The Top 14 Restaurants at the Atlanta Airport

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The Top 14 Restaurants at the Atlanta Airport

Atrium-of-the-international-airport.jpg
Courtesy of Hartsfield-Jackson

As the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) sees an average of 260,000 travelers daily. If you’re one of them, you know that between security line waits and walking between the expansive terminals, you can work up quite the appetite. Whether you need a quick bite or want to linger over a leisurely meal, skip the fast food and mediocre chain restaurants and fill up on quality food at these top airport dining destinations. 

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ATL Airport Dining: One Flew South

Andrew Thomas Lee

Location: Terminal E

Cuisine: Southern/ International

This upscale, James Beard-nominated spot was the airport's first fine dining restaurant. Escape the chaos around you with sushi, craft cocktails and impeccable service. 

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ATL Airport Dining: Chicken+Beer

Photo credit: Chris Watkins

Location: Concourse D
Cuisine: Southern

Atlanta resident, rapper and the restaurant's owner, Ludacris, named this restaurant after his double platinum fourth album. Don't miss the C+B fried chicken sandwich or the $9 beer flight, which includes four pours from local favorites like Creature Comforts and SweetWater Brewing. 

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ATL Airport Dining: Café Intermezzo

ATL Airport Dining: Café Intermezzo

Location: Concourse B
Cuisine: European

Pre-dating well-known coffee chains like Starbucks, Café Intermezzo opened its doors in Dunwoody back in 1979 after founder Brian Olson researched Kaffeehauses in Austria and Germany. Intermezzo means intermission, which is what the café hopes to serve as in the setting of the busy airport. Here, you can escape the airport hustle bustle at a bistro table in the café’s warm interior. Don’t miss the impressive dessert case offering tarts, pies, and cheesecakes, all of which pair nicely with an espresso beverage. Additionally, café fare like crepes, sandwiches, and salads are also available.

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ATL Airport Dining: Ecco

ATL Airport Dining: Ecco

Location: International Terminal

Cuisine: Italian

Come for the fried goat cheese balls, covered in honey and black pepper, and stay for the handmade pastas, pizzas, panini and charcuterie boards. Similarly to its original Midtown location (the restaurant is one of the city's top restaurant groups' concepts), the menu highlights seasonal and local items whenever possible. 

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ATL Airport Dining: Sweet Auburn Market

ATL Airport Dining: Sweet Auburn

Location: International Terminal

Cuisine: Café fare

Downtown lunch-goers and grocery shoppers alike flock to Atlanta's Sweet Auburn Curb Market for a variety of cuisines and fresh produce and meats. At their airport outpost, travelers can find warm paninis, bacon and egg croissants and wholesome hummus platters. Don't miss the Sunday Bloody Mary bar.

07 of 15

ATL Airport Dining: Varasano's

ATL Airport Dining: Varasano's

Location: Concourse A

Cuisine: Italian, Pizza

Jeff Varsano first started making pizzas in his toaster oven, and after years of extensive research and recipe testing shared his perfected recipes at the original Varsano’s in Buckhead. The airport location uses the same famous electric ovens as the original, so that crispy, charred crust can be had before takeoff. You’ll find delicious pies like “Nana’s Pizza” with pancetta and garlic; the “Chica Bella” with ricotta, mozzarella, arugula and lemon; the “Bufala & Coppa” with Mozzarella di Bufala with basil and capicola; and the “Nucci” with garlic, olives, and Emmenthaler cheese. 

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ATL Airport Dining: The Original El Taco

ATL Airport Dining: Original El Taco

Location: International Terminal and Concourse C
Cuisine: Mexican

The original Original El Taco is located in the heart of Atlanta’s Virginia-Highland neighborhood. But travelers needing their Mexican fix can hit up one of the restaurant's two airport locations. El Taco prides itself on bold Mexican flavors in dishes like classic tortilla soup, red chile steak and the “just-crushed” guacamole. 

