According to the US Travel Association, 2 billion people traveled in 2012. That’s a lot of people going to and from airports. Justifiably so, airports have become pretty luxurious to accommodate millions of passengers. In the article below, Huffington Post gives you some of the best airport restaurants in the United States. 

Whether it’s due to a delayed flight, a speedier-than-expected security line or a long layover, we all have to brave the airport eatery gauntlet at some point in our traveling lives. This frequently means stomaching wilted paninis or salads imprisoned in plastic and sometimes, if we’re honest, means eating Starburst in bulk.

Instead of settling for the mediocre fare offered everywhere, try one of these 10 restaurants the next time you’re stuck. Some of these restaurants are so good you might head to the airport just to graze. Others are behind the security checkpoint.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

salt lick

 

The Salt Lick

The Salt Lick barbecue restaurants have been raved about in everything from the Washington Post to the New York Times, and now you can get a little taste of Texas from a stand at the airport. Don’t let the time of day dissuade you from stopping here — there are breakfast tacos for the morning and there’s brisket for all other meals.

 

Chicago O’Hare International Airport

tortas

Tortas Frontera

These quick-service airport cafes by celebrity chef Rick Bayless (of Top Chef Masters fame) are so good that the Chicago Tribune called them “a reason to get delayed at O’Hare.” Grab and go with freshly made Mexican food like molletes or tortas, and smother everything with guacamole from the guacamole bar. Concerned about where your food is coming from? Tortas Frontera’s website lists the local farms from which it sources its ingredients, so you’ll know you’re getting a taste of Chicago even if you never leave the airport.

 

Miami International Airport

la carreta

La Carreta

An outpost of the delicious Cuban chain awaits you at Miami airport. Get a pre-made sandwich or salad if you’re pressed for time, or grab a tray and belly up to the hot bar if you want to sample a bit of everything. Save some room for the classic Cuban desserts (or pack one in your carry-on for your flight)

 

Los Angeles International Airport

encounter

Encounter Restaurant

This spaceship-like structure designed in 1960 to usher in the “jet age” may feel a bit dated, but at least it’s unique. Stop in for a drink at the intergalactic-themed cocktail lounge (complete with lava lamps) or get a table and dine on fresh California cuisine. The best part of Encounter is the view, so head to the observation deck (open Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) even if you don’t have time for a pre-flight bite.

 

San Francisco Airport

cat cora

Cat Cora’s Kitchen

Cat Cora, an “Iron Chef” on Food Network’s Iron Chef America since 2005, is winning over SFO flyers with her airport restaurant. The eatery features lobster mac and cheese, seafood sliders and an excellent cocktail menu — perfect for drinking away a flight delay

 

LaGuardia Airport

custom burgers

Custom Burgers by Pat LaFrieda

You might not have complete control over your flight, but you’ll have complete control over your burger at Custom Burgers by Pat LaFrieda. Use the handy touchscreen to design your dream burger; you can add toppings as exotic as a fried egg or pork roll or as traditional as cheddar cheese. Best of all, a simple cheeseburger starts at less than $5, an astonishingly reasonable price for an airport meal

 

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

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One Flew South

An oasis inside the busy Atlanta airport, One Flew South is decorated with a Georgia forest photo-mural, a 30-foot sushi bar made of pine and Cherokee marble and a native heart-pine floor and ceiling. Embrace the relaxed atmosphere by sipping on one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails or boutique wines, or indulge in some down-home Southern cooking by ordering the Thyme-Roasted Pork Belly, OFS Meatloaf or Benton’s Bacon BLT.

 

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport

brookwood farms

Brookwood Farms BBQ

You’ll stay full until you reach your final destination if you dine at Brookwood Farms BBQ. Go for a pulled-pork sandwich, ribs or hush puppies — we hope you packed wet wipes! Not in the mood for meat? You can still get cheap beer and fried pickles.

 

John F. Kennedy International Airport

la vie

La Vie

Started by chefs from the famed New York City restaurants Balthazar and Pastis, La Vie brings a little bit of Paris to flyers in need of anything from a coffee to a full meal. Red-eye flyers can start the day off right with brioche French toast, midday diners can grab a salad, and evening jet setters can fuel up with hearty dinner entrees

 

 

 

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