World’s Finest Airport Food in U.S., Spain, Survey Says

Ferran Adria, Colman Andrews
Ferran Adria, left, stands alongside his biographer Colman Andrews in London. Adria is one of the world's most famous chefs. Andrews also advises The Daily Meal, which has produced guides to airport dining, European restaurants and coffee shops. Photographer: Richard Vines/Bloomberg

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The best airport food in the world is to be found in Barcelona, followed by eight venues across the U.S. and one in the Netherlands, according to a ranking by The Daily Meal website.

The winner is Porta Gaig, owned by the Catalan chef Carles Gaig, whose Gaig restaurant in Barcelona holds a Michelin star. Second is Salt Lick BBQ, serving central Texas barbecue at Austin-Bergstrom International. Third is Tortas Frontera, chef Rick Bayless’s Mexican restaurant at Chicago’s O’Hare.

The U.S. dominance may reflect the fact the website is the creation of the American food writer Colman Andrews, author of a biography of El Bulli chef Ferran Adria, who is based near Barcelona, the first European city in the Top 10.

“Faced with concourses filled with ubiquitous shrink-wrapped sandwiches, greasy fast-food burgers, and processed pastries, the thought of eating at an airport is rarely appetizing,” Daily Meal says.

“But that may soon change, as airports around the world are revamping aging terminals and the world’s best chefs, several of them Michelin-starred, are recognizing the value of serving exemplary meals before liftoff.”

The survey was compiled over six months by Daily Meal’s editors in consultation with food and travel experts. Restaurants were judged in two categories: cuisine and style/decor/service. British chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver both make the list. Wolfgang Puck doesn’t.

“The percentage scores from each category were averaged to arrive at the final ranking,” the Daily Meal says.

The survey was earlier reported in the Herald Sun, Melbourne. Here are the winners:

1. Porta Gaig (El Prat del Llobregat, Barcelona)
2. Salt Lick BBQ (Austin-Bergstrom International, Texas)
3. Tortas Frontera (Chicago O’Hare International)
4. Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar (Amsterdam Schiphol)
5. Obrycki’s (Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood
6. Crust (LaGuardia, New York)
7. Five Guys (Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C.)
8. Custom Burgers by Pat LaFrieda (LaGuardia, New York)
9. Encounter (Los Angeles International)
10. Legal Sea Foods (Boston Logan International Airport)
11. Pink’s Hot Dogs (Los Angeles International)
12. Brasserie Flo (Paris Charles de Gaulle)
13. Plane Food (Heathrow, London)
14. Tagliare (LaGuardia, New York)
15. Versailles Restaurant (Miami International)
16. Piquillo (John F. Kennedy International, New York)
17. Icebox Cafe (Miami International)
18. Union Jacks Bar (Gatwick, London)
19. Kim Choo’s Nonya Kitchen (Changi, Singapore)
20. Airbraeu Brauhaus (Franz Josef Strauss, Munich)
21. Globe@YVR (Vancouver International)
22. La Moraga (Malaga-Costa del Sol, Spain)
23. Cat Cora’s Kitchen (San Francisco International)
24. Altitude (Geneva)
25. Columbia Restaurant Cafe (Tampa International)
26. One Flew South (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International)
27. Anthony’s Fish Bar (Seattle Tacoma International)
28. Tacanon (Benito Juarez, Mexico City)
29. Dutch Kitchen Bar & Cocktails (Amsterdam Schiphol)
30. La Pausa (Ministro Pistarini International, Buenos Aires)
31. Tadında Anadolu (Istanbul Ataturk)

(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. He is U.K. and Ireland chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include Jason Harper on cars and Rich Jaroslovsky on tech.

To contact the writer on the story: Richard Vines in London at or

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at