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Plane takes off from LAX and hovers over the beach near Los Angeles.
Plane takes off from LAX and hovers over the beach near Los Angeles.

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Where to Eat at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

What to know ahead of any warm weather travel leaving from Los Angeles

From traffic into the airport to inefficient security lines and unplanned delays, traveling through LAX can be a veritable nightmare — and that’s before adding on a year-plus of pandemic slowdowns, delays, and added health and safety layers. Since 2019, LAX has been busy with construction and renovations, which means some significant changes in the operations of eateries, restaurants, lounges, and bars at the airport. The newest terminal to reopen, Terminal 3, now features a new full-service restaurant from chef Nyesha Arrington.

Because some food and drink spaces are in flux, LAX now offers an airport-only food delivery service called Order Now that will bring dishes from across terminals, in case a particular terminal you’re flying out of doesn’t have many options. Here is an updated look, just ahead of the summer travel season, and what to expect when seeking out food at Los Angeles’s busy international airport.

Three Standout Places to Eat

The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck at LAX
The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck at LAX Terminal 6
Matthew Kang
  1. WPizza and The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck at Terminal 6: Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s classic pizzas, pasta, and salads are often the most reliable things to eat in an airport setting, though the prices will certainly be higher than in a fast food spot.
  2. Native by Nyesha at Terminal 3: A resurrected version of chef Nyesha Arrington’s former Santa Monica restaurant, the current Eater YouTube host has a globally-inspired spot in Terminal 3 with grilled shrimp & grits, avocado toast, hamachi crudo, and Korean-style chicken wings in what might be the most ambitious chef-driven restaurant in the entire airport.
  3. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese at TBIT: Seattle’s Pike Place Market imported one of its best stalls in Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, which makes breakfast sandwiches, soup, and grilled cheese sandwiches at reasonable prices.

Reilly’s Irish Pub at LAX’s Terminal 1.
Reilly’s Irish Pub at LAX’s Terminal 1.

Terminal 1

A Quick Meal

  • California Pizza Kitchen: Pizza and salads, both full service and quick takeout
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Coffee, blended drinks, baked goods
  • Chick-fil-A: Fried chicken sandwiches and waffle fries
  • Einstein Bros. Bagel: Breakfast sandwiches and bagels
  • Panda Express: Steam table Chinese food with combination plates
  • Qwench Juice Bar and Wetzel’s: Located before security, with blended juices and pretzels

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Urth Caffe and Bar: A sit-down with coffee, sandwiches, and salads
  • Betcha Burger: A burger spot with hot dogs, chicken, and breakfast items
  • Rock & Brews Concert Bar and Grill: Rock and roll-themed salads, sandwiches, pizzas, burgers, craft beers, and a full bar
  • Ace Cerveceria and Tacos: Fairly generic tacos, nachos, guac, and other dishes with bottled or draft beer
  • Reilly’s Irish Pub: Based on the West Hollywood nightlife spot, serving burgers, sliders, tacos, and sandwiches with full cocktails and beer.

Inside LAX’s newly renovated Terminal 2 with travelers walking.
Inside LAX’s newly renovated Terminal 2.
Matthew Kang

Terminal 2

A Quick Meal

  • Breeze: A simple coffee shop
  • Built Custom Burgers: Customizable burgers and fries from the Counter
  • Fresh Brothers Pizza & Sandwiches: Pizza, salad, wings, sandwiches
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs: Sandwich chain with big Italian subs and Philly cheesesteaks
  • Pick Up Stix: Chinese fast food classics served from a steam table
  • Starbucks: Chain coffee shop, located at pre-security departures and the downstairs arrival level

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Slapfish Modern Seafood Shack: Sandwiches, lobster rolls, fish tacos, breakfast, and other seafood
  • Barney’s Beanery: Diner food and pub inspired by Route 66
  • SeaLegs Wine Bar: Snacks, small plates, wine

Terminal 3

A Quick Meal

  • Jamba Juice: Popular juice and smoothie spot with bowls
  • Homeboy Cafe: LA’s iconic bakery and cafe has grab-and-go sandwiches and baked goods
  • Alfred Coffee: Cool hipster coffee drinks, pastries, breakfast burritos, and even beer and wine options

A Bigger Meal with Cocktails

  • Native: LA chef (and Eater host on YouTube) Nyesha Arrington has opened an airport version of her now-closed Santa Monica restaurant with room for 120 people and Asian-influenced dishes like Korean fried chicken sandwich, curry cauliflower, and grilled Kyokuyo red shrimp.

Travelers dine in the recently rebuilt restaurants and foodcourt at the Tom Bradley International T
Restaurants at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal
Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Terminal 4

A Quick Meal

  • Dunkin’ Donuts: Donuts, coffee from the big chain
  • Homeboy Cafe: Sandwiches, salads, and coffee from a civic-minded Downtown LA bakery

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza: Pizza, salads, beer, soups
  • Campanile: An airport outlet of the late chef Mark Peel’s iconic La Brea eatery
  • La Provence Patisserie and Cafe: French macarons, paninis, donuts, and more

Loteria Grill at LAX.
Loteria Grill at LAX.

