By Amy Burkhardt for the Orbitz blog
Meal service on flights? All but vanished. Fortunately, travelers relying on airport meals to avoid inflight hunger fits have an ever more appealing assortment of restaurant choices. Be it a snack or a fine-dining experience you crave, here's a handful of savory stopovers, full of local flavor, en route to your next destination.
Lemonade at LAX
Lemonade - LAX, Terminal 5
Lemonade's cafeteria-style a la carte dining encompasses freshly prepared salads, veggies, proteins, pastas, sandwiches and soups. The Los Angeles-based establishment offers more healthy options than most, while lemonade flavors like cucumber mint, watermelon rosemary and blood orange guarantee their name is well earned.
Root Down at Denver International Airport ©Adam Larkey
Root Down - Denver Intl. Airport, Terminal C
If you can't venture into the city for the original, Root Down at DEN offers New American cuisine using locally farmed and sustainable ingredients. With dinner, lunch and takeout menus, items like lamb sliders and Thai carrot curry soup have earned the location a reputation as one of the very best airport eateries.
Café Versailles - Miami Intl. Airport, Terminal D, E and F
In an era of overwhelmingly expensive options in airports, Café Versailles in Miami offers Cuban sandwiches, pastries, empanadas and coffee at a counter and at a reasonable price. The guava and cheese pastry with a cortadito is a sweet mini-vacation in itself.
Surdyk's Flights - Minneapolis-St. Paul Intl. Airport, Terminals 1 and 2
A local purveyor of beer, wine and spirits, Surdyk's in Minneapolis offers a refined experience as an airport wine bar serving charcuterie, cheese plates, salads, sandwiches and a full breakfast menu. In addition to a grab-and-go food selection, Surdyk's Flights naturally sells signature wine flights and cocktails, as well as a buy & fly service for wine by the bottle.
Legal Sea Foods - Boston Logan Intl. Airport, Terminals A, B, C
For all you chowdah heads, a stop at Legal Sea Foods is a must. With a test kitchen in Terminal A and locations in B and C, you can dip in for a crab cake or a lobster roll before you roll out.
High West Distillery and Saloon - Salt Lake City Intl. Airport, Terminal 1/Concourse E
While it may not offer ski-in service like its Park City sister, the airport version of High West Distillery and Saloon still stands up to its reputation for Rocky Mountain whiskey from Utah's first legal distillery since the 1870s. Better known for spirits and small plates, High West also offers breakfast fare like its sourdough waffle with real maple syrup in case it's too early* for a Peach Mule and pretzel.
*Per Utah law, alcohol is available at 11:30 a.m. when accompanied by food.
Shake Shack at JFK ©william-brinson
Shake Shack - New York's JFK Intl. Airport, Terminal 4
Regarded by many to be an East Coast tradition, Shake Shack is the lone fast food chain to make our list. With Stumptown cold brew coffee (a notable Portland, OR import) and locally sourced classics like burgers and custard, the price and all-American appeal make it a tasty New York pit stop flying in or out of the country.
Salt Lick at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Salt Lick Bar-B-Que - Austin-Bergstrom Intl. Airport, Gate 12
If you believe in the existence of excellent airport barbecue and/or brisket in a breakfast taco, spice it up with Salt Lick sauce to boot. Mega meats and sides at the Gate 12 Salt Lick Bar-B-Que, or visit the Taco Bar at Gate 10.
Tortas Frontera - Chicago O'Hare Intl. Airport, Terminal 1, 3 & 5
It's been written about. A lot. In summary: Rick Bayless. Chicago. Mexican food. Griddle-baked tortas. Local ingredients. Guacamole. Margaritas...to go!
One Flew South at ATL ©Garnish Photography, courtesy of Green Olive Media
One Flew South - Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Intl. Airport, Terminal 2/Concourse E
At the crossroads of soul food and the sushi bar, One Flew South is considered one of Atlanta's best restaurants and offers fine dining well suited for a long, leisurely layover. Seaweed salad, thyme-roasted pork belly, pulled duck sandwich and salmon bruschetta are a few highlights, in addition to a full sushi menu.
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