Where to Eat at LAX, Fall and Winter 2018

Fall and winter holiday travel plans start right here

Holiday travel can be a frustrating experience. After dealing with packing, traffic, and airport security lines, there’s nothing worse than sitting down to a horrible airport meal. Luckily, LAX has made some major improvements to its dining scene over the past several years. Here now is Eater’s list of what is currently open in each terminal, with recommendations on which eatery to go to enjoy a pre-flight meal.

LAX’s Five Standout Places to Eat


Westfield Airports

1) Shake Shack: Danny Meyer’s New York-born roadside burger stand has made a bit splash at the newly renovated Terminal 3. With hours that stretch from 4 a.m. to 12 a.m., hungry travelers can rely on the restauranteur’s sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches for early morning flights and the classic ShackBurger for everything else.

Cassell’s Hamburgers Downtown LA

2) Cassell’s Hamburgers: Christian Page’s burger restaurant, which is a new form of a classic Koreatown eatery, has expanded to LAX’s Terminal 1, which means probably the best simple burgers at the airport for anyone flying out of the Southwest terminal.


3) Cole’s: Although they may not have been the true originator of the French Dip, Cole’s is still an iconic addition to LA’s dining landscape, making it a great stop before departing to other cities from Terminal 4. You can also grab a well-made cocktail before flying out, something of a rarity at airports. Grab a well made old fashioned too.


4) ink.sack: While Michael Voltaggio’s newest branch of his casual sandwich shop may have shuttered on Sunset Strip, the LAX outpost is still alive and kicking at Tom Bradley International Terminal. Prices run well under $10 with great options like the pork butt banh mi and Spanish godfather, essentially an Italian deli sandwich with Spanish flair.

Border Grill LAX
HMS Host

5) The Border Grill: Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken’s food truck inside LAX may have closed, but the original counter-service restaurant is alive and well at Tom Bradley International Terminal. It’s a nice place to get one last taste of LA before jetting off to cities with presumably inferior Mexican fare.

Terminal 1

One of the most recent terminals to get a full remodel, Terminal 1, which Southwest uses for its LAX flights, has some notable LA restaurants like Cassell’s, Trejo’s, Beaming, and Urth Caffe.

A Quick Meal

  • Einstein Bros Bagels: bagel sandwiches, coffee, breakfast to-go
  • Deli & Co.: sandwiches, baked goods, wraps, salads
  • California Pizza Kitchen ASAP: pizza and salads
  • Reilly’s: Irish pub with corned beef sliders, potato chip nachos, and beer flights
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: coffee, blended drinks, baked goods
  • Chick Fil-A: national chain of chicken sandwiches
  • Beaming: quick service sandwiches and salads with a healthy bent
  • Cassell’s Hamburgers: a very good burger spot with locations in Koreatown and Downtown
  • Pei Wei Asian Diner: Americanized Chinese food with rice and noodle bowls
  • Trejo’s Tacos: Danny Trejo’s vegan, meat-based, and vegetarian tacos with agua frescas and kombuchas

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Rock & Brews Concert Bar and Grill: rock and roll-themed salads, sandwiches, pizzas, burgers, craft beers, and full bar
  • Urth Caffe and Bar: a full service restaurant for this LA-based chain of coffee, sandwiches, and salads

Terminal 2

A Quick Meal

  • Pick Up Stix: Asian fast food
  • Starbucks: mega coffee chain
  • Starbucks: mega coffee chain (Arrival Level, before TSA)
  • Fresh Brothers Pizza & Sandwiches: pizza, salad, wings, sandwiches

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Ciabatta Bar: salads, sandwiches, and pastas
  • Built Custom Burgers: customizable burgers and fries from The Counter
  • Slapfish Modern Seafood Shack: sandwiches, tacos, breakfast, seafood
  • SeaLegs Wine Bar: snacks, plates, wine
  • Barney’s Beanery: diner food inspired by Route 66

Terminal 3

A Quick Meal

  • LA Life: healthy, local snack options
  • Shake Shack: Danny Meyer’s fast casual burger chain with breakfast options
  • Nekter: juices, smoothies, and acai bowls
  • Burger King
  • Starbucks:
  • Peet’s Coffee
  • Deli & Co.: sandwiches, baked goods, wraps, salads
  • Earthbar: healthy food, acai bowls, and smoothies before you leave LA
  • Panda Express: fast-casual Chinese-American

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Ashland Hill: the airport location of the Santa Monica gastropub with craft beer and wine
  • La Familia: tacos and tequila with breakfast burritos and rice bowls
  • The Parlor: West Hollywood bar expands to the airport with a tight menu of salads and sandwiches, but plenty of cocktails

Terminal 4

A Quick Meal

  • Dunkin Donuts: donuts, coffee
  • Starbucks: mega coffee chain (Arrivals Level, Pre-TSA)
  • Homeboy Cafe: sandwiches, salads, and more from Downtown’s feel-good-story of a bakery/cafe
  • Food & Bounty: the new occupant of the food truck facade that once hosted Grilled Cheese Please!, Kogi, and Border Grill. All-day breakfast and sandwiches

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza: pizza, salads, beer, soups
  • 8 oz Burger Bar: popular large size burgers from chef Govind Armstrong
  • Campanile: a mini-version of the iconic La Brea eatery
  • Cole’s: french-dip sandwiches and more from the old school spot in Downtown
  • La Provence Patisserie and Cafe: French macarons, paninis, and more.
  • Real Food Daily: plant-based salads, sandwiches, grab-and-snacks, fresh juice. The world’s first plant-based airport restaurant.

