The Best Food Before You Fly: Awesome Eats in Atlanta Airport
So many people fly through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport these days. If you're looking for a place to grab a bite, we got you covered!
With the season of holiday travel fast closing in, there is a good chance you will find yourself in Atlanta, no matter where you are actually going. This is because ‘Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’ is one of the most vibrant airports in the world, either by counting the number of flights or passengers. And even if you're just passing through, your travel being connected with the Atlanta airport, you will want to eat somewhere.
‘Hartsfield-Jackson’ has over 120 food choices scattered across a main atrium and 7 concourses, and there are many options to eat that flies high above the regular food court slop. Think of this guide as your belly's itinerary for your next visit to Atlanta's most-traveled landmark.
MAIN ATRIUM (PRE-SECURITY)
ATLANTA CHOPHOUSE & BREWERY
Your last choice before reaching the security lines, the ChopHouse is certainly worth to stopping for. With two stories of seating (the less crowded is always upstairs) and a full bar on both floors, the vibe is that of a sumptuous steakhouse. You can fill up on meat with well-cooked steaks all-the-way-up to a 19-ounce Delmonico, but our best choice is the restaurant's most favored item, the Salmon BLT.
A considerable salmon fillet is fully seasoned and grilled just upon the fish begins to peel. Then it shares the space with juicy tomatoes, mixed greens, a captivating mayo on wheat berry toast mustard, and a meaty slab of bacon.
OTHER OPTIONS HERE
“We Juice It” – This small counter offers a variety of smoothies and juices, but the real jewel is the freezer full of ‘Morelli's Ice Cream’ that was recently added. The delicious and beloved local brand does high-butterfat premium ice cream in tastes that roam from the normal cookie dough, caramel-salted, to the distant rosewater strawberry, coconut jalapeno, and red raspberry Coke – for the real terroir of Atlanta. Having over 200 homemade tastes in their records, you will not have access to them all, but go for the blueberry-corncake if you can find it.
CORNER BAKERY CAFE (GATE T3)
Concourse T is a source of ‘unsureness’. Firstly, in truth it comes before Concourse A, which always tricks some people into preterm exiting the "plane train." While it gives the closest gates to the main entrance, it is very badly segmented, constrained with constructions, and has one of the smallest food options.
At the ‘Corner Bakery Café’, you can plug-in your devices and calm down with the club panini: a lavish layer of hickory smoked turkey, smokier bacon applewood, a lot of gooey white cheddar, mayo with impressively good-for-a-chain grilled sourdough and plum tomatoes. Tack on a cup of chewy for to-go with fudge brownie bites and wave-off that offer in-flight of pretzels/peanuts/cookies with smug satisfaction.
OTHER OPTIONS HERE
”Goldbergs Bagel Company & Deli (Gate T13)” – This chain of Atlanta-based is best for its bagel sandwiches and breakfast. Those bagels may not be always great, but they are more-than-solid bases for roast beef, tuna, pastrami, lox, etc.
VARASANO'S PIZZERIA & PIANO BAR
Jeff Varasano stated when opening his Neapolitan pizzeria inside the airport: "It took a couple of months to get the dough process down," and "We're right off the tarmac at the center of the concourse, and the temperature swings can be crazy." Eventually he secured his popular airy and blistered crust, and now anybody passing through ATL can obtain one of the best pies in the city.
Jeff's airport staffs are using the same kind of electric-oven as in his flagship ‘Buckhead’ restaurant, and they offer an almost identical pie menu. We suggest the ‘Fontina Mushroom Pizza’, for which Jeff claims (with what seemed like a wink) that it is covered with nothing more than Fontina rich cheese, some herbs, and paper-thin creminis... but actually we swear there was something more in it that helped elevate that earthy pie, like a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of something lemony.
OTHER OPTIONS HERE
”Piece of Cake” – This regional bakery's settlement at the center of the passageway does the wide-ranging types of cupcake for about four bucks, or you can improve to an actual slice of multi-layer cake for about two more Washingtons, a far more rational option. A piece of their rich red velvet, having a moist crumb and a simple, but yet elegant cream cheese frosting in profusion, will do amazement for your travel-induced stress.
The style of the ‘Paschal’s’ cafeteria may not look like much to the inexperienced, but if you are searching a rightful taste of Atlanta on your layover, it is hard to find something better than their popular fried chicken (selling over 500 pounds daily) with a crisp shell encasing tender, succulent meat. Let’s not forget about the grits and catfish, classic peach cobbler, veggies, and some of the treacliest tea you'll ever sip.
OTHER OPTIONS HERE
”Café Intermezzo” – Exactly at the top of the escalators that leave you upon the center of Concourse B is this crowded little café, having a French-style, favored around for its desserts that are in perfect combination with their coffees. It is hard to choose just one since the options rotate often. Whatever you do, just don't pass over the crepes, either.
SWEET GEORGIA'S JUKE JOINT (GATE C42)
The ‘Sweet Georgia's’ is known for its live music to wash it down. Although it doesn’t have a stage, you can call your jukebox picks from a particular music menu. Speaking of the down-home grub, it is on point. Chef Michael Falduti, who worked for a period in Las Vegas under Emeril Lagasse, says this place is "crazy" when comparing to the Vegas casino time, with a daily on-foot traffic that can go to 11,000 people on a busy travel day.
One of the favorites feature would be the ‘buttermilk-dipped fried chicken with a sweet balsamic drizzle’, mac and cheese with a four-cheese béchamel, shrimp and stone-ground grits, collard greens with manual shredded smoked turkey, and moonshine-cocktails set out in Mason jars. Our best pick? That would be the Louisiana-style gumbo for sure! Filled with shrimp, crawfish, scallops, a dark roux, Andouille, and a great deal of spicy kick, the only possible thing you may miss is the okra.
OTHER OPTIONS HERE
”The Original El Taco (Gate C15)” – This Atlanta popular dishes out 8 taco diversification on flour tortillas, from pulled chicken, spicy ground beef to fried fish or even vegan. If you possess the time to sit down a while, go for the ‘Chupacabra Nachos’, which are loaded with blackened shrimp, pico de gallo, cowboy beans, jalapenos, mango-habanero salsa, queso blanco, sour cream, and guac. They are loaded enough to maintain every chip full of the good stuff.
”Links Grill (Gate C35)” – Hot dog is probably the perfect American on-the-run meal, and Links Grill’s snappy, juicy, beef link and brats are one step above the 7 – Eleven standard, however they are not cheap at $8 each. Look for regionally-topped masterpieces like the ‘New York’ (spicy mustard and sauerkraut), the B-B-Q (slaw and sauce), and the classic ‘Chicago’ style, you will discover a a pepper-and-onion brat, a BLT sausage, and even a bacon and cheddar link. We would recommend the jerk chicken sausage and on the side a Frito Pie.
GRINDHOUSE KILLER BURGERS (GATE D31
This local mini-chain usually makes the discussion when debating about the best burger in Atlanta. Having this truly fabulous burger at their airport location can be a little of a dare, in other words – If you desire to have a seat and admire the kitschy-retro pop-culture décor. It is carefully tucked close by Gate D31 and has just 8 tables, plus 7 stools at the bar. The good thing is the turnover is quite fast, with an in-and-out goal of 8 to 10 minutes per customer.
The single-burgers are great, but the double-burgers are fabulous, with that ideal diner twin-stack taste. One of the best choices is the signature ‘Grindhouse’ style with melty American cheese, lettuce, grilled onions, pickles, and the special sauce of the kitchen, all placed inside a squishy and nice Martin's potato roll that, for “burger nerds”, simply doesn't get better than this.
OTHER OPTIONS HERE
”Atlanta Braves All-Star Grill (Gate 10)” – Yes, it is actually just a sports bar with beer and hot dogs and burgers, but you may be affected by the ‘Bases Loaded Foot Long’, a 12 inch frank-topped with chili, relish, coleslaw, jalapenos, onions, and cheese, an best-choice dish that creates long layovers a little more comfortable. Having some wings near the clear, high definition big screen TV and watching the game is one of the best ways to blow time.
ONE FLEW SOUTH
This is the famous restaurant that lifted-up the bar and began a revolution at “Hartsfield-Jackson”, the very first to break the idea that airport food is not good. Its reputation is widely spreading – being considered by a lot of people to be one of the greatest restaurants in the entire city, and has even received a ‘James Beard’ nomination for excellent services, despite the thing that you are required a boarding pass if you want to dine there.
Choose anything from the menu with total self-assurance, from the truly-real sushi (being in an airport location = great access to fresh stuff brought in daily) to award-winning cocktails.
The only downside that we can think of for the “One Flew South's” serious popularity is that it eclipses everything else on the concourse. If you are not eating at this place, the other food choices in residence are typical foods that we all should try to avoid: McDonald's, Arby's, Panda Express, TGI Friday's, Qdoba, you know what we are saying... You can do better!
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