The Top 16 Restaurants at the Atlanta Airport

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    The Top 16 Restaurants at the Atlanta Airport

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

    As the busiest airport in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) sees about 250,000 travelers daily. If you’re one of them, you know that getting through security and taking the SkyTrain through the enormous terminals can work up quite the appetite. But while there are 114 places to eat in the airport, most of them less are than memorable (read: standard chain restaurants serving up processed, fast food). Luckily, tons of local chefs and restaurateurs are opening outposts of their beloved restaurants in the airport, so whether you’re passing through ATL for a connecting flight, or call Atlanta home, you can now quell those hunger pangs with delicious, chef-driven fare sure to please. Herewith, our guide to the ATL airport’s top 16 restaurants: 

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    ATL Airport Dining: One Flew South

    Location: Terminal E

    Cuisine: Southern/ International

    With Chef Duane Nutter at the helm, One Flew South is upscale airport dining at its best. The menu has an international scope, with a focus on regional ingredients and a southern twist (think dry-aged burgers, miso bbq ribeyes, sushi and an array of craft cocktails).  

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    ATL Airport Dining: Ecco

    ATL Airport Dining: Ecco

    Location: International Terminal

    Cuisine: Italian

    All you need to know about Ecco? Fried. Goat. Cheese. Come for the fried goat cheese balls, covered in honey and black pepper, 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 group's concepts), the menu highlights seasonal and local items when possible. 

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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: Sweet Auburn Market

    ATL Airport Dining: Sweet Auburn

    Location: International Terminal

    Cuisine: Café fare

    Downtown lunch-goers and grocery shoppers 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. There is even a Bloody Mary bar on Sundays! Conveniently, the market also sells magazines and sundries.

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    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 tests has perfected the pizza at the original Varsano’s in Buckhead. Rest assured, 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. Come for the pizza, stay for the jazz piano.

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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. TAP bills itself as a gastropub, which makes sense with dishes like the buttermilk fried chicken tacos, pommes frites, and their signature “Pub Burger" (it's made with a 50-50 blend of chuck and brisket, topped with American cheese, house-made bread and butter pickles and all 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 A, B and C

    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 now found at the airport. Don’t forget to top it all off with the peach cobbler.

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    ATL Airport Dining: Three Taverns

    ATL Airport Dining: Three Taverns

    Location: Concourse A
    Cuisine: Craft Beer

    A relative newcomer to Atlanta, Three Taverns first opened their Decatur brewery in 2013 and took over Sweetwater’s airport location this past summer. Three Taverns specializes in Belgian-style beers, with names like “A Night in Brussels,” “Le Peche Mode,” “Prince of Pilsen” and “Single Intent.” If you need something to chase down all that beer, standard bar fare is available, like grilled chicken sandwiches, spinach dip, salmon salad and a cheeseburger.

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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: Piece of Cake

    ATL Airport Dining: Piece of Cake

    Location: Concourse A
    Cuisine: Desserts

    With seven locations around the metro Atlanta area, Piece of Cake is an Atlanta staple for special occasions and sweet tooth cravings. Best known for layered cakes in a menagerie of flavors like red velvet, Oreo, white chocolate and carrot, their offerings also include cupcakes and cookies. Like what you tried but can’t get Piece of Cake at home? They ship!

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    ATL Airport Dining: Food Network Kitchen

    ATL Airport Dining: Food Network Kitchen

    Location: Terminal D

    Cuisine: Southern

    While the Food Network Kitchen isn’t exclusive to the Atlanta airport, this particular location offers a menu with local flavor. Made-to-order items include the pickled green tomato and brie sandwich, Buford Highway Pho, hoppin’ John salad and the ham and pimento cheese sandwich. If you’re in a rush, there’s also a grab and go market.

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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: 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

    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 and the legendary Frosted Orange. Visitors in the international terminal will be pleased to find classic Varsity standby’s like their 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. Power shots and smoothies are also available. Don’t be surprised, though, if you find yourself tempted by their Morelli’s ice cream case once you get there.