The world's best restaurants in airports, according to our experts

Hugh Morris
Los Angeles' In-n-Out Burger offers prime burgers in a prime spot - Anna Bryukhanova

There is no pizzeria in Naples Airport. Excuse me while I move to Naples to open a pizzeria in the airport.

How can there not be already? It’s a licence to print money, surely, to sell one of the city’s finest culinary wares to an eager and captive audience. But then airports are airports and there seems something in the unwritten laws of transport that terminals should be forbidden from hosting restaurants of quality. Or so you thought.

We asked our experts for their tips on the finest places to eat at different airports around the world. Happily, there are more than enough to choose from - you just need to know where to look.

Crystal Jade, Hong Kong (HKG)

Hong Kong Airport has some great places to eat, among them Crystal Jade — probably the only branch in Hong Kong which doesn’t always have a massive queue outside. It’s located in the arrivals hall but is really easy to nip to before departures too, for a bamboo steamer of fabulous xiao long bao dumplings (pork soup dumplings) and Sichuan dan-dan noodles.

Lee Cobaj, Telegraph Travel’s Phuket expert

Cacio e pepe in Rome Fiumicino sounds about right Credit: istock

Attimi, Rome Fiumicino (FCO)

I was really impressed by the food and drink offering at Rome Fiumicino Pier E at Terminal 3 International  which includes Attimi by Rome's only three Michelin star chef Heinz Beck where you can eat the classic Rome dish cacio e pepe or veal cheek “cacciatora style” in smart monochrome surroundings.

Tortas Frontera, Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

Legendary Chicago chef and recognised expert in Mexican cuisine Rick Bayliss runs three outlets of his casual Tortas Frontera at O'Hare Airport, where the menu includes a variety of tortas (Mexican sandwiches) including a pepito made with braised beef short rib, artisan Jack cheese, pickled jalapeño, cilantro crema, black beans and wild arugula.

Hawksworth Kitchen, Vancouver International (YVR)

By next year, Vancouver airport will be well served for restaurants when top chef David Hawksworth opens Hawksworth Kitchen. It will be based on the menu at his acclaimed restaurant in the city, Nightingale, with pizzas and healthy salads that might include rabbit meatball, kale, pine nut, fior di latte, lemon pizza and marinated beet, burrata, avocado, orange, sherry vinegar, hazelnut and basil salad. Until then, don't miss Vancouver's favourite burgers from White Spot, served with the secret recipe tartar-like Triple 'O' sauce and a side order of poutine - fries with curds and gravy (sounds nightmarish but actually delicious).   

Andy Lynes, Telegraph Travel’s food columnist

Root Down, Denver (DIA)

I try to go early when I fly from Concourse C, and I normally never like to get to the airport early. Root Down was a local restaurant in town first and was essentially the first local name to open at the airport a few years ago. Its vibe is modern international with a touch of PanAm in the Sixties: suitcases, backlit globes on the ceiling, and genuinely unique cocktails. I particularly like the Colorado lamb sliders or the veggie burger, and my favorite cocktail is the Beet Down - never had another drink like it.

Christina Kidd, writer at Sleeping in Airports

Le Chef, Geneva (GVA)

Le Chef is a proper place to eat in the Swiss airport if you happen to be delayed by fog, snow or ice during the ski season. A large, light and curious space provides an interesting setting for traditional dishes turned modern, such as local poultry with almond emulsion, taglierini pasta with shredded trout and pan-fried Swiss beef fillet with black trumpet mushroom gravy.

Nick Trend, Telegraph Travel’s chief consumer and culture editor

MoVida, Sydney (SYD)

MoVida has long been a trusted Iberian establishment in Melbourne, so an outpost at Sydney Domestic airport (Terminal 2) was quite the win for those travelling within Australia. It’s an excellent option for quick, tapas-style dishes. Try the tortilla with Manchego to soak up your Bloody Mary.

Ariela Bard, Telegraph Travel’s Sydney expert

Bamee, Munich Airport (MUC)

The Thai restaurant in the Lufthansa terminal (Terminal 2) at Munich airport, which is equally impressive is very good, and just what the doctor ordered after a week of heavy, beige Austrian food. I make a bee-line for it every time I fly from Munich. Expect decent Thai cuisine as well as sushi. There’s a second Bamee in Terminal 1, too.

Lucy Aspden, Telegraph Travel’s online ski editor

Top Air, Stuttgart (STR)

Top Air is lovely and has a Michelin star. It lays claim to being the only European airport restaurant to have been awarded a Michelin star every year since 1992.

Maxim’s Jade Garden, Hong Kong (HKG)

You can find great dim sum here. The Jade Garden was the first Cantonese restaurant to pioneer Hong Kong’s Yam Cha culture, offering local Guangdong dishes. Expect roasted goose, deep-fried pork fillets with black vinegar and double-boiled chicken and wolfberry soup.

Trisha Andres, Telegraph Travel commissioning editor

Jedediah’s, Jackson Hole (JAC)

Jedediah’s is one of my favourites. Not for being fancy, but they do an amazing range of your standard American diner foods at super reasonable prices, with a slight southern / Tex Mex leaning (think breakfast burrito, or pulled pork biscuit sandwich). There's also a full bar and good coffee. In short, it's like going to your archetypal small town diner/bar in the west, but inside an airport.

