Where to Find Great Food at Airports

This story first appeared in the March 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Now that most airlines have given up on offering meals for free--if at all--travelers are taking a renewed interest in airport restaurants. There are plenty of fast-food nightmares on both sides of the security area, but a few airports have some surprisingly good eateries, and many of them offer meals to-go--a vast improvement over airline snack packs. Here are a few top picks:

Atlanta: Paschal's has authentic soul food--think fried chicken, cheese biscuits, collard greens and peach cobbler. Three locations: the atrium and Concourses A and C

Boston: Celebrity chef Jasper White's Summer Shack has killer clam chowder and rock crab Caesar salad. Not to be outdone, celebrity chef Todd English's South American-inspired steakhouse is appropriately named Bonfire. Terminals A and B, respectively

Chicago (O'Hare): La Tapenade is a Mediterranean-style cafe featuring frittatas, paninis, flatbread pizzas, entrée salads and homemade chutneys. Terminal 1, Concourse B

Denver: Try Red Rocks Bar for barbecue sandwiches and local craft beers. Jeppesen Terminal, Level 5

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Houston: Bubba's Seafood Grill specializes in traditional Cajun dishes. It's fun (and fast) to eat at the bar and watch the action on the tarmac through huge picture windows. Terminal C

Los Angeles: Eaturna focuses on healthy dishes like wraps, sandwiches and salads. The chefs use organically grown produce and hormone-free meat, and source locally whenever possible. Terminal 1

Minneapolis-St. Paul: French Meadow offers a full menu of organic food, wines and spirits. Bread, scones, muffins, croissants and apple crisps are baked daily on-site and served hot out of the oven. Your seatmates will be jealous. Lindbergh Terminal

Newark, N.J.: Gallagher's Steak House, the only airport outpost of the 81-year-old Manhattan classic, offers formal dining and prices to match. But if you have time before your flight--and a healthy expense account--this is the place for a rib eye or a phenomenally good burger. Terminal C3

Portland, Ore.: Rose City Cafe serves fresh sushi--even at 7 a.m.--and the adjacent wine bar has a knowledgeable sommelier and a great ambience; it's not often you find a fireplace at the airport. Oregon Market, main terminal

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