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Gourmet Airport Food
Isn't a Myth

Good Restaurant & Dining Options at Airports

Gourmet Airport Food

So the fact that airline food is bad is an old tired joke. We all know it, and it's just not getting any better. Frankly, I feel the airlines' pain (a little bit ...) - it's just hard to make pre-prepared food reheated way up in the air tasty. What we have been finding as an emerging trend in eating and flying is more gourmet food options at airports - providing a welcome chance to get a nice meal at a decent restaurant before boarding.

Now not every airport and terminal has these kinds of options. Some airports are a bit behind the times, and some terminals even at more metropolitan airports need some remodeling, or are just too small to support a full sit-down restaurant inside for just a few gates. The Virgin terminal at Boston Logan airport has just a tiny takeaway deli, for example. We're certainly not trying to say this trend has taken hold everywhere, but where we have seen it - we like it.

Here's a look at great spots we've found for gourmet airport food:

JFK Airport - Jet Blue Terminal (T5)

Ahhh, Jet Blue. If you hadn't left those poor passengers stranded so long on the tarmac you were developing one of the finest reps in the industry for being fun, comfortable and hip. We digress. Well, the food at your terminal in this hub for New York reflects what we love best about you. This terminal cost JetBlue $800 million to develop, and they didn't skimp on food.

There are 24 food and beverage outlets at T5 including a number of gourmet sit-down places - a sushi restaurant (Deep Blue), a steak restaurant (5ive), Mexican, Polynesian and more. On a recent flight, we dined at AeroNuova, which is the Italian-themed restaurant. The meal was elegant and tasty, served quickly (a plus when you need to get to your gate), and they had a quite nice wine list to boot.

 Fennel Salad - AeroNuova  Fennel Citrus Salad at AeroNuova - so good!

Boston Logan Airport - Terminal A

We've seen this terminal a fair number of times - it's home to many of United's shuttle flights from Boston to New York and DC. And also home to several gourmet airport restaurants. Our favorite is Legal's Test Kitchen. Not just because we're from Boston, but we love Legal Seafood. They are dependable, delicious and we go ga-ga for their great wine menu. Their new concept restaurant, Test Kitchen, is also awesome. LTK isn't the only good dining spot at Terminal A -- Harpoon Tap Room (also nice just for beers, I suppose that's obvious), and Lucky's Lounge.

 Legal Test Kitchen  Great for chowder and seafood

San Francisco Airport - Terminal 3

Emporio Rulli Gran CaffĂ© offers both a takeaway service as well as sit-down. This is a bit more casual than some of the options outlined above, but we call it out because it offers a fantastic wine bar and the menu is wonderful, and delectably European. They make delicious pastries, coffees/espresso, as well as pressed panini and other sandwiches. I don't know about you, but a nice glass of wine helps gear me up for a flight - commercial air travel being what it is. Terminal 3 also offers two brew-pubs: Gordon Biersch and Anchor Brewing Company; as well as a wide array of different Asian outlets (Fung Lum, Sankaku, and Tomokazu).

The Worst - L.F. Wade Bermuda International Airport

We're including this as a plea to the powers-that-be to upgrade this one. Bermuda is such a lovely place to visit, and for those of us in the Northeast flying there is almost a dream. It's a short, easy flight, clearing customs is a piece of cake, and you land in the middle of sunshine and pink sand. It's also a foodie's delight. There are a million great reasons to go to Bermuda, and Bermudian Fish Chowder is up there at the top of the list.

However, the food at the airport is ATROCIOUS. Granted, it's been a few years since we visited, so hopefully the situation has improved. At the time, it was far and away the worst airport food we've ever had. There was one sit-down option. It was horribly crowded, and service was terrible. The menu was beyond limited and the meal was questionable in its freshness. So please ... for ourselves and the other travelers who frequent this oasis of sun off the East Coast - take a cue from others and bring in some yummy gourmet food!

What's the best (or worst) airport food you've had? Share with us at amyandmike@easyfoodandwine.com.

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