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The Best 15 Restaurants at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LA Startups - The Newbie Guide to the Foodie Scene at LAX - Los Angeles

If you’re ever in the Los Angeles International Airport and you’re feeling peckish, then you’re in luck. A few years ago, your dining options would have been terrible. You’d have to endure fast food joints or else visit the Encounter Restaurant. Now the Encounter is closed, but there are lots more palatable dining establishments in LAX for you to choose from.

Here are some places you should visit if you’re feeling a bit hungry at the airport. You can find them at particular terminals or at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).

Cassell’s (Terminal 1)

Store Hour: 6:00am until earlier of: 11:00pm or after the last flight boards in T1

In 1948, there was an iconic hamburger joint owned by Al Cassell. Now it’s back with locations in downtown LA, at the Hotel Normandie in Koreatown, and now at the LAX. Cassell’s Burgers is run by famed chef Christian Page, who established his burger credentials with his stay at Short Order.

Come here and you get to enjoy the kind of premium beef that other fast food joints can only dream about. The Classic Cheeseburger is always good, and of course, you need to try the famed Patty Melt.

The Best 15 Restaurants at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
The Best 15 Restaurants at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Trejo’s Tacos (Terminal 1)

Store Hour: 6:00am until earlier of: 11:00pm or after the last flight boards in T1

Website: HERE

This second option in Terminal 1 underscores just how this section benefited from the complete renovation at the cost of half a billion dollars. This renovation included the addition of Trejo’s Tacos, and afterward, you can also enjoy the extra 23,000 square feet of commercial retail space.

If you’re a film buff, then you know that the Trejo name here refers to the film actor Danny Trejo. He may play bad guys most of the time, but he’s a hero with the menu offerings in this place. Try the terrific spicy shrimp taco along with the steak Asada burrito. If you’re a vegan, then go for the jackfruit and cauliflower tacos. Heck, try those even if you’re not a vegan—veggies are still good for you!

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Urth Caffé & Bar (Terminal 1)

Store Hour:  Open 3:30 until earlier of: 11:00pm or after the last flight boards at T1

If you’re a grammar and spelling Nazi, the name of this place can be rather off-putting. At least they didn’t misspell “Bar”. Also, they’re open from 4AM to 10PM, so if you’ve landed at the airport early you can get a nice bit of breakfast.

Urth offers only certified organic and 100% chemical-free coffee. They pay homage to non-GMO options and sustainable agriculture, and the other tenets of modern 21st-century environmentalism. They also offer fantastic tea too.

Once you visit this place, go for the coffee known as “The Traveler Blend”. This is only available here at this particular Urth location at Terminal 1. Dark roast fans should pick “Mountain Gorilla Estate” or “Manhattan Mudd”. If you’re into a medium roast, try “World Peace” (yes, that really is the name of that particular coffee). Light roast drinkers should choose the light roast “Rainforest”.

LA Startups - The Newbie Guide to the Foodie Scene at LAX - Urth Caffe and Bar
LA Startups – The Newbie Guide to the Foodie Scene at LAX – Urth Caffe and Bar

Slapfish (Terminal 2)

Store Hour: 6:00am-11:00pm

Go for the lobster roll with claw meat and sweet knuckle, served on a butter-griddled brioche bun with a pickle spear and French fries. The shrimp burritos are massive, and they’re great with creamy lemon herb sauce. The clam chowder is nice and creamy, with bacon bits and chives.

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Shake Shack (Terminal 3)

Store Hour: 4:00am-12:00am

Here they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner so you’re covered for the whole day. The breakfast sandwiches include your choice of bacon, ham, or pork sausage patty, with melted American cheese and griddled eggs. Try the Shack Burger, with charred Angus beef patties on soft Martin’s potato rolls. The Smoke Shack is also good, with bacon smoked in applewood along with chopped cherry peppers.

Obviously, you need to try the shakes here too, as they’re the main attraction. Try the “black & white”, which combines fudge and vanilla.