Terminal 5

A Quick Meal

  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Coffee, blended drinks, baked goods (both Departures and Arrivals are open)
  • Farmers Market To Go: Grab and go fare inspired by the iconic Original Farmers Market

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Lemonade: Quick-casual salads, sandwiches, and breakfast fare with seasonal ingredients
  • Donburi Bistro: Japanese rice bowls and full bar
  • Loteria! Grill: Mexican fare like tacos and burritos from chef Jimmy Shaw
  • Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market & Bistro: Gifts, gourmet items, and healthy bistro fare
  • Ford’s Filling Station: An airport outlet of chef Ben Ford’s former gastropub
  • Rock & Brews: Rock and roll-themed salads, sandwiches, pizzas, burgers, craft beers

Terminal 6

A Quick Meal

  • The Habit Burger Grill: California-based burger chain
  • Starbucks: Coffee mega-chain
  • Peet’s Coffee: Another coffee mega-chain featuring dark roasts (closed Tuesday and Saturday)

Fast Casual/Bars

  • The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck: Made-to-order breakfast and lunch options
  • The Wine Bar by Wolfgang Puck: Wine, beer, craft cocktails
  • WPizza by Wolfgang Puck: The celebrity chef’s signature pizzas
  • EarthBar: Healthy food, acai bowls, and smoothies
  • Blu2o: Beachy California cuisine from chef David Myers, with a full bar
  • Point the Way Cafe: A gastropub from Golden Road Brewery
  • Starbucks Evenings: An all-day, wine-friendly place to get coffee and snacks
  • Wahoo’s Fish Taco: Chain fish taco spot
  • California Pizza Kitchen: A full-service restaurant in the former Osteria by Fabio Viviani space

Terminal 7

A Quick Meal

  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Coffee, baked goods, snacks
  • LA Life: A generic quick grab-and-go spot for salads, pre-cut fruit, and other snacks
  • Dunkin’: National coffee and donut chain (closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
  • Klatch Coffee: Orange County-based specialty coffee chain

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Ashland Hill: An airport outlet of the Main Street Santa Monica gastropub
  • BLD: Sandwiches, salads, hot plates inspired by the former Beverly Boulevard restaurant
  • Loteria! Grill: Mexican fare from chef Jimmy Shaw
  • The Counter Custom Built Burgers: Burgers, fries, and more
  • B Grill by Boa Steakhouse: Sandwiches, burgers, salads, steaks, pastas, seafood
  • Rolling Stone Bar & Grill: Wings, burgers, chicken tenders, salads, and booze
  • Wolfgang Puck Express: Pizzas, sandwiches, and salads from the celebrity chef

Terminal 8

A Quick Meal

  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Coffee, baked goods, snacks
  • Panda Express: Fast-casual American Chinese fare
  • Carl’s Jr: National fast food burger chain with breakfast sandwiches

Fast Casual/Bars

  • Engine Co. No. 28: Full-service bar and restaurant with classic American cuisine
  • Stella Bar: All-day fare from breakfast to dinner with vegan/vegetarian options named after Stella Artois beer (previously called Corona Bar).

Weekly coronavirus cases have doubled in just the last month around the state, and Los Angeles County had the grim distinction of recording more than 6,800 cases this weekend alone, an alarming spike that has officials talking about more restrictions. Cali
LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal

Tom Bradley International Terminal

Pre-Security Checkpoint

  • Earl of Sandwich: National sandwich chain
  • Pinkberry: Tart froyo with fruit and other toppings
  • Asian Street Eats by Chef Hung: Top Chef winner Hung Huynh does scallion pancakes, mixed rice bowls, and Japanese teas in partnership with Earl of Sandwich
  • Planet Hollywood: All-day American fare like sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and more
  • WPizza by Wolfgang Puck: Pizza spot from the celebrity chef
  • Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: Coffee and tea chain with snacks
  • Chicken Guy (New): From Guy Fieri and Robert Earl, this fast-food chicken spot has locations across the country, but this is the first location in Southern California. Expect tenders and chicken sandwiches with fries for around $15.

West Gates

  • Flight Shop
  • Playa Vista: Coffee, snacks, fruit, and other grab-and-go items
  • Santouka Ramen: Mitsuwa’s popular ramen spot
  • Illy Coffee

After Security Checkpoint

A Quick Meal

  • Starbucks: Coffee mega-chain
  • Panda Express: American Chinese fare
  • Vanilla Bakeshop: Cupcakes
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken: Fried chicken chain
  • La Mill Coffee: Specialty roasted coffee from LA
  • Pret-A-Manger: Pre-made sandwiches, salads, and more
  • Playa Vista: Coffee, snacks, fruit, and other grab-and-go items
  • Beecher’s Handmade Cheese: Seattle cheesemaker that serves sandwiches and soups.

Fast Casual/Bars

  • ink.sack: Classic and modern sandwiches in half portions by chef Michael Voltaggio
  • Vino Volo: Wine bar with small plates
  • Santa Monica Brew Works: A brewpub with California-inspired beers

A Leisurely Meal

  • Border Grill: Mexican specialties from chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken
  • Chaya Sushi: Upscale Japanese lounge fare
  • Umami Burger: Fancy burgers
  • 800 Degrees: Make-your-own Neapolitan-style pizzas
  • Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (New): The popular spot from Seattle’s Pikes Place market makes fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches and other fare
  • P.F. Chang’s: The upscale casual chain restaurant has reopened with Chinese American and other Asian dishes

PS Terminal

PS is the exclusive private terminal for commercial flights at LAX, where travelers are best able to have private security and luxury services — private check-ins, security, and a car that directly chauffeurs travelers from their homes or hotels to the terminal. It’s most compelling for celebrities, professional athletes, and other folks hoping to avoid paparazzi, plus those who can afford the hefty price tag.

Dining options change every six months or so, and the seasonal menu features dishes that will fill diners up without leaving them stuffed before a long flight. Folks can enter either a lounge-style salon with a limited number of other travelers or a private suite, which comes stocked with a pantry, toiletries, and other amenities. Dining options in the lounge include cocktails and bites, and both the lounge and the private suite also include chef-prepared meals — strawberry salads, jackfruit tacos, avocado toasts, and more.

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