You’re at LAX. You’ve made it through security. And you’ve got time to spare before your flight departs. You’re either hungry or know you will be while en route to your destination. You didn’t prepare something to eat before leaving your SoCal apartment. And you’d rather not take your chances with the airline menu, if a meal is even offered on your flight. Thankfully, LAX has some solid food offerings spread throughout its nine passenger terminals. Here are some of the airport’s hottest restaurants and food counters, arranged by terminal.
Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT)
Based in Westwood, 800 Degrees is one L.A.’s most popular thin-crust pizzerias. The LAX outpost, located in TBIT’s Great Hall, is a simplified version of the original. Choice is somewhat more limited, but the Neapolitan crust and sauce taste the same at LAX as in Westwood.
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The Terminal 4 food truck that once served Border Grill tacos and tamales now flips grilled cheeses. But Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken’s beloved modern Mexican cuisine is still available at LAX. Located in TBIT’s Great Hall, The Border Grill is especially popular among Angelinos preparing to fly to far-flung places where the Mexican cuisine is no bueno.
If you’re flying out of TBIT, you can savor some Grade A sushi before taking off. If you’re short on time or not yet hungry, grab a box to enjoy in-flight. The Great Hall’s CHAYA counter also offers a selection of sake and creative cocktails.
Ink.sack serves affordable, satisfying sandwiches that reflect L.A.’s cultural and culinary diversity. Cold fried chicken, spicy tuna, and bahn mi sandwiches are on the menu at this Great Hall outpost of this West Hollywood-based restaurant.
If you have the time, energy, and desire for a gourmet dining experience, hit up Petrossian for champagne and caviar before you fly. Short on time? Pick up a ‘Caviar in the Air’ pouch. Blinis and creme fraiche are included.
This affordable eatery is a reliable grab-and-go option for passengers departing from Terminal 1. Although pre-packaged, the sandwiches, salads, and parfaits are made fresh daily.
The LAX outpost of this Orange-County based restaurant serves seafood-centric fare all-day long. If you’ve got an early morning flight, consider the lobster breakfast tacos.
Campanile’s original restaurant closed a few years ago after nearly a quarter-century. But you can still enjoy the bistro and bakery at LAX, where the atmosphere of the original is successfully imitated. Pork chops, salmon, burgers, and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, all prepared with farm-fresh ingredients, are on the menu.
The LAX outpost of Cole’s iconic bar and eatery is a hot spot for pre-flight cocktails and French dip sandwiches.
If you’re departing from Terminal 5, you can enjoy a fine spread of cheeses and charcuterie in-flight. Just stop by Monsieur Marcel’s farmers market stall on your way to the gate. In addition to gourmet grab-and-go snacks, Monsieur Marcel for crepes, panini, or gourmet snacks to-go.
For a fine taste of northern Italy, visit LAX’s outpost of Chef Fabio Viviani’s Hollywood restaurant. Dishes are prepared with homemade pasta, dry-aged meats, imported cheeses, and organic veggies. Complement your pre-flight meal with a mouthwatering martini or glass of vino from Firenze Osteria’s well-curated wine list.
This SoCal-based, fast-casual restaurant is definitely a contender for best burger at LAX, especially when value-per-dollar is taken into account. If you’re craving Habit but have a morning flight, don’t rule it out. The Habit is open at 5am and serves a breakfast burger.
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