Where to Eat and Drink at Reagan National Airport
From the iconic DC half-smoke to pizza and fast-casual picks.
Vacation starts the minute you leave your front door, so it’s quite possible the airport will be the setting for your first vacation meal. And if you’re looking to enjoy that meal, you’ll want to forego the sea of pre-packaged sandwiches and salads at the newsstand for something a little more epicurean.
Luckily, at DC’s Reagan National Airport, the smaller of the two airports serving the DMV area, you’ll have a slew of options that will put you in the right mindset for the rest of your time off. And we’re not just talking about Jose Andres’ highly anticipated tapas lounge that will soon land at DCA. From quick-service spots to some of the city’s best restaurants, here are all of the restaurants at DCA that are worth your time and your money.
Post-security (National Hall)
One of the most iconic restaurants in DC has naturally found its way into DCA, which means that you can make your first (or last) taste of the city before leaving the airport extra special. While the original landmark location is in the U Street Corridor, in DCA, it’s located just past security for easy access to a burger, bowl of chili, or famous half-smoke before taking off.
If you’re craving some pre-flight sushi to start your trip in style, check out this Japanese restaurant. It’s got a full dining room and sushi counter with made-to-order sushi dishes and other Japanese cuisine, including teriyaki, tempura, and noodles.
At Page, you can find breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all from the creative mind of celebrity chef Carla Hall of Top Chef fame. The menu ranges from snacks like beet hummus and other appetizers to more robust meal options like a local crab cake sandwich.
If you’re looking to have a proper sit-down meal, then Reservoir by Robert Wiedmaier is the place to go. The French restaurant offers dishes like a classic croque madame and brasserie burger, plus steak frites, salmon niçoise, and grilled trout for heartier meals. Plus, if you’re really looking to kill some time, there’s a full beer, wine, and spirits menu complete with wines by the bottle.
Cava, a fast-casual mainstay across the DMV, has found a home in the city’s airport, making it a great option for Mediterranean flavors if you’re on a bit of a time crunch. Whether you want a quick snack like pita and hummus or are looking for a chef-curated bowl, Cava has something for you.
Somehow, sitting down to drink a beer and watch sports at the airport is more satisfying than that same pairing anywhere else—and one of the best places in DCA to indulge yourself is at the Bracket Room. Chow down on classic American fare like burgers and wings while watching sports highlights on flat screen TVs at the bar.
Chef Richard Sandoval runs a few well-loved locations of this Mexican restaurant throughout the DMV area, including this outpost at DCA. If you’re looking for a little slice of Latin America in the US capital, sit down for margaritas, tacos, and other Mexican eats.
For more than four decades, Lebanese Taverna has been serving the DC area classic Lebanese fare like spreads of mezze and all kinds of kabobs. At DCA, Lebanese Taverna’s express location offers a quick way for travelers to grab a pita or shawarma bowl before boarding a plane.
This old favorite DC sandwich shop is slowly reopening spots around the city, but it never left Terminal C. Whether you want an order of risotto balls or a hearty Italian sandwich, Taylor Gourmet has portable options that will keep you full throughout your entire flight.
A fresh burger is sometimes just what you need (or want) before tucking in for a long flight. This fast food chain has locations all over the world, which means that it’s a great option whether you’re coming or going from DC.
For a fast casual Asian bite, check out Wow Bao and its selection of baos (or buns) with fillings that are both sweet and savory and appropriate for just about any time of day. You can also grab potstickers and dumplings, as well as rice-based bowls.
DC’s homegrown fast casual chain, &pizza, now has a spot in DCA, making those flying out of Terminal D very lucky. Passengers can get a cooked-to-order oblong pie outfitted with toppings of their choice or opt for one of &pizza’s signatures like the sweet-and-spicy American Honey pie or a white pizza with parm-romano sauce, mozzarella, truffle ranch, and black pepper.
One of DC’s best pizza spots recently opened in the new concourse of DCA. The menu consists of 10-inch pies that are made to order. Popular options include The Bentley, featuring tomato sauce, a provolone and mozzarella blend, cured chorizo, soppressata, Peruvian sweet peppers, and spicy honey; or the Pork Empanada, topped with slow-roasted pork, pickled shallots, and spicy pineapple chips.
This modern take on an airport bar has a menu that is created by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, so don’t be surprised to find a prosciutto and egg sandwich, seven spice tenderloin skewers, or a barrel aged negroni on the somewhat elevated menu.