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Your Favorite Chefs Reveal Their Tips To Have A Decent Airport Breakfast

Anyone who’s had to catch a red-eye flight or travels often knows the struggle of finding decent food in the morning. More often than not, airport breakfasts are something we endure rather than enjoy, especially in the US. However, there are definitely ways to get around that, and thankfully a few celebrity chefs are willing to share how they do so.

In interviews with Eater, popular chefs like Ayesha Curry, Eric Ripert, and David Chang, among others, shared their best tips and tricks to make airport breakfasts more palatable, at the very least. Here’s how each of these celebs upgrade their morning meal game while flying around the country.

Ayesha Curry

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The real Chef Curry would like to remind you that yes, it is okay to bring food into the airport. In her case, she makes a quick DIY trail mix of dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, almonds, raisins, and sunflower seeds, using a 1/4 cup of each. That, plus some tea and coffee, is a solid energy-booster to kickstart your morning. When she doesn’t have that, though, Curry admits to indulging in a Starbucks chocolate chip muffin, so that always works, too.

Hugh Acheson

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This Top Chef judge knows how to get a solid breakfast out of what you can find at the airport lounge. For those of you lucky enough to have access to one, Acheson’s got a simple build that he makes at the Delta lounge in Atlanta: A double-toasted bagel with butter, cream cheese, and strawberry jam. He washes all that down with apple juice on ice and is ready to fly.

Mark Rosati

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Shake Shack’s culinary director likes to dine at local spots that get brought into the airport. One of his personal favorites is the Publican Tavern in Chicago O’Hare, where he imbibes on coffee and scrambled eggs with house-made bacon. Rosati encouraged folks to go find similar spots in their own airports, suggesting that you look for eateries with “local character and flavors that reflect the city.”

Marcus Samuelsson

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Chef Samuelsson keeps things simple and fresh, with fruit, a healthy muffin, a bottle of water, and a coffee or cappuccino being his breakfast of choice.

Andy Ricker

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Pok Pok’s famous chef doesn’t eat breakfast on travel days. However, to him, coffee is a must in the morning regardless, with his go to choice being Stumptown, which both Portland and New York’s airports carry.

Suzanne Goin

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The James Beard award winner changes up her morning meal based on how she’s feeling. Typically, it’s coffee with yogurt, granola, blueberries, and strawberries. However, she will occasionally treat herself to a pain au chocolat or a brown sugar scone if she’s in the mood.

Michael Solomonov

For Chef Solomonov, who runs the award-winning Zahav in Philly, plane travel is all about staying hydrated. He eats a bowl of fruit before flying to accomplish that goal, and brings his own unsalted nuts to avoid the heavily seasoned ones typically served in flight. Other than that, he recommends Saison (pictured above) in New Jersey’s Newark-Liberty International Airport for anyone looking for a quality airport breakfast.

David Chang

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For the Momofuku maestro, Shake Shack is an airport morning holy grail that he’s even missed a flight for once. Panda Express (if it’s late enough) and Wolfgang Puck restaurants on the West Coast are also favorites of his. Apart from that, Chang will sometimes utilize Soylent, the soy drink meal replacement, as an emergency.


This Japanese Airport Boasts the Best Airport Food in the World

Having the “best airport food in the world” might not sound like a huge accomplishment, considering that airports aren’t really what your mind goes to when you’re imagining a hub of culinary genius. When it comes to airport food, only two things are certain: there will be plenty of greasy fast food and there will be a host of soggy sandwiches for you to sink your teeth into. But some of the best food in the world? Maybe not.

Not the case when it comes to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. The airport has won multiple culinary awards for its divine food across the board, including the “Best Airport for Dining” award as part of Skytrax’s annual World Airport Awards.

In Terminal 2, Blue Sky Miso has been praised for its exquisite Japanese food, especially the restaurants’ miso soup combo platters.


Photo: Independent U.K.

Blue Sky also offers some mouthwatering skewers, if miso soup isn’t your thing. (For some reason.)


Photo: Independent U.K.

Or, if you’re looking for something a little more unexpected, try this Japanese-style spaghetti from Goemon in Terminal 1.


Photo: Business Insider

Restaurants throughout the whole length of the airport also offer varieties of ramen. This piping hot bowl looks good enough to justify an entire flight to Japan, don’t you think?


Photo: Business Insider

Understandably, the restaurants in Narita are incredibly busy; the airport has clearly gained a well-deserved reputation as a hub for amazing Japanese cuisine. Some restaurants have taken to setting up 3D menus outside their shops, to help customers decide their order more quickly and therefore move the line along.


Photo: Business Insider

But the most acclaimed restaurant in all of Narita International Airport is undoubtedly Sushi Kyotatsu. This low-key sushi joint has been praised as having some of the best sushi in the world, which coming out of an airport, is extremely impressive. All the rolls are handmade fresh, and the bluefin tuna has been praised by foreigners and locals alike.


Photo: Business Insider

Kudos to Narita International Airport for breaking our leary perceptions of what airport food is generally like. But, quick disclaimer, we don’t encourage you to necessarily try airport sushi every time you fly. Only when you fly in or out of Narita.