Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
Ahh the world’s largest airport. ATL handles more flights than any other airport in the world and if you’ve every flown on an airplane, chances are that you’ve ended up here. Once upon a time, I was a Delta loyalist. I still love my Delta, but they just cannot compete with the nonstop coverage AA offers from my home airport (MIA). Even so, I still end up at ATL at least twice a year. I never dread an ATL Layover, there are tons of ways to pass the time, whether you post up at any of the great food options or spend hours wandering the 7 concourses, there are plenty of ways to pass your time. Here are my top spots to Eat ATL:
Not to be Missed! One Flew South (Concourse E, Center Atrium)
This should be your go-to when you’re feeling a little fancy- it’s not cheap, but the food is worth every penny. Generally, I’m not too trusting of Airport Sushi for obvious reasons. but One Flew South is a fabulous exception. This place serves some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. I’m a sucker for Salmon Sashimi, so my first pick is a couple of pieces to start. The fish is top quality and melts in your mouth. The Spicy Tuna Roll and Crunch Roll are also favorites. On the entree side, my absolute favorite here is the Pork Belly, tender and flavorful with savory flavors of thyme, the umami of the pork paired with a Parsnip Puree all topped off with a bold Blackberry-Onion jam that will make your toes curl, bless your heart! Another favorite is the Duck Confit Sandwich- almost like a Banh Mi, with great Asian flavors of sweet soy, scallions and peanuts. Oh and by the way, they have the best wine selection I’ve ever seen in an airport! Eater beware, go here if you have more than a 1:30 layover, service is generally quick, but you’ll want to really enjoy your experience here.
Concourse T: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (Between T7 & T5)
One word: Little Ice. This place is a small chain that has the best ice around. Ice? Yes, Ice! Their small cubes chill the perfect iced latte that’s worth a quick stop. Concourse T is one of the smaller concourses, so not many choices here. Grab an Iced Latte and croissant and get to steppin’.
Concourse A: Piece of Cake (Concourse A Center Atrium)
A friend who is also a former coworker introduced me to this place years ago when she would bring back delicious slices from her trips home to ATL. Our office would go NUTS over this cake- perfectly delicious and fresh, not what you’d expect from an airport. My favorites here are the Strawberry Cake and the Red Velvet Cake- also available in Cupcakes. Make it happen! Cure that sweet tooth.
Concourse B: Paschal’s (Concourse B Center Food Court)
Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit! You’re in the South, honey, and you need to eat. Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Mac & Cheese and a corn muffin are on my plate. You’ll find tons of Southern staples here: Blackeyed Peas, Fried Catfish, Candied Yams, homemade biscuits, fried okra, etc. all on the menu. Stop in for some Soul Food and leave a little better than when you came in.
Concourse C: Charley’s Grilled Subs (Between C12 & C14)
I’m a sucker for a good Philly Cheesesteak and this is the place to find one at ATL. I keep it simple here, and only when I’m feeling like I am near starving and can afford a serious binge. My order is a classic Philly with Classic Fries. Now I should mention this isn’t the authentic Philly (no cheez whiz, sorry), but it’s a filling meal that you can chow down on in 10 minutes, so it’s a good option when you’re on the run.
Concourse D: Five Guys Burgers & Fries (D11)
Easy breezy. Concourse D isn’t the most exciting out there, so if you do happen to end up here, I find it’s best to go with what you know. For me, that’s Five Guys. My order is a cheeseburger with grilled onions, lettuce, mayo & ketchup. If you’re watching it, go for the little burger with some veggies (no cheese)- skip the fries and soda. Remember to keep it cute- airports are full of bad choices and there are work-arounds!
Concourse E: Nature’s Table (Concourse E Food Court)
Finally, a healthy choice! Nature’s Table should be the go-to for any traveler looking to stay on track while they are on the go. You’ll find a huge selection of fresh salads and healthier sandwiches/wraps. Their Kale Salad and Fruit Salad are my go-to’s, but the Bistro Chicken is also great if you’re looking for a hot meal. For my traveling vegans- this is your place! Lots of tasty vegan options here.
Concourse F: Ecco (Concourse F Mezzanine)
Another upscale dining option for ATL, this one is a new addition to the dining scene. It’s a welcome addition- Mediterranean meaning primarily Italian and French fare, expect delicious Flatbread Pizzas, beautiful antipasto salumi/cheese boards, fresh pasta, Steak Frites and small sharing plates. Beware, this is another spot that needs at least a 1:30 layover!
Be sure to enjoy your next trip through ATL. It is by far the largest airport experience around, which causes anxiety and frustration for many travelers. If you are connecting here, avoid any connections under 1 hour. If you are traveling any time between April-October, plan your itinerary to avoid late afternoon/early evening flights as weather delays are common- those Southern Summer storms are no joke, y’all! Should you end up here for an extended period of time, get out there and walk around. You can get in some serious steps at ATL that can keep you energized and work off some calories before you go sedentary for hours on end!