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ATL Airport Dining: TAP

ATL Airport Dining: TAP

Location: Concourse A

Cuisine: High-end bar food

Get a taste of one of Atlanta’s favorite bars without ever leaving the airport. The gastropub's menu includes favorites like the buttermilk fried chicken tacos, pommes frites and the signature “Pub Burger," made with a 50-50 blend of chuck and brisket, topped with American cheese, house-made bread and butter pickles and served atop an English muffin. Wash it down with a signature cocktail, like the “Happy Housewife” with vanilla infused bourbon, bitters, and cherry pie filling. Or go for a beer (it is called TAP, after all).

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ATL Airport Dining: Paschal’s

ATL Airport Dining: Paschal’s

Location: Concourses B 

Cuisine: Classic Southern

Calling all history buffs! The original Paschal’s in downtown Atlanta was the go-to meeting spot for Dr. Martin Luther King and Civil Rights activists, who made history over plates of crispy fried chicken. Now jetsetters can get a taste of their famous chicken, accompanied by classic sides like mashed potatoes, collard greens and macaroni and cheese—the ultimate comfort food. Don’t forget to top it all off with the famed peach cobbler.

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ATL Airport Dining: Fresh to Order

ATL Airport Dining: Fresh to Order

Location: Concourse B

Cuisine: Healthy American

Created by Pierre Panos of Stoney River Steakhouse, this local chain prides itself on having fresher food, better-trained chefs and a higher level of customer service than its competitors. There are standard café offerings (read: paninis and salads), but there are also unique plated items like the almond chicken skewers, coconut curry salmon and fire-grilled chicken.

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ATL Airport Dining: Lotta Frutta

ATL Airport Dining: Lotta Frutta

Location: Concourse B
Cuisine: Latin and Lighter Fare

What do you do when you’re an Atlanta transplant and missing the fruterias of your childhood? Open your own shop! That’s what LottaFrutta founder, Myrna Perez-Cifuentes did in the Old Fourth Ward, bringing healthy snacks to the neighborhood. Travelers looking to keep it light will also appreciate LottaFrutta’s airport location. True to their name, Lotta Frutta offers smoothies, juices and several types of fruit cups, each with a Latin flair. Go for the Cremolatta, a tropical fruit medley topped with house-made coconut cream. And don't leave without trying one of their pressed sandwiches, like the Ham and Havarti served with an Ecuadorian treat, chulpe (toasted corn).

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ATL Airport Dining: Grindhouse Killer Burgers

ATL Airport Dining: Grindhouse Burgers

Location: Concourse D 30

Cuisine: American/Burgers

What started in 2004 as a market stall in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market has grown into an expanding burger empire across Georgia. Grindhouse Killer Burgers is especially known for its freshly ground beef patties, house-made veggie patties and boozy milkshakes. If you’re keeping it light, there are a couple salads on the menu, too.

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ATL Airport Dining: The Varsity

ATL Airport Dining: The Varsity
http://amateurgastronomer.com

Location: International Terminal, Concourse C

Cuisine: American fast food

The original location of the Varsity is an Atlanta institution, beloved for the shouts of “What’ll ya have?!” upon ordering the legendary Frosted Orange. Visitors in the international terminal will be pleased to find classic Varsity standbys like chili cheese dogs, onion rings and fries. Once you’ve already indulged in that, you may as well round off your meal with a peach pie. This is Georgia, after all.

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ATL Airport Dining: We Juice It

ATL Airport Dining: We Juice It

Location: Atrium NW

Cuisine: Juice, Ice Cream

Flying can leave one feeling less than refreshed. Fortunately, for those seeking a healthy boost, there’s We Juice It, a small counter that packs a punch. Here you can find freshly squeezed juices in a variety of combinations, like the “Up Beets” with beets, celery, kale, lemons and carrots, plus power shots and smoothies. 

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