Most airport food offerings, especially those found stateside, are nothing but a slightly less teen-infested version of the food courts you find at the mall. But some airports around the world offer delicacies in places you wouldn’t normally look.
Recently, Bourdain told The New York Times his airport food and air travel secrets. For one, he much prefers airport food over airplane food, which isn’t too surprising if you’ve ever tried to gnaw through the bland TV dinners they hand out. But which one has the best offerings?
“Probably Changi Airport in Singapore has the best food; it has a hawker center for the employees that’s open to the public. Tokyo has a sushi bar right near the gates serving flights to the States that’s extraordinarily good for an airport sushi place. And, as important, it has a Lawson convenience store that has these ethereal egg salad sandwiches that defy logic and science with their deliciousness and apparent freshness. They sit there at near room temperature for I don’t know how long on white bread wrapped in plastic, and I don’t know why but they’re ridiculously good.”
There you have it. As Bourdain puts it, he’s “tragically familiar” with every major airport of the world, and Changi and Narita are tops. But his personal preferences also bring a great tip to light. Sometimes the best meal available is in the last place you’d expect to look. Convenience stores, for example, might make you think of eternally-rolling hot dogs and plastic-wrapped microwave burritos, but they can also have real, fresh food—especially when you’re in other parts of the world.
So, next time you’re traveling by plane, opt for the airport cuisine over the in-flight meals, and don’t be afraid to venture out of the airport’s food court when looking for a feast.