The Dining Guide to Los Angeles International Airport

Travelers can sample the best of LA's world-class dining scene

Urth Caffé & Bar LAX | Photo: Urth Caffé


Dining options at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) were once limited to fast food and the now-closed Encounter Restaurant in the iconic Theme Building. But the situation has improved dramatically in recent years, the result of a multi-billion dollar capital improvement project. The centerpiece is the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), a state-of-the-art, $1.7-billion facility that solidifies L.A.’s status as a vital international gateway. Tom Bradley International Terminal features luxury shopping and a sophisticated dining collection that showcases the best of L.A.’s global flavors. From transformed terminals to recent additions throughout the airport, read on for some of the best dining options for LAX travelers.

Cauliflower taco at Trejo's Tacos LAX

Cauliflower taco at Trejo's Tacos LAX | Photo: @karen_pdx_vegan , Instagram

Terminal 1: Trejo's Tacos

Terminal 1 recently emerged from a half-billion dollar curb-to-gate renovation, adding 23,000 square feet of retail space and local cult favorites like Trejo's Tacos. Look for Danny Trejo's familiar face and enjoy standouts like the steak asada burrito, spicy shrimp taco, and vegan options like cauliflower and jackfruit tacos.

Cassell's Hamburgers at LAX Terminal 1

Cassell's Hamburgers at LAX Terminal 1 | Photo: @cassellshamburgers, Instagram

Terminal 1: Cassell's

Chef Christian Page, who previously won burger fans’ hearts at Short Order, pays homage to Al Cassell’s beloved 1948 hamburger joint with a reboot at the Hotel Normandie in Koreatown and a newly opened sequel in DTLA. Like its sister locations, Cassell's Hamburgers at LAX grinds premium beef daily for greatest hits like the Classic Cheeseburger and the famous Patty Melt.

Urth Caffé & Bar LAX | Photo: Urth Caffé

Urth Caffé & Bar LAX | Photo: Urth Caffé

Terminal 1: Urth Caffe & Bar

Urth Caffe & Bar serves the South Bay-based chain's signature organic coffees, fine teas, and farm-to-table bites. Sipping one of Urth's exclusive blends - ranging from the light roast "Rainforest" to medium "World Peace," dark "Manhattan Mudd," and the "Mountain Gorilla Estate" limited reserve - is sure to brighten anyone's travel mood. Don't miss The Traveler Blend, an heirloom coffee that's only available at LAX T1.

Lobster roll at Slapfish LAX Terminal 2

Lobster roll at Slapfish LAX Terminal 2

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Terminal 2: Slapfish

Slapfish, a creative oceanic comfort food concept from CEO-Founder Andrew Gruel and wife/marketing manager Lauren, crosses an East Coast fish shack with SoCal and Baja twists. A massive overhead fish skeleton dominates the space, which also houses colorful reclaimed wood tables and a wood bar. Signature dishes include an overflowing lobster roll with sweet knuckle and claw meat that’s tossed with hot butter and tangy lemon mayo and served on a butter-griddled brioche bun with French fries and pickle spear. Creamy clam chowder comes dressed with chives, bacon bits and a couple shakes of proprietary “Slapfish spice” blend that graces nearly every dish. Massive shrimp burritos should fill you up before any flight, preferably drizzled with creamy lemon herb sauce. 

Burgers and Shake at Shake Shack LAX

Shake Shack at LAX Terminal 3

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Terminal 3: Shake Shack

Delta passengers now have access to Shake Shack, Danny Meyer’s fast-casual burger sensation, which sprouted from a stall in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park. The large space with runway views serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Mornings star breakfast sandwiches with griddled eggs, melted American cheese, and a choice of pork sausage patty, ham, or bacon. Stumptown coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice stay flowing. Shake Shack is rooted in the ShackBurger®. Beautifully charred Angus beef patties come on soft Martin’s potato rolls with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions. Next-level SmokeShack® combines applewood-smoked bacon, chopped cherry peppers, and creamy ShackSauce™. Of course, no trip to Shake Shack is complete without a shake. Consider black & white, a thick blend of vanilla and fudge, and mull making it malted.

800 Degrees at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal | Photo: FLEX Designs

800 Degrees at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal | Photo: FLEX Designs

Tom Bradley International Terminal: 800 Degrees

Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman and chef Anthony Carron launched their fast-growing pizza chain in 2013. Why look for pizza near LAX airport when you can get great pizza at LAX? The 800 Degrees at LAX serves Neapolitan-style, build-your-own pizzas that emerge from wood-burning ovens in a minute, perfect for international travelers on the go.

Chaya at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

Chaya at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal | Photo: Westfield at LAX

Tom Bradley International Terminal: Chaya

With the closures of the Chaya restaurants in Downtown L.A. and Venice, the Japan-based chain's innovative fusion cuisine can only be enjoyed at LAX. International travelers can purchase grab-and-go items for their flights, or sit down to enjoy sushi, savory plates, specialty cocktails, and Chaya’s signature ambiance.

