There’s been a lot of buzz lately about hotels that are stepping up their culinary game. From Michelin Star restaurants to farm to table menus, hotels want to keep their guests’ and discerning locals’ palates satisfied. And thankfully, that mentality is making its way to our airports.
Not too long ago, airports in the United States were known for their limited options, overpriced fast food, and crowded airport bars. But gone are the days of travel and bad food going hand in hand.
Next time you find yourself flying through Washington DC, you won’t be suffering! Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) have added new, and even local, dining options to provide a unique culinary experiences to travelers flying through or visiting the area.
A Taste of the World at Ronald Reagan International Airport (DCA)
What the management has done with dining at Reagan has been impressive. They have brought some of the district’s favorite flavors to the terminals, and as a result, the diverse culinary offerings are representative of the city that it serves.
Instead of the same old chain establishments, you can now find local eateries such as Taylor Gourmet, Lebanese Taverna, Ben’s Chili Bowl, and &Pizza.
So next time you’re flying through Reagan, grab one of Taylor Gourmet’s loaded hoagies with savory Italian cold cuts or try a breakfast pizza at &Pizza before you embark on your next adventure. Looking for something with culture and flavor? Have a mezze platter from local favorite, Lebanese Taverna or Greek-style charred octopus at Kapnos Taverna. You can even grab a great cocktail to take off the edge before your flight. The 14th Street happy hour spot, El Centro D.F. has set up shop at Reagan, serving their popular margaritas!
Where to Eat in DCA
Taylor Gourmet – Post-security in Terminal B/C
Lebanese Taverna – Post-security in Terminal B/C
Ben’s Chili Bowl – Pre-security in Terminal B/C
El Centro D.F – Post-security in Terminal B/C
&Pizza – Post-security in Terminal C
Five Guys – Post-security in Terminal C
Kapnos Taverna – Post-security in Terminal C
Indulge at Dulles International Airport (IAD)
If you’re headed to Asia, Europe, or Latin America on an international flight, you’re more than likely starting that journey at Dulles International. As you prepare for the long haul, explore Dulles’ dining options so you can hop on that flight with a full belly – because nobody wants to sit through a 14 hour flight to Tokyo feeling hangry!
Like Reagan, Dulles has also brought several locally owned restaurants to its terminals in the past few years such as Five Guys, &Pizza, DC Craft Brews, and Bistro Atelier.
Did you know that one of the most popular burger joints in the East Coast, Five Guys was founded in Northern Virginia? If you didn’t have an opportunity to try their decadent burgers while in town, now’s the time to do so. And make sure you order a side of their cajun fries. Another local favorite, &Pizza has also set up shop at Dulles. Build your own custom pizza or select one of their tried and trued “hits” from the menu.
If you are traveling with SkyTeam, a lounge pass at their Air France lounge is worth it. Sipping champagne with delicate nibbles will cure all pre-flight jitters. And if you’re a fan of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, you’re in luck! IAD has two of his restaurants: The Kitchen and Chef’s Table.
Where to Eat in IAD
Air France lounge – Post-security near Gate A22
The Kitchen – Post-security near Gate A22
Five Guys – Post-security in Concourse B
&Pizza – Post-security near Gate B71 and in Concourse C
Chef’s Table – Post-security near Gate C3
DC Craft Brews – Post-security in Concourse D
Bistro Atelier – Post-security in Concourse D
Whether you’re looking for fine dining or something casual, you’ll find plenty of choices at both Reagan and Dulles.
Jessica van Dop DeJesus is a food and travel writer, content creator and founder of the website The Dining Traveler. She has an appetite for travel, having lived in three continents and traveled to almost 50 countries. When she’s not traveling, she’s a home with her Dutchrican family in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @diningtravevler.