Airport restaurants are terrible, right? Not quite. Here's some of the country's best grub.
Business travelers have a lot to complain about--delayed flights, increased security measures, and bad food. But airports are realizing that travelers want tastier, healthier options, and that they're willing to pay more for it.
Now, from Atlanta to San Francisco, you can get a great meal, thanks to a slew of celebrity chefs who have opened sit-down restaurants, with high-end wines and fresh food.
According to Wall Street Journal, U.S. airports are pushing out fast-food joints like McDonald's and replacing them with more upscale chains like Legal Seafood and Frontera. Many are local establishments, so visitors can tap into the city's "local identity," the paper reports.
And the move is paying off: OTG Management, a company that operates restaurants at 10 airports in the U.S. and Canada, tells WSJ that the local fare has increased sales about 50 percent. Below, check out WSJ's picks for the best airport restaurants:
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Don't miss local barbeque hotspot, The Salt Lick. Despite reheating its meat--originally cooked in its Driftwood, Texas location--it sold more than 55 tons of brisket last year, WSJ reports, and scored the most restaurant sales in the airport. For dessert, visit Amy's Ice Creams and try the Mexican vanilla flavor.
Dallas-Fort Worth International
With 15 restaurants in total, there's a lot to choose from in Dallas-Fort Worth. Urban Taco boasts delicious fare, from its Dos Equis Amber Barbacoa tacos to the chicken tinga. This isn't a new sit-down restaurant, however. It opened in DFW back in 2009.
Logan International Airport, Boston
Eating seafood at an airport sounds questionable, but you can't leave Boston without trying some chowda. No time to hit the city? Go to Legal Sea Foods for their chowder and crab cakes.
Midway Airport, Chicago
Order the char-dog at Gold Coast Dogs--you won't be sorry.
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
Swing by the Taste of Mill City Tavern for the bison tartare.
O'Hare International Airport, Chicago
Celebrity chef Rick Bayless, who was wooed to the airport by Chicago's mayor, opened three licensed locations of his restaurant chain, Frontera. Stop by for some Mexican fare, including tortas and molletes.
San Francisco International Airport
Cat Cora's Kitchen near Gate 55 makes an excellent grilled cheese with caramelized onions and spiced tomato soup.
WILL YAKOWICZ is a reporter at Inc. magazine. He has covered business, crime, and politics at Patch.com, and his work has been published in Tablet Magazine and The Brooklyn Paper. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. @WillYakowicz