Airport dining doesn’t have to be terminal. A new wave of airport restaurants is elevating airport cuisine above the level of greasy burgers and wilting sushi, as celebrity chefs and regional food heroes bring their magic to the one-time culinary wasteland of the airport.
The better restaurants that are located in the public areas of their respective airports, such as La Moraga in Malaga, Spain, have become magnets for non-traveling locals, achieving the hitherto unthinkable by turning the airport into a foodie destination.
Across the industry, there is a broader recognition that many among the captive audience of travelers are looking for something more substantial than simply filling a hole in their stomachs, and would place a premium on quality food in stylish surroundings.
Many of the chefs involved are Michelin-starred, and their offerings rate alongside the finest restaurants in their cities. La Moraga, in Terminal three of Spain’s Malaga Airport, is a stylish gastrobar serving contemporary tapas, desserts and more substantial creations. Typical fare includes the oxtail burger, and cherry gazpacho.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Andalusian master chef Dani Garcia — a recipient of the National Gastronomy Prize from Spain’s top culinary authority — who has won Michelin stars for his restaurants Tragabuches, in Malaga, and Calima in Marbella.