Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Fri November 20 2015

Expert Picks: Top Eats At America's 10 Busiest Airports

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | November 20, 2015

Expert Picks: Top Eats At America's 10 Busiest Airports

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Whether it’s for business or for pleasure, travelers in the United States are frequently going through the biggest airports without considering the vast array of restaurant options.

Recently, Yelp polled its community managers and compiled the must-visit restaurants at each of the top-10 busiest airports in America.

While the listed restaurants, delis and shops are all worthy of making the list, travelers looking for something different will be able to find alternatives thanks to the experts at TravelPulse.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Yelp’s Take: With local beers on tap, chef-driven menus, a raw bar and a woodstone pizza oven, 1897 is the perfect spot to park it for that two-hour "maintenance" delay. Yelper favorites: Farmhouse Salad, Parmesan Fries.

Our Pick: Brookwood Farms BBQ, atrium: Travelers want a taste of local cooking, and the Carolinas are all about Southern-style, pit-cooked barbeque. From pulled pork sandwiches, to racks of ribs, to beef brisket, this is the authentic taste tourists are looking for in Charlotte.

–via Donald Wood.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport

Yelp’s Take: Before you fly, feast on Rick Bayless' celebrated south of the border sandwiches at Tortas Frontera. You'll feel like you're en route to a Mexican vacation. Even if you're only headed to Cleveland. Yelper favorites: Milanesa, Pepito.

Our Pick: Manny’s Deli, Concourse A, Gate A5: If you can’t visit the original while in town, try the corned beef and potato pancakes. Plus, the spot actually has phone-charging outlets.

–via Tim Wood.

John F. Kennedy International Airport

Yelp’s Take: If you're going to make the calorie commitment of a burger and fries, skip the frozen patty version and get ye to Shake Shack – it reigns supreme. They're even open for breakfast. Yelper favorites: Shack Burger, Sausage Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich.

Our Pick: Croque Madame, Terminal 2: This French sandwich shop is run by New York chef Andrew Carmellini, and serves open-faced sandwiches, crepes and other on-the-go-meals worthy of a full-fledged restaurant.

–via Donald Wood.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Yelp’s Take: Weary travelers can rejoice with Varsano's delicious Neapolitan pizzas, full bar and live piano. Yelper favorites: Margherita, Bufala and Coppa.

Our Pick: If you are stuck in the busiest airport in the south, you are in luck with copious dining options.  Although Varasano’s (Concourse A) is great, save pizza for when you are stuck in New York; here it is all about the south with a good bit of Asian thrown in.

One Flew South (Concourse E) prides itself as the first upscale restaurant in the airport and they aren’t playing. Check out their pimento cheese plate or pork belly sliders or grab their to-die-for open-faced meatloaf sandwich appropriately named, “’OFS’ Dirty South.” Asian influences make their Salmon Hot Pot and Kentuckyaki Springer Chicken Fried Rice worth the trip alone. They also boast a full Sushi menu. 

If you are looking for something a little less fancy, check out the Three Taverns Craft Beers Beer Bar (Concourse A) for a great brew and fare to match.

–via Tom Bastek.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Yelp’s Take: In a rush? Stop into Banh Shop for fast service and delicious Vietnamese and Thai fusion for palatable prices. Yelper favorites: Grilled Pork Meatball Bahn Mi, Drunken Noodles.

Our Pick: Cousin's Bar-B-Q, Terminals B and C: When you think of Texas, you think of barbecue. Cousin's Bar-B-Q is a staple of the region, and the restaurant thrives on beef. Whether you try burnt ends or a brisket sandwich, do not miss out on this meat-eating Mecca.

–via Donald Wood.

San Francisco International Airport

Yelp’s Take: Co-owned by acclaimed chef Tyler Florence, Napa Farms Market has everything you'd need while popping in and out of SFO: Napa wine, locally made artisanal treats, fresh pizzas, baked goods and more. Yelper favorites: Live Fire Pizza, Kara's Cupcakes.

Our Pick: Yankee Pier, Terminal 3: One of Conde Nast Traveler’s best airport restaurants in the world, and for good reason. From their lobster to the clam chowder and the delectable fish and chips, this is a reason to hope for a layover.

–via Tim Wood.

Las Vegas McCarran International Airport

Yelp’s Take: Overindulged a bit? With a wide variety of juices, smoothies and organic eats, Rachel's Kitchen has the goods to cure all ails. Yelper favorites: Acai Berry Smoothie, Spinach Salad.

Our Pick: The Village Pub, Terminal 3: Not only does The Village Pub in Las Vegas have a full-service bar and video gaming inside the facility, but it also boasts an extensive menu of classic American dishes. Add in a tasty take on fish and chips, and this is the ideal stop while waiting for your flight.

–via Donald Wood.

Los Angeles International Airport

Yelp’s Take: Whether you seek giant macarons or a healthy alternative like fresh kale salad with blackened ahi tuna, Lemonade covers the all tastebuds. Yelper favorites: Blood Orange Lemonade, Chicken Chili.

Our Pick: Lemonade is a solid choice. It's fresh food at an airport, which is sadly revolutionary. Other restaurants you have to check out are Umami and The Counter for burgers—the latter will have you creating your own. Ford's Filling Station's brick and mortar in LA is renowned and Coles is always good if you are in the mood for a French dip. And, if you are adventurous and have the time, In-N-Out is outside the airport, available by Uber or one treacherous and exhausting walk.

–via Gabe Zaldivar.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Yelp’s Take: Dreading the in-flight meal options? Stop by Olive & Ivy for well-packaged and supremely tasty bites that will make you scoff at those sad snack boxes aboard. Yelper favorites: Breakfast Club, Mediterranean Salad.

Our Pick: Matt’s Big Breakfast, Terminal 4: not just a great airport breakfast, it’s one of the top-rated breakfast spots in America, period. Belgian waffles with sweet cream butter, please.

–via Tim Wood.

Denver International Airport

Yelp’s Take: Locals rejoiced when celebrated hometown hot spot Root Down opened an airport location. Don't miss their raved-about cocktail menu. Yelper favorites: Lamb Sliders, Grilled Cheese.

Our Pick: New Belgium Hub, B Gates: New Belgium may be known for brewing beer, but the company can also cook up some amazing local cuisine. With delicious sandwiches to entrees accented by award-winning microbrews, this is the perfect stop for any food snob.

–via Donald Wood.


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