napa Farms Market is a mini Ferry Building and sells many Bay Area products.  Acme Bread, Cowgirl Creamery, Equator Coffees & Teas and a wine bar just to name some.  There are also a couple of great take-out restaurants – the Rotisserie which makes waffles for breakfast and rotisserie chicken with sides for lunch and dinner, and Live Fire Pizza with delicious concoctions.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l. Airport:

I have spent so much time in this airport running like stink with 3 kids, stroller, and carry-ons trying to make a connection that I don’t have good associations. However, when it comes to good food, I am willing to give it a second chance.  In Concourse E, there is a restaurant called One Flew South that gets rave reviews.  It is really two restaurants with two different menus.  There is a sushi bar and a menu that fuses Japanese and southern cuisines.  Delicious is all I have to say! The bar is also remarkable – there are 30 liquor and wine by-the-glass choices.

New York City’s LaGuardia Airport:

The dining style here is food-court.  In Terminal D, try Tagliare for thin-crust pizza, and Custom Burgers for whatever your burger fantasies are.

Denver Int’l. Airport:

In Concourse Center, choose Chef Jimmy’s Bistro.  Try the Chicken Marsala or the marinated skirt steak but any of the 40 options are supposed to be excellent.  The service is fast and it’s the only restaurant that serves alcohol after 9:30 PM in the entire airport!

 

Read the Business Insider’s The Best Airport Food in America.

 

This app, Airport Food, lists airport restaurants, and has ratings and reviews from fellow travelers.  You can also write reviews for restaurants you’ve tried.  It’s free.

 

Also well reviewed is B4 You Board.  This app guides you to the best food at Chicago’s O’Hare, Sacramento Int’l Airport, JFK and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airports.  Check out the menus, then pre-order for pick-up or gate delivery!  Free.

 

Gate Guru is chock full of travel information, but among all the offerings are lists of airport food with over 30,000 reviews.  Free.