Airplane food, in general, sucks. That's not news. But airport food can actually be pretty good. And to prove its culinary worth, Airport Restaurant Month is kicking off this October in 20 airports across the country.
Like Restaurant Week, but longer (hence the whole "month" thing), the HMSHost event invites jet-setting diners to sample gourmet fare on the cheap; a set menu costs anywhere between $17 and $25 -- plus drinks, tax, and service charge, of course.
Still, rather than eating greasy slices from the airport Sbarro, you can head straight to top-notch restaurants, from New York JFK Airport's SOHO Bistro, spearheaded by chef Todd English, to San Diego International Airport's PGA TOUR Grill.
At Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, for example, you can tuck into a "reverse nacho", which is actually a delicious dish and not a wrestling hold, roasted asparagus, or Chef's potato for an appetizer; and for the entree, you can choose between a rosemary grilled chicken glazed with spiced apple cider, pan-seared salmon with lemon caper dill aioli, or a marinated skirt steak with balsamic onion and blue cheese cream.
Everything on that list beats an Auntie Anne's pretzel (not that there's anything wrong with an Auntie Anne's pretzel), so it's probably worth your time to check out some good grub the next time you check into the terminal.
Head here for a full list of participating airports, or feast your eyes on sample dishes in photos before you make a reservation.
Chloe Pantaziis an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. The last great airport meal she had was the spinach, ricotta ravioli in a butter sauce at Carluccio’s in Heathrow's terminal 5, with her mum. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.