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La Provence Patisserie & Café (Terminal 4)

Store Hour: Monday – Friday 4:30am – 12:00am

Website: HERE

The pastries and the “crodos” here are perennial favorites, especially the cranberry cheese croissant with the blend of berries and cream cheese. The chocolate croissant is also fantastic, with lots of dark chocolate. There are grab and go sandwiches too if you’re in a hurry. If you’ve time, do try the Bear Claw with toasted almond scales and almond paste.

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Cole’s French Dip (Terminal 4)

This place is famous for its signature sandwiches and classic cocktails. Just look for it near Gate 44.

Food & Bounty (Terminal 4)

This is run by Chef Helen Cavallo, and it’s an extension of the Sunset Gower Studios café. Try the Wafflino with its grilled cheese and waffle combo with ham, bacon, tomato, and molten cheese. The avocado toast is also good, with wheat bread topped with basil salsa verde and garden greens. There’s also the Bounty Bowl, which mixes your choice of pork, chicken or veggies with Spanish rice, beet sticks, and veggie hash.

Ford’s Filling Station (Terminal 5)

Chef Ben Ford runs this place and offers bar bites, salads, flatbreads, and their famous pub burgers.

Skewers by Morimoto (Terminal 5)

Store Hour: 6 AM – 9 PM

This is the Iron Chef’s version of Japanese street food and bar grub.

Loteria Grill (Terminal 7)

Store Hour: 6:30 AM – 9:30 PM

Here Chef Jimmy Shaw offers his take on the cuisine of Mexico City where he was born. The tinga de Pollo is special, with shredded chicken stewed with chorizo and chipotle. There’s also the 3-taco combo, with your pick of meat along with black beans and rice.

Other great options are the burritos, nachos with molten Monterey Jack cheese and lots of pico de gallo, and chilaquiles.

LA Startups - Loteria Grill
Loteria Grill

B Grill by BOA Steakhouse (Terminal 7)

Store Hour: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM

The signature dishes here include the New York Strip, BOA Burger, BOA Chop Chop, and the fantastic Petite Filet Mignon. There are also breakfast burritos and wraps for those who aren’t as hungry.

Engine Co. No. 28 (Terminal 8)

Here you get what they call the “firehouse favorites”, which include oven-roasted meatloaf smothered in mushroom demi-glace. It’s served with sautéed spinach and skin-on garlic mashed red potatoes. Other terrific choices include Belgian waffles served with fried chicken breast and drumstick and the Firehouse Cobb salad.

 

The Best 15 Restaurants at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
The Best 15 Restaurants at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

TBIT (Tom Bradley International Terminal)

This place is teeming with lots of fantastic dining options, and you really should visit it if you’re ever at the LAX. Your options include:

  • Vino Volo. The wine list is fine, and the staff can help you out by pairing the choice of cheese and charcuterie.
  • Vanilla Bake Shop. The cupcakes, cakes and other sweets are all made from scratch using premium ingredients.
  • Umami Burger. You get classic American burgers, except they also put in special secret ingredients too.
  • Starbucks Evenings. Unlike your regular Starbucks, here they also serve wine and beer along with tapas.
  • Vodkas and premium champagnes go with smoked salmon and charcuterie and a selection of caviar.
  • Sack. GQ magazine once named this place as one of the Top 10 airport restaurants in America. Here you have to try the Jose Andres, with chorizo, serrano ham, and manchego cheese.
  • Drink LA. Have your pick of classic cocktails, craft beers, and fine wine. The view from this place is also fantastic, with a sweeping view of the terminal.
  • 800 Degrees. If you’re looking for great pizza, you’ll find it here. They use wood-burning ovens and serve Neapolitan-style pizzas with the ingredients you choose.

Remember that movie where the guy had to spend all those days at the airport. If that ever happens to you at LAX, at least you’re not hurting for good food!

Also, check out these 9 Great Places to Visit Near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

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