Experience a national food phenomenon in the city where it began at Shake Shack’s JFK location. For fast food that won’t slow you down, the Shack’s breakfast sandwiches, ’Shroom and Shack burgers, hot dogs, and fries are the fuel you need to fly through the rest of your day.
Uptown Brasserie in JFK’s Terminal 4 is a destination in itself. Marcus Samuelsson of Harlem hotspot Red Rooster brings his James Beard Foundation award-winning talents and Southern-inspired cooking to this airport eatery’s open kitchen, where guests can watch their fried yardbird chicken, blackened catfish and grits, and corn bread being made in front of them.
Blue Smoke on the Road
When stress strikes, channel relaxing backyard barbecue vibes at Blue Smoke on the Road. The JFK outpost of Danny Meyer’s local barbecue chain offers all of your favorites, including pulled pork sandwiches, baby back ribs, and sides like macaroni and cheese and pit beans. If you like what you taste (spoiler alert: you will), make it a point on your next trip to New York to visit Blue Smoke’s Flatiron and Battery Park City locations.
Dylan’s Candy Bar
Satisfy any sweet tooth at Dylan’s Candy Bar, conveniently located in JFK’s Terminal 5. The New York City airport address of this national chain carries everything from candy-printed travel pillows to retro candy jewelry to gourmet cake bites. New York-inspired treats, such as FAO Schwarz-themed chocolate bars, make for great souvenirs—if they survive the flight, that is.
Yankee Clipper Deli
This LaGuardia grub hub comes recommended by Thrillist, which raves about the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich at Yankee Clipper Deli. Here, New York deli staples like bagels, roast beef sandwiches, and heroes with sausage and peppers offer jet-setters one last (or first) bite of the Big Apple.
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza
Get your New York pizza fix the second you step off the plane at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza’s LaGuardia location. Here, not-so-standard slices include meatball, crab, and the chain’s famous artichoke slice, which combines artichoke hearts, spinach, heavy cream, and two cheeses for a food coma-inducing dish.
Caps Beer Garden
Technically located in nearby New Jersey, Newark keeps up with its New York City counterparts thanks to affiliates like Dale Talde, the restaurant industry icon behind the airport’s Caps Beer Garden. At this Terminal C escape, Asian-inspired dishes such as Korean fried chicken and kimchi sandwiches, Vietnamese BBQ roast pork sliders, and a fan-favorite crunchy shrimp roll are washed down with brews from around the world.
Melange Petit Patisserie
No French stamps in your passport? No problem. The Francophile-approved fare at Newark’s Melange Petit Patisserie (brought to you by ‘Mr. Chocolate’ himself, Jacques Torres) will whisk you away on a culinary journey like no other. Dine à la française with treats such as Nutella macarons, ham and cheese croissants, and decadent triple chocolate cookies.