Houston is getting busy as Super Bowl LI approaches with some 140,000 visitors expected to touch down in our city for the big event. While eating at the airport is likely not on most people’s to-do lists, you may find yourself looking for a bite to eat while you wait for your flight. Dining options at George Bush International Airport have expanded in the last few years with more local flavor added into the mix and more new restaurants on the way. So what better time to check out what’s on the menu at IAH? Read on for our picks.
(Note: Restaurants with an asterisk by their name will be open for 24 hours on Sunday, Feb. 5. Here’s a full list of restaurants and concessions that will open for 24 hours on Super Bowl Sunday.)
Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar, from Landry’s Group, is a new arrival at Terminal A, serving Tex Mex classics, including fajitas, enchiladas and margaritas. Also new to the terminal is The Breakfast Klub Express, which brings the iconic Midtown restaurant’s soul food to travelers. For a good Houston burger, check out Hubcap Grill & Beer Yard*. Its Philly Cheesesteak Burger was voted #5 in Texas Monthly’s list of best burgers in the state. And while not a Houston restaurant, Mockingbird Distillery & Smokehouse, from the Austin-based distillers of Tito’s Vodka, gives you a little taste of Texas in its plates of smoked meats and sausage.
Get a taste of Gulf Coast seafood at chef Bryan Caswell’s 3rd Bar Eating House* in Terminal B. The full-service restaurant serves fresh oysters, shrimp po boys and fresh fish in a nice setting. For Tex-Mex, Caswell’s El Real is a good bet in Terminal B, with plenty of options to sample cuisine from different parts of Texas. Also in Terminal B, the airport offshoot of Ray’s BBQ Shack, which serves up smoked meats in Houston’s Third Ward, offers a condensed menu of brisket breakfast sandwiches, smoked meat plates and sides.
Landry’s Seafood*, a Gulf Coast institution, just opened in Terminal C bringing travelers its iconic menu of favorites such as Landry’s calamari with marinara red pepper remoulade, succulent oysters on the half shell, and gumbo. Those looking for a quick bite in Terminal C can also stop by Pink’s Pizza*, a well known Houston pizza chain, for a slice to go.
Travelers can now enjoy award-winning chef Hugo Ortega’s authentic Mexican cuisine at Hugo’s Cocina, which opened this week in Terminal D. Enjoy dishes like migas and huevos rancheros for breakfast and choose from tacos, tortas (sandwiches) and soups such as pozole for lunch and dinner. Hugo’s Cocina also has a tequila menu to give travelers a taste of a variety of tequilas and mezcals. Also in Terminal D, Tony Vallone’s Tony’s Wine Cellar & Bistro serves wines -- from just a taste to a full bottle -- for travelers to enjoy with a salad or sandwich.
The Pappas name is well recognized in Houston. This homegrown restaurant empire has grown from one restaurant opened in 1976 to more than 100 restaurants today. From Pappas Burger to Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, chances are if you live in Houston you’ve dined at a Pappas restaurant. You can get a taste of one in Terminal E. Head to Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen if seafood is what you’re after. For a more casual meal, Pappasito’s Cantina in the terminal’s food court offers solid Tex-Mex cuisine and margaritas.
Check out the full list of IAH restaurants.