Nutritious, fresh and local are available more and more frequently in a most unusual place – Airports! The airport restaurants are taking up the trend to entice healthy thinking and eating consumers as they pass through the airport.
For our business travelers, better food in the airport can be a godsend when there are frequent layover hours to fill – why not nosh on some tuna sashimi, a veggie burger or a smoked tofu burrito?
Eating well and eating healthy are not always mutually exclusive so we have a few different options depending on your palate!
Eating Healthy at the Airport
You may want to schedule your future connections through Detroit; they ranked at the top of the Healthy Eats Airport list for 2011 and that was the third year in a row!
A team of nutritionists from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) issued a report last week that found that 83 percent of restaurants in 15 of the nation’s busiest airports now offer at least one low-fat, cholesterol-free meal.
The number of airport restaurants offering healthy foods has “increased sharply from 2001,” when PCRM’s first airport food review found just 57 percent of airport eateries featuring at least one healthful option on their menus, according to the report.
A few of the top Healthy Eateries:
1. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport: Every restaurant at the airport offers at least one healthful meal, such as a veggie burrito (hold the cheese) at Diego’s Mexican Cantina, the black bean burger at Slapshotz, and the hummus and veggie platter at the Heineken Bar.
2. San Francisco International Airport: Healthy options include organic smoky split pea soup with a hummus and veggie wrap at the San Francisco Soup Company or a beet salad, tofu wrap, quinoa bowl, or udon noodles at Plant Café and Pinkberry.
3. Washington Dulles International Airport: Options for health-conscious travelers include the grilled veggie sandwich at Harry’s Tap Room and pasta with marinara sauce at Famous Famiglia.
Eating Well at the Airport
If the Golden Arches don’t do it for you or you can’t stomach pizza in a box that is not distinguishable from the box, Frommer’s has a great guide to the 10 best US Airport Restaurants in Terminals – here are a few suggestions to ensure a fabulous gastronomic experience as well as travel:
Boston (BOS): Legal Sea Foods (www.legalseafoods.com) According to our review, Legal “enjoys an international reputation for serving only the freshest, best-quality fish, and shellfish, which it processes at its own state-of-the-art plant … and it’s all splendid.” There’s actually a different Legal concept in each Logan terminal. Terminal A, after security, has Legal’s Test Kitchen (shortened menu, fast delivery). Terminal B, before security, has Legal C Bar (lots of beer options along with the usual menu) and Terminal C, before security, has the traditional restaurant.
Chicago (ORD): The master of Mexican food, Rick Bayless is one of the nation’s most celebrated chefs…he opened Tortas Frontera in O’Hare’s Terminal 1 (with a second outlet coming to Terminal 3.) According to Bayless, this Mexican sandwich joint uses the same fresh bread as his downtown eatery Xoco, which he then layers with beef, pork, chorizo, guacamole, and other top-notch ingredients. The result is hot, luscious, and slightly messy.
New York (JFK): JetBlue’s new Terminal 5 has more high-quality dining than some entire airports. It’s almost not fair, considering that certain other JFK terminals are practically food deserts. It’s hard to make a pick from Terminal 5’s broad offerings, but we’ll go with Deep Blue Sushi, because it has the pedigree of Manhattan restaurant Buddakan behind it. Lovers of cooked food, don’t worry; this is a full-service Japanese restaurant, with meat, fish and tempura as well.
New York (LGA): Delta recently redid their LaGuardia terminal with an entire high-end food court where it’s hard to lose. There’s a full steakhouse (Prime Tavern) and a French bistro (Bisoux) but if you’re on the run, it’s hard to beat a good burger. Custom Burgers by Pat LaFrieda gives you the same meat you’d get at the sit-down Prime Tavern for a lot less dough, along with milkshakes from the local Ronnybrook Dairy.