Travel

Where to Eat at Philadelphia International Airport

A lot has changed.

Restrictions for holiday gatherings just got a lot more extensive in Philadelphia. As the city just recently rolled out the new Safer at Home policies that will extend from now through January 1,  holiday festivities will look very different this year. If you still find yourself skipping town and gearing up to face the Philadelphia International Airport, come fully masked and prepared for shifted hours and availability when it comes to food. 
 
As always, PHL offers a lovely sampling of comfort foods to signature Philly dishes, from the best coffee in town to the best cheesesteaks. Even better: The airport recently rolled out a delivery option to make getting food that much safer for travelers. We’ve gathered our favorite eating options from every PHL terminal that are still open—but keep tabs here on the ever-changing hours and policies in the age of COVID-19. And to travel extra safely, check PHL’s latest travel advisories here.

TERMINAL A - EAST

La Colombe

Closest Gate: A3
Also open in B/C Connector and Terminal E
The Philly-based coffee roaster is a no-brainer for any caffeine-fueled trip to or from Philly, and you can rest assured their PHL locations are open during Covid-19 most mornings and evenings. If you’re in a hurry, get a frothy draft latte on tap with a fresh, fluffy pastry.
 

Piattino

Closest Gate: A9
Get fire-baked pizza on the go with Piattino, which has an 800-degree, stone-fired oven to easily elevate your fast-casual airport food. In addition to pizza, you can get pasta, paninis, and breakfast items. Consider especially the wild mushroom pizza made with truffle oil.

TERMINAL A - WEST

AMEX Centurion Lounge

Closest gate: A14
If you’re bougie enough to be an American Express Platinum Card or Centurion member, enjoy one of the nicest corners of the airport at Centurion Lounge. Spearheaded by Michael Solomonov, the mastermind behind Zahav, you’ll enjoy a Mediterranean menu plus beer, wine, and cocktails. The lounge is open from 6 am to 7 pm during the pandemic.

A/B LINK

Farmer’s Fridge

Also available in C/D Link
For something easy you can carry on your flight, Farmer’s Fridge is the best choice to stay healthy even as you travel. At these vending machines, you’ll find fresh fruit, salads, and bowls that are made from scratch and delivered nightly to assure freshness and deliciousness.

CONCOURSE B/C CONNECTOR

Vino Volo

Also in D/E Connector
Chances are that anywhere you eat or drink in the airport will be overpriced compared to alternatives out in the real world, but if you’re wanting a legit wine list and don’t mind spending the extra bucks, Vino Volo is your spot. You can also snag all the foods best enjoyed with wine: artisanal cheese, crostini, charcuterie, and more.

Geno’s Steaks

One of Philadelphia’s most famous cheesesteak spots has an airport edition to give passengers the chance to have a Philly cheesesteak even during the shortest of layovers. Besides the legendary cheesesteak (which has been serving out of 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue since 1966), pork sandwiches, cheese fries, and breakfast items are all on the menu.
 

Gachi House of Sushi & Noodles

Also available in Terminal E near gate E3
Sometimes sushi at the airport is actually a great idea. Traditional and chef selection sushi rolls, poke, rice bowls, bento boxes, and warm noodles are at your disposal and can rival what you might find out dining beyond the airport confines.
 

Smash Burger

Also in Terminal F
Smashburger is your best bet for a short-on-time burger that still hits the spot. The fast-casual spot serves classic burgers (including veggie options) and fries, and also has order-ahead options which come quite handy in light of current public healthy—and when you’re in a rush.

TERMINAL B

Independence Prime

Closest gate: B6
Kevin Sbraga’s tavern/steakhouse hybrid is your go-to for a filling meal with a big wine and beer selection to boot (plus a kids’ menu). The place is open from 5:30 am to 8:30 pm daily, so it’s a good stop if you need an early morning breakfast to charge you up for the day. Speaking of charging, you’ll find plenty of spots to juice up your devices throughout. 
 

Mezzogiorno

Closest gate: B11
Design your own individually sized, Neapolitan-style pizza and round out your airport feast with antipasti, truffle fries, arancini, or a cheese plate at Mezzogiorno, where you can choose from a Southern Italy wine list and locally curated beer menu. It’s a fairly casual setting but with many elevated things to taste.
 

Noobar

Closest gate: B6
Noobar offers grab-and-go gourmet market options, a breakfast and egg bar, and plenty of dumplings, rice, ramen, and maki roll options to craft your ideal layover. Like many Terminal B restaurants, iPad ordering streamlines the process and gives you a chance to pause and charge your devices.

TERMINAL C

Aldo Lamberti Trattoria

Closest gate: C23
The owners of Old City’s Positano Coast and Caffe Aldo Lambert in Cherry Hill, NJ are behind this Italian eatery, which offers by-the-slice pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads, and a breakfast menu, all of which are best enjoyed when you’re on the go. It’s a pleasant surprise in the world of airport food. 
 

Bud & Marilyn’s

Near security
One of Center City’s very best restaurants has an airport outpost to get a taste of the Philly dining scene from the confines of your terminal. Bud & Marilyn's channels that swanky mid-century modern vibe that feels even more Mad Men between flights. Don’t skip the cheddar cheese curds or Nashville hot chicken for a quick little something to hit the spot.
 

Jim’s Steaks

Closest gate: C24
From South Street to south of your gate, Jim’s Steaks is a cheesesteak must for anyone in Philly, tourist or otherwise. This is your chance to try it yourself between flights, so get ready to pack a couple hundred years of cheesesteak-making history into your layover lunch.

TERMINAL D

Bar Symon

Closest gate: D9
This is your go-to to stay full enough to forgo whatever questionable flight meal is being served. Lola fries (which come in rosemary, Parmesan, poutine, and pulled pork varieties) might be satisfying enough, but you could always expand your stomach further with one of the bar’s burgers, like the Thanksgiving-themed Gobbler or the pastrami-filled Fat Doug. Plus, you can order the bun gluten free.

TERMINAL E

Chickie’s and Pete’s

Closest gate: E5
Also in Terminal C and D/E Connector
Crab fries are the quintessential item at this Philly-area classic, but the spot is also key for the classic sports-and-beer combo while you wait for your connecting flight. There’s also a pretty kick-packing Bloody Mary worth your attention as well.

TERMINAL F

Local Tavern

Closest gate: F11
This is the airport go-to for the best beer and wine selection in the vicinity, which you can pair with higher quality pub fare including mussels, fried calamari, and fancy sandwiches. The bar is an elegant spot to waste some time or watch the game, and tables are each outfitted with iPads where you can order and pay. And, as always, don’t sleep on the outlet availability!
 

LeBus Cafe

Closest gate: F10
Self-styled as “Philadelphia’s hometown bakery,” LeBus is already well-known and well-loved in the city for fresh, daily bread that varies from pastry to baguette to bagel to, well, everything else. Choose from the sandwich menu or simply grab a danish and giant cookie with your coffee to go.

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Marielle Mondon is a writer in Philadelphia. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.