NYCGuide

The Best Restaurants At LaGuardia Airport

Because LaGuardia is actually nice now.
The Best Restaurants At LaGuardia Airport image

photo credit: Anne Cruz

If you had told someone 10 years ago that LaGuardia was New York City’s best airport, they probably would have laughed in your face. Yet, LaGuardia is the best airport in the New York area now, partly because the food options are actually good (the exception being Terminal A, but we’ll give them a pass since it’s technically a historic site). You’ll find outposts of New York City spots like Dos Toros and Chuko Ramen, along with a strong collection of spots that you can order ahead while you’re waiting in line for TSA. So, grab a seat, relax by the giant water fountain, and make a note to fly out of here more often.


TERMINAL B

photo credit: Anne Cruz

Bakery/Cafe

LaGuardia Airport

$$$$Perfect For:Coffee & A Light BiteQuick Eats
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If finding coffee is your first priority after getting your carry-on rearranged by TSA, grab some here, plus a few black and white cookies, bagels, or savory spinach and cheese turnovers. Eat them while you become unironically hypnotized by Terminal B’s floor-to-ceiling fountain that plays Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” while projecting images of yellow cabs and the Staten Island Ferry.  


Typically the salad bar at the airport is a no-fly zone (sorry), but the Green Leaf’s is a solid bet for a customizable bowl of greens, wraps, or grain bowls. The falafel salad makes for a great vegetarian option, and the smoothies are a great sweet treat.


Ignore all the smoked meats and just get the fried chicken tenders at Hill Country Barbecue. They have the perfect amount of shatter in each bite and come with waffle fries. You can order them plain or drenched in hot honey, but get the sauce on the side. That way you won’t have to engage in the futile exercise of trying to wipe down a sticky tray table with a dry napkin.


A Shake Shack is a Shake Shack, and the one at LaGuardia isn’t much different than the others. But one extra thing that this location has in common with its other airport counterparts at JFK and elsewhere is its breakfast sandwich, which is an excellent way to start the day before a morning flight.


You want to come to this Italian spot for the paninis. Specifically, go for the turkey panini, which has a lovely balance of savory and sweet with the bacon, brie, and tomato. The open seating area is also ideal for the guilty pleasure of watching travelers sprint to their gate or looking out the window to try to spot your luggage whizzing around the tarmac.


You can grab Brooklyn Diner’s iconic pastrami sandwiches and burgers at their LGA outpost, which has a large seating area conveniently located in one of Terminal B’s skyways that overlook the tarmac. Wait out a delay and start the vacation read you need to finish before it inevitably becomes an Apple+ series at one of the comfy booths. Or, multi-task scrolling and watching whatever game is on the TVs in between bites of fries. 


Irving Farm is one of the best places in Terminal B to grab a decent latte and cold brew. Just know that it’s in the Eastern Concourse, so be prepared for a bit of a walk if your gate isn’t close by. We also love how there’s plenty of bench seating and greenery in this part of the Terminal, so you can almost convince yourself you’re surrounded by nature instead of Away roller bags.


TERMINAL C

If you want a full breakfast before an early morning flight, Poppy’s Bagels will ensure you don’t arrive at your destination feeling ravenous. Get a massive bagel sandwich loaded up with avocado, turkey, and a runny egg, or the big poppy with smoked fish, red onions, and caper cream cheese. Both of those come with a side of adorable star-shaped tater tots that’ll take you right back to your elementary school cafeteria.


The Poppy’s space converts into Chuko Ramen for lunch at 10:30am. And if you’re there when the switch happens, you’ll get to watch the marquee and menu displays all flip and rotate like an old-timey destination board. Chuko is one of our favorite ramen spots in all of New York City, so naturally, the LGA counterpart is a solid option. A bowl of classic sesame garlic is always a good decision, but they also have great handrolls if you don’t want to commit to slurping broth in an airport.


Like its cozy counterpart in Tribeca, Bubby’s is where you can find lots of comfort food like fried chicken, fluffy pancakes, and homemade buttermilk biscuits. The wide menu selection is ideal for trying to bribe a toddler with a slice of pie before getting them on a plane, or if you just need to revive yourself with chicken and pancakes.


Sometimes all you want out of an airport meal is a solid burger that you can scarf down while waiting for your boarding group. That’s exactly why you should hit up Essex Burgers, a little takeout counter just next to the Chuko/Poppy’s Bagels space. The thick double-stacked patties always have a good meat-to-bread burger ratio, and make for a minimally messy gate-side meal. If you’re looking for a rich umami bomb of a sandwich, go with the butcher’s best burger that comes with a dry-aged patty topped with a mixture of sweet caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms. 


Sunday Supper feels like a nice neighborhood Italian spot where you’d start gently wading into the “what are we” territory with a new fling. The only difference, of course, is it’s in an airport. The giant terminal windows and terrace bar help alleviate that eating-in-a-secured-area feeling, and the prices are surprisingly budget-friendly (for the airport, anyway). You can get a giant 23-inch pizza to feed four people for less than $40, or you can get slices or sandwiches at the to-go window next door. The chopped salad with salty gems of genoa sausage, cherry tomatoes, and cheese is also great when you want something healthy, but also don’t want a sad bowl of greens.

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