Food & Drink

The Best Places to Eat in Phoenix's Super-Busy Airport

Published On 02/08/2019 Published On 02/08/2019
Matt’s Big Breakfast
Matt’s Big Breakfast

NYPD Pizza

Near the security checkpoint

Pizza might just be the perfect food. Late night, early morning, whenever. A slice always satisfies. The pre-security pizza joint also serves beer, wine, and cocktails. And, if you’re in a rush you can take a pie or slice with you to your next destination.

O.H.S.O.

O.H.S.O.

Across from CNBC News

The restaurant and nano-brewery has recently expanded to Sky Harbor’s Terminal 2. The post-security taproom is equipped with plenty of TVs, they serve breakfast until 11am and you can expect to find comfort food on the menu such as pork wings, burgers, and apple pie with ice cream. There are 20 beers on tap. And growler fills are available. It’s a good place to hangout if you’ve got some time to kill.

SanTan Brewing | HDE Agency

SanTan Brewing

Between Gates F6 and F7

The award-winning Chandler-based craft brewery recently took up residence in the south concourse of Terminal 3. The brewpub is equipped with a dining room that offers sweeping views of the far-off mountains and tarmac where you can watch the plans come and go at Gate F7. There is also seating and standing room at the bar if you’d rather snag a pint of Mr. Pineapple on the fly.

The Parlor

Off the Terminal 2 Walkway, next to Passage by Hudson

Locals fell in love with The Parlor for its wood-fired pizzas and award-winning cocktails. Now traveling gourmands from near and far can get a taste of what the Phoenix-based pizzeria has to offer. After all, they opened an airport location with intentions to elevate the food and hospitality experience for travelers. And they seem to be doing just that -- the new Sky Harbor spot resembles the aesthetic of the original and so does the menu.

Mustache Pretzels | Halie Sutton for Experience Scottsdale

Mustache Pretzels

Across from Santan Brewing

The first brick-and-mortar location of this popular Valley-based food truck is located within Sky Harbor’s Terminal 3. Travelers passing through the south concourse can order baked dough in the shape of mustaches on the go from Mustache Pretzels with choices that include cinnamon sugar, garlic and parm, or an option covered in salted caramel and an assortment of nuts.

The Tavern by Mark Tarbell

Across from Gate F3

Mark Tarbell is sort of a big deal around Phoenix. So it only makes sense that the Valley restaurateur and chef would have his own spot that touts his namesake in the new terminal. The Tavern by Mark Tarbell is currently under construction inside of the south concourse (as of early January 2019) but plans to open in the future as part of the renovations currently underway at America’s Friendliest Airport.

Shake Shack | Evan Sung

Shake Shack

Near Gate F7

Expect to find your favorite Shack classics in addition to a selection of breakfast sandwiches at the airport location of the widely-popular burger joint hailing from Madison Square Park. Fans of Shake Shack can devour the iconic burgers and frozen custards from 5am to 10pm daily near Gate F7 of the south concourse.

Barrio Café | Experience Scottsdale

Barrio Café

Near Security Checkpoint D

Barrio Café, led by Chef Silvana, is largely regarded as the best Mexican restaurant in Phoenix. So it only makes sense that the award-winning restaurant would have a presence inside of Sky Harbor. Here you can order the classic Arizona Burrito and wash it down with an ice-cold Tecate. Or, opt for a house specialty like the cochinita pibil. There is also Barrio Avion at Terminal 2, which has takeout options.  

Joe’s Real BBQ

Near Security Checkpoint D

Fans of the Gilbert barbecue joint can find some of their favorite slow-cooked barbecue inside of Terminal 4. The Joe’s Real BBQ menu features a selection of the same meal plates, sandwiches, and specialties all at a reasonable price. They even manage to make the cornbread in-house.

La Grande Orange

La Grande Orange

Near Security Checkpoint D

Much like the Arcadia neighborhood original, this LGO location offers walk-up counter service and the same baked goods, sandwiches, pizza, and coffee selection that you’ve come to know and love. There are a couple beers on tap. You can find artisan gelatos here. And, you’ll probably want to pick up some of those LGO chocolate chip sea salt cookies everyone is always raving about.

Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles

Near Security Checkpoint D

Lo-Lo’s airport location churns out homemade, soulful favorites just like the original. Bring your appetite, stay for awhile, and get-down on some fried chicken and fluffy golden waffles. But save room for their famous banana pudding or red velvet cake.
 

Tammie Coe Cakes

Near Gate A25

A quick pit stop at Tammie Coe Cakes is a must when passing through the U.S. Airways concourse. Located at Gate A25, Tammie Coe To Go is your one-stop destination for something sweet including cookies, bars, and other locally-made sugary snacks. You can also snag last minute items like bottled or canned drinks here before boarding.  

Blanco Tacos & Tequila | Michael Adan

Blanco Tacos & Tequila

Near Security Checkpoint A

The bar is well-stocked at this contemporary Mexican spot. For an airport restaurant there is an extensive tequila list which features blanco, reposado, and añejo options. In addition to tequila, Blanco’s bartenders serve margs, sangrias by the glass or pitcher, wines, and cocktails. Oh, and you can fill up on Mexican specialities including fajitas, tacos, cheese crisps, and breakfast burritos too, because, balance.

Lola Coffee

Near Pre-security, east side

You bet this hip Phoenix coffee shop has a location in the airport. Skip the corporate chains and treat your tastebuds to a cafe borgia or get going with a doppio espresso. In addition to selection of great coffee and teas, Lola also offers all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner which includes things like Cubano sandwiches as well as an assortment of pastries and muffins.

Pita Jungle

Near Gate B3

In a hurry and searching for something fresh and vegan, gluten-free or vegetarian-friendly? Pita Jungle at Gate B3 checks all of the boxes. The order-at-the-counter outpost of the mediterranean eatery provides travelers with a healthy selection of pitas, wraps, bowls, salads, and soups.

Wildflower

Wildflower

Near Gate A9

Hopping on red-eye? Departing before the sun is up? Wildflower, which is located in a pre-security area at Gate A9, is open 24 hours and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. The award-winning bakery/resto has been a Valley favorite for over 20 years for its fresh-baked breads and pastries, which we must say make for a great snack once you’re 30,000-feet up.

Nocawich

Near Gates C2 and C3

Travelers can find Nocawich and Nocawich Express at Gate C2 and Gate C3. Creative takes on bagels and breakfast specialities are on the menu here. And you can also find a substantial selection of grab-and-go signature sandwiches and salads.
 

Matt’s Big Breakfast

Matt’s Big Breakfast

Near Gate B5

All day breakfast is the standard at Matt’s. The salami scramble, made-from-scratch griddle cakes, and Sonrisa burrito are always good choices. After 11am you can get your hands on eats like the Niman Ranch burgers, fully-loaded salads, sandwiches, and even meatloaf. Matt’s Big Breakfast also has a lineup of cocktails, wine, beer, coffees and teas as well as fresh-squeezed lemonade and orange juice. Find it all at Gate B5. You can also snag a coffee at their new Terminal 3 outpost Giant Coffee.

Zinc Brasserie

Near Gate C11

This upscale French-inspired dining establishment near Gate C11 is redefining “airport food.” The Parisian-esque resto features items such as pâté maison, mussels direct from Washington State, dungeness crab crêpes, and traditional onion soup. And those are just some the starters. Main courses include dishes like the grilled chicken paillard and the Zinc omelette with French ham, gruyère, crème fraîche, and straw potatoes. There’s even an approachable dessert selection which includes tasty items like lemon ricotta beignets and chocolate brioche bread pudding. A full bar is also available, of course.

Sweet Republic | Halie Sutton

Sweet Republic

Near Gate B5

When you cross from your plane to the jet bridge one thing is instantly clear: Phoenix temps are astronomically higher and hotter than wherever you just came from. We call it ice cream weather. Find relief at Gate B5’s Sweet Republic. The recipient of numerous accolades, this Scottsdale-based artisan ice cream shop does more than just scoop the classics. Sweet Republic is known for its inventive handcrafted ice cream flavors made with local and all-natural ingredients. So you can indulge without the guilt.