6 US airport restaurants worth a long layover

If there’s one thing that can make layovers worthwhile, it’s a memorable meal. Here are six airport restaurants worth a long layover.

The Salt Lick, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

BBQ plate at The Salt Lick (Image: The Salt Lick)

BBQ plate at The Salt Lick (Image: The Salt Lick)

With a layover in Texas, it only makes sense to chow down on some Southern-style barbecue – and there’s no better place to grab a plate of pork ribs or brisket than The Salt Lick. Don’t forget to leave room for desserts like peach cobbler or pecan pie.

One Flew South, Atlanta International Airport

Escape the bustle of this busy Atlanta airport and treat yourself to a quiet meal at One Flew South, where a mural of Georgia’s forest and pine wood floors and accents set a serene tone for a layover meal. Take the edge off from the last flight with a signature cocktail, then choose between sushi rolls or Southern fare like meatloaf or roasted pork belly.

Ivar’s, SeaTac International Airport

Ivar's at SeaTac International Airport (Image: Port of Seattle)

Ivar’s at SeaTac International Airport (Image: Port of Seattle)

If your layover is too short to make it to Seattle’s Pike Place Market, you can still enjoy some of the city’s best fish and chips at Ivar’s. Other must-trys include the Mahi-Mahi taco and a bowl of clam chowder.

Tortas Frontera, Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Grab a taste of Mexico while killing time at O’Hare at Tortas Frontera, a restaurant specializing in Mexican sandwiches by celebrity chef Rick Bayless. Grab a Cubana torta filled with pork and black beans and wash it down with a hand-shaken margarita, or hit the organic yogurt bar for a lighter treat.

Encounter, Los Angeles International Airport

Interior at Encounter (Image: Jay Berkowitz, Los Angeles World Airport Photographer)

Interior at Encounter (Image: Jay Berkowitz, Los Angeles World Airport Photographer)

Ever wonder what the deal is with the large arches in front of LAX? It’s actually housing one of the top airport restaurants in the country: Encounter. With it’s lava lamps and angled floor-to-ceiling glass windows, this funky, intergalactic-themed bar and restaurant feels part retro ’70s lounge, part UFO. The “California fresh” menu includes a range of salads, steaks and seafood, and don’t miss fun cocktails like the Black Hole (Absolut with Chambord) or the Bossa Supernova (Bacardi Light, blue curaçao and pineapple).

Cat Cora’s Kitchen, San Francisco International Airport

If your layover has you stuck in San Francisco, you can refuel at Cat Cora’s Kitchen, where healthy, organic and locally sourced ingredients define the Iron Chef’s menu. Grab a small plate like salt roasted beets or indulge with lobster macaroni and cheese. If you need a mid-transit drink, the Airmail (anejo rum, fresh lime juice, orange blossom honey, prosecco, bitters and cilantro) is not to be missed.

(Main image: The Salt Lick)

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