Anthony Woodman, head of alliances at Virgin Atlantic

Pate Pate, Copenhagen (CPH)

Over the past few years Copenhagen has revamped its food and drink offering. You’ll still find the usual airport suspects (Burger King, Caviar House, Starbucks, Pret...) but they’re balanced out by lots of more interesting local places, offshoots of bars and restaurants in the city centre. The one I tend to gravitate towards – because it serves a well-filled glass of cava at a decent price – is Pate Pate, an offshoot of the very popular restaurant of the same name in the Meatpacking District. It’s a wine bar and tapas place, with legs of Iberico ham hanging behind the bar and ranks of sardine, tuna and mackerel cans lined up on the counter along with platters of tortilla, pintxos and bocadillos.

Suzanne King, Telegraph Travel’s Copenhagen expert


In-N-Out Burger, Los Angeles International (LAX)

I reckon the best airport restaurant in the world - though it’s not quite in an airport - is the branch of In-N-Out Burger at West 92nd Street and South Sepulveda Boulevard, just outside Los Angeles International Airport. In addition to the tasty food that has made the In-N-Out chain a California institution - try the Double-Double Cheeseburger and fries - this location also offers the most utterly extraordinary views of planes descending to land on runway 24R at LAX. Go just before sunset, when you can see shining airliners from all across the world, one after another, gliding down through all that golden Los Angeles light.

Mark Vanhoenacker, author and British Airways senior first officer

One Flew South at Atlanta's airport, the busiest in the world Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

One Flew South, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL)

Very friendly and welcoming staff helped me enjoy One Flew South in Atlanta - in Terminal E. Expect global cuisine with a refined Southern twist. There’s also a decent cocktail list dubbed “Salute to Aeromarine”, a homage to Aeromarine Airways, the flying boats that carried wealthy passengers from Miami to Nassau and Havana to do some illegal boozing during the prohibition era.

Kaye Holland, Telegraph Travel senior content editor

Spuntino, London Heathrow (LHR)

From the same people behind Polpo, the second outpost of Spuntino opened last year in Terminal 3. This spin-off matches the Soho original, which swapped Polpo's light and airy Italian interiors for a grungier New York-inspired experience. Think mac ‘n’ cheese, truffled egg toast and a spicy vegan jackfruit burger, not to mention the roller-skating staff. While we’re at Heathrow, there should be honourable mentions for Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food and Heston Blumenthal’s The Perfectionists' Cafe.   

Lizzie Frainier, Telegraph Travel content editor

Napa Farms Market, San Francisco International (SFO)

San Francisco International Airport resembles a massive foodhall, as befits a famously food-obsessed city. But Napa Farms Market in T2 is the standout, with a pizza and rotisserie section and plenty of hot options. But the real fun is in assembling an in-flight picnic from the best of the area's artisan producers - cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery, sourdough from Acme bakery, Tout Sweet pastries, and a Fort Point beer.

Kamado Gohan Sachifukuya, Kansai International (KIX)

Osaka is famously the foodiest city in Japan, and Kansai International Airport doesn't disappoint, with a healthy smattering of teppanyaki, sushi and soba joints in both terminals. Kamado Gohan Sachifukuya in T1 is my favourite, with traditional Japanese set menus with mains of seared mackerel or chicken karaage alongside dainty plates of pickled vegetables, miso soup, tempura, gyoza and sushi.


Anna Hart, Telegraph Travel columnist

Various, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK)

There’s a street food-style food hall at Bangkok’s main airport. There’s a bit of everything, from Korean cuisine to dim sum and it’s all affordable and pretty authentic.

Teresa Machan, Telegraph Travel cruise editor

Starbucks, Bordeaux (BOD)

Not a restaurant, and pretty standard for a cafe, but the Starbucks at Bordeaux Airport has an al fresco seating area that overlooks a mini vineyard.

Greg Dickinson, Telegraph Travel digital content producer

Special mentions

1300 on Fillmore, San Francisco International (SFO)

Winner of the 2019 Airport Experience award for best new restaurant, 1300 on Fillmore offers a Southern-inspired spin on American tradition. Expect award-winning chicken wings, pulled pork sandwich with pineapple slaw and some mightily impressive breakfasts.

The Salt Lick BBQ, Austin Bergstrom and Dallas Fort Worth

Coming second in the Daily Meal’s best airport restaurants in the world (behind Tortas Frontera, mentioned above), the Salt Lick BBQ is widely regarded as one of the best barbecue joints of its kind and stands out for its vast cooking pit and signature dishes, beef brisket and pork ribs.

The pit at the Salt Lick BBQ Credit: getty

Brasserie Flo, Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)

The original still wows diners in the 10th Arrondissement in Paris, but the copy in the city’s key airport is pretty impressive, too. Found in Terminal 2F, expect an authentic brasserie experience in the form of supreme of guinea fowl and cured ham with dried fruit and nuts, finished with a strawberry croustillant with lavender ice cream.

Have you ever stumbled across an unexpected gem of a restaurant in an airport? Tell us the best dining experiences you've had in a terminal building in the comments below.