Drink LA at Tom Bradley International Terminal

Drink LA at Tom Bradley International Terminal | Photo: Westfield at LAX

Tom Bradley International Terminal: Drink LA

Drink LA is a groundbreaking new airport concept, serving fine wines, craft beers, classic cocktails and small plates along with sweeping views of the terminal. Drink LA is located on the Mezzanine Level of the Great Hall.

ink.sack at Tom Bradley International Terminal

ink.sack at Tom Bradley International Terminal | Photo: Westfield at LAX

Tom Bradley International Terminal: ink.sack

In November 2013, the LAX location of Michael Voltaggio’s ink.sack was named one of the Top 10 Airport Restaurants in America by GQ Magazine. Fans of the Top Chef champion's original gourmet sandwich shop on Melrose Avenue will find their favorites available to grab-and-go, such as the pork butt banh mi; cold fried chicken; and the Jose Andres (aka The Spanish Godfather), made with serrano ham, chorizo, and manchego cheese.

Petrossian Caviar & Champagne Bar at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

Petrossian Caviar & Champagne Bar at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal | Photo: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Facebook

Tom Bradley International Terminal: Petrossian

Petrossian elevates the travel experience with over 20 vodkas and top-shelf champagne to pair with the company’s famous caviar. Travelers can relax before their flights and indulge in Petrossian’s offerings, or take their luxury on board with a “caviar in the air” picnic pack that includes a caviar selection of their choice, blinis, and crème fraiche presented in an insulated carry-on Petrossian pouch. Additional gourmet to-go options include a selection of Parisian-smoked salmon and charcuterie.

Starbucks Evenings at LAX

Starbucks Evenings at LAX | Photo: Flex Designs

Tom Bradley International Terminal: Starbucks Evenings

Starbucks Evenings is a first for LAX, and the world's second airport location of this new concept. Besides coffee and other standard offerings from the global coffee giant, Starbucks Evenings serves beer, wine and tapas.

Manly Burger at Umami Burger, LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal | Photo: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Facebook

Manly Burger at Umami Burger, LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal | Photo: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Facebook

Tom Bradley International Terminal: Umami Burger

Founded in Los Angeles, Umami Burger specializes in classic American burgers made with unique, secret ingredients that give them their signature flavor. The Great Hall location of the burgeoning chain features burgers that are exclusive to LAX, including the LAX Burger, the LAX Veggie Burger, and three breakfast burgers.

Vanilla Bake Shop at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

Vanilla Bake Shop at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal | Photo: Westfield at LAX

Tom Bradley International Terminal: Vanilla Bake Shop

The L.A.-based Vanilla Bake Shop opened its first-ever airport location at LAX. Vanilla Bake Shop is known for its made-from-scratch cakes, cupcakes and assorted sweets with a focus on fresh, high-quality ingredients. 

Vino Volo at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

Vino Volo at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal | Photo: Westfield at LAX

Tom Bradley International Terminal: Vino Volo

Meaning “wine flight” in Italian, Vino Volo has a knowledgeable staff that can help travelers navigate the eclectic wine list, as well as offer suggestions on charcuterie and cheese pairings. Vino Volo serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and small plates.

Cole's French Dip at LAX Terminal 4

Cole's French Dip at LAX Terminal 4 | Photo: Flex Designs

Terminal 4: Cole's French Dip

Cole’s French Dip, the historic Downtown L.A. spot known for its signature sandwiches as well as its classic cocktails, is located in Terminal 4, the West Coast hub for American Airlines. Cole’s is located near Gate 44 in the Departures Level Food Court, a showcase of L.A.-native eateries that also includes 8 oz. Burger Bar, Campanile, Homeboy Cafe and Real Food Daily ("the world's first plant-based airport restaurant").

Bear claw at La Provence Patisserie & Café LAX

Bear claw at La Provence Patisserie & Café LAX Terminal 4

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Terminal 4: La Provence Patisserie & Café

Since 1996, Chef Farshid Hakim has run La Provence Patisserie & Café in Beverly Hills. His Brentwood Gardens location didn’t work out, but LAX has proven to be a rewarding rebound, complete with pastel pink accents and olive green and white striped backing. An array of pastries and crodos (La Provence’s version of Cronut™) have proven popular. The cranberry cheese croissant contains a sweet-tart blend of berries and cream cheese. A chocolate croissant features a soft rectangle loaded with dark chocolate. Bear claw sports toasted almond scales and contains tantalizing almond paste. Macarons are no longer available, but they’ve added a larger selection of grab-and-go sandwiches.

