The Best International Airlines for Food

Singapore Airlines food
Photo: Courtesy of Singapore Airlines

“When you board Turkish Airlines,” one T+L reader wrote, you’re greeted by an on-board chef and the smell of “delicious, baking bread.” That’s more than you can say for some restaurants. Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. Airlines were rated for a number of qualities, including their in-flight cuisine. And many voters remarked that the food wasn’t just edible—it was delicious and memorable. Like Turkish Airlines, which was praised for having “unbelievable,” traditional Turkish food, readers raved about the meal service on Virgin Atlantic Airways. “I was served wine in a real wine glass,” marveled Olavee Valentino. “Dinner was [like a] five-star or Michelin-star-rated restaurant.” While some airlines are agonizing over the cost of a bottle of water (we’re looking at you, Spirit) others have hired official sommeliers to build incredible wine lists. Qatar’s Master of Wine, James Cluer, has even hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro just to make sure his Château Dereszia Hungarian Tokaji 2006 was still perfectly sweet and effervescent at altitude. If you’re traveling with one of the best airlines on the planet for food, you may even find yourself excited to be woken for that odd, late-night meal. Whether it’s a regional delicacy (prawn and vegetable tempura) or just plain fancy, these are the airlines raising the bar on in-flight dining.

01 of 10

No. 10: Thai Airways International

Thai Airways International
ROSLAN RAHMAN/Stringer/Getty Images
02 of 10

No. 9: Virgin Atlantic Airways

Virgin Atlantic Airways
Courtesy of Virgin Atlantic Airways
03 of 10

No. 8: Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines
Courtesy of Japan Airlines
04 of 10

No. 7: All Nippon Airways

All Nippon Airways food
Bloomberg/Getty Images
05 of 10

No. 6: Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines
Courtesy of Turkish Airlines
06 of 10

No. 5: Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways food
Courtesy of Cathay Pacific Airways
07 of 10

No. 4: Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways food
Courtesy of Qatar Airways
08 of 10

No. 3: Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways food
Courtesy of Etihad Airways
09 of 10

No. 2: Emirates

Emirates food
Courtesy of Emirates
10 of 10

No. 1: Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines food
Courtesy of Singapore Airlines

For 21 years in a row, Singapore Airlines has won over travelers with its meal service. Thanks to a pressurized tasting room, the long-haul carrier can guarantee that every dish of roasted chicken and pak choy or wanton noodle soup with honey-roasted pork—even at 30,000-feet—tastes just as their international panel of chefs intended. Travelers flying in Premium Economy class or higher can even select their main course from an extensive menu prior to boarding. Travel + Leisure readers said you can expect “First-class treatment [even] in the economy cabin,” and delicious “yes, that’s right, delicious,” on-board fare.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles