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Escape Aunt Annie: Airport Food Takes Off

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As predicted by T+L’s editors this January, things just got a little better for frequent-flying gourmands.

Jamie Oliver recently opened a restaurant area (a bakery, a bar, and an Italian eatery) at London Gatwick, joining the growing ranks of chefs extending their empire into airports (Gordon Ramsay’s 4-year-old Heathrow cafe, Plane Food, offers both sit-down meals—timed menus and leisurely menus—and takeout “picnics” to enjoy on the plane. A host of haute cuisine celebs, including chefs Michael White, Anne Burrell, Andrew Carmellini, have created menus for new cafes in Delta’s Terminals C+ D at New York’s LaGuardia. Terminal 2 at San Francisco International features restaurants from Chefs Cat Coura and Tyler Florence, as well as a room dedicated to yoga for those craving spiritual food.)

Having the option of great food in the terminal certainly softens the news of an unexpected delay. Last October, a surprise layover at O’Hare was made a lot less grim when I discovered that Rick Bayless Tortas was near my gate. A smoked pork molette and a lime agua fresca almost entirely removed the sting of waiting for a flight.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever enjoyed inside an airport?

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.

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