The Foodie's Guide to LAX
Airports are stepping up their culinary game and LAX is leading the crusade. Peppered with everything from boutique local eateries to West Coast institutions, there’s something to satisfy every palette, even the most discerning. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, keep scrolling for our list of foodie-centric ports in the layover storm.
What: Perhaps the best feature of Paris boutique eatery Petrossian’s LAX outpost is their to-go menu. Patrons are free to carry on insulated pouches of everything from crème fraîche and blinis to “caviar in air.” Relax pre-flight or stop off for a last minute picnic, and make any seat feel like first class.
Who: Umami Burger
What: Serving up the classic Umami’s menu, plus beer and wine, this is a must for carnivores. Known for their high-quality ingredients and super-fresh flavors, Umami grinds their beef in-house. They also have an allergy menu on hand if you’re avoiding gluten or soy.
What: The pared-down precursor to Michael Voltaggio’s Ink, ink.sack’s menu features some of the best sandwiches on the West Coast. With street prices around $7, it’s easily among best bangs for your buck. Expect curated combinations from classic Spanish meats to more exotic pork butt banh mi.
Who: Larder at Tavern
What: Developed by James Beard Award–winning chef Suzanne Goin and James Beard nominee sommelier Caroline Styne, Larder at Tavern serves local, organic produce and meats that celebrate the farm-to-table California spirit. Get local with biodynamic wines, organic coffees, and greens for days.
Who: 800 Degrees
What: Let’s be real, pizza is soul food for the world-weary traveler. Westwood’s 800 Degrees is a high-quality alternative to chains, with a variety of fresh ingredients and competitive price point.
What: One of the newest additions to LAX’s culinary exploits, American seafood restaurant Slapfish prioritizes sustainable practices and eco-friendly sources. The beach town eatery’s terminal fare is a limited menu of fresh-caught favorites from breakfast tacos to lobster rolls.
What: Grab a day pass to the Virgin America loft at LAX and bask in a pre-flight reverie of chill vibes, mood lighting, and snack bars. Elevate Gold members receive free access; day passes are available upon check-in for $30. Well worth it for a pre-flight cocktail hour.
Who: Homeboy Cafe
What: A laid-back bakery serving up wraps, paninis, croissants, and the like. If you’re looking for a quick non-Paleo fix, they’ve got a wide menu of gourmet sandwiches and pastries ready to roll.
Who: Kogi BBQ Taco Truck
What: One of the most anticipated additions to LAX, Roy Choi’s Korea-fusion tacos are an L.A. favorite. The street food phenomenon is the epitome of the curated hometown hero to-go menu. Kimchi quesadillas might be the perfect L.A. goodbye.
Who: Real Food Daily
What: Organic vegan regional chain Real Food Daily, created by Ann Gentry, is the de facto post for those seeking out plant-based fare. Their classics can skew a bit on the pricey side, $20 is average for a sandwich. However, you get what you pay for. Made with only über-fresh, all organic ingredients, it's some of the healthiest and best travel food ever.
What: Creators of the French Dip sandwich, Cole’s is a Los Angeles institution. We’re fans of the downtown location’s speakeasy, Varnish, which serves some of the best drinks in L.A. proper. If you’re just passing through town, pop into the terminal’s happy hour for a casual bite.
What: The modern marketplace focuses on flavorful traditional American comfort food with a healthy twist—from shaved Brussels sprout salad to braised meats and gourmet sandwiches. The robust menu allows you to order by the plate, choosing any combination of sides and mains. Their LAX offering is expansive. You’ll find something upscale and delicious for every palette, including fresh seafood and BLTs.
Who: Loteria! Grill
What: With two locations at Terminal 5 and Terminal 7, the farmer’s market staple–turned–regional chain offers travelers mole enchiladas, street tacos, and all easy Mexican cuisine on the go for one final fix.
What: Chef Ben Ford’s gastropub showcases seasonal, sustainable cuisine with a West Coast–meets-southwest influence. Craft beers, classic cocktails, and a curated menu of eats highlight exceptional ingredients from artisanal meats to farm-fresh produce.
What: A fixture of 20 years at the Original Farmer’s Market on 3rd, the French Gourmetbistro and food emporium offers up a dynamic wine list by the glass alongside a select menu of French classics from artisanal cheese plates to salade niçoise. If in the mood for something light, head over for a glass of rosé and the charcuterie plate.
Who: B Grill by BOA
What: B Grill features an abbreviated menu from BOA steakhouse. A great option for breakfast, you’ll find eggs and sausages in the early morning and a generous offering of burgers, salads and steaks in the afternoon.
What: The American cuisine eatery by Neal Fraser is a brunch favorite at the Beverly Boulevard location. The market-driven fare features an assortment of sandwiches and salads breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Who: Klatch Coffee
What: The award-winning gourmet coffee purveyor and market serves up pastries, sandwiches, and the regular rundown of coffees and teas. Hit it up if you’re looking for an alternative to the usual franchise brew.
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What's your go-to spot in LAX for a bite? Let us know in the comments below!