Traveling as a family can be tough, especially for those with young children, so it’s important to determine what the most family-friendly airports and airlines are. One of the most important factors to consider is food: what options are there? Is there a children’s menu? Is it good value for money?
Taking food through airport security is often restricted, so it’s good to know where you can get a decent meal once you’ve had your bags checked.
Whether you have a fussy or adventurous eater, we’ve compiled a list of the top-rated restaurants at airports around the world, to help make your next family holiday that little bit smoother.
The Highest Rated Airport Restaurants
1. One Flew South, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport – 4.5 average score
If you’re the kind of family that enjoys a bit of fine dining, then the Southern-inspired restaurant One Flew South is perfect for you. The establishment, which has been nominated twice for Outstanding Service by the James Beard Foundation, first opened in 2009 in the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International, in Atlanta.
Whilst waiting to catch your flight, you can enjoy some delicious and elegant dishes including poké tacos, a smoked gouda burger, roasted NY strip, and various sushi rolls.
1. Root Down, Denver International Airport – 4.5 average score
Next up is the globally influenced restaurant, Root Down, which can be found at Denver International Airport. Visitors can enjoy delicious food all day long, as the restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Breakfast choices include filled burritos and tacos for those with a larger appetite, as well as lighter options, such as yogurt parfait and steel-cut oats.
For lunch or dinner, you can enjoy a classic burger or cheese steak sandwich, as well as soups and salads. Root Down’s children’s menu features some classics, including chicken tenders, mac and cheese, and a mini beef burger.
2. Sushi Kyotatsu, Narita International Airport – 4.4 average score
Following closely behind is Sushi Kyotatsu, which specializes in, you guessed it, sushi. There are two establishments within the Narita International Airport in Tokyo, with one being in terminal one and another being in the north wing.
Visitors can enjoy a range of delicious sushi rolls, including nigiri sushi, sashimi, and chirashi sushi, as well as sharing platters. The old-Tokyo style restaurant also caters to those with a vegetarian diet.
3. La Carreta, Miami International Airport – 4.1 average score
La Carreta, a Cuban-inspired restaurant found in Miami International Airport, is also a big hit amongst flyers. The menu has a wide variety of options based around various kinds of meat and fish, so there’s something for everyone.
For those who like to stick with the classics, you can tuck into dishes such as chicken or steak Milanese, shrimp paella, and grilled pork chops. For those who want to try something a bit more exotic, you can enjoy specials such as a filet of dolphin mahi-mahi and roasted beef tongue. La Carreta’s children’s menu includes dishes such as fried fish chunks, imperial rice, and a grilled cheese sandwich.
The Highest Rated Airport Restaurants by Top Chefs
1. Tortas Frontera, O’Hare Airport – 3.8 average score
Tortas Frontera, a Mexican restaurant created by American chef Rick Bayless, can be found in O’Hare Airport in Chicago. Breakfast options include egg tortas and cazuelas with either bacon, chorizo, rajas, or mushroom, and a yogurt bar.
For those visiting for lunch or dinner, you can enjoy a range of traditional Mexican dishes such as corn and poblano chowder, garlic shrimp tortas, and smoked pork molletes. To make things easier to understand, the menus at Tortas Frontera even include a ‘lingo’ section, which explains the names of the dishes that are available, so that you and your family know exactly what you’re eating.
2. Cat Cora’s Kitchen, San Francisco International Airport – 3.8 average score
Cat Cora’s Kitchen in San Francisco International Airport was founded by American chef and TV personality, Cat Cora, who is known for becoming the first female Iron Chef. The award-winning tapas lounge features a wide range of small plates, including lamb meatballs, sweet potato clam chowder, lobster mac and cheese, and a tri-color beet salad.
For those not wanting to share or with a bigger appetite, you can choose from the selection of larger dishes, such as chile-lime flank steak tacos, a grilled chimichurri chicken sandwich, greek fisherman’s stew, and a traditional Angus beef burger.
3. Le Chef, Geneva International Airport – 3.8 average score
If you’re wanting a meal with a view, then Le Chef is the restaurant for you. Chef Benjamin Luzuy created the establishment, which is situated in Geneva International Airport, to include large bay windows, so that visitors have a view of the airport runways and the stunning Jura mountains.
The elegant menu features dishes such as sea bass filet, beef ribeye, prawn tajine, and a butternut squash and mushroom risotto. There are also some decadent desserts available, including chocolate lava cake, pistachio crème brûlée, and a fresh fruit salad.
The Airports with the Most Featured Restaurants
1. Heathrow Airport, London – 4 featured restaurants
Topping the list is Heathrow Airport, which is both the largest and busiest airport in the UK. Heathrow appears on the list of highest-rated airport restaurants four times, with its first entry, Spuntino, coming in at number 11. Spuntino offers Italian/American comfort food, including dishes such as sourdough pizzas, burgers, mac and cheese, and salads.
Children visiting the restaurant can grab a meal, drink, and a donut for just £7.50 (approximately $9)! Options include a classic hamburger, mac and cheese, and breaded fish filet. Other Heathrow restaurants appearing on the list include Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar, Carluccio’s, and Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food.
2. San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco – 4 featured restaurants
Also in first place is San Francisco International Airport, with another four appearances on the list. One of the entries includes Lark Creek Grill, which serves breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, and salads all day long. All-day breakfast options include a traditional full breakfast, a smoked salmon plate, and pancakes. For lunch or dinner, you can choose from options such as a turkey club sandwich, a chicken cobb salad, and a grass-fed burger.
Other San Francisco Airport restaurants featured on the list include Napa Farms Market, Yankee Pier, and the previously mentioned Cat Cora’s Kitchen.
3. Multiple airports – 2 featured restaurants
There are six airports tied for third place, all of which have 2 of their restaurants featured on the list: Miami International Airport, Stansted Airport, O’Hare International Airport, Gatwick Airport, John F. Kennedy Airport, and Manchester Airport.
There are plenty of highly-rated restaurants at these airport locations, including Deep Blue Sushi at John F. Kennedy Airport, Trattoria Milano at Manchester Airport, and Cafe Versailles at Miami International Airport.
We began by collating a list of highly rated, popular airport restaurants from sources such as Condé Nast Traveler, Airport Transfer, Telegraph, and The Points Guy. We then searched each restaurant on Google, Tripadvisor, and Yelp to gather the review score from each site. Once all the scores had been gathered, we then took an average score for each restaurant in order to determine the overall score.
In order to determine which airports have the most highly rated restaurants, we simply counted how many times each airport appeared on the list.