The Best Airport Bars in America
An airport bar is the ultimate place to grab a drink before a flight or to meet friends. While it may not be as fancy as a fancy bar in a city, it does offer reasonable food and drinks in 6 oz. or 9 oz. pours. You won't find great scenery or a great view of the runway, but you will find plenty of TVs tuned to sports and rows of beer and booze bottles. You can even find a mirror to watch others drink.
Top US airport bars
While traveling in the United States, you might find yourself in one of the many airports. Whether you're waiting for your flight or taking a pre-boarding meeting, airport bars can offer a welcome respite from the airport mayhem. While most of these venues serve mediocre booze and overpriced drinks, some are unique and worth checking out. We've rounded up some of the top US airport bars.
The Publican bar at MSP is a Chicago mainstay. The beautiful decor, diverse menu, and knowledgeable staff make it a standout among US airport bars. The food is hearty and upscale pub fare, with dishes such as thick maple syrup-braised bacon and fried shallots in Emmental cheese. A trip to the Publican bar will put your layover in perspective. The bar is located near gate A25.
Another wine bar is Vino Volo, a bar in Terminal A of the Sacramento International Airport. It is named Best New Airport Bar by Entrepreneur Magazine and serves a wine list that features 30 different varietals. This California wine bar also offers international wines and domestic selections from France and Italy. Wine flights are available, and travelers can purchase a bottle for take-away. You can also enjoy a meal at the restaurant's cafe, which serves seasonal New American dishes.
If you're flying from Atlanta, make sure to stop at One Flew South. This popular bar in the airport's international terminal features a plethora of craft cocktails, signature dishes, and stellar service. The bar also features a full-service sushi bar. There's no shortage of specialty dishes at One Flew South, including sushi and charcuterie. Its menu is extensive and is sure to satisfy even the most discriminating taste buds.
In addition to delicious drinks, airports also offer great food. Some popular foods served at airport restaurants include sushi, freshly baked cookies, shrimp cocktail, and tortas. While airports might be notorious for a lack of good food, there are some great options at a variety of prices. You may also be surprised to find a sushi bar or a fusion of cuisine at a price that will fit your budget. You'll also find plenty of options at Phoenix Sky Harbor, which boasts 48 qualifying restaurants and 15 highly rated restaurants.
Drawbacks of an airport bar
While it may be tempting to sip on a cold beer or an ice-cold cocktail at an airport bar, there are several drawbacks to these establishments. Airports are notoriously expensive and can have a dangerous atmosphere. The most obvious drawback is that they're often crowded. A few drinks at an airport bar are not cheap - they can run $5-10 per drink. Some airports may offer free wi-fi, but that doesn't mean you should spend your money here.
A restaurant at an airport must be in compliance with contractual prices, which may be higher than the market price. Moreover, specialized equipment may not be allowed, such as gas ovens. The chef may be limited to tethering knives to the walls. Consequently, the menu is likely to be limited, and airports may not allow a restaurant to specialize in local cuisine. Still, it's worth a risk for a quick, quality service.
Trends in airport bars
In addition to supplying passengers with the requisite beverages, airport bars are increasingly offering a local flair. Instead of chain restaurants, travelers can experience local cuisines in the form of rentable pods. In Japan, for example, you can visit a karaoke bar that replicates the local karaoke culture. Trends in airport bars may also reflect a new era in airport dining. The airport offers ample space for dining and retail, making it a prime location for pop-up restaurants. These restaurants are usually short-term affairs.
The growth of airport food and beverage outlets has coincided with the growing trend of eating out, a phenomenon that has swept the world. Today, airport operators recognize the importance of having a diverse F&B offering to compete with retail and duty-free outlets. While restaurants and bars were previously overlooked in the commercialisation of airports, they have grown in sophistication in recent years. Trends in airport food and beverage outlets will continue to influence airport development.
New restaurants and lounges are constantly experimenting with new concepts and cuisines. Brookwood Farms BBQ, for example, offers pulled pork with Carolina-style barbeque sauce. Meanwhile, One Flew South has a menu of pecan-dusted scallops. Meanwhile, Boston's Logan airport is introducing a New Jersey-style crab cake at Terminal E. Other airports include a chick-fil-A, and the famous D.C. pizza chain El Bravo.
With the rise of global cuisine and the emergence of local talent, airports can develop new and innovative concepts to appeal to their customers. Some airports have designated areas and have invested in kitchens for similar operators. Some airports may require changes in branding and front-of-house aspects to be compliant. Commercial terms could be based on sales volume, and successful concepts could be rotated year-round or even pitched for a permanent outlet within the airport.
A new trend in airport bars involves incorporating sustainable foods and ingredients into the menu. Food and drink vendors need to offer more upscale fare, but not everyone will be interested in splurge on expensive cuisine. The latest trends include partnerships with celebrity chefs and mixologists. One example is Vancouver International Airport, which recently announced the selection of a Vancouver-based restaurant and bar with a distinctive British character. In addition to using local ingredients, the Vancouver airport tapped its artisanal craft beer scene to highlight the best of the city's cuisine and beverage offerings.
Locations of airport bars
If you're flying into Boston, there are a few places to grab a drink and relax before your flight. The Island Cafe and Bar at International departures offers fresh, healthy food and drinks while the Island Grill and Pub serve American classics. Alternatively, there's Monsoon, a contemporary restaurant serving Indian, Mediterranean, and Oriental cuisine. All of these locations feature a friendly, laid-back atmosphere.
In the Boston Logan International Airport, a bar is located near the baggage claim. There are several taverns and restaurants offering a wide variety of drinks. The Berghoff Cafe, opened in the 1880s by a German brewer, serves root beer on tap. It also serves hand-carved sandwiches, such as the Reuben. Another restaurant, Paschal's Restaurant, offers southern fare and Rick Bayless' tortas.
Related PostsHow to Find an Airport Van Rental in New York
Best Western Airport Inn in Memphis
A Review of the Airport Tavern in Atlanta
How to Use an Airport Viewer
Choosing an Airport Near Disneyland
Airport Outfit Ideas