Fine dining at airports around the world

When you’re delayed in an airport, you don’t have to be condemned to fast food, stale doughnuts, and poor coffee. Today’s global airports feature fine dining and Michelin-starred restaurants, if you know where to look.

Enjoy fine dining at the airport. Image credit: The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck
Enjoy fine dining at the airport. Image credit: The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck

Airports aren’t necessarily food deserts any longer, with five-star restaurants and expertly prepared dishes showing up all around the world. Take a look at some of the best airport restaurants from Michelin-starred chefs to enjoy fine dining as you travel. In addition, take a look at some of the best places to eat near these airports when you have the time to enter the city between flights.

Fine dining in European airports

London – Sink into perfection at Heathrow’s Perfectionist’s Cafe

Slide up to the bar or snag a booth overlooking The Queen’s Terminal (Terminal 2) at Heathrow Airport to experience an ideal meal inspired by Heston Blumenthal’s “In Search of Perfection” books and TV series. The Perfectionist’s Cafe starts with dishes you might expect as fast food — fish and chips, burgers — and executes them so expertly that you’ll wonder why you’d ever eat anywhere else.

As a special treat, head to the nitrogen ice cream parlor or indulge in one of the decadent milkshakes. And if you’re traveling with your family, you’ll enjoy knowing that one child eats for free for every adult entrée purchased.

Fine dining near London Heathrow Airport: Treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon tea at the Tea Salon at the Sofitel Heathrow. Also at the Sofitel, La Belle Epoque delivers five-star gourmet French cuisine in a soothing, luxurious atmosphere, with private dining options for up to 20 people.

Paris – Michelin-starred restaurant I Love Paris at Charles de Gaulle

It should be no surprise to find a restaurant from a chef with three Michelin stars at Charles de Gaulle Airport‘s Terminal 2. Dining at I Love Paris is a sumptuous affair, where you feel as if you’re in the Palais Royal.

Chef Guy Martin focuses on French fusion with dishes like blue lobster and mango carpaccio, and you’ll also find exquisite French classics like pot au feu and blanquette de veau showing up on the menu, which changes with the seasons. You’ll feel like celebrating when you relax in the Ruinart Champagne bar, which features the finest of vintages and is open for snacking all day into the late evening.

Fine dining near Charles de Gaulle Airport: Within a quick drive of the airport, the Michelin-starred Auberge des Saints Pères combines creativity with technical flair to present seafood dishes filled with layers of favor. Seasonal menus make the most of locally sourced ingredients, all within a comfortable setting that makes you feel as if you’re dining in a very special home.

Malaga – Innovative sushi at Kirei by Kabuki

Michelin-starred chef Ricardo Sanz brings his intriguing fusion of Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine to the Malaga Airport at Kirei by Kabuki, which offers a simplified version of the menu served at Madrid’s Kabuki restaurant.

Choose from tataki, sushi, nigiri, and more as you sit at a counter enjoying the restaurant’s “show cooking,” with sushi experts preparing your meal as you watch. Grab-and-go dishes are also available for your flight.

Fine dining near Malaga Airport: You’ll have to head a few miles up the Costa del Sol to find excellent restaurants near the Malaga Airport, but you won’t be disappointed. Stroll through walk-streets to get to Figón de Juan, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by intricate tilework and dining on traditional Spanish dishes.

Stuttgart – Dine in Michelin-star luxury at Top Air

The views of the tarmac and the distant Alps are mesmerizing at Top Air, but you may find it hard to take your eyes off your plate, given the delicacies served up by chef Marco Akuzun.

From the amuse bouche to the dessert (savor that Riesling ice cream while you can), you can expect impeccable service, a fascinating wine list, and creative cuisine that’s worth all your attention.

Fine dining near Stuttgart Airport: If you’re leaving the airport, fine dining awaits you just north of the airport, where you’ll find Speisemeisterei, a contemporary Michelin-starred spot that treats international dishes with creative flair and features a lunch menu that changes constantly. The restaurant’s beautiful location in Hohenheim Castle adds a touch of luxurious style to your meal, and the restaurant is happy to cater to special dietary needs.

Fine dining in Asian airports

Singapore – Asian specialties at The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck

Michelin-starred celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck brings his culinary flair to Singapore Airport with a menu that features delicious Asian dishes including Korean kimchi short ribs and sour and spicy soup with shiitake mushrooms.

Prices are affordable at The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, and breakfast is available for those with early flights. While the ambiance may be casual, the food is far from typical airport fare. If you have time to leave the airport, Puck’s restaurants Spago and the Michelin-starred Cut await you in the city.

The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck at Singapore Changi Airport. Image credit: The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck
The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck at Singapore Changi Airport. Image credit: The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck

Fine dining near Changi Singapore Airport: While you’ll have to go well into the city to find white-tablecloth dining, closer to the airport you can treat yourself to some absolutely delicious food in more casual settings.

Try the amazing chilli crab at Roland, a white-tablecloth restaurant with Michelin’s Bib Gourmand rating. The sauce alone is so amazing, you’ll be grateful for crusty French bread served with it to let you sop up every delicious drop.

Beijing – Elegance with a touch of bliss at Ming Court

If you’ve been to the Michelin-starred Ming Court in Hong Kong’s Cordis Hotel, you’ll know what to expect at this elegant fine dining restaurant that treats you to a harmonious view from within Beijing Capital International Airport. Head chef Chan Yuen Lung prepares astonishing Cantonese cuisine, with regular promotions and changes to the menu that promise you a new experience every time you visit.