Bounty Bowl at Food & Bounty LAX Terminal 4

Bounty Bowl at Food & Bounty LAX Terminal 4

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Terminal 4: Food & Bounty

Food & Bounty is an extension of chef Helen Cavallo’s Sunset Gower Studios café and part of a rotating food truck stop in the Terminal 4 food court, which changes approximately once per year. The faux food truck previously hosted Kogi BBQ, Border Grill and Grilled Cheeze Please. The current incarnation features a yellow wrap, logo of a boy with a horse and wagon, and the motto: “Real food. Real fresh.”  The Bounty Bowl combines Spanish rice, veggie hash, beet sticks, and a choice of chicken, pork or veggies. Avocado toast co-stars garden greens and basil salsa verde on rustic wheat bread. Heartier eaters prefer the Wafflino, a grilled cheese meets waffle mash-up with molten cheese, tomato, bacon, and ham. To drink, look for fresh-squeezed juices and kombucha.

Roasted chicken beet salad at Ford’s Filling Station LAX

Roasted chicken beet salad at Ford’s Filling Station LAX | Photo: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Facebook

Terminal 5: Ford's Filling Station & More

Chef Ben Ford opened his eponymous Ford’s Filling Station in 2006. His pioneering gastropub became a mainstay of the thriving Culver City dining scene before it closed and reopened at the JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE in 2014. Located at Gate 55A, Ford’s Filling Station LAX offers pub burgers, flatbreads, salads and bar bites. On the other side of the Duty Free Shop, Skewers by Morimoto features the Iron Chef’s take on Japanese-style street and bar food. Nearby is the LAX outpost of Lemonade, the ever-expanding chain of fast-casual cafeterias offering seasonal Southern California comfort food.

Osteria by Fabio Viviani at Terminal 6

Osteria by Fabio Viviani at Terminal 6 | Photo: Westfield

Terminal 6

In October 2016, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and Westfield unveiled the new Terminal 6 at LAX. This milestone in the $8.5-billion LAX modernization program features a bold new design and 21 new retail and dining concepts, such as Osteria by Fabio Viviani, a debut L.A. concept created by the famed Top Chef. Terminal 6 was the second redesigned terminal unveiled in 2016 following the transformation of Terminal 2.

Petite Filet Mignon at BOA Steakhouse

Petite Filet Mignon | Photo: BOA Steakhouse

Terminal 7: B Grill by BOA Steakhouse

The sleek BOA Steakhouses in West Hollywood and Santa Monica have been re-imagined at LAX as B Grill by BOA Steakhouse, located across from Duty Free along the concourse between Gate 71B and Gate 73. The extensive menu offers signatures like the Petite Filet Mignon, New York Strip, BOA Burger and BOA Chop Chop, as well as more casual offerings like a breakfast burrito and wraps. Hungry travelers take note: the Food [Collection] food court across from Wolfgang Puck Express includes several new food and beverage options, including bld, The Counter and CarryOn Market.

Chicken tinga three-taco platter at Loteria Grill, LAX Terminal 7

Chicken tinga three-taco platter at Loteria Grill, LAX Terminal 7

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Terminal 7: Loteria Grill

Mexico City-born chef Jimmy Shaw’s Loteria Grill is a Food [Collection] standout. Their three-taco combo comes with fluffy rice, earthy black beans, and a choice of protein. We suggest tinga de pollo with shredded chicken stewed with chipotle and house-made chorizo. The LAX tacos aren't the only good thing here. Chilaquiles are also excellent, with crispy corn tortilla chips sautéed with your preferred salsa and dressed with queso fresco, crema Mexicana, onions, and cilantro. Chilaquiles verdes tout winning tang, but you may prefer the punchier version with red chile guajillo salsa. Add eggs, any style, preferably fried. Nachos involve molten Monterey Jack cheese, heaps of pico de gallo and protein. Burritos are also popular, since the meat, rice, and veggie filled behemoths are plane-friendly.

Firehouse Cobb Salad at Engine Co. No. 28, LAX Terminal 8

Firehouse Cobb Salad at Engine Co. No. 28, LAX Terminal 8

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Terminal 8: Engine Co. No. 28

Black and white photos depict firefighters at Downtown LA’s old Engine Co. No. 28, now the long-time home to the original restaurant. The LAX outpost touts red walls with stainless steel pillars, speckled white tables, and black cushioned banquettes. Areas executive chef Mario Perez oversees this menu, which includes “firehouse favorites” like oven-roasted meatloaf smothered in mushroom demi-glace, served with house-made, skin-on garlic mashed red potatoes and sautéed spinach. Crispy chicken & waffles feature Belgian waffles served with fried chicken breast and drumstick blanketed in house-made gravy crafted with sausage, bacon fat, scallions, salt, pepper, flour, and cream. Firefighters can’t live on comfort food alone, so Engine Co. 28 offers “green alarm” salads like the Firehouse Cobb. Well-seasoned cubes of grilled chicken breast join be romaine hearts, bacon bits, a Hass avocado fan, tomato, egg, and blue cheese dressing.


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