For most harried people at airports at year-end holiday time, good restaurant food is not a priority. What they want most are on-time flights and getting through security without having to bare it all. If they do take moments to eat in the airport, it’s usually at fast-food joints, which doesn’t do much for satisfying their cravings for a really good meal.
However, if there’s a quality restaurant at the airport, even the busiest traveler may find the time to enjoy patronizing it. Among the very best restaurants are those at Boston’s Logan Airport (BOS), Albuquerque International Sunport (ALB) and at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
1. Legal Sea Foods at Logan is actually an ABC operation there, because it lures travelers into its name restaurants at three different terminals, each designated with those letters. At all of them, customers can savor the traditional creamy Boston chowder, crab cakes and a full array of Legal’s famed seafood and tasty meat and poultry dishes.
At Terminal A is Legal’s Test Kitchen, it caters to diners who can’t spend much time. It serves the same great seafood and other dishes, but faster. At Terminal B, where there isn’t quite a rush, Legal serves its full menu, along with choices of great wines and other drinks. The Legal Seafood restaurant in Terminal C offers its extensive full service menu, maybe just because customers went by A or B too quickly.
2. If you stop to say the long name of Garduno’s Chile Packing Company and Cantina you could miss your flight. However, whatever the risk, a leisurely meal at this Hispanic oasis at the Albuquerque International Sunport is well worth your time. The menu includes New Mexico-style tacos, spicy green chiles, machaca enchiladas and the sweetest sopapillas anywhere north of Cabo San Lucas. Garduno’s is located near the security section on the airport’s Level 3.
3. The Daily Grill at the Los Angeles International Airport has a familiar name. That’s because it is just one of 18 restaurants of the chain in locations around the U.S., half of them in Southern California. One reason it’s so popular at LAX is because frequent flyers and longtime patrons from the Los Angeles area naturally flock to the Daily Grill in their travels to and from one of the world’s busiest airports.
For those in a hurry or just like second helpings, the restaurant offers lunch and dinner buffets, as well as take-out service. The Daily Grill’s famous baked chicken pot pie is plenty for any hungry traveler, and served in a large soup bowl. Another noteworhy special is Cedar Plank Atlantic Salmon, barbecued in orange glaze. The LAX Daily Grill advertises itself as the largest full-service airport restaurant in the U.S. Many of its frequent flier customers would vote it the best in any airport throughout the world.
Choosing the best airport restaurants in the U.S. is certainly a matter of personal opinion. However, to weary travelers, at least these three are a welcome relief from the cookie-cutter fast-food joints and prepackaged sandwich racks that usually greet them.