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Gone are the days when grabbing a greasy fast-food burger or a soggy sandwich, at inflated prices, was all that was available at the airport. Airports are getting swankier with not just amazing stores to enhance the shopping experience but fancy restaurants with celebrity chefs are now targeting the traveller as soon as they pass their security clearance. Food is such an integral part of travelling that experiences around it begin as soon as one steps into an airport or out of an aeroplane.

Last year when Sam and I left for the Maldives from Delhi we had to transit via Bengaluru’s International airport. With 3 hours in hand, we ordered a bottle of full-bodied wine at the Mediterranean restaurant, La Tapenade. A lavish lunch of Za’atar rubbed grilled chicken, Shish Touk, and the Surf and Turf platter- Peri-Peri Prawns with Grilled Chicken Skewers on a slab of fried Polenta and a filet of fish made up for our lunch. The holiday had begun and we were spoiling ourselves silly even before setting foot on the island nation.

Whether it is  London’s Heathrow Airport, Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, or Hong Kong’s International Airport, over the past several years, restaurants in airports are stirring up amazing dishes that treat your tastebuds to a tantalising experience. Below are the top three airports that offer the best to eat for a foodie.

Three airports that offer the best to eat for a foodie

1. John F. Kennedy International Airport New York

From quick snacks to leisurely meals, celeb chef cameos or more, JFK International airport provides numerous food options to the traveller rushing for a flight or hoping to kill a long layover. A haven for travellers, Uptown Brasserie by Chef Marcus Samuelsson, has transformed dining on the move and offers superlative American fare. The tunnel-shaped Piquillo Tapas Bar is the first-ever tapas bar in an American airport. Order a seafood paella, portobello panini, ceviche and top it up with a glass of wine. The service is stellar and Chef Alex Raij has ensured his eatery is one of many celebrity-chef associated spots in T5. Shake Shack is a perennial winner. Their burger-milkshake is a popular meal on the go. Deep Blue Sushi offers the best sushi you will ever eat in an airport. So popular is Deep Blue, that its fans are known to add an extra hour to two to their arrival at the airport so that they can enjoy their leisure time at the r

Uptown Brasserie
The fried Chicken at Uptown Brasserie

2. Heathrow Airport, London

Let’s start with some fun facts about Heathrow:

Did you know that before Heathrow was turned into an airport, it was a wayward village, named Heathrow? All the buildings and its associated buildings were demolished to set up the airport in 1944.

Or that since 2015 there has been no Terminal 1? Heathrow airport has Terminal 2 to 5 since Terminal 1 was closed for the expansion of Terminal 2 on 29th June 2015.

Nearly 9.4 million of teacups sipped every year and 6.4million croissants, 974 tons of chips and 4.5 million rashers of bacon eaten at Heathrow.

Pizza at the Perfectionists Cafe
Three tomato pizza at The Perfectionist’s Cafe ( Photo Credit: Tom Osborne)

Fun facts aside, Heathrow has some amazing restaurants that take the dining experience to an elevated level. Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food take one’s pre-flight meal to another elevated level at London’s Heathrow. Popular for its takeaway gourmet picnic and timed express menu, it also takes it kids-eat-free policy seriously, making it much-loved travellers halt. Situated in the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel adjacent to Heathrow airport, Tuscany Ristorante excels in authentic Italian provincial cuisine served in a relaxed, urban setting. Open for dinner only, the Mediterranean food served is sheer ambrosia. End the meal with their homemade tiramisu. The Perfectionist’s Cafe offers Classics and comfort food cooked with skill and the occasional twist. At The Perfectionists’ Café, Chef Heston Blumenthal explores and reinvents Britain’s favourite dishes through his unique, creative approach and his constant journey to question everything. At the airport, there is enough on the platter where World Cuisines are concerned. Head to La Salle, Oriel for french food, Itsu to grab flavours from the Far East, Wagamama for Japanese bowls or YO! Sushi, which offers convenience while serving quick and easy sushi dishes on a conveyor belt.

3. Dubai International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates | DXB

Dubai International Airport is a shoppers paradise. After spending the moolah on last-minute shopping, travellers are bound to get hungry. Luckily, Dubai provides excellent options in food, with one of the best airport food halls in the world. The name Wolfgang Puck is synonymous with the best of restaurant hospitality and the ultimate in all aspects of the culinary arts. The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck at the airport offers fabulous Italian options like pizza and pasta, steaks, and salmon. As the name suggests, the focus of the menu at The Noodle House in noodles. The food inspiration is drawn from Thailand, Singapore, China, Japan, and Malaysia. There are noodle soups, wok noodles, ramen noodles, and Pad Thai. Ask for the small plates or dumplings if you want to travel on a light stomach. Travelling through DBX got sweeter when Global confectionery company Ferrero opened Middle East’s first Nutella Café at Dubai International Airport (DXB). Now you can relish crepes, waffles, doughnuts, mini pancakes, choux and cookies filled with the chocolatey nutty goodness. A great thing to grab from the cafe is the customised Nutella jar featuring your names. They make great keepsakes, gifts and are perfect for Insta clicks.


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