Fine dining near Beijing Capital International Airport: You’ll have to make the journey to at least the outskirts of the capital to find any fine dining, but the journey is worth the effort. Pay a visit to Opera Bombana, where three-Michelin-star chef Umberto Bombana presides over an exclusive restaurant that’s combined with an art gallery and that features an intriguing wine list.

Hong Kong – Michelin-starred dining goes casual at Hung’s Delicacies

Yes, the vibe is casual (there’s even a walk-up counter if you need to grab and go), but the original street bistro chain once won Michelin stars several years in a row, with the Hong Kong International outlet drawing locals to the airport to pick up their favorites. The secret marinade at Hung’s Delicacies makes duck tongues, sliced goose and chicken legs delectable and distinctive.

Fine dining near Hong Kong International Airport: Head over the bridge to Kowloon, and you can find several worthy spots if you’re looking to explore during a layover. At Lei Garden, giant lobsters and king crabs provide a Michelin-starred feast, with ultra-fresh ingredients showing up on every plate you order from this traditional Cantonese menu.

Fine dining in North American airports

Newark – French bistro at its best at Saison

Six-Michelin-star chef Alain Ducasse stepped on board at this French bistro at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey in 2014. Traditional French dishes, including coq au vin and escargot, line the menu, with roasted bone marrow to bring a warming sense of umami to your pre-flight repast. Don’t miss the croissant bread pudding and take a look at the Saison wine list, which may be the most impressive you’ve seen in an airport.

Fine dining near Newark Liberty International Airport: If you’re looking for five-star, Michelin-starred dining, it awaits you in all its glory just a bridge and tunnel away on Manhattan. Take the Holland Tunnel to downtown Manhattan to enjoy a bespoke meal at L’Appart, chef Nico Abello’s intimate Michelin-starred eatery. A constantly changing tasting menu lets you sample the best seasonal ingredients, which are prepared using classic French techniques and served in a beautiful room that feels like a chef’s private apartment.

Atlanta – Decadent Southern cuisine at One Flew South

The hustle and bustle of travel seem to drop away when you step into One Flew South in Terminal E of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Expect high-end ingredients across a range of dishes and don’t leave without sampling one of the craft cocktails being served at the bar.

Fine dining near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: You won’t find any fine dining restaurants within the immediate vicinity of the airport, but if you have a little time, you can drive a few miles north to the south end of Atlanta to Staplehouse, where upscale dining is seamless and innovative, and service is impeccable. Profits from this supper club’s seasonal tasting menu go to Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit charitable organization that provides emergency financial assistance to restaurant workers with unexpected needs.

San Francisco – A supper club vibe at 1300 on Fillmore

Fans of this soul food-inspired restaurant originally located in the Fillmore Jazz District of San Francisco know exactly where to head when they have a layover at SFO Airport. Tasso ham deviled eggs, rosemary waffles with chile-maple syrup, and BBQ shrimp and grits satisfy your taste buds and your soul at 1300 on Fillmore, a spacious bistro that feels like a haven from the airport.

Fine dining near San Francisco International Airport: Because SFO Airport is several miles south of the city down the San Francisco peninsula, you’ll find your best near-airport dining in the San Mateo area. Sample the Michelin-starred Rasa, located in Burlingame, which incorporates amazing California produce and locally sourced seafood into its traditional Indian dishes, which are drawn from all regions of the country.

New York – Trattoria to lift your spirits at Cotto

The airy, spacious feeling of this contemporary trattoria at LaGuardia Airport gives off good vibes before you even dive into the antipasti, gourmet pizzas, and pastas. Michelin-starred chef Michael White helped open this restaurant, which treats you to the likes of garganelli with truffle butter, speck, and radicchio And to seal the deal, the gelato bar at Cotto leaves you feeling happy at the end of your meal.

Treat yourself to a pasta dish while at LaGuardia. Image credit: Artit_Wongpradu/iStock
Treat yourself to a pasta dish while at La Guardia. Image credit: Artit_Wongpradu/iStock

Fine dining near New York’s La Guardia Airport: You’ll have to do a little traveling away from La Guardia to find the high-end dining that NYC is known for. From La Guardia, head down to Long Island City, where Cosme Aguilar’s Mexican restaurant Casa Enrique serves up dazzling food that’s won Michelin stars for several years in a row. Aguilar’s training in French cuisine informs the fresh menu that reinvents the recipes of his childhood in Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico.

Toronto – Airport dining at its finest at Boccone Trattoria Veloce

Celebrity chef Massimo Capra has done more than consulting with this excellent restaurant — his hand is visible in every dish, from the light calamari fritti to the fresh tuna and bean salad. The Roman-style pizzas taste like they’re from Italy, and even a simple plate of spaghetti at Boccone Trattoria Veloce will have you mesmerized with its perfection.

Fine dining near Toronto Pearson International Airport: Plan on a significant drive if you want to leave the Toronto Airport to enjoy fine dining during a layover. At the elegant BlueBlood Steakhouse, you dine inside an actual castle, Casa Loma. As you enjoy perfectly prepared cuts of the finest beef, you’re surrounded by both antiques and modern art pieces from Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, and others, all of which combine to make your evening feel truly majestic.

Whatever major airport you’re flying to, your journey is made more pleasurable when you can enjoy fine dining and a smooth transition to and from the city. Book a reliable Blacklane car service to get to your destination in comfort and style.