Where to Find Great Food at Airports

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This story appears in the March 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. 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

Edition: March 2017

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