But frequent flier Chris Byrd, of Phoenix, says he prefers chains at airports "where you need something fast and may not want to take a chance on something new." He loves the local fare at Rose City Cafe at the Portland, Ore., airport. It "has a really broad menu with local foods like salmon on a bed of risotto," says the pharmaceutical research company manager.
Airport retail experts expect the local restaurant trend to have staying power.
"Travelers like to experience the cuisines of a local community," Armbrust says. "It's exciting for them to try new things, whether they're on vacation or on business."
"It's fun," says Banducci, "to maybe discover the next Starbucks."
Some frequent fliers' favorite airport food choices:
Marc Hall, Seattle: At Seattle airport, go to Ivar's Seafood Bar for "the red chowder, fish & chips, salmon & chips," and to Anthony's Restaurant & Fish Bar for fresh seafood specials.
Joyce Gioia-Herman, Greensboro, N.C.: Philadelphia airport's Cibo Bistro & Wine Bar is "probably the only" restaurant that would make her spend extra time at an airport.
Joan Eisenstodt, Washington, D.C.: At Chicago O'Hare, she likes the Berghoff Cafe because "They have real turkey for their sandwiches."
James Corgan, Winthrop, Maine: Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen at Houston Bush Intercontinental has "great fish and shrimp dishes and fantastic etouffee."
Local restaurants at airports
A growing number of local restaurants and food shops are appearing at airports. Some that have grown into chains are omitted.
Airport Local restaurants
Atlanta Sojourner's Cafe, Paschal's, SweetWater Draft House & Grill
Baltimore/Washington Baci Bar and Grill, Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co., Obrycki's, California Tortilla, Bill Bateman's Bistro, Mayorga Coffee, Mama Ilardo's
Boston Legal Sea Foods, Legal Test Kitchen, Jasper White's Summer Shack, Dine Boston, Lucky's, Ozone-Bos, Fresh City, The Fudge Bar, Game On, Samuel Adams Pub
Charlotte Stock Car Cafe, Yadkin Valley Wine Bar, Brookwood Farms BBQ
Chicago Midway Illinois Bar & Grill, King Wah Express, Luigi Stefani Pizzeria, Potbelly's Sandwich Works, Reilly's Daughter, Harry Caray's, Gold Coast Dogs, Manny's Deli, Lalo's Mexican Restaurant, Pegasus on the Fly, Tuscany, Let Them Eat Cake, Miller's Pub
Chicago O'Hare Berghoff Cafe, Billy Goat Tavern & Grill, Burrito Beach, Gold Coast
Dogs, O'Brien's, Skybridge Restaurant, O'Hare Bar & Grill, Zoots,
Hotdog Express, Reggio's Pizza, Lou Mitchell's Express, Eli's
Cincinnati/Northern KentuckyGold Star Chili, The Pub, Bluegrass Brewing Co.
Dallas/Fort Worth Cool River Cafe, Reata Grill, Blue Mesa Cafe, Cantina Laredo, Cousin's Bar-B-Q, Dickey's Barbecue, Harlon's Bar-B-Que Kansas CityFountains of Seville, Just Off Vine, The Fly-By
Miami La Carreta, Cafe Versailles, America's Favorites, Carousel Cone
New York JFK Greenwich Village Bistro, Soup & KimBob, Brooklyn Beer Garden, Napa Valley Wine Bar, Tuscany Cafe, Idlewild Wine Bar, Manchu Wok, Todd English's Bonfire, Balducci's Food Lover's Market, Cucina Sandwiches and Salads, Brooklyn Ale House, Shannon's Bar, The Away Cafe, Aunt Butchie's, Deep Blue Sushi, Latitudes, 7th Avenue Deli, Antonio's, Atlantic Bar & Grille, Broadway Brewing, O'Neals, NY Sports Bar & Grill, SoHo Bistro, Brooklyn National Deli, Abitino's Pizza, Bananas Ultimate Juice Bar
New York LaGuardia Brooklyn National Deli, Cosi Pronto, Todd English's Figs, NY Sports Bar, Joey's Pizza, Slip Mahoney's, Big Apple Bar
Newark Garden State Diner, Formaggio's Cafe, Gallagher's Steak House, Greenleaf's Grill, Sarku, Steak Escape, Vito's Gourmet Deli, Surf City Squeeze, Treat Street
Philadelphia Jet Rock Bar & Grill, Cibo Bistro and Wine Bar, Sky Asian Bistro, Olde Philadelphia Tavern, Independence Brew Pub, Jack Duggan's Pub
Phoenix El Bravo, Oaxaca, Paradise Bakery & Cafe, J.D. Hogg's BBQ, Blue Burrito, Yoshi's, Flo's Shanghai Cafe
Pittsburgh City of Bridges Cafe, Garden Gazebo, Quaker Steak & Lube
Portland, Ore. Beaverton Bakery, Pizzicato, Gustov's Pub & Grill, Laurelwood Brewing, Sandoval's Fresh Mexican Grill, Stanford's Restaurant & Bar, Pizza Schmizza, Coffee People, Booya Juice, Caper's Cafe, Cool Temptations, Jumping Jelly Beans, Riverfront Cafe, Rose City Cafe, Rose City Wine Bar, Widmer Pub, Good Dog/Bad Dog Salt Lake CityGranatos, Squatters Pub Brewery, Millcreek Coffee Roasters, Wasatch Brew Pub, On The Fly Urban Market
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