Terminal 5

A Quick Meal

  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: coffee, blended drinks, baked goods (Arrival Level, Pre-TSA)
  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: coffee, blended drinks, baked goods (Departure Level)
  • Coffee Corner: coffee shop

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Lemonade: quick-casual salads, sandwiches, breakfast and more
  • Loteria! Grill: the classic Farmers Market staple offers a variety of Mexican offerings
  • Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market & Bistro: the original Farmers Market stall sells gifts and gourmet items
  • Farmers Market To Go: refrigerated shelves of pre-made options
  • Ford’s Filling Station: a mini-version of Ben Ford’s downtown gastropub
  • Rock & Brews Concert Bar & Grill: rock and roll-themed salads, sandwiches, pizzas, burgers, craft beers, and full bar. Grab and go meals available as well
  • Skewers by Morimoto: a modern yakitori stand from the Iron Chef

Terminal 6

A Quick Meal

  • Starbucks Evenings: the first wine bar concept from Starbucks in L.A. Also serves craft beer, coffee, and tapas
  • The Habit Burger Grill: highly lauded California-based burger chain
  • Wahoo’s Fish Tacos: Orange County-born fish taco and rice bowl chain
  • Starbucks: mega coffee chain (Arrival Level, Pre-TSA)
  • Peet’s Coffee: coffee shop

Fast Casual/Bars

  • The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck: made-to-order breakfast and lunch options
  • The Wine Bar by Wolfgang Puck
  • WPizza by Wolfgang Puck: the celebrity chef’s signature pizzas
  • Osteria by Fabio Viviani: Italian fare by the Top Chef alum
  • Earthbar: healthy food, acai bowls, and smoothies before you leave LA
  • BLU2o: beachy California-cuisine
  • Point the Way Cafe: gastropub by Golden Road Brewery

Terminal 7

A Quick Meal

  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: coffee, baked goods, snacks
  • Klatch Coffee: special coffee, tea, pastries
  • Dunkin’ Donuts (Before security checkpoint)

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Ashland Hill: another airport location of the Santa Monica gastropub with craft beer and wine
  • Loteria!: LAX’s second outpost of the Farmers Market Mexican chain
  • bld: sandwiches, salads, hot plates
  • The Counter Custom Built Burgers: burgers and fries
  • B Grill by BOA Steakhouse: burgers, salads, steaks, pastas, seafood
  • Rolling Stone Bar & Grill: the rock and roll brand serves up bar food and booze
  • Wolfgang Puck Express: pizzas, sandwiches, and more from the celebrity chef

Terminal 8

A Quick Meal

  • Carl’s Jr/Green Burrito: traditional American and Mexican fast food
  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: coffee, baked goods, snacks
  • Panda Express: fast-casual Chinese-American

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Corona Bar: bar food, beer, and booze
  • Engine Co. No. 28: full-service bar and restaurant with classic American cuisine

Tom Bradley International Terminal

Since LAX’s big international terminal has a significant number of pre-security checkpoint dining options, here they are split into various sections. The terminal’s newer food options are probably the best in the entire airport, but one needs to fly international in order to enjoy them.

Pre-Security Checkpoint at TBIT

  • 7-11: convenience snack shop
  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: coffee and ice-blended drinks
  • Pinkberry: frozen yogurt
  • WPizza by Wolfgang Puck: the celebrity chef’s famed pizzas
  • Earl of Sandwich: national sandwich chain
  • Planet Hollywood and PH To-Go: kitchy chain with all-day fare
  • Cantina Loredo: Modern Mexican fare with plenty of margaritas

After Security Checkpoint

A Quick Meal

  • Starbucks: mega coffee chain
  • Starbucks Evenings: the first wine bar concept from Starbucks in L.A. Also serves craft beer, coffee, and tapas
  • Panda Express: Americanized Chinese food served from steam tables
  • Vanilla Bakeshop: specialty cupcakes
  • Pinkberry: frozen yogurt
  • LAMILL Coffee: better coffee and pastries
  • Treat Me Sweet: candy mecca
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken: fried chicken chain

Fast Casual/Bars

  • ink.sack: classic and modern sandwiches by chef Michael Voltaggio
  • The Larder at Tavern: seasonal salads, sandwiches, and more from Suzanne Goin
  • Umami Burger: gourmet burgers done with a twist, found all over Southern California
  • Vino Volo: a typical wine bar that also offers food from breakfast to dinner, plus small plates
  • 800 Degrees: quick-fire, fully customizable pizzas made in the Neopolitan style
  • James’ Beach: this Venice staple brings American comfort classics and cocktails to the airport
  • Scoreboard LA: bar bites
  • Drink.LA: a sleek bar offering craft cocktails

A Leisurely Meal

  • Border Grill: Mexican specialties by Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken
  • Chaya Sushi: modern Asian cuisine, sushi, and more
  • Petrossian: a French caviar and Champagne bar, with vodkas, flatbread, and smoked fish
  • P.F. Chang’s: Americanized Chinese food with wok-fired chicken and noodle dishes
  • Where to Eat Around LAX [ELA]

Source: LA Eater