Where To Eat At Midway Airport

9 spots for a meal that's way better than beef jerky and a $39 bag of almonds.
Where To Eat At Midway Airport image

photo credit: Chicago Department of Aviation

It wasn’t too long ago that Midway was named the worst airport in the United States. Now, it’s worked its way up to being below average for a large airport, probably thanks to a multi-year, multi-million dollar renovation. Part of that project includes local restaurants opening outposts in Concourse A and B. The dining options are still limited relative to O'Hare, but on the plus side, Midway is small enough that no matter where your gate is, you’re less than a 10-minute walk away from something to eat that’s better than beef jerky and a $39 bag of almonds.


photo credit: Lindsay Eberly


Garfield Ridge

$$$$Perfect For:BreakfastLunchQuick Eats
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Located in Central Market

Tallboy is ideal if you’re going to collapse from hunger after waiting at security for an hour. It’s located just past TSA in the main food court, and besides carne asada or chicken chimichurri tacos, there are bowls, salads, and quesadillas. Things like steak and egg burritos are available at breakfast—giving you the strength to make it through a crack-of-dawn flight without losing it on the toddler treating your seat like a soccer ball.

Located in Central Market

Popcorn is a perfectly valid meal, just ask anyone with an employee discount at AMC. And Garrett Popcorn is an iconic Chicago staple with lines a lot shorter than the Einstein Bros in Concourse A. You won’t have to wait long for a delicious dinner that comes in a conveniently portable format you can jam into your personal item. And unlike 16B’s tuna sandwich, it won’t piss off your seat neighbor when you bust it out on the plane. Get the Garrett Mix (a combo of cheddar and caramel popcorn) and make everyone around you jealous.

Located in Concourse A, Food Hall

Like Garrett Popcorn, Billy Goat Tavern is an institution. All sorts of Chicago classics are on the menu—everything from Polish sausages and Italian beefs to pepper and egg breakfast sandwiches. But at Billy Goat, it’s all about the burgers. Order the double or the triple burger because the bun’s too thick for the single, thin, (occasionally overcooked) patty. Add a beer or milkshake, and try to accept the fact that you’re leaving such a food history-rich city behind.

Located in Concourse A, Food Hall

Arami is a relatively well-known West Town sushi spot, and like the original location, the Midway outpost has solid food at a hefty price. The menu is much more limited but there are reliable standbys like spicy tuna rolls and poke bowls, plus a sake bar. And if raw fish at an airport gives you as much pause as the nine infants at the gate for your trans-continental flight, there are things like teriyaki chicken and tofu-based dishes, too.

Located in Concourse A, Food Hall

There are a handful of Woodgrains throughout the suburbs of Chicago and St. Louis, serving coal-fired Neapolitan pizza with toppings like sriracha BBQ chicken. The Midway location also offers an Italian beef and hot giardiniera specialty pie, and breakfast pizzas topped with eggs. This is one of the better options at the airport and everything is made fresh to go, so plan for enough time (at least 20 minutes) before your boarding call. Like most things at an airport, it’s expensive, but it beats Home Run Inn.

Located in Concourse A, near Gate A10

Harry Caray’s was at Midway pre-renovation, and after a brief hiatus, returned with a new menu. There’s food like hummus, wings, a variety of sandwiches, plus breakfast options like omelets and oatmeal. The long, baseball-themed bar doesn’t feel quite as chaotic or claustrophobic as Concourse B’s Hubbard Inn. And with cocktails named “Cubbie Blue” or “Navy Pear” and the sports memorabilia lining the walls, drinking here is a little more fun.

Located in Concourse B, near Gate B7

There’s no McDonald’s in Midway, so Big City Chicken is your main option for the universally mandated travel meal of chicken nuggets. You can get the fried chicken in tender or sandwich form, but either way, the chicken is a little dry so make sure to get some extra sauce. If you go the sandwich route, it has a smooshed bun and comes with surprisingly crispy seasoned waffle fries—like eating a slightly better middle school lunch. And if it got you through fifth-period math back then, it can get you through a six-hour delay now.

Located in Concourse B, near Gate B7

After arguing with the gate agent about getting off the standby list, you might want a drink. Head to Hubbard Inn, inexplicably located directly in the middle of the busy Concourse B walkway. The location, TVs, and long drink menu mean some waiting and/or aggressive hovering is required to snag a stool. Cocktails and glasses of wine are more expensive than the food, which is primarily a few burgers and sandwiches. The best strategy is to put your dollars towards the drinks, and be grateful that at least you’re not stuck in two hours of traffic on the way to O’Hare.

Located in Concourse B, near Gate B14

BIG & little’s is a fast-food joint, with food you might not expect—like tacos stuffed with sushi-grade ahi tuna or al pastor burgers. The main location in Lakeview is great. Unfortunately, the Midway location doesn’t serve burgers or sandwiches, but you can still choose from 12 types of tacos. There are breakfast varieties as well, and truffle fries will provide some much-needed fortitude before you head to the gate to glare at the people trying to board before their assigned group number.

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