Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Wed March 11 2015

5 Surprisingly Upscale Airport Restaurants in the US

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | March 11, 2015

5 Surprisingly Upscale Airport Restaurants in the US

You might be surprised to learn that a flight delay doesn’t necessarily mean a limited choice of fast-food burritos and burgers.

More and more, some of the top chefs around the country are opening outposts of their famous restaurants in airports. That’s right, at the airport.

Fine-dining options abound, and we’re not just talking on-the-fly (pardon the pun) or grab-and-go fancy sandwiches with a brand name on the bag. We’re talking sit-down meals with all the touches.

Here are five airport restaurants you should know (in no particular order)

Café Intermezzo, ATL 

Worth missing a flight for. The outpost at Hartsfield-Jackson obviously has a more limited menu than its counterpart downtown or in Dunwoody, but it is an incredible place at any time of day. Try the Nutella-Banana crepe in the morning or the Italian gnocchi in the lemon-rosemary cream sauce in the evening.

One Flew South, ATL

Tell us if this sounds good: Pumpkin Maple Leaf Duck Breast, with peas, confit carrots, pepitas, cauliflower, pumpkin biscuits and gravy. Perhaps accompanied by a glass of chardonnay from Hahn Winery in California, and finished off by an apple crisp with bourbon caramel. This … at the airport … for real.

Brasserie La Vie, JFK

In the JetBlue Terminal at John F. Kennedy International sits Brasserie La Vie, opened in 2011 by chefs who previously worked at legendary New York City restaurants Balthazar and Pastis. Two words – Sole meunière. That’s all we’re saying.

Pink’s Hot Dogs, LAX

Sorry. We couldn’t resist. We know this is a list of fine-dining establishments, but the Los Angeles International Airport outpost of the famous Hollywood hot dog stand – immortalized in dozens of movies – is fine-dining to some. Personal favorite? The Emeril Lagasse BAM dog, featuring mustard, onions, cheese, jalapenos, bacon and coleslaw.

Anchor Brewing Company, SFO

Technically, not a restaurant. Only the finest craft beer in America, in our humble opinion. Next time you’re in San Francisco try to taste as many of their seasonal beers as you can (in a tasting, not to get plastered before the flight), including Bigleaf Maple Autumn Red, Anchor California Lager and Anchor Saison.


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Discover Club Med All-Inclusive Vacations

Hotels & Resorts