When it comes to air travel, there are not many people out there who do it for the culinary delights available along the way.
For those of us unlucky enough not to fly Business Class, heading to the airport and catching a flight is purely a means to an end – a way of getting from A to far-flung B.
Grabbing a bite to eat at the airport has always been something of a necessity rather than a pleasure, a way of filling up before a long flight.
However, all of that is slowly changing as airports invite world-class chefs into their terminals to give flyers something far more satisfying than a pasty and a packet of crisps.
High-class eateries are popping up in airports around the world, giving passengers the sort of food that wouldn’t look out of place in a five-star hotel.
The airport food revolution has been going on largely undetected for some time, as rival hubs and countries vie for the best reputation.
But the debate now appears to be over after a group of reviewers spent six months journeying across the globe to find the best airport eateries.
Foodie website The Daily Meal has compiled a list of the 31 best airport restaurants and cafes, with all manner of different culinary styles making the list. So, where are the best airport eateries in the world?
Barcelona El Prat Airport
The Catalan capital is a city known for its fantastic food, and that culinary passion has spilled over into the city’s airport.
Porta Gaig, the high-class restaurant in the airport’s Terminal 1, was found to be the best place for airport food in the world.
Headed up by Carles Gaig, the Michelin Star-winning chef, Porta Gaig serves up traditional Catalan cuisine and has become a real favourite with those passing through the airport.
London Heathrow Airport
We may have some of the best restaurants in the world, but when it comes to our airports we simply aren’t trying as hard as some other countries.
Only two UK airports made it on to the list, unsurprisingly this was thanks to Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey. Ramsey’s Plane Food restaurant, at Heathrow Airport, ranked an impressive 13th in the list.
This unique outlet in Terminal 5 is designed to give flyers “on the go” a taste of British cuisine in a quick and easy way, without compromising on quality. Highlights include stout-braised shoulder, British beef, and sticky toffee pudding.
Austin Bergstrom International Airport, Texas
The best airport eatery crown may have gone to a European contender, but the top ten is dominated by US airports.
The highest-ranking stateside airport was Austin Bergstrom, coming in at second place overall. Demonstrating that you don’t need fine dining to make great food, the Salt Lick BBQ wowed judges to take the runner-up spot.
Delivering an authentic Texan dining experience, Salt Lick BBQ is best known for its signature beef brisket and pork ribs.
Changi Airport, Singapore
The highest-ranking Asian airport on a list dominated by American and European airports, Changi Airport is home to Kim Choo’s Nonja Kitchen.
A family business that originally started with a modest stall in front of Lee Kim Choo’s house, Nonja Kitchen has expanded to four locations – including one at Changi Airport, Terminal 3.
Serving up traditional dumplings, spicy chicken curry and a range of fish and vegetable dishes, Nonja Kitchen is Singaporean cuisine at its best.
London Gatwick Airport
The other UK airport eatery on the list comes courtesy of Jamie Oliver and his British-themed Union Jacks Bar.
Located in the North Terminal of Gatwick Airport, this outlet combines favourites from the celebrity chef’s popular restaurant chains, Jamie’s Italian and Union Jacks.
Popular dishes include the Full Monty breakfast, a delightful take on the traditional full English breakfast, and Jamie’s Italian Burger – a British chuck and flank steak served with fontina, mortadella and sticky balsamic onions.Oonagh Shiel