From Takeoff to Tastebud: The Top 10 Airports with the Best Food in the World

From Takeoff to Tastebud: The Top 10 Airports with the Best Food in the World
Credit: Shutterstock

Have you ever felt disappointed with the food options at the airport? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. But the good news is that not all airports serve unsatisfactory food.

Recently, the World Airport Awards, often referred to as the "Oscars of Aviation," announced the best airports for dining in 2024. This ranking is based on various factors, including the variety, quality, and value of airport restaurants (including cafes, bars, restaurants, and fast food outlets).

The winners of these awards were chosen based on a global airport customer satisfaction survey conducted by Skytrax, a UK-based consultancy. Interestingly, many of the airports on this list are also recommended by Traveler editors. Here are some of the airports that made the list:

1. Istanbul Airport

Source: Dailysabah

Get ready to indulge your taste buds at Istanbul Airport, a paradise for lovers of Turkish and international cuisine! This airport, the hub for Turkish Airlines, boasts 117 dining options ready to tantalize your palate with a variety of delicious dishes.

For fans of Turkish cuisine, prepare to be tempted by signature dishes like gözleme (stuffed flatbread), manti (meat-filled dumplings), and mezze (assorted appetizers). Enjoy these delights at the world-class Turkish Airlines Business Lounge, accompanied by a glass of exquisite Öküzgözü wine.

2. Changi Airport


Known for its stunning architecture and exciting indoor amusement parks, Singapore's Changi Airport is also a haven for food lovers, with 194 food and beverage outlets serving delicious dishes from around the world.

You can download the Changi Airport app to find restaurants, order food and get special offers. If you're short on time, visit the Food Hall in Terminal 1 or Terminal 3 for a variety of food options in one place.

3. Incheon International Airport 


Recognized as one of the best airports in the world, Seoul Incheon International Airport offers an exciting culinary experience for lovers of Korean cuisine. The newly built Terminal 2, constructed in 2018, is home to 19 Korean restaurants serving authentic traditional dishes.

For spice lovers, nakji-bokkeum (spicy stir-fried octopus) is a must-try dish. For those seeking a refreshing meal, naengmyeon (cold noodles) with beef broth is a perfect choice. And for a filling dish, bibimbap (mixed rice) with various tempting toppings will satisfy your cravings.

For those who want to experience a strong Korean atmosphere, the "Korean Cultural Street" in Terminal 1 is the place to be. Here, you can find various restaurants offering traditional Korean dishes in a setting reminiscent of a traditional Korean home.

4. Hamad International Airport

Source: Qatar Airways

As a hub for Qatar Airways, Hamad International Airport offers culinary luxury in upscale lounges such as the Al Safwa First Lounge, as well as over 100 restaurants and cafes. At the Al Safwa First Lounge, passengers can enjoy delicious dishes prepared by renowned chefs, accompanied by outstanding service. The airport also offers a wide range of dining options, from authentic Middle Eastern cuisine to international dishes, to suit all budgets and tastes.

5. Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport 

Source: Skytrax

The main gateway to Rome, Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport is not only famous for its stunning architecture and extensive global connectivity, but also a haven for food lovers seeking authentic Italian flavors. Reflecting Rome's vibrant culinary scene, the airport offers a variety of delicious Italian dishes, from classic pizza and pasta to refreshing gelato and satisfying panini.

6. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

Source: DFW International Airport

For travelers with a layover in Dallas, this airport offers the chance to taste authentic and unforgettable Texas flavors. Forget run-of-the-mill burgers and sandwiches; Hickory and The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que at this airport serve up real Texas BBQ. For true BBQ lovers, The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que in Terminal C is the perfect choice. This restaurant is famous for its authentic "pit-style" grilling technique, resulting in BBQ dishes full of flavor and tantalizing aromas.

For classic burger lovers, Whataburger in Terminal E27 is the place to be. Enjoy their classic burgers made with fresh ingredients and special sauce, paired with crispy fries and delicious milkshakes.

7. Munich International Airport

Source: Munich Airport

With more than 60 restaurants, cafes and bistros, this airport offers a variety of delicious dining options to satisfy your taste buds. A major attraction at Munich International Airport is the local beer. Visit the Airbräu beer garden, which claims to be "Europe's only airport brewery. Another choice for beer lovers is the Erdinger Wirtshaus in Terminal 1. This restaurant offers a wide selection of Erdinger beers, along with delicious Bavarian food to go with your beer.

For more casual German fare, head to Airbräu Wirtshaus in Terminal 2. This restaurant serves dishes such as bratwurst and currywurst, along with a wide selection of local beers. During the winter season, Munich International Airport hosts a classic Christmas market where you can find a variety of traditional Christmas foods and drinks. Sample gingerbread, stollen and mulled wine to soak up the festive atmosphere.

8. Tokyo Haneda Airport 

Source: Antonio Rubio

For many, "airport sushi" may not sound appealing, but in Japan, you can find some of the best sushi in the world, even at the airport. If you're lucky enough to be in Japan Airlines' first class lounge, don't miss the opportunity to try sushi at Sushi Tsurutei. You can also find Sushi Sora, another excellent sushi restaurant, in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

At Haneda, there are nearly 50 Japanese restaurants serving a variety of local dishes, from ramen and tempura to soba and okonomiyaki. There are also 15 Chinese restaurants serving dim sum, noodles and other traditional Chinese dishes.

9. Houston George Bush Airport 

Source: OTG

Get ready to be tempted by authentic Texas flavors and fresh margaritas as you explore the various food and beverage options at this airport. For taco lovers, Los Tacos is a must. This restaurant serves authentic tacos with a variety of fillings including beef, chicken and barbacoa. Don't forget to try their delicious fresh guacamole and salsa.

If you're looking for a more complete Tex-Mex meal, Cantina Laredo is the place to go. This restaurant offers fajitas, enchiladas, quesadillas, and other delicious Tex-Mex dishes in a lively and friendly atmosphere. Although not as large as Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Houston George Bush Airport offers an appealing dining experience. If you're short on time, visit the food court in Terminal B or Terminal C for a variety of food options in one place.

10. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

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Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is known as the busiest airport in the United States, if not the world. But behind the hustle and bustle of passengers and flights, ATL is an unexpected culinary haven. For food lovers looking for a luxurious dining experience, One Flew South is the answer. This James Beard nominated restaurant offers innovative and delicious New American cuisine with a seasonally changing menu.

For those seeking casual Southern fare, Ludacris' Chicken and Beer is the perfect choice. Chicken and Beer is known for its crispy fried chicken, juicy on the inside and seasoned with Southern spices. Be sure to try the delicious sides of